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Studying Abroad? Work Part-Time

January 30, 2024 10:04 IST

If you are planning to study outside India, do acquire skills such as food preparation, culinary techniques, dishwashing, pet care and fitness coaching, advises Rohit Sethi, director, ESS Global.

Kindly note the image has been posted only for representational purposes. Photograph: Kind courtesy RDNE/

Are you thinking of taking up a part-time job while studying abroad?

Do not delay the decision; in fact, you must grab the opportunity.

A part-time job will not only support you financially but also help you learn several skills such as time management, interpersonal skills and more that will help you grow in your career.

While a part-time job holds significance for students abroad, its importance varies depending on the course and career you choose to pursue.

Some view it as a means to earn while others see it as an avenue for exposure and networking.

A part-time job is a visa condition that almost every country offers to students -- be it 16 hours per week, 20 hours per week, 24 hours per week or 48 hours fortnightly. But have you ever wondered why these countries impose such conditions on student visas?

In my 21 years of experience in the industry and as an international student, I've realised that every country not only expects you to cover your expenses but also wants you to adapt to their work culture.

Moreover, in many colleges and universities abroad, classrooms often accommodate 15 to 20 Indian students.

Accessing international exposure becomes challenging if you remain solely within the classroom without opting for a part-time job. Joining the workforce is key to gaining cultural insight.

Through this process, you engage with colleagues, make connections, enhance time management skills and develop invaluable people management abilities.

Upgrade your skills before departure

If you are an undergraduate, do a three to five week crash course related to your field and upgrade your skills before landing in a foreign country.

If not anything else, polish your MS Office basics. It will be a win-win situation for you because the money spent on doing this course will be helpful in improving your starting salary.

Even if you start making your bed every day before leaving your home, you will develop a skill and may land a job as a housekeeper in the hotel industry on a good package.

Along the same lines, learn how to operate a vacuum cleaner; this can also open up job opportunities for you in the hospitality industry.

I still recall a student's story when he moved to Australia five years back. In his first three months, he mastered the art of cleaning glass windows and earned $10 an hour.

Reflecting on this, he realised that, had he acquired this skill earlier, he could have secured a position paying $21 per hour, similar to his current wage.

Skills such as food preparation, culinary techniques, dishwashing, pet care, fitness coaching and many others can be easily acquired by students. And the best time to learn such skills is when you are in your home country, waiting for your visa to come.

Continuously enhancing your skillset ensures a smoother transition upon your arrival and you won't have to face much of a struggle when you land there.

How to find jobs in a foreign land

Begin by utilising your university's resources such as job boards and career centres which are frequently brimming with employment advertisements geared for students.

Reach out to seniors, professors or local Indian groups since they may have helpful advice or be aware of career openings.

Don't forget about the online world; platforms like LinkedIn, Indeed or local employment boards may be hiding the perfect match for student-friendly roles.

This allows you to choose the part-time employment that is best suited to your schedule and skills.

You can also visit the official websites of the countries you're in or interested in finding a part-time job.

Building your LinkedIn profile by adding all your skills and certifications helps you connect and find job opportunities faster online than you could in person.

It's like turbocharging your professional network and job search with the speed of the internet.

Tips for parents

When you send your child abroad for higher education, ensure they have tuition fees for at least a year to support themselves financially without disrupting their studies.

Starting work immediately upon arrival and aiming to save money for the second semester is a recipe for disaster. It might cause major difficulties and disruption in academic progress.

Also, try to be emotionally available for them and provide them with the kind of support they may require in settling there.

Part-time jobs for Indian students studying abroad present fantastic opportunities for personal growth, financial stability and cultural immersion. They offer more than just monetary benefits; they can shape your experience, broaden your perspective and enrich your resume.

To prepare yourself for this opportunity, begin early; start upgrading your skills in your home country before your visa arrives.

Embrace this phase, learn, and grow both academically and professionally.