Career
10 min

Best 9 Countries for Working on Your Student Visa

Are you looking for the most value-for-money study abroad destination? One of the important things to consider is whether you will be able to work while studying.
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This can significantly reduce your overall degree costs, help you build a network, get some valuable working experience, and improve your language skills.

While doing your research on a country where you are planning to go, it is essential to answer a range of questions. Is it possible to work on your student residence permit? Can you only look for a job on campus or off it too? How many hours can you work per week as a student? Do you need a special work permit?

For example, being a popular study abroad destination, the USA is a tough country when it comes to working while studying. F1 students are allowed to work in the United States, but only under certain conditions. 

There are several categories of employment for an F1 student. On-campus employment is the most freely available one, and then there are four categories of off-campus employment. Luckily, many countries, such as Canada, have changed the rules recently to make it easier for students to find jobs.

Let’s have a look at the countries that are both popular study abroad destinations and a good place to go if you are planning to have a part-time job as a student.

Canada

In Canada, students who got their permit after the 1st of June are allowed to work for up to 20 hours per week while a study program is in session and full-time during scheduled breaks in the academic calendar.

You can work off campus without a work permit if you meet the following requirements: you are a full-time student at a designated learning institution (DLI) in a program that leads to a degree, diploma, or certificate, and you have a Social Insurance Number (SIN) that you can get after you arrive in Canada. 

If you need to gain some work experience as part of your study program, you can apply for a co-op or intern work permit. For that, you need a letter from your school. You can apply online. 

Germany

In Germany, international students can work 120 full days or 240 half days per year, although they need permission from the Agentur für Arbeit (Federal Employment Agency) and the Ausländerbehörde (foreigners' office). Working as an academic assistant is an exception. Academic assistants can work as many days as they want. However, they still have to notify the foreigners' office. 

The regional offices of the Federal Employment Agency frequently host a job exchange for students. You can seek information on job openings from the universities’ student services. A lot of students choose to work as academic assistants at their university. They might be in charge of the library, lead tutorials, or research literature for professors.

Sweden

In Sweden, you can work without restrictions while studying as long as you have a valid residence permit to attend a Swedish college or university. There is no limit on the number of hours you can work. 

International students can also extend their study permit for up to six months after graduation to search for work or start their business. Before the study permit expires, students can also apply for a work permit if they get a job offer in the country. 

France 

All international students have the right to work while studying in France. According to French law, international students can work up to 964 hours per year, or the equivalent of 60% of the maximum working hours permitted (which means that students can work full time during summer). A provisional work permit is no longer required for that.

In France, international students are also permitted to work at their host institutions. This includes welcoming students at the start of the school year, tutoring, assisting at cultural or sporting events, providing support for students with disabilities, etc. These jobs are scheduled around class times and study times.

Estonia 

International full-time students in Estonia can work without any additional work permit as long as it does not interfere with their studies. Non-EU students are allowed to stay in Estonia for 9 months after graduation to look for a job. They can apply for a temporary residence permit for work if they find a job. 

Students and graduates are encouraged to launch their own startups or spin-off enterprises in Estonia, which has a strong startup culture. There are a lot of government and private programs aimed at boosting spin-off businesses. Organizations and initiatives such as Garage48, Startup WiseGuys, and Tehnopol Startup Incubator offer students money and opportunities to start focusing on their careers and new ideas while still doing their studies. This opens up a world of options for connecting research with business concepts.

Czech Republic

International students in the Czech Republic are allowed to work while studying without a work permit. However, they should keep in mind that they are staying based on a visa for study purposes, therefore paid work cannot be their primary occupation and should not affect studies. The employer needs to notify the relevant regional office of the Public Employment Service about the start of the student’s work.

Exchange students or those with the distance learning form of studies are allowed to work without an employment permit too, but for a limited number of days and only if they are up to the age of 26. In all other cases, international students have to obtain an employment permit and a residence permit, or an Employee Card or a Blue Card (both cards combine a work permit and a residence permit in one document).

Austria

International students are allowed to work on their student residence permit  ("Aufenthaltsbewilligung - Student") for up to 20 hours per week with an employment contract. The work should not affect the studies since studying is the primary purpose of their stay in Austria. 

Unpaid work to acquire practical knowledge and vocational internships as part of the curriculum at an Austrian educational institution do not require a work permit. The employer still has to notify the Public Employment Service (Arbeitsmarktservice/AMS) and the tax authorities.

Denmark 

International students in Denmark can work for up to 20 hours a week and full-time during June, July, and August. A student needs to have a work permit sticker in their passport. They can get a work permit at the Danish Immigration Service if they did not apply for one while applying for a residence permit to study in Denmark.

Students can hunt for student jobs online at job banks or career centers some academic institutions have. Besides, there is www.workindenmark.dk, the official Danish website for international recruitment, that provides tips on how to find a relevant student job, submit a job application, ace a job interview, etc. A job bank and a CV bank are also available on the website.

Hungary 

International students can work for up to 24 hours a week without a special work permit during their study period, or 90 days or 66 working days outside their study period. 

In Hungary, most higher education institutions have their own career offices where students can learn about available jobs. These offices provide job opportunities through databases and organize programs for job-seeking students, as well as help them with career planning and management.

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