Germany is a favorite study destination of many international students due to the country’s reputation for quality and accessible education. In addition, the country has a rich history and culture, plus a high quality of living, making it more attractive to students. However, despite its accessible education (most universities in Germany have free tuition fees), the cost of living there is high. A student in Germany, on average, spends around EUR 850 per month for their living cost. Thus, many foreign students choose to take on part-time jobs to supplement their daily costs.
Here are the jobs in Germany that students can take while studying.
About Working in Germany
Before delving into the jobs available for foreign students, first, here are the rules they need to comply with when working.
- Foreign students from the EU, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, and Liechtenstein have unlimited access to the country’s labor market and have the same rights as German students.
- Foreign students from other countries not listed above are only allowed to work for 120 full days, or 240 half days every year. Plus, they can only work 20 hours per week.
- Students studying German or taking preparatory courses in Germany can only work after getting permission from the Federal Employment Agency.
- Foreign students cannot take on freelancing or work as self-employed.
- If you earn above EUR450 per month, you are required to pay taxes.
Jobs in Germany for International Students
Below are the top and common jobs foreign students can apply for.
Academic Assistant in Your Institution
This is probably the most efficient and accessible job on the list due to it being within or near your place of study. Being an academic assistant may include working at the library, leading lectures or tutorials, or help professors in their research. Academic assistant jobs are a good addition to your CV especially if it is related to your degree, because you have early exposure to the real situation at work after graduating, plus, you get to learn transferable skills in the process.
To get a job as an academic assistant, you can ask your institution’s administrative office if they have job vacancies, or to keep you notified in case there’s an opening. Just remember though, that on-campus opportunities are usually in-demand.
Working at Restaurants or Bars
There are usually a lot of jobs being offered in Germany’s bars and restaurants, such as waiting tables, bartending, doing the dishes, or kitchen staff. Also, a job in bars and restaurants may require you to communicate a lot with people. Thus, if you want to improve your language skills, become more familiar with the German work culture, and meet other people outside your school, then this job is the one for you.
Working in Retail
If you want, you can also work in retail, which includes department stores, boutiques, and supermarkets. Not only is retail everywhere, but the sector itself is always looking for employees. Just like working in bars and restaurants, working in retail may also require you to have good communication skills. Aside from that, you need to adapt easily and learn quickly. Some jobs in retail you can get may include working as a cashier, customer service representative, cleaning and maintenance, stocker, warehouse worker, and so on.
The list above is the top and most common jobs you can take as a student.
Other jobs in Germany that are worth noting but not included above are:
- Working at a courier service
- Newspaper distributor
Learn more about living in Germany as an international student including tips about accommodations. To start, check out MSM Unify’s article on A Guide to Apartment Renting in Germany.