Any person living abroad can attest to the fact that finding a job is challenging, and it’s no different for students who are studying abroad. For any student, finding the time to work between classes, studying, and extracurricular activities is an epic feat requiring the best time management skills. When you include a foreign language and a new culture to the mix, it can seem nearly impossible!
Despite the challenges, extra income while studying abroad can go a long way towards weekend excursions, fun cultural activities, and exotic dining experiences. It’s also a great way to meet locals and gain a deeper understanding of your host country’s culture.
For those of you looking to work part-time while studying abroad, our student writer Suci wants to share the four tips that helped her land not one but two part-time jobs while studying her master’s degree in Sweden! Below are her tips she hopes will help you finance your adventures abroad.
1. Keep Your Options Open
When you’re looking for a part-time job abroad, keep an open mind! Since these jobs are all about financing your weekend trips and other living expenses, try to worry less about how it will look on your resume and focus on how flexible it is. You want a job that works with your class schedule, not against it.
I looked for all types of jobs, including housekeeper, babysitter, kitchen worker, office assistant, and more! Try finding a job you can commute to easily from your university or your neighborhood. Is there a nearby cafe hiring part-time baristas? A local family in need of a lunchtime dog walker? Get creative and be open to as many opportunities as possible. After all, studying abroad is all about new experiences!
2. Prepare Your Resume Ahead of Time
While you can search and apply online for a part-time position, many vacancies are filled informally by just walking in and handing the manager your resume. That’s why it’s important to always carry printed copies of your resume when out and about so you can easily apply if you find an establishment that looks interesting to you.
When I was searching for a part-time job in Sweden, I prepared two resumes: One in Swedish, and two in English (one for corporate and one for clerical work). I sent the English resumes for corporate positions to companies hiring online. When I rode my bike or walked around the city center, I brought the other two versions of my resume to hand out in shops and restaurants. With this method, I was called in for many interviews and hired for two different clerical positions.
3. Dress to Impress at the Job Interview
When searching for a part-time job while abroad, first impressions are everything! If you hand in your resume in person, give the manager a warm smile and friendly greeting that they’ll remember when looking over your resume.
If they like your resume and call you in for an interview, make an effort to dress nicely and appropriately for the job you are applying for. Wear neat and tidy clothes that show you’re professional and serious about this potential job opportunity.
If the interview will be conducted in your host country’s native language and you’re not already fluent, practice the language at home, focusing on words or phrases you might need for the interview. Even if you are confident in your language skills, practicing at home will make you seem more calm, cool, and collected when you sit down for your interview.
4. Use Your Networking and Time Management Skills
While some people could get lucky by applying for some jobs and get it right away, others might need weeks or months to get one. If you belong to the second category, worry not! Keep focusing on your studies, and use your spare time to look for jobs. Tell your friends, or the people you know that might have some information regarding part-time vacancies. Strengthen your connections and keep on applying! Your time will come.
When you successfully manage to get a part-time job, read more of the tips to balance your time between study and work here.
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