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Working Limits in Europe for International Students

working limits in Europe

Table of Contents

If international students do not have the funds to cover all costs of studying abroad, they can consider a part-time job. Part-time employment helps pay for academic and living expenses. It also lets them dive into the local culture, build professional skills, improve language fluency, and make new friends. Many countries allow international students to earn while studying, but the rules are different in every country. This article discusses working limits in Europe for international students.


In this guide:

  • Working Limits in Europe for Student Visa
  • Countries with the best student-work permit conditions
  • Tips to Working Abroad as International Student
  • Conclusion

working limits in Europe

Working Limits in Europe for Student Visa

International students in Europe may get a job abroad out of financial necessity or gain employment experience. Either way, they have to obey laws in the process.

These regulations vary depending on the student’s home country and the destined country. This section explores some of the significant rules on the books in some popular countries for international students.

Remember, every country updates rules frequently, so it is best to check the official websites to read the latest regulations before traveling and studying.

As EU citizens, students have the same right to work while studying as nationals of that country. They do not need a student’s work permit, even to work full-time.

Most European countries allow students on a visa to work part-time, but some countries place restrictions on the hours every visa holder can work.



While studying in France, international students can work part-time even if they are in the program’s first year or are pursuing a language course.

For non-EU citizens, they must have a student resident permit. French law authorizes international students to work 964 hours during the year, the equivalent of 60 percent of the full-time employment hours for the year.


Germany | Working Limits in Europe

International students outside the EU or EEA who want to study in Germany face work-hour restrictions.

According to the German Academic Exchange Service, these students are limited to 120 full work days or 240 half workdays per year unless they gain special government approval.


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International students who work as research assistants on campus do not face time restrictions, although they need to consult the government during the application process.

University career services offices are a resource that international students can tap to get further tips about looking for jobs and navigating the application process. It is a standard procedure in all European countries.

If students are from outside the European Union but have a valid student visa, they can work 120 workdays or 240 work half-days annually. EU students can work 20 hours a week.



The Russian government recently prepared a proposal enabling students to work up to four hours per day or 20 hours per week outside the university without a supplementary permit.

One of the most sought-after part-time jobs for international students in Russia is language teaching. Russians pay decent money to learn a language from a native. Depending on experience and the level of the student, they could be paid up to USD 50 an hour.


Spain | Working Limits in Europe

A non-European citizen can work up to 20 hours per week in Spain under a student visa. International students with a student visa can work up to 4 hours per day on a particular work permit.

This permit is not difficult to get, but students and companies often prefer full-time work. International students may earn up to EUR 20 an hour part-time.


The UK

International students at United Kingdom universities who do not hold citizenship for EU or EEA countries can have jobs. Still, there are working limits in Europe to the number of hours they can clock.

According to the Council for International Student Affairs of the UK, international students who hold a Tier 4 (General) visa and are studying at an approved institution can work 20 hours per week during the semester.

The same students can work full time during breaks in the academic year.

EU or EEA students can work in the UK without restriction. Non-EU students with a general student visa can work up to 20 hours per week during term time or full-time during university holidays.



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Countries with the Best Students’ Work Permits

The work and study rules are not the same in the European Union. Some countries have stricter rules and a more complicated process, making it more challenging to work there.

For example, you might need to get a special work permit, or you might only work 10 to 15 hours each week, which might not be enough if you want to earn decent pay.

There are also European countries where it is rewarding to work as a student from the US. The European countries with the best students’ work permits include:



The student visa in Denmark includes the right to work 20 hours per week during the school year and full-time during school breaks.

Even if it is part-time, work is more than rewarding, with USD 16 per hour as average pay, meaning about USD 1280 per month for a part-time job.



International students need only a student visa to work during their studies in Estonia. However, it is appealing that they can stay and work for six months if they get their university permission after graduation.

There is no restriction regarding how much an international student can work if they have passing grades. The average salary is about USD 1400 per month before taxes.


Finland | Working Limits in Europe

In Finland, international students can work 25 hours a week during school term and full-time during school breaks without needing a work permit.

Salaries for part-time jobs usually start at USD 500 per month.



International students can work part-time with a valid student visa in France. They can work 20 hours a week off-campus but can work more if they find a job on campus.

They may earn up to 60 percent from the legal annual working hours per year, meaning they can work more holidays.

There is a guaranteed minimum salary in France, USD 10 per hour. Students can make at least USD 800 for a month of part-time work.



Germany is also a country where students can work part-time as long as they have a valid student visa.

Wages for a part-time job start at about USD 500 per month. The exciting part is that living costs in Germany are one of the lowest in Western Europe.


Ireland | Working Limits in Europe

International students do not need a work permit to work part-time in Ireland, provided they have a Stamp 2 Permission on the visa.

They have the permission to work up to 20 hours per week during the school year and full-time during school breaks.

Ireland’s part-time salary can reach about USD 800 per month.



There is no need for a student’s work permit for the first year of studies in Norway. However, international students have to renew it after the first year and provide additional documents.

Part-time workers earn an average of USD 4000 per month. However, note that most Norwegian jobs require knowing the Norwegian language.



In Sweden, international student needs a valid student visa to work. There is no restriction regarding working time, as long as they dedicate at least 40 hours per week to their studies.

Wages in Sweden are also more than attractive, the average being USD 2500 per month.


The UK | Working Limits in Europe

Applicants can work part-time in the United Kingdom as long as they have Tier 4 student visa.

The average part-time wage across the UK is USD 600 for a week. In London, it is generally higher, about USD 800 per week.

working limits in Europe

Tips to Working Abroad as International Student

Working while studying in European countries is what many students opt for during their studies, considering that finding employment is simple.

International students can work a limited number of hours while pursuing their degrees. This section contains some tips about working limits in Europe for international students.

  • Prioritize studies: If you want to graduate with a top-class degree, do not let a part-time job interfere with your studies.
  • Make sure to work legally: Working without a valid visa or permit could land you in serious trouble. International students can drop by their university’s career service to ask about employment rights.
  • Do not spend all your free time working: There is more to university than just studying and working. Put some time aside to explore new surroundings and have fun with friends.
  • Consider a job related to the degree: Putting what you have learned into practice helps boost employability.
  • Find a job you enjoy: Do not accept a job that makes you miserable. Keep handing out resumes and CVs and taking trial shifts to find something that suits you.



International students in Europe benefit from an excellent education system and numerous opportunities to develop and grow outside academia. Employees in European Union countries have the permission to maximum workweek of 48 hours. This article tried to cover the most important rules for working limits in Europe as an international student. If you have more questions on the subject, feel free to ask in the comments section.

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