We all know that being a student means too many times running out of money and trying to find all kind of solutions for paying the rent without having to starve yourself.
After all, you can’t really say no to all those fun nights out, that, most of the times, cost you a week’s worth of food (the drinks, getting back home with a taxi because, hey!, safety first!), and we haven’t even mentioned yet all the new films you've been dying to see, that finally arrived at the cinema.
But we have to do this! It’s time to stop living solely of our parent’s money and be rebel and free, so we created a small guide that can help you out and put the whole “working during your studies” into perspective.
You can always find some time besides your studies
In most cases, Master’s degrees only have a few classes throughout the whole week.
Although the rest is meant to be spent studying and doing school related things, how many of us actually use all of them for this purpose?
Don’t get us wrong: schoolwork shouldn’t, under any circumstance, be ignored, but you can do both, because, usually, students get part-time jobs, which means only 20 hours a week. To put into perspective, Game of Thrones, to date, takes 50 hours to binge watch.
Work permits and regulations around the world
After you decide to take this step, you should start researching what the legislation says about working international students. Countries choose their own rules and what to abide by, so you should know that, for some of the biggest destinations for future graduates, the rules are:
- If you wish to study a degree in Australia, you should know that work permits are provided simultaneously with your studying visa, so you won’t need to apply twice. International students can work for up to 20 hours per week while school is in session, and there is no limit on the number of hours you work during vacations. Be careful, though, because volunteering and unpaid work count within those 20 hours, so pick your battles and manage your time carefully.
- In the Netherlands, EU/EEA students are like honey badgers: they can work with no restrictions whatsoever. However, if you’re from Croatia, or non-EU/non-EEA, you have to get a work permit and work for only 10 hours per week, or full-time only during June to August.
- In Canada, you can work only on the campus where you are studying, if you are a full-time post-secondary student, have a valid study permit and have a Social Insurance Number. Still, you must stop working on campus on the day you are no longer studying full time or when your study permit expires.
- In the United Kingdom, you can work for up to 20 hours a week while studying and full-time during the holidays. For students coming from the EU, there are no restrictions.
- If you’ll follow a degree in the United States, for on-campus work, an F-1 student (the most common visa) can work up to 20 hours per week, during school period, while you can work full-time on campus during holidays and vacation periods.
Remember to always ask your employer for all the necessary working documents and check for their authenticity and refuse to work without any documentation and make sure that your worker's rights are respected.
Where to look for a job, as a student
You should start looking for a job that best fits your schedule and that doesn't intervene too much with your study program. Places you can search for jobs are various, like:
- local newspapers
- announcements in the university
- university webpages, that have their own job offering section
- ask friends, colleagues, teachers, everyone you think might give a helpful tip
How should you choose the best job
You could find it easy to work in restaurants or office jobs, but it's advisable to look for a job that is as much as possible related to your study field. In this ideal case, you make some money and you get some valuable experience in your area that is worth mentioning in your CV.
Internships or practical placements are always a good idea to start gaining money and valuable experience. Some faculties are also constantly searching for student workforces, so you might be able to earn a little bit of extra income within the university by helping:
- PhD students
- Master students
You can also look for possibilities to teach languages, such as English, Spanish, German, and even your mother tongue, as a lot of students are quite excited to learn from a native speaker.
Also, there are incredibly many students working part-time, which means that managers are pretty flexible when it comes to working days or hours. They know your schedule is quite unstable and can, sometimes, change, therefore it is possible to arrange your shifts so that it’s convenient for both of you.
How you can get other forms of financial help
It’s ok, we won’t recommend anything illegal or that requires you to sell your soul.
You can start looking for scholarships and other funding possibilities offered by the European Union or your university.
There are pretty good chances that there is something out there for you, and you just need to start researching and asking the right people.