Embarking on your academic journey in Germany as an international student with a fully-funded DAAD scholarship in 2024 opens up great work opportunities too, allowing you to earn while you learn. This German scholarship not only covers your school costs and gives you a monthly allowance but also lets you work part-time to make extra money. Germany, known for its high-quality education system, also offers a unique opportunity for international students to work part-time or through mini-jobs. This not only helps in managing living expenses but also provides valuable work experience in a European setting.
This means you’ll not only enjoy a fully-funded scholarship in Germany but also have the chance to start working there. In this article, I’m going to give you an easy-to-understand overview of the work opportunities, how much you can earn, and the rules for working in Germany on a student visa after getting a German scholarship.
Here’s what you need to know about working part-time or via mini-jobs in Germany:
Language Proficiency Needed for Work Opportunities in Germany
International students in Germany can find part-time job opportunities even without high-level language proficiency, particularly in English-speaking environments. In major German cities and sectors like IT, tourism, or business, a good command of English may be sufficient, especially in international companies, startups, or academic settings. These part time employment opportunities are more abundant in larger, cosmopolitan cities like Berlin, Munich, or Frankfurt, where there are more English-speaking residents and international businesses.
However, for work opportunities involving public interaction like in retail or hospitality, a basic to intermediate level of German (A2 to B1) is often needed. In smaller towns or for traditional German companies, German proficiency becomes more important. German University campuses also offer various part-time jobs where English is the primary language, particularly in international or research-focused institutions.
Overall, having advanced skills in English or German can indeed expand the employment scope for international students in Germany. However, there are still plenty of accessible part time work options for those who may not be as proficient in these languages.
Maximum Salary Cap of Part Time Student Jobs in Germany
When it comes to part-time work in Germany, salary is a key consideration. The minimum wage for international students is currently set at €9.60 per hour, with an average earning potential of €10 to €15 per hour. However, the actual earnings can vary based on several factors including the student’s skills and qualifications, the industry, and the city of employment. In larger cities, for example, the pay might be higher compared to smaller cities. On average, international students can expect to make around €12 per hour, which can help cover living costs.
Here’s a summary of the key points regarding part-time work earnings for international students in Germany:
- Minimum wage: €9.60 per hour
- Average earning potential: €10 to €15 per hour
- Variation in earnings based on skills, experience, industry, and location
- Higher pay in larger cities
- Typical average earnings for students in Germany: €12 per hour
International Students Require Work Permits to Work in Germany?
As international students from non-EU/EEA countries, they are allowed to work 120 full days or 240 half days per year without a work permit. This includes voluntary work placements, even if unpaid. If a part-time job is related to studies, like tutoring or student assistant positions at the university then these limits do not apply. Similarly, mandatory internships, as well as Bachelor’s or Master’s thesis work are also exempted from the 120-day rule.
Requirement for a German Work Permit: If an international student need to work more than the allowed 120 full days or 240 half days (more than 20 hours per week), a work permit would be then required. This can be obtained from the Federal Employment Agency (Agentur für Arbeit).
Is there any Maximum Earning Cap for Students in Germany?
There are earning caps for international students in Germany, depending on the type of employment and their residence permit as explained below:
1# Mini Job:
International students with a German study visa can earn up to €450 per month without paying taxes or social security contributions. This is known as a “Minijob” and is a popular option for students to supplement their income and gain work experience.
2# Midi job:
If a student earns between €450 and €1,350 per month, then that student fall into the “Midijob” category. With a Midijob, that student will then be subject to taxes and social security contributions.
3# Full-time work
International students are generally limited to working 20 hours per week during the semester, but there are exceptions for internships and jobs related to their field of study. During semester breaks, international students can work full-time without restrictions.
4# Annual Earnings Limit:
There is also an annual earnings limit for international students who receive BaföG (German student aid) or any other German scholarship. In 2023, the maximum earning limit for students in Germany is €5,422 per year. If the earnings of students from part-time work exceed this limit, the excess amount will be deducted from their BaföG/scholarship allowance.
5# Health Insurance Deductions:
If students earn more than €5,400 per year from part-time work, then they may lose their student health insurance and have to switch to a regular health insurance plan.
6# Tax Number Requirement
If students earn more than €520 per month, then they will need to obtain a tax number and may be required to pay taxes on their earnings.
Convincing Reasons to Apply for German Scholarships in 2024
Given the comprehensive information presented, it’s clear that Germany is not just a hub for fully-funded scholarships like DAAD, Heinrich Boll, and Erasmus, but also a nurturing ground for part-time work opportunities for international students, without the need for a work permit.
I strongly encourage international students to seize this opportunity to experience a blend of top-tier education and real-world professional exposure by applying to German universities and scholarship programs in 2024.