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In order to retain their studies while earning money and gaining work experience, many overseas students take part-time employment during their college years. There are occasionally fewer positions that overseas students are eligible for because they are usually here on a student visa. It can be helpful to find out what kinds of part-time jobs are accessible to you if you’re an overseas student who wishes to work while you’re a student.

Part-time jobs for overseas students are jobs where workers with student visas must put in a set number of hours per week. Many foreign students opt to work at their colleges or universities because they frequently have policies that make it simpler to acquire on-campus labor, even if visa eligibility can influence the types of occupations an international student can qualify for. Students’ academic performance is rarely hampered by part-time employment, and the majority of them offer flexible schedules that still give them enough of time for study and lectures.

Here are 10 part-time jobs that can be ideal for international students.

1. Campus ambassador

Campus ambassadors are in charge of promoting the university and showing prospective students why they should apply. This is a great job for someone who likes interacting with new people and working in a team.

You may also be asked to give guided tours of the university campus on open days, sharing your own knowledge and other interesting facts about the university.

  • Average wage: $12.4 per hour

2. Barista

If your university has an on-campus cafe, this can be a great place to work. Not only will you benefit from discounted (or even free!) coffee, but it is also a great place to meet new people.

You can expect your days to be fast-paced, and involve making hot and cold drinks, serving customers and working as a cashier.

  • Average wage: $12.97 per hour

3. Teaching assistant

An on-campus teaching assistant is expected to supervise classroom activities and work closely with any students who are struggling.

If you already have some experience in the field, you may be able to work as a higher-level teaching assistant, leading classes on your own and marking students’ work.

  • Average wage: $13.94 per hour

4. Library assistant

Working as a library assistant is a varied job, perfect for those hoping to study and work in the USA simultaneously. You will be responsible for shelving books, helping customers find books and other materials and making recommendations of useful books.

You will also be expected to provide administrative support to the librarians and help to organize any events at the library during term time.

  • Average wage: $14.06 per hour

5. Receptionist

The duties of a university receptionist might include general office support and administration, customer service and communicating with students and staff via phone and emails.

It is a good idea to check with your careers service where to look on-campus for part-time reception work, as larger departments, student unions and other key buildings may all have openings for receptionists.

  • Average wage: $15.48 per hour

6. Research study assistant

A research study assistant is one of the most well paid part-time jobs for international students on campus. What the job entails will depend on which department you work for, but expect to work on various projects, carry out research, maintain lab equipment and collate results.

You will need to demonstrate excellent organizational skills to find work as a research study assistant. On top of this, great interpersonal skills and a genuine enthusiasm for the research is also beneficial.

  • Average wage: $16.14

7. Department assistant

A department assistant is one of the best on-campus jobs in the USA for international students, and you will gain lots of transferable skills for your CV. You will be responsible for providing administrative and secretarial support for a department, handling departmental matters as well providing support to specific teams or projects.

To successfully apply for a department assistant job you will need to be computer literate, and you should also be able to demonstrate good teamwork, problem-solving and communication skills.

  • Average wage: $16.44

8. Food runner or catering assistant

Alternatively, if your university has cafes, restaurants or other dining facilities on-site that offer food to eat-in, you may be able to find work as a front of house assistant or runner.

A job in hospitality is one of the most flexible positions you can have in terms of the hours you work, which makes it ideal for international students studying and working in the USA.

  • Average wage: $16.74 per hour

9. Sales assistant

If your university has a mini supermarket or corner shop on-campus, this is another great way to make some money alongside your studies.

In addition, many universities also have shops selling branded clothing and merchandise, another good source of part-time work as an international student.

  • Average wage: $17.35 per hour

10. Tutor or peer mentor

If you don’t fancy becoming a teaching assistant but would like to do something along the same lines, tutoring or peer mentoring is a great job for international students working in the USA.

