Can You Work While Studying Abroad? (2023)

Study Abroad

Working alongside your studies is a great way to learn about your host country while earning a bit of extra cash. Read on for our tips about how to build your resume in popular countries across the world.

Can You Work While Studying Abroad? (1)

By Elaina Giolando

Published September 27, 2021


  • Working part-time while studying abroad is a unique opportunity for students interested in making some money and gaining valuable international experience.
  • Depending on the country, you may or may not be able to work alongside your studies. Some countries require an additional visa.
  • Popular student jobs include on-campus opportunities, bar or restaurant work, and teaching and tutoring.
  • Make sure you can balance work and study -- after all, your main job is being a student. Don't miss out on a social life, either!
(Video) Study in US, UK, Canada | Is it Worth it? | Ankur Warikoo Hindi
Can You Work While Studying Abroad? (2)

Can you work while studying abroad? The short answer is yes. One of my best friends studied abroad in South Africa and spent her days shuttling between classes at the University of Cape Town and her part-time job at the very prestigious Ogilvy South Africa, an experience she directly leveraged to work at a top advertising firm in Chicago after graduation.

Another classmate of mine would complete Russian to Chinese translations for a local export-import business during our semester in Xiamen, China, and I would teach an improv English class twice a week at a new school down the road. We both used those quirky experiences in future job interviews as illustrations of our appetite for entrepreneurship and cultural immersion and landed international jobs not long after graduation (coupled with other more substantial international work, of course, but it was a starting point).

Finding (or creating) a part-time job while studying abroad was an invaluable way of digging into the local culture and earning some much-needed money.

Perhaps not the job we were looking for, my friends and I were also offered to work at the nightclubs we frequented most, simply by drinking and mingling with the local party-goers. We passed on that one though because studying in China meant devoting hours and hours every evening to studying in the library.

Nonetheless, from both my personal experience and the experiences of others, finding (or creating) a part-time job while studying abroad was an invaluable way of digging into the local culture. Working while studying is a great way to earn some much-needed money, learn the language to a high degree of fluency, and coming away with stories we'd never have if we had just stayed in the library. Read on for tips on getting a job while studying abroad.

Which countries can I work in while studying abroad?

Can You Work While Studying Abroad? (3)

If you're convinced you'd also like to work while studying overseas, the next step is to figure out if the country you're going to allows you to work legally on a student visa. We've done our research to provide you a rundown of the logistics and legalities of working in some of the most popular countries for study abroad as American citizens.

Please note that Go Overseas is not the final word on immigration policies for each of these countries, so please check with the embassy of the country where you're planning to study abroad for the official policies on legally gaining compensated work experience on a student visa.

CountryMore information
UKIf studying longer than 6 months on a Tier 4 student visa, 20 hours per week during study periods, 40 hours during vacation periods.
FranceStudents may not work more than 20 hours a week (964 hours per year). A 20% contribution to social security is mandatory.
SpainStudents can work up to 20 hours per week in a job relevant to the field of study. The prospective employer must apply for a work permit on behalf of the student.
GermanyStudents can work up to 120 days per year full-time or 240 days for part-time work. Language students aren't eligible.
ItalyStudents can work up to 20 hours a week for one year (1,040 total).
IrelandNo additional visa is needed. If you study for at least one academic year, students may work up to 20 hours per week during the term and full-time during vacation.
ChinaDepending on the type of visa, it is possible to work with permission from your university and various bureaucratic documents. Many people continue to work unofficially in China, but getting caught carries serious repercussions and is not recommended despite the ease of doing so.
SingaporeFor students attending an approved university and pursuing a full-time degree (not semester or year exchange), up to 16 hours per week of work are permitted.
AustraliaNo additional visa is needed. Up to 20 hours a week and full-time during vacation.
New ZealandNo additional visa is needed. On student visa, work is permitted up to 20 hours per week during the term, and 40 hours during vacation.
Costa RicaWorking while studying is not permitted in Costa Rica.

Please note that any of the above information is subject to change at any time and prospective students should again contact directly with the embassy of the country where they plan on studying and verify their visa type and regulations about work directly with the authorities.

(Video) Study Abroad | Find out how you can work while studying abroad

What kinds of jobs can I get while studying abroad?

Can You Work While Studying Abroad? (4)

The best kind of jobs for international students are ones that allow them to see a new side of the local culture beyond an academic and purely social perspective, hopefully by working in a local industry and mingling with different segments of the population besides university students (elderly, young children, industrial workforce, farmers, corporate professionals).

Work experience that allows students to use the local language are critical for actually developing fluency outside of the classroom if that's an important objective for them. And of course, the work should accommodate a student lifestyle with flexible working hours that don't disrupt course schedules, and a paycheck that off-sets some of the costs of living abroad.

