FINDING WORK IN THE UK AS AN INTERNATIONAL STUDENT
By Rebecca Maher on August 2nd, 2023
Finding part-time work is a great way to meet new friends and earn some extra money while studying in the UK. As an international student, it can feel overwhelming understanding a new culture, the UK’s work visa requirements and job restrictions. That’s why this week, we have pulled together an easy-to-follow guide of everything you need to know about finding work in the UK.
There are many ways to find part-time work whilst at university. Start by speaking with the University’s Careers Service or your nearest Student Union. They can both provide free support and advice that helps you develop your employability skills, explore graduate careers, search for job vacancies and find work experience placements.
International Student Services Offices
They provide support specifically for international students offering advice on work permits, visa regulations and other useful information.
Explore current university networks. Most universities have social media pages and groups for you to join, which will offer tips, advice and first-hand experiences from other international students. They can provide valuable insights into job opportunities and guidance in the process.
Being an international student doesn’t necessarily limit the jobs available to you. You still have access to some of the most popular student work in retail, hospitality or tutoring. Many universities also offer their own opportunities for students, including roles within student services, research assistants and campus ambassadors. Keep a look out for the on-campus positions your university has on offer.
The first thing you need to do to be able to work in the UK is get a Tier 4 student visa. You will also need to apply for a National Insurance number and ensure you have a UK bank account.
Tier 4 General Visa
This is the visa you need when studying full-time at university. To get this visa, you must have been accepted onto a course in the UK and be from outside the European Economic Area (this includes EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) and Switzerland. You need to have enough money to support yourself and pay for your course and the ability to read, write and understand English.
In some cases, international students can switch to a work permit once they complete their studies. You will need to hold an eligible qualification such as a UK bachelor’s degree, UK master’s degree or a postgraduate certificate. Make sure you apply for your Tier 2 (Work) visa within three months of completing your course.
Due to the type of visas required for international students, you will not be able to become self-employed or earn as a freelancer. There are also a few other fields you can’t work in as they require a different type of visa, such as an entertainer, professional sports person or dentist or doctor in training, unless you are on a specific training course.
Yes. You can work up to a maximum of 20 hours per week depending on the type of course you are studying. It is important to be aware that working any additional hours can breach your student visa and impact on your studies.
An internship is a great way to gain real working experience and expand your skillset. The UK is popular as a study and work destination, meaning internships can however be competitive to local students and international students alike. Here are some top internships we have picked out to give you some inspiration:
University of Edinburgh
Supported by the careers department, The University of Edinburgh offers paid summer internships in science, design, performing arts, science, business and law. These are open to all students and graduates for up to two years. Check out The University of Edinburgh to find out more.
University of Cambridge
Paid internships are offered through Cambridge Enterprise, with additional careers services for guidance on job searches.
University of Oxford
The University of Oxford offers several summer internship programmes at its Oxford alumni network. This includes internships at the Oxford Mail and BBC Radio Oxford.
World Health Organization (WHO) Internships
If you are interested in a career within healthcare, a good place to start is with one of the best paid internships at WHO. Applicants can benefit from: living and food allowances as well as health and accident insurance. There are no application deadlines and you can apply all year round here.
The new post-study work visa rules allow you to work within the UK after graduation.
From September 2020, any student enrolling at a UK university can stay within the UK after graduation for up to 2 years to look for work associated with their degree or course. This is applicable to graduates of all education providers that are recognised as licensed visa sponsors. Once you know, you can work in the UK while studying you can apply for a post-study work visa too. For further information on work after graduating, visit UKCISA.
Take a look at our top tips for international students studying in the UK blog for more useful information.