The role involves helping fellow students with their course content, reading or assignments as needed. This job is particularly well-matched to international students, who can often provide mentees with a different perspective or way of learning.

  • Average wage: $23.94 per hour

Between course fees, rent and other living costs, we all know how expensive it is to study at university. Studying as an international student in the USA is no different. So while big decisions like which university to choose and what classes to take should be top priorities when planning to study abroad, so should a plan of how to finance your trip.

Working part-time can not only help solve this problem, but it’s also a great way of meeting new people and developing key skills that will enhance your CV. But before you start applying, there are some restrictions on part-time jobs for international students in the USA to be aware of.

Read Also: What Jobs Are in Demand For International Students in Canada?

The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 per hour, but each state sets its own wage laws. So while the minimum wage is as high as $15 per hour in some states, it can be as low as $7.25 in others. This means where you choose to study will have a big impact on how much you are able to earn.

But generally — depending on your level of relevant working experience — you can expect to earn between $7.25 to $10 per hour at least, with more highly skilled jobs paying upwards of $10. A perk of on-campus jobs is that they tend to pay in line and are often higher than the minimum wage.

Work Permit Regulations for Students on a Visa

Currently, US immigration laws allow international students to be employed in the country during and after a course of study, however there are restrictions to be aware of.

if you are hoping to work alongside your studies in the United States, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations that accompany the immigration laws, and be mindful that regulations change constantly.

F-1 Visa

The F1 visa is for academic students enrolled in US universities (graduate students and undergraduate students), colleges, high schools, language training programs, and other academic institutions.

  • Students with F1 visas are generally allowed to work on the campus of their university for up to 20 hours a week when school is in session and full-time during school break periods (up to 40 hours per week).
  • If you decide that you want to work part-time during your study years, the first thing you need to do is talk with your designated school official (DSO). This is the person at your college or university who is authorized to update and maintain your record in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).
  • As long as you have a valid US student visa and are in good academic standing, it should be a straightforward process, and your DSO may be able to help you search out potential employment opportunities.

There are two main types of jobs a student can take: on-campus and off-campus. Here, we look at the requirements and restrictions for each type.

On-campus employment with a US student visa

  • On-campus employment is defined as work that takes place on campus, or at an off-campus location that is affiliated with the school. That could mean working in a university bookstore, cafeteria or library, for example.
  • In order to apply, talk to your DSO. If you are approved, your DSO will provide you with a letter of approval, which you will need in order to get a Social Security Number (SSN).

Off-campus employment with a US student visa

After completing the first academic year of their studies, F-1 visa students are allowed to apply for three types of off-campus employment:

  • Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

The Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is a part of the academic curriculum of the international students. Students need a SEVIS authorization for CPT from the Designated School Official (DSO).

  • Optional Practical Training (OPT) (pre-completion or post-completion)

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a program that allows international students in the US to work temporarily in a job related to their field of study. OPT can be subcategorized as pre-completion OPT and post-completion OPT.

  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Optional Practical Training Extension (OPT)

Students with a degree in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics can request a 24-month extension of their post-completion OPT.

F-1 students may also be eligible to work off-campus on a case-by-case basis as a result of special situations such as severe economic hardship or special student relief.

J-1 visa

The J-1 visa, also known as the Exchange Visitor Visa or J student visa, is for anyone outside of the US who wishes to take part in study- and work-related exchange programs in America.

J-1 students can only work on campus for a maximum of 20 hours per week.

Full-time work is permitted during academic breaks and any off-campus work must be authorized by the exchange student’s sponsor and university.

M-1 visa

The “M” visa is for nonacademic or vocational studies. M-1 visa holders for technical and vocational programs are not permitted to work during the course of their studies. The M-1 student visa applicants must have evidence that sufficient funds are immediately available to pay all tuition and living costs for the entire period of the intended stay.

Whilst they cannot work whilst in full time education, once their their vocational studies have finished, M-1 students can work full time in a practical training role that is related to their vocation.

