When deciding to study abroad, you must have sufficient and solid economic resources to face the costs that this involves: tuition fees, books, rent, food, social life, etc. The reality is that most international students need to have something extra to cover some of their studies or living expenses. 

In any case, there are many reasons why you can benefit from working while studying. In addition to earning that extra to treat yourself, these first work experiences can make a difference on your resume and help you to stand out to potential employers. Take it as an opportunity to become more independent with our 6 tips to consider:

What should I know First if I Want to Work While Studying?

First and foremost, check if you need a work permit. 

Working in the EU

If you have citizenship from a country part of the European Union and move around countries within, you will have the same right to work while studying as the locals. However, if you are not a European citizen, you will need a visa to work part-time, and some countries can restrict the number of hours a visa holder can work. Learn more about the working permissions in the EU here.

Working in the UK

Regarding the UK, international students can work part-time, up to 20 hours at a maximum per week during term-time and full-time during holiday breaks. Nevertheless, some restrictions and conditions exist to be eligible for a student job there. You can check them out here.

Working in the USA

As an international student, obtaining a work permit in the USA depends on your visa type. F-1 visa holders automatically have permission to work on-campus part-time (up to 20 hours per week) during the terms and full-time during school breaks. You can learn more in our previous post, Study in the USA: Work Opportunities for International Students.

Working in Canada

In Canada, you could work on and off campus, but also as a co-op student or intern, which could be a part of your curriculum. There is no limitation on the hours that international students can work, in addition to working off campus, as long as they meet the eligibility requirements for working on campus. Here is what the Canadian government says about working while you study

Now that we have this cleared let’s get down to business and see how you can work while studying.

Part-time job

A part-time job is the most common practice among international students since it is what the law usually allows. Most of the time, the university facilitates placements, either providing on-campus jobs or referring students to partner companies, which makes it possible to combine work and study hours. Other popular options among students are bartending, babysitting, or offering private lessons.

Summer or winter job during school breaks

As a student, summer and winter breaks are perfect opportunities to earn extra money and get work and life experience. Hospitality jobs on the beach or mountain resorts are seasonal and ideal for students!

Get an internship 

Although you might not be getting paid, internships are an excellent opportunity to gain work experience and set foot in the chosen company. Also, it is common for internships to be part of the university curriculum, which you will still need to complete to get a diploma.


While volunteering might also not get you to earn money, it will give you tons of lifetime and work experience. You can participate in numerous projects, part-time during school terms or full-time during vacations, and sometimes, accommodation and food expenses are covered. If you want to get a headstart with your next volunteering project, head to the European Solidarity Corps website and learn more.


The Workaway platform allows users to arrange homestays and cultural exchanges. You can consider it a form of volunteering, where volunteers or “Workawayers” are expected to contribute to a project in exchange for lodging and food, which their host provides.


Did you know that Canva.com’s creator Melanie Perkins created her platform after becoming frustrated with the existing design tools on the market? It all started as a small project and now Canva.com is one of the most successful companies in the world. If you have an idea or a talent, start putting it into practice. Contact companies that may need you and what may begin as a side job may become your way of life.

Although it may sound exciting at first, working and studying at the same time can be challenging at times and the truth is that you will have to do your best in both tasks. An optimal organization and a positive and proactive attitude will be necessary. Planning your daily goals, saving moments to disconnect, and exercising can help you cope with it all.

Marta Valverde

Event Coordinator for Spain at SRT Fairs. She studied Journalism and Communication in Tenerife, Spain, and is now based in Sofia, Bulgaria.