Top tips to help international students find work

by Jul 13, 2020

Being an international student is one of the most exciting experiences you will have in your lifetime. You will meet tons of fascinating people, see a range of different things, and, overall, just be changed for the better (even if COVID has changed a few things).

One thing that can be quite daunting for some international students, however, is finding a job. Getting a job can be difficult at the best of times, so combining that with the fact you are studying and the fact you are not from the country you are studying in can feel really daunting.

Thankfully, we have put together top tips to help international students find work when they are living abroad.

Find a part-time job while you study

Working alongside your studies will provide you with a lifetime’s worth of skills. Not only will it teach you time management, but it will also help provide you with some financial stability during your time abroad.

Another important element is your enjoyment of your time working abroad. Be sure to stick to part-time hours. Studying abroad can be an incredibly life-changing experience, and you don’t want to damage that by working 40 hours a week while also trying to cram in your studying (or risk working beyond your Visa allowance).

A great option for part-time work can be internships. Internships can provide you with useful work experience that is also going to perfectly complement your studies. You can always reach out to your university careers advice centre to help to find this kind of work.


University is the perfect opportunity for networking. Most universities will often hold conferences, lectures, and other industry-related events. These can be the perfect opportunity to get your name out there and build some connections in the local area.

As an international student, networking is key to your success. Building these networks will not only help you find work but also feel more at home within the community you are studying in.

This networking can also extend to social media. Try and find local groups online that are designed to offer advice for international students. You can also join community pages and start to network within those as well.

Find out about the hiring process

Getting a job is never an easy task, but getting one in a foreign country can be particularly difficult. One of the key things you should do is research the hiring process in that country, as it may be different from your home country.

Does the resume require you to attach a picture? Should you send a cover letter? Which qualifications are going to be valid in that country? Are there any different customs when you are having an interview? These are all important things that you should consider. Taking into account these things can also highlight to your potential employer what a great acquisition you would be there for their workforce.

Join extra-curricular groups

Universities are a hot-bed for social events. Many universities will have a wide range of different extra-curricular clubs or societies that are managed by the student body. These can be an excellent way of not only increasing your chances of employment but also building contacts.

Joining an extra-curricular group, or even running one yourself,  that is based around the industry that you are working for is going to be beneficial in a number of different ways. You will get to meet a lot of like-minded people. These people are likely to share ideas and help your knowledge and understanding of the industry grow. They can also share contacts that they might already have with you.

Be Flexible

If finding a job for financial purposes or for Visa requirements is your first priority, then flexibility is going to be key. The job climate can be incredibly difficult to navigate, especially for students looking for part-time work. As much as having a job in your chosen career is preferred, sometimes, it may not be an option.

There is no need to despair, though. Plenty of jobs have transferable skills that can benefit you in the future. Working for a company abroad is always going to look good on your resume no matter what. Being flexible will not only present you with more job openings, but that flexibility is also likely to make you a lot more employable in the long run.

Finding work as an international student can be difficult, but by following these steps, as well as being proactive and having a smile on your face, should help steer you in the right direction.


Featured image courtesy of Unsplash

Laura Garbers

Laura Garbers

Being a professional career coach, Laura has years of experience in helping people to find their dream jobs. She is also a part of CraftResumes’ team, a popular service guiding their clients to resumes perfection.