Studying abroad will be one of the most amazing experiences of your life, but it can be expensive. As an international student, a part-time job is a great way to finance yourself and find independence in your new country. Here are some tips on finding a student job abroad:
Advantages of a Student Job
Most students are motivated to work part time for the financial support and security this can provide, particularly for those studying abroad. However, a job in the local community can really enhance your integration into your new country, giving you the opportunity to make friends and potentially improve your language skills. In addition, a student job is an excellent opportunity to gain experience for your future career. Being an assistant in an office makes you familiar with the organisational culture of a company, but even dishwashing or bartending gives you valuable experience of hard work. A job in a foreign country will really shine on your resume.
Network, Network and Network!
Polish and perfect your CV and write an up-to-date and professional cover letter. However, while searching for job ads online, don’t be surprised if there are less vacancies than you expected. The chances of finding a student job online or through recruitment agencies is not as high as you would think. More and more job postings don't actually make it to an online platform, but instead employers find new recruits through word-of-mouth or physical applications. Therefore, you need to network: have the confidence to introduce yourself in person at the business or ask for a contact to recommend you, to help create opportunities.
Prepare For the Interview
No matter what position you are applying to - from a professional internship to delivering pizza - always show your reliability and trustworthiness to your potential employer. Research the company or business thoroughly before an interview, and be prepared to ask about their values and goals, which will demonstrate your interest and enthusiasm for the position.
As an international student, don’t overload yourself with too much academic workload or part-time shifts while settling into a new country. You need to schedule your part-time job very carefully, to ensure you have enough time to prepare for your classes, extracurricular activities and exams. Apply to local businesses that are preferably close to your accommodation, so you don't lose time commuting - and if you have to commute, spend it catching up on reading.
One advantage of attending a university or business school in a student city is that your potential employers are likely to adapt your work schedule around your academic commitments. Employers should understand that you need time off for exams and most of them tend to give students flexible working hours during exam periods.
If your university schedule is too busy for a part-time job, why not apply to summer jobs instead? This allows you to spend more time in your new country outside of term, and can offer you both memories and of course some extra cash.
The extra income from a part-time job might not seem a lot at first, but there are ways to make it last. First and foremost, a position at any business usually comes with employee discounts, so make sure to take advantage of these while you can. Smart budgeting will also open a lot of doors, and is key to navigating student life abroad. Learning how to save your money economically, is a life skill and will be useful in the future.