Study Abroad

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Can I work abroad while studying?

The simple answer is yes. One of my best friends was studying abroad in South Africa and spent days between a lecture at the University of Cape Town and a part-time job at the acclaimed Ogilby South Africa. He works for a top advertising agency in Chicago.

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 local industry and mingling with different segments of the population besides university students

Work experience that allows students to use the local language is 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.

Which countries can I work in while studying abroad?

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 with a rundown of the logistics and legalities of working in some of the most popular countries for studying 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.

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 their 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.

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

What kinds of jobs can I get while studying abroad?

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:

1. 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.

2. 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 with 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.

3. 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.



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