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Side Jobs for International Students in Germany in 2024

Germany is a popular destination for international students, offering world-class education, vibrant culture, and numerous opportunities to gain work experience. However, managing expenses while studying at German university can be challenging. Fortunately, there are many ways to earn money through side jobs.

This guide provides essential information on the German regulations, job-hunting strategies, pay expectations, and other considerations for international students seeking employment in Germany.

Side Jobs for Students from EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland

Students from these countries have almost the same rights as German students regarding employment.

  • Unrestricted Access: You can work without significant limitations.
  • Insurance Contributions: If you work more than 20 hours a week, you will need to pay insurance contributions, similar to German students.

Side jobs for Students from Other Countries

Students from non-EU countries face different rules.

  • Work Limits: You are allowed to work 120 full days or 240 half days per year.
  • No Freelancing: Self-employment and freelancing are not permitted.
  • Permission for Additional Work: To work more than the allowed limit, you need permission from the Agentur für Arbeit (Federal Employment Agency) and the Ausländerbehörde (foreigners’ office). This permission is more likely to be granted in regions with low unemployment.
  • Academic Assistant Exception: Academic assistants can work without day limits but must inform the foreigners’ office.

Side Jobs for Students in Language and Preparatory Courses

  • Work Permissions: These students can work only with permission from the Federal Employment Agency and the foreigners’ office, and generally only during recess periods.

Important Note: Violating German labor laws (https://www.arbeitsagentur.de/en/employment-law) can lead to serious consequences, including deportation. If you are unsure about any regulations, consult your university’s International Office.

Finding Side Jobs in Germany: Where to Look

On-Campus Jobs

On-campus jobs are convenient and often flexible with student schedules.

  • Academic Assistants: These positions involve tasks such as supervising libraries, leading tutorials, or assisting professors with research. They provide valuable experience relevant to your studies.
  • Job Listings: Check your institute’s administrative office and notice boards for available positions.

Off-Campus Jobs

There are many opportunities for off-campus work.

  • Common Jobs: Popular jobs include waiting tables, working at trade fairs, babysitting, and courier services. If you are a teacher training student, you might offer private tuition, while publishing students can seek work with newspapers.
  • Job Portals and Boards: Utilize job exchanges from the regional offices of the Federal Employment Agency and student services. Universities often post job listings online. Also, check classified ads in local and regional newspapers and university notice boards.

Advice: It’s difficult to cover all living expenses through side jobs alone. Focus on maximizing earnings during recess periods and securing financial stability through scholarships or family support.

Minimum Wage of Side Jobs in Germany for Students

Germany’s minimum wage is set at 12.41 EUR per hour as of January 2024.

  • Earnings: Your pay can vary based on your skills, the industry, and the location. Cities like Munich and Hamburg offer higher wages but also have a higher cost of living.
  • Minijobs: You can earn up to 538 EUR per month tax-free.
  • Tax Number: If you earn more regularly, you will need a tax number and part of your wages will be taxed. You can reclaim this amount by filing a tax return at the end of the year.

Social Security

  • Short-Term Employment: If you work less than three months at a stretch or less than 70 days a year, you are exempt from social security contributions.
  • Long-Term Employment: Longer employment requires pension insurance contributions. Students generally pay lower contributions, and only if they earn more than 538 EUR per month.

Advice: Working more than 20 hours a week can impact your studies and require you to pay health, unemployment, and nursing care insurance contributions. Balancing work and study is crucial.

Conclusion: Balancing Work and Study

Working while studying in Germany can enhance your experience and provide financial support. Understanding and adhering to the regulations ensures a legal and beneficial working experience. Utilize university resources, make informed decisions, and enjoy your time in Germany as you balance work and study effectively

Zahira Bano

(Associate Editor) Zahira holds a PhD in Cosmetics Surgery and Pharma. She worked with Mashables and some other beauty and wellness blogs. She is also a well-known personality and educationist and has a large number of social following. She also writes on the female empowerment motivational topics in her leisure time. She is also a scholarship winner and mentor for students looking for studying abroad opportunities.

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