Part Time Jobs: My Experience
Part time jobs are a big are a big area of interest for international students! Sweden has a relatively high cost of living compared to many countries, so many wonder about the possibility of getting a job while studying. Extra cash plus the advantage of work experience! So, what’s the part time job situation like as a student?
How difficult is it to find a job?
It’s not easy, but it is definitely possible. One major challenge you’ll encounter is that many jobs require speaking Swedish. This is true of many jobs in the service industry. However, as a master’s student, try to take advantage of some of the skills you have!
For example, if you’re an international student in Sweden, it’s highly likely that you speak at least 2 languages. You could possibly be a language tutor, or even provide customer or technical support for a company that needs it in a different language. You probably also have experience with high school and university courses/subjects; you could try tutor one of those! I’ve had a job as a tutor, and many of my friends have had other jobs, of various types. What types you may ask?
What sort of jobs are available?
I have a number of international friends who have, or have had part time jobs here in Sweden. These jobs vary, and I’ve come across some of the following: food delivery, newspaper delivery, language teacher, barista, waiter/waitress, bartender, cook, and tutor.
Keep an eye out on campus and around the city – there are often posters advertising jobs! On campus, these jobs are usually aimed at students so your chances of getting them may be better.
Make use of social media – jobs are often posted in groups, through friends, or on company pages.
Talk to your friends – many times jobs come from referrals or word of mouth.
For restaurants and bars, it doesn’t hurt to go in person! Talking to the manager in person is often a good idea.
Look out for summer internships about 3-4 months before the end of the spring semester!
How much do they pay?
From what I have read and heard, Sweden does not have an official national minimum wage. Rather, the minimum wages are negotiated by the workers unions in the country. For the work listed above, the pay generally starts in the region of 120 SEK/hour. However, other work can certainly pay more.
How much can you work?
This will depend on your class schedule, study hours outside class, as well as social life. I know some people who work 3 hours every day after classes, and sometimes longer on weekends. On the other hand, I also people who only work 3 or 4 hours per week.
That being said, it is extremely unlikely that a part time job will cover all your living expenses. As a full-time student, a part time job can possibly cover your rent (for a small student apartment), or groceries, or general spending money. But mostly likely not all of them! Most of my friends view a part time job as a means to make student life a little more fun and comfortable. Additionally, many part time jobs (especially internships and summer work) can be good way to learn and gain experience.
Hope this has made things clearer. All the best!