Part-Time Work Opportunities for International Students in the UK
Pursuing higher education in the United Kingdom offers fantastic academic opportunities. However, the cost of living in the UK can be pretty substantial, which international students are well aware of. If you’re an international student, you may need to balance the financial demands of studying abroad with your academic responsibilities. In addition to this, you may also consider working part-time to support yourself financially. Although navigating the world of part-time jobs in the UK may seem challenging, we’re here to provide you with all the essential information you need.
This blog post will guide you through the legal aspects of working part-time in the UK, explore the types of part-time jobs available, and delve into the benefits beyond financial gains. Working part-time in the UK can offer you unique opportunities to enhance your language skills, gain valuable work experience, or simply meet new people.
We’ll also offer tips for maintaining a healthy balance between work commitments and academic studies. Balancing part-time work and your coursework may seem challenging. With the right strategies and a supportive network, you can thrive academically and professionally during your time in the UK.
Eligibility Criteria for part-time jobs in the UK for international students:
Let’s start with the legal aspects for international students to work part-time in the UK:
- Visa type: International students can work part-time in the UK, depending on their UK student visa type. Tier 4 student visa holders can work up to 20 hours per week during term-time and full-time during holidays.
- University restrictions: Universities may restrict students’ work hours, even if their visa allows more. It’s essential to check with your university before starting work.
- National Insurance Number: All international students who wish to work in the UK must obtain a National Insurance Number (NINo) first.
- Minimum wage: Employers must pay international students at least the minimum wage.
- Types of work: International students can take any part-time job if it is not self-employment, permanent or full-time.
- Compliance with visa requirements: Students should ensure that any part-time work they take up complies with their visa requirements, including restrictions on working hours and the type of work allowed.
- Tax obligations: International students are subject to UK tax regulations and should ensure they know their tax obligations and seek advice if needed.
Type of part-time jobs in the UK for international students:
There are plenty of options for international students who want to work while studying, depending on your skills, interests and availability. We know this would be the first you would be working for most of you. But don’t worry. There are a lot of entry-level jobs that require very little or no experience, and you are trained on the job. Below are some of the most popular part-time jobs in the UK:
Working in a shop, supermarket, department store, or online retailer is one of the simplest and most flexible ways to earn money as a student. You can choose from various roles, such as sales assistant, cashier, store stocker or customer service representative. This will be an excellent chance for you to interact with different people, learn new skills and also get staff discounts. The average hourly pay for retail workers in the UK is £10.42, which is also the national minimum wage for workers aged 23 and over.
Working in a restaurant, bar, cafe, or hotel might be your cup of tea if you love food and drinks. There are many job options to pick from, like waiter/waitress, bartender, barista, chef or kitchen hand. You will need to have good communication skills, work in a team, willingness to learn new skills and work hard and fast. The average hourly salary is £11.03, but you can also earn customer tips.
If you think you can teach other people and have good grades to back you up. Then you can work as a tutor and help other people to study. You will also be free to choose your subject, hourly rates and time. You will need to have strong knowledge of your subject, a clear and engaging style and a police check if you will teach kids. The average hourly wage is one of the highest on this list, £25.17, but it depends on your experience and level of education.
One of the most popular part-time is being a delivery driver or rider and delivering food, groceries or parcels to customers. You can also work on platforms like Uber Eats, Deliveroo or Amazon Flex. In a way, these platforms make you your own boss and come with the flexibility to work whenever you want. This platform has a catch: you need to get a UK driver’s license. The average hourly wage is £14.03, but it can depend on peak hours, demand and distance.
If you have creative or technical skills that you can offer online, for example, writing, graphic design, web development or translation, you can work as a freelancer and sell your services to clients worldwide. This job takes time and some preparation, like creating a portfolio of your work and professional profile. You can set your own rates and deadlines. The average hourly wage for freelancers in the UK is £22.03, but this will vary on your skill and reputation.
These are just a few of the most popular part-time jobs in the UK for International students. There are many more opportunities out there that might suit you. The key is to do your research, apply early and often, and be flexible and adaptable.
Benefits beyond finance
Working a part-time job as an international student in the UK does come with some benefits beyond money. Here are a few of them:
- Working in an English-speaking environment can help you improve your language and communication skills, which can be valuable in future job applications.
- Part-time work can provide you with valuable work experience, which can be helpful when applying for internships or full-time jobs after graduation.
- Working part-time can allow international students to meet new people and build a network of contacts, which can help them find future job opportunities.
- Working in a UK workplace can provide international students with a better understanding of UK culture and workplace norms, which can be helpful in future job applications.
- Part-time work can help international students develop time management and organizational skills, which can help balance work and study commitments.
Balancing Work and Studies
Needless to say, it is imperative to create a balance between work and studies. Here are some tips which can help you make this balance:
- Create a schedule: To balance work and studies effectively, creating a schedule that outlines the time you will spend on each activity is one of the best ways. This helps you manage your time efficiently and stay on top of your academic responsibilities.
- Prioritize your tasks: It is important to identify and prioritize the most crucial tasks to avoid becoming overwhelmed and ensure timely work completion.
- Take breaks: While it’s important to work hard and stay focused, it’s also important to rest and recharge. This will help you avoid burnout and maintain your productivity over the long term.
- Communicate with your employer and professors: If you’re struggling to balance your work and studies, it’s important to communicate with your employer and professors. They may be able to offer you additional support or make accommodations that will help you manage your workload.
- Set realistic goals: Setting realistic goals for work and studies is important to avoid feeling overwhelmed and ensure academic success.
- Use your resources: As an international student, you can access various resources, including tutoring, academic counselling, and career services. Don’t hesitate to utilize these resources to manage your workload and studies.
- Stay organized: It is crucial to stay organized when juggling work and studies. This involves keeping track of deadlines, assignments, and work schedules to ensure no important tasks are missed.
- Take care of yourself: It’s essential to prioritize your physical and mental health, including sufficient sleep, healthy eating habits, and regular exercise, in order to maintain your academic performance while working part-time.
While pursuing your studies in the UK, many of you may opt for part-time jobs to support yourself financially. While this might seem daunting at first, it comes with several valuable perks that extend beyond just earning money:
- Working part-time enhances your communication skills as you interact with colleagues and customers, improving your ability to convey ideas effectively.
- You’ll learn the importance of teamwork and collaboration as you work alongside people from diverse backgrounds, gaining insights into different perspectives and approaches.
- Handling the stress of balancing work and studies can be a challenging yet rewarding experience, equipping you with resilience and time-management skills that will benefit you in your future career.
Part-time jobs also provide opportunities for social interactions, helping you make friends and acquaintances from various walks of life, which can be particularly enriching in a foreign country. However, it’s essential to stay humble, especially if it’s your first job experience. Initial challenges are common, but they are valuable learning experiences that contribute to personal and professional growth.
Book a 1-to-1 counselling session with our experts to discuss your UK education journey and part-time work opportunities.