Getting a job while abroad doesn’t seem to be popular among Study Abroad students when they’re in the UK for only a few months. Having a part-time job is a not only a nice way to earn some pocket money but it’s also great for meeting new people. There are just a few things you should know before you start job hunting. Here are my tips.
Do You or Don’t You Need a Student Visa?
If you come to study in the UK for only 6 months or less, you could come as a Student Visitor and wouldn’t need to get a visa before you arrive here.
However, in my case, even though I am a Study Abroad student, a student visa was a MUST because my host university found me an internship. Basically, on a Tier 4 student visa – the visa that I got – you’re allowed to work 20 hours per week during term time – and full-time during the holidays. Without the student visa, I won’t have been able to do my internship as it counts as work.
Should You Get a Student Visa Anyway?
I’m not sure what the situation is for other countries, but my UK student visa cost over $400! That is a lot of money, so make sure you’re serious about wanting a visa. Like I said, in my case I had no choice: either I got the visa, or I couldn’t have done my internship.
The good thing is, I work fewer hours on my internship than my visa allows me to, so I was able to get a paying job in addition. There are other advantages to getting a visa, like being able to extend your visa from within the UK is you decide to stay longer. But like I said you have to weigh up the cost and time it takes against the possible benefits.
You Just Want to Volunteer and Won’t Be Paid?
One thing you should know is that even if you plan on volunteering in the UK, you still need a Tier 4 student visa. A lot of students in my Study Abroad group wanted to volunteer, but our UK advisors said that if they didn’t have a visa they weren’t allowed to.
So, if you want to do any type of PAID OR UNPAID work in the UK, make sure you get your visa BEFORE you leave your home country.
So How Do You Find a Student Part-Time Job?
Alright, so you have a visa. Now you need to find a job. There are a few ways you can go about doing this. Here are a few of my suggestions.
Start with a Simple Google Search
The most basic option of them all is Google. You can literally Google: “jobs in _____”. Having said that, this is most likely the least effective way to find a job, but what this type of search does is bring up the main websites where you can find job postings, like:
Once you click on a website from the search results, you can search for jobs by sector, level of experience, pay and location.
Get a Foot in the Door with LinkedIn
I think many of us students haven’t yet fully caught up with LinkedIn but that’s where the companies hang out. Did you know you can search for jobs there and that many people find part-time or internship work through LinkedIn?
Create an account if you haven’t yet and make sure your profile has a picture, a nice description and information on your education and any work experience.
Speak to Your UK Study Abroad Advisor
When you register with your host university in the UK, you will have a Study Abroad Advisor, peer mentor or student leader – they’re another resource you can try utilizing, so don’t hesitate to chat to them. Tell them you’re thinking of taking a part-time job and ask them for advice on how to go about it.
Make an Appointment with the Careers Office
The UK university you are studying at has a Career Services office. Why not try stopping by? This will probably be the most helpful route out there. They will be able to show you websites and resources specifically for university students. The staff in your university’s Career Services office might even have some events going on for students looking for jobs.
Tell Your New Friends You’re Looking for a Job
Hopefully you’ll have already managed to make some local friends. Try asking them if they know anyone that is hiring. Some local students do work while attending university, it wouldn’t hurt to ask them if they have any openings where they are working.
Put on Your Best Smile & Go to Where the Jobs Are
Worse comes to worst, you can always take a stroll around town and look for ‘help wanted’ signs. Even if there isn’t a sign in the window, it doesn’t hurt to pop in and ask if there are any job openings. Don’t worry, they won’t think you’re crazy, it’s quite a normal thing for students to do.
Update Your Resume / CV
Which brings me to my final point and that is, have a 1-page resume / CV ready to send or hand out. Make sure your resume says what type of work you’re looking for and what relevant skills / experience you have, be it work experience or other. Other important things to include are your personal details, how they can contact you, and your education (high school and university only). You don’t need to include a photo, it’s not done in the UK.
So, How Did I Get My Part-Time Job?
I personally found my job with the help of my host university’s Career Services center. They directed me to a website which had a great deal of job postings for students. I did have to sift through some jobs adverts, but I eventually found a job that worked for me.
I hope you’ll find a job that works for you and gives you a nice little income, too.
Meet me, Debbie!
I may have been born and raised in the midwest (USA), but I know a thing or two about the UK. I am fortunate enough to have family here and to have been able to visit them every few years since I was a kid. Although, this is my first time studying in the UK.
I am a very multi-interested person and cannot seem to pin point which one of my interests I enjoy the most. Some of my many interests include: anime, TV shows, movies, fashion, drawing, graphic design, music, video games, traveling, reading, experiencing new things, learning about different cultures and languages… the list could go on. I just hope my multitude of interests and “not a tourist, not a local” views can be of some use to anyone reading this.