As an international student searching for a side job, there are several things that you need to consider before accepting an employment offer. These three are the most important ones to keep in mind during your job hunt:

1. Legal requirements

As a foreigner, you must be aware of different legal standards that may apply to you. In most cases, international students need a study visa to study abroad. Beware that this type of visa may not always permit you to work in the country of your studies, or it may restrict you to the number of hours you can work per week/month.

For example, in the EU, only Estonia and Lithuania have no restrictive work hours for non-EU students; meanwhile, other European countries strictly regulate labour time (for more information, read the Schengen Visa page). To avoid having legal issues, make sure you know if you are allowed to work in the country of study and under which conditions you can do so.

2. Language

In the UK, Australia, USA, and other native English-speaking countries, most international students will not have a language barrier. However, in other countries, language may come in the way of finding a job. If you don’t know the country’s native language, consider learning some basics that may help you in simple work settings. Also, try applying for jobs within a more international environment to avoid language requirements.

3. Employment Contract

When you find a job, make sure to arrange your employment conditions well. Agree with your employer on the number of hours you will work per week and, if possible, adjust your working times to your studies. Also, remember to do prior research on the minimum wage regulation in the country and (or) the average local salaries for the positions you’re applying for. It will ensure you don’t get paid below the legal minimum wage. It will also allow you to set up accurate expectations and have more confidence to negotiate the salary you deserve.

When you’re searching for a job, it all boils down to your determination. The reality is that it may take several attempts before you find a suitable part-time position that fits well with your studies. But hey, that’s life.

How to Maximize Your Chances of Getting A Part-Time Student Job

Once you have decided the type of job you want to apply for, and your eligibility to apply, you can start searching for job postings. There are many places to look for jobs, from college job boards and social media platforms, to online employment portals which offer the option of job alerts.

You can also speak with your international office, or career center to see if they can refer you to job opportunities, and for practical advice on how to get a job in the USA. Some of that advice will most likely include the following:

Boost your English skills

For international students, finding a part-time job can be a great way to further improve language ability as well as earn money. To get the job in the first instance though, it’s important to have a very good level of English.

Clearly, any international student enrolled on a US degree program will already have advanced English language ability, but certain jobs may require an even wider range of language skills. Any student wishing to further improve their English prior to starting university in the US always has the option of taking a dedicated language program beforehand.

There are many providers in the US, including Kings, which offers a host of courses in New York, Boston and Los Angeles – from general English, to English Plus Business and Leadership and other specialized English programs.

Build your resume

Often, even entry-level jobs for students can be competitive, especially if they offer particularly flexible hours. For the best chance of success, make sure your resume is as up-to-date and clear as possible, and tailor it as much as possible to every job you apply for. The same applies to your cover letter, which is generally also required as part of the application process.

Of course, if you are an international student, make sure it’s all in English too.

Get yourself ready for interviews

Most jobs are likely to have an interview process, so matter what level they are. As an international student it can be doubly as helpful to practice and prepare for interviews.

Always check the specific job description for a list of essential and desirable skills, qualifications and behaviors. Tailor your application so that you show that you meet as much of the criteria as possible and be ready to answer further questions on these in an interview.

You are likely to need to give examples of when you’ve used the required skills in your applications and at interviews. Competency questions are very common, such as ‘Tell me about a time when you worked in a team’, for example. It’s possible to use examples from either any work experience you’ve done, extracurricular activities or studies.

It can also be useful to think about which skills have been strengthened by your experience as an international student and may help secure you a job offer: flexibility and adaptability, problem solving and initiative, for example. Your language skills and experience of different cultures can also help you to stand out.

Be open, be available

It’s important in any job search to make use of all the available resources, no matter what their form. Take every opportunity to network, or ask about potential job options, as the wider you cast your net the more likely you are to find something. And of course, if you are offered an interview, make sure you can attend and that you can be there on time and for as long as required.

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