The best kind of jobs for international students are ones that allow them to see a new side of the local culture beyond an academic and purely social perspective.

Whether you choose to work in a local restaurant or at a large corporation, your experience could open door to future opportunities, an interesting network in that country, and meaningful work experience relevant to your degree that can be proudly displayed on your resume after completion of the program.

Here are a few ideas for jobs you can pursue while still studying abroad:

On-campus jobs

This is a great option for meeting other students outside of the international exchange circles and to improve your language skills if you'd be working in the local language.

Check to see if your university has a center for work-study or simply ask local students about opportunities to find a job on campus. Unfortunately, many of these jobs may be administrative or not terribly exciting, so brace yourself for that.

Restaurants and bars

These are usually fun jobs that pay enough to offset some living costs and let you mingle with the locals. Working as a server or bartender can be a great way to practice the language, too.

Take a stroll through a popular area of town and stop in and chat to the manager to score a gig quickly. Make sure you bring your CV and evidence that your visa allows you to work in the country legally. Be careful when considering nightlife gigs, however, as the hours and nature of work can be draining and become a major distraction from your studies.

Teaching or tutoring English

If attending university in a country where English isn't the native language, there's generally a high demand for English teachers and tutors. You may find you're approached on-campus or in the street and asked to teach English. You can pursue formal or informal avenues for teaching, and a quick Google search or chat with your professors and other international classmates will yield many leads.

Tutoring and translation work

In China, a few classmates of mine printed their own posters advertising English-Chinese translations for a competitive hourly rate and created an email account to deal with all the requests (typically, you translate to your native language -- not from it).

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All were very successful in picking up extra cash and gaining experience this way -- and even a few new friends who just wanted to meet up for lunch after seeing an advertisement by a foreigner.

The same applies to any skill you have. Can you teach music? Cooking? Dance? Leverage your inner entrepreneur and create a job for yourself. Again, check with the university to see what the legal parameters for doing so are.

Office jobs and internships

If you want a job that's more relevant to your degree, it's going to require major hustling and networking, which may be distracting from your primary focus as a student.

Decide what specific kind of work you want -- only by being focused on what skills you have and what you'd like to learn and in what kind of organization can others help you find something suitable.

Good places to start are the university career center, your professors, other students in your classes, local networking groups in your field, and websites like LinkedIn. Simply paying a visit to organizations you'd like to work for and pitching yourself yields the best results.

(Video) Does studying abroad make sense?

A unique and career-building opportunity

If you're able to score a gig that's relevant to your field of study, this is the best way to develop a more interesting resume and build a compelling story that will put you ahead of your peers who either stayed home from study abroad or went abroad and didn't bother to search for opportunities to gain skills outside of the classroom and interact more deeply with the local culture while they were there.

Even if you're working as a server in a local pub, the exposure you get to a wider variety of the local population than if you simply stayed on campus will prove both fun and meaningful in terms of cultural immersion and, no doubt, a few good stories. Not to mention the extra cash to pay for books, your dorm or apartment, and nights out with friends.

(Video) How to get a part-time job while studying abroad | Benefits of working part-time | iSchoolConnect


How many hours can an overseas student work? ›

A student visa issued for full-time degree level studies allows you to work for a maximum of 20 hours per week during term-time. This is a maximum of 20 hours in total in any one week, including paid or unpaid work and for one or more organisation. The 20 hours cannot be averaged over a longer period.

Is it better to go abroad to study or work? ›

Studying abroad is arguably the stress free option, in more ways than one. Your university will have tons of options from you to choose from, partner universities dotted all around Europe whilst even some intercontinental exchanges are available (although remember these won't be funded by Erasmus).

Can I work while studying abroad in the UK? ›

You're allowed to work in the UK while studying, only part-time. There are many job offers and opportunities for international students in the UK. As an international student, you'll work up to twenty (20) hours every week during your study period.

In which countries can international students work? ›

Here is a list of a few highly popular and renowned countries that give work permits after study to international students:
  • Australia.
  • New Zealand.
  • United Kingdom.
  • United States of America.
  • Canada.
  • Germany.
18 Aug 2021

What happens if international student works more than 20 hours? ›

Working more than 20 hours per week is a violation of your study permit conditions. You can lose your student status for doing this, and may not be approved for a study or work permit in the future. You may also have to leave the country.

Can I work full-time and study full-time? ›

For those whose who are working full time and studying full time, it's more accurate to talk about “work-study-life balance.” While it is possible to work full time while studying full-time, these parts of your time can compete for your time and can demand a lot of your energy.

