Education: How to study and work abroad

Following our series of blog posts on education, scholarships and studying abroad, we have had several emails demanding to know the possibilities of studying while working abroad. Personally, I think this is a common worry.

Most African graduates seeking to pursue further education abroad either through scholarship or by direct admission will like to do something as a part-time job either for job experience or just to earn a living.

This blog post explains where you can study and work abroad with the legalities involved, as well as what job can you do while studying abroad

Tutoring as a part-time job

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 a rundown of the logistics and legalities of working in some of the most popular countries for study abroad, and the information as provided by Elaina Giolando is worth taking down notes.

It should be highlighted here that the information below is more specific to US citizens but applies to most African students wishing to study and work in the listed countries

Please do not rely solely on online information about immigration policies for each of these countries, so do well to 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.




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UK Yes If studying longer than 6 months on a Tier 4 student visa, 10-20 hours per week during study periods, 40 hours during vacation periods. UKBA
France Yes If you have a residency card and an institution with access to Social Security, up to ~20 hours per week, and you have to pay 20% of your salary in taxes. Campus France
Spain Yes With work permit, up to 20 hours per week in a job relevant to the field of study. Extranjeros
Germany Yes Barring language students, up to 120 days per year for full-time work or 240 days for part-time work. Daad
Italy Yes, with permission but very difficult Sources say not to rely on getting a job in Italy while studying abroad, although it’s technically possible. AMB Washington DC
Ireland Yes If you study for at least one academic year, up to 20 hours per week during the term, full-time during vacation. DFA
China Yes, with permission Depending on your visa, technically you can work with permission from your university and various bureaucratic documents. Many people continue to work unofficially in China, but getting caught carries serious repercussions and is not recommended despite the ease of doing so.
Singapore Yes, if fully enrolled If your university is listed by the government and you are pursuing a full-time degree (not semester or year exchange), up to 16 hours per week.
Australia Yes Up to 40 hours every two weeks and full-time during vacation periods.
New Zealand Yes, but with many conditions On student visa, up to 20 hours per week during the term, but please seek more information from embassy. Mfat.govt
Costa Rica No Unfortunate for the most popular country in Latin America, but the authorities are strict about not allowing work on student visas. Costa Rica

There are several part-time jobs available for students studying abroad; getting one all depends on the personality and capability of the student. However,
After knowing some few countries which can permit you to study and work abroad, the next thing to know will be what kind of jobs are available for foreign student?.

The most available types of job for foreign student include:

  • 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.

  • 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 to 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.

  • Tutoring and translation work

After chatting with some of my friends studying In China, USA, France, and Germany when I was writing this post they all confirmed that tutoring and translating pays off real good.

All you need to do is print your own posters advertising one-on-one tutoring or English-Chinese, English-French, German-English translations for a competitive hourly rate and create an email account to deal with all the requests (typically, you translate to your native language — not from it).

The same applies to any skill you have. Can you teach music? Cooking? Dance? Leverage your inner entrepreneur and create a job for yourself. Again, check with the university to see what the legal parameters for doing so are.

  • Office jobs and internships

If you want a job that’s more relevant to your degree, it’s going to require major hustling and networking, which may be distracting from your primary focus as a student.

Decide what specific kind of work you want only by being focused on what skills you have and what you’d like to learn and in what kind of organization can others help you find something suitable.

Good places to start are the university career center, your professors, other students in your classes, local networking groups in your field,, LinkedIn, and Google. Simply paying a visit to organizations you’d like to work for and pitching yourself yields the best results.

  • Participating in on-campus competition

You may have inborn talents and no one knows of it. What you should do is participate in on-campus extra-curricular activities like dancing, singing, rapping, drama, tennis, and basket. The gig here is nationals admire foreign students with such talents a lot, so you may just be called up or connected for a pay while doing your hobby. How does that sound?

  • Teaching or tutoring English

In almost every country, there’s a high demand for English teachers and you’re likely to even be walked up to on campus or in the street and asked to teach someone 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.

Hope the article was helpful. At we look for what is useful to know

What next? : meet one of the best linguistic center in Cameroon: Vista language center (vlc) located in Douala, for your foreign language preparatory classes and exams (TOEFL, TOEIC, TFI, TCF, and IELTS)

Courses: English – French – Chinese

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