International Students and Part-time Jobs

Informations about part-time work during studies

Many foreign students need a job to finance their studies in Germany. That’s why reliable information regarding job opportunities and legal regulations is essential. We answer the most important questions on how to combine work with studies if you’re a foreign student in Germany.

provided by: City of Hannover




Financing tips

Studies and part-time jobs for foreign students

Why is it often necessary to get a job?

Germany is an attractive location for foreign students who want to study or do research projects. Unlike in other countries, there are rarely any student fees. Besides, most universities and cities are happy to welcome international students. Foreign students have to make a living for themselves in Germany. They do not receive any student grants, loans, or other social benefits. At best, foreign students are supported by scholarships. But most rely on their parents for financial aid. Sometimes, they’re not able to cover the living expenses in Germany.   Therefore, more than half of all foreign students have to work part-time during their studies. One rule applies to all foreign students: they have to prove that they can afford to study in Germany – by means of a blocked account or letter of commitment.

How many days are students allowed to work?

Most Europeans have free access to the labour market. Students from non-EU or non-EEA countries, however, must stick to the limit of “120 full days/240 half days“. Those who work the maximum days allowed do not require permission from the Federal Employment Agency. Those who wish to work more must seek permission from the FEA.   Students who want to do part-time jobs on a freelance basis (e.g. as a music teacher or translator), must check back with the Foreign Authorities beforehand.But there is an interesting exception to this rule: students employed as research or student assistants can work as much as they please, as long as their studies are not jeopardised.

Where can students find a job?

Student and research assistant jobs are usually posted on the notice boards of the university departments. The FEA provides a general vacancy database online. Students can also call on their placement service.   Having a look at the classified ads is worth a try, too. In addition, there is a wide range of online job markets on the Internet.  If you are looking for a typical student job in a bar or as hostess at one of Hanover’s trade fairs, it often pays off to simply go there and ask.

What else must be taken into account?

Depending on how much you work, you will have to pay income tax and make social security contributions. The student union provides more detailed information and help – online or at the social counselling service. Foreign students can also turn to the universities’ international offices for assistance, or to find out more about the exception. It definitely pays to make further inquiries.But please note: the demand for student labour is low. It is nearly impossible to make a living on part-time jobs alone.

Finally, a practical tip

It’s important to keep your job and studies in balance. Nothing is gained by excessive work, if the results are poorer grades, or a longer duration of studies. Good luck with your studies and job! Dear employers: why not give an international student a chance, the next time you have a job to offer? For further information and related links, please go to