What are the disadvantages of going abroad? ›

Studying abroad can be a costly affair, especially with the university fee and the cost of living, you will find yourself living on a stringent budget. The cost of living abroad can be very high when compared to your homeland and this would clearly affect your lifestyle.

What are the cons of studying abroad? ›

Pros of studying abroadCons of studying abroad
Getting out of your comfort zoneIt's expensive
Learning how to live independentlyYou'll be missing out on events back home
Making new friendsCulture shock is real
Seeing the world and making unforgettable memoriesLanguage and cultural barriers might be frustrating
3 more rows

Is studying abroad worth it? ›

The answer is a resounding yes. While studying overseas is a big commitment that involves a great deal of time and money, it's also beneficial to you in many ways. On a practical note, getting an overseas degree opens up many opportunities to you, and puts you on the path to success.

Can a poor student study abroad? ›

So will you be able to study abroad even if you don't have sufficient money? The precise answer is – yes, you'll definitely get to do that!

How can I make money while studying abroad? ›

How to make money while studying abroad
  1. Teach English.
  2. Tutor students in test prep.
  3. Work as a freelancer online.
  4. Babysit.
  5. Offer translation services.
  6. Become a tour guide.
  7. Help out at a hostel.
  8. Wait tables (visa permitting)
27 Jul 2020

How much do students earn a month UK? ›

£9.50 per hour for workers 23 and over (known as the National Living Wage) £9.18 per hour for workers 21 - 22. £6.83 per hour for 18 - 20.

Which country is No 1 in study? ›

USA. For decades, the US has reigned supreme as the world's most popular study abroad destination. The country's prestigious institutions dominate global university rankings, attracting students from across the world with an appetite for academic excellence.

Which country is best for poor international students? ›

Germany is one of the most popular study destinations among international students, renowned mainly for its free education. International and domestic students pursuing studies at German public universities are not required to pay tuition fees.
1. Germany
  • Berlin.
  • Stuttgart.
  • Hamburg.
  • Leipzig.
  • Bonn.
  • Dresden.
18 Oct 2021

Can student work 40 hours now? ›

The government decided to relax working hour restrictions in January 2022 ​​​​​to address workforce shortages. This means students can now work as many hours as they like in any industry. Refer to the Department of Home Affairs for more information.

Can international students work full-time in the summer? ›

If you work off-campus

You can work full-time during scheduled breaks, like over summer holidays and during spring break. You must meet all the requirements for working off-campus before you start working. Once your school year restarts, you can only work a maximum of 20 hours per week.

How many hours should a full-time student work? ›

The amount of hours a student should work during college is close to 15-20 hours per week. This will help students to stay afloat with payments such as housing, tuition, food, clothing, transportation, among other necessities.

Is working while studying a good idea? ›

The personal benefits of working while studying are usually greater than the actual income. You will become a more responsible and disciplined person, more self-confident, learn to spend money more carefully and wisely and overall, the experience will certainly turn out to look good on your CV.

How do you balance work and study life? ›

Six tips for balancing work and study
  1. Explore your workplace support. Your employer may be more accommodating than you realise. ...
  2. Prioritise commitments. ...
  3. Use a calendar. ...
  4. Work smarter, not harder. ...
  5. Manage stress levels and burn-out. ...
  6. Finally, remember why you're doing it.

Can I do job and study together? ›

The answer to your dilemma is a clear 'yes'. Although studying and keeping your job requires a bigger commitment compared to being only a regular full-time student, you shouldn't worry! Thousands of students have proved this is not only possible but, in fact, quite easy to manage.

What is the hardest thing about studying abroad? ›

Top 5 Challenges of Studying Abroad
  1. Feeling like an outsider. ...
  2. Overcoming the language barrier. ...
  3. Getting used to currency differences. ...
  4. Being far from your support network. ...
  5. Coping with cultural misunderstandings.

What is the most in demand work abroad? ›

Engineering, construction, and energy jobs abroad

Automation and robotics engineers, mining engineers, alternative energy engineers, and petroleum engineers are among the most in-demand. There has never been a better time to work overseas for industries that are thriving in the energy, gas, or construction domain.

Why studying abroad is expensive? ›

From tuition, health insurance, student activities, and other things, foreign students are charged higher. This is what makes studying abroad sometimes expensive. Some people say it's because domestic students pay taxes and other national dues which domestic students don't pay for.

Can I study abroad twice? ›

Many students spend consecutive semesters at their study abroad destination or combine two different sites for a year abroad. Studying abroad multiple semesters is possible but keep in mind the importance of planning ahead.

Is it better to study abroad for a semester or year? ›

A Year Abroad

Studying abroad for a year is a great option if you have the time and the budget. In my experience, I've realized that it takes almost three months simply to adjust to a new school, and if you're only there for a semester or summer, you will be gone just as you're getting comfortable.

