Working during your studies might be something you’re banking on in order to help ends meet, and in order to subsidize your student loans and finance. What a lot of students don’t appreciate is that working abroad isn’t straight forward – a lot of countries will prohibit you from working, which is not ideal and comes as a surprise to many.

Before we start looking at the rules in other countries, let’s have a look at the rules right here in the UK: If you’re a non-EU resident and you’re not from the UK, you’re only allowed to work a maximum of 10 hours per week when living in the country on a student visa. EU residents and UK citizens can work as many hours as they like.

Studying in the EU

If you study at a university within the EU and you’re a UK citizen (or a citizen of any other EU member state), you automatically have the right to live and work in any other EU country. This means you don’t have to spend hours on end filling out visa forms – and it means you don’t have to fill out forms in order to obtain a work permit.

As soon as you get to university you can start the hunt for a job – just remember that the language barrier might be somewhat of an issue, so it’s always good to learn a bit of the local lingo before applying for lots of jobs.

Studying elsewhere in the world

It varies from country to country when it comes to working – some countries allow you to do it when travelling on a student visa – but other countries require you to have special authorization to work, on top of your student visa.

Here are a couple of examples of the working restrictions imposed upon international students in some non-EU countries:

America – A very popular destination for students wishing to study overseas. In America you will need to obtain permission to work even if you do have a student visa. Student visas in America are granted on the basis that you attend your course full-time, therefore any applications to work that conflict with this are likely to be denied.

Australia – A lot of UK students decide to go and study “down under”. In Australia you’re allowed to work but only to a maximum of 40 hours per fortnight – this applies to any dependents that enter the country with you legally, too.

Working online

If you can’t get a local job for whatever reason it’s a good idea to look into the possibility of working online. There are lots of jobs sites out there that hook clients up with providers, like you. So whether you’re a dab hand at coding software, or an expert at web design – there’s likely to be someone out there with a bit of work available for you. Have a look at the jobs available on the following list of websites:

  • Elance.com
  • Freelancer.com
  • Guru.com
  • oDesk.com

There are lots of jobs to go at on these sites – there’s pretty much something for everyone. Payment usually comes in the form of PayPal too – so you can transfer the money that you earn directly into your bank account.

Before setting your heart on a university overseas it’s always a good idea to look at the legality of you working when you’re there. Some countries won’t even entertain the idea of letting you work, which could be a massive issue for you if you’re planning to use the money you earn to subsidize your living arrangements. A bit of research and preparation is what’s needed in order to have a successful tenure studying overseas – there’s nothing worse than pitching up only to find the local authority will not let you get a job!