Why do people want to go abroad? ›

Going abroad is an exciting challenge and a great opportunity to escape your comfort zones. You'll have the opportunity to pick up new skills you may not have had the chance to whilst studying at home, including navigating a new city, communicating in a different language, and budgeting with an unfamiliar currency.

How expensive is it to study abroad? ›

Depending on the program and country, study abroad can cost anywhere from $4,000 to $10,000. Study abroad costs can be steep, but there are a few ways to get help paying for it. Finding scholarships, loans, and roommates can help you cover some program and housing costs so you can enjoy your time abroad.

What requirements are needed to study abroad? ›

Academic references/ letters of recommendation. Certificate and transcripts of your secondary education. Proof of English-language proficiency (e.g. a TOEFL/IELTS certificate, for schools in English-speaking countries), or other language test. Admissions test results (e.g. GMAT/GRE results, for graduate programs)

When should I apply to study abroad? ›

You should begin planning for study abroad at least one year prior to the program start date. If you are just getting started, you should review our list of recommended First Steps.

Can international students work 40 hours? ›

No, an international student cannot work full time but only 20 hours a week (40 hours only in winter, spring and summer breaks).

Can international students work 40 hours in summer? ›

Students may work full-time during summer and other breaks (as long as the student will return to school after the break) Student may work full-time after completion of all coursework, if a thesis or dissertation is still required and student is making normal progress towards the degree.

Can international students work more than 20 hours in healthcare? ›

There is no longer a restriction on the number of hours you can work or volunteer each week if you belong in any of the following categories: Student (including Tier 4 student) working for the NHS in a list profession.

Can student work more than 48 hours in summer break in UK? ›

Working hours in term time must not exceed 10 or 20 a week, and you can work full time outside term time.

How much can a student earn a week Canada? ›

How much do students get paid in Canada? Students working part-time in Canada get paid an average of $15 CAD per hour. This will amount to approximately $300 CAD a week and $1,200 CAD per month.

Can international students work full-time in the summer? ›

If you work off-campus

You can work full-time during scheduled breaks, like over summer holidays and during spring break. You must meet all the requirements for working off-campus before you start working. Once your school year restarts, you can only work a maximum of 20 hours per week.

How many hours is a full-time student in Canada? ›

A part-time student is registered for fewer than 9 credit hours per term. A full-time student is registered for 9 to 15 credit hours per term. You must take a certain number of courses to maintain your eligibility for student loans and some bursaries and scholarships.

What happens if an international student work off campus? ›

If international students work a job off campus, this will violate their visa status, and if they get caught working illegally, they face the risk of being sent back to their home country.

Why international graduates are not getting jobs in UK? ›

What no CV, application, or interview can help with is a lack of work experience. There are just too many needed skills that working gives you. With most international graduates now only having academic experience, there is little chance to compete.

How much does a student earn per hour in USA? ›

As of Oct 15, 2022, the average hourly pay for a Student in the United States is $22.13 an hour. While ZipRecruiter is seeing hourly wages as high as $49.28 and as low as $6.97, the majority of Student wages currently range between $14.18 (25th percentile) to $23.32 (75th percentile) across the United States.

Can I apply for work permit while studying? ›

If you receive an invitation to apply, you can apply for an IEC work permit even if you have a valid study permit. You can also apply for a study permit if you have a valid work permit through IEC.

Can I change student visa to work permit? ›

Yes, the Home Office permits eligible students to make the switch from a Tier 4 study visa to a Tier 2 (General) work visa. To switch, students will need to meet a number of criteria in relation to the course of study, the type of role, and the salary.

Can you work full-time and study full-time UK? ›

In a nutshell, a student can work 20 hours in any given week during term time if you are studying a full-time programme at degree level and above. If you're studying a full-time programme below degree level it's 10 hours and full time during holiday periods and after your programme end date (until your visa expires.)

Can you work 70 hours a week UK? ›

Legally, your employer can't make you work more than 48 hours a week, including overtime. If they want you to work more than that, your employer has to ask you to opt out of the 48-hour limit.

How much money can international student earn in UK? ›

National Minimum Wages for International Students in the UK

The NMW as of April 1st, 2022 is: £9.50 per hour for workers 23 and over (known as the National Living Wage) £9.18 per hour for workers 21 - 22. £6.83 per hour for 18 - 20.

Is it illegal to work a 14 hour shift UK? ›

You shouldn't have to work more than an average of 8 hours in each 24-hour period, averaged out over 17 weeks. You can work more than 8 hours a day as long as the average over 17 weeks is no more than 8. Your employer can't ask you to opt out of this limit.


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