A Guide to Work-Study Programs for Students

Work or Study? Many African students cannot afford to fully finance their foreign education. Scholarships and grants are competitive, and study loans are not altogether desirable. To achieve their dream of studying abroad, the work-study option comes to play. First, it will be helpful to define what a work-study program is.

Definition of Work-Study Program

A work-study program is one put in place or administered by schools or the government. The purpose is to employ students who cannot afford to fund their education, or who desire to gain work experience. However, international students are not eligible for the federal work-study program, they can only apply directly to their school. This does not mean they don’t have access to the same job opportunities or payment schedule. Tthe only difference is their source of funding.

Work-Study Application Process for International Students

International students easily find on-campus jobs. To apply for these jobs, you need to visit your school’s work-study portal. There you can obtain the required information needed to start the application process. You can also search for jobs at the portal. Many programs offer a variety of job opportunities. However, it is advisable to seek work related to your course of study. Documents required can be found on the school’s website. Realistically, a major requirement for work-study students is a good academic record. This is reflected in your transcript or SAT scores.

Top Work-Study Countries for International Students

The United Kingdom: international students planning to work and study in the UK must have acquired a Tier 4 Visa. This can only be granted if the student has been studying in the UK for at least six months. Suffice to this, working in the UK as an international student also depends on your course of study.

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The United States of America: International students coming to the united states to study are either issued the F-1 or the M-1 visas. Students granted The F-1 visa are usually enrolled on a full-time study at an accredited school. International students with this visa can apply to work on campus. This is capped at a maximum of 20 hours per week, and up to 40 hours per week during the holidays. However, students with the M-1 visa can only enrol for vocational training, given they have completed their studies.

Canada: Full-time international students with valid study permits can work on-campus, without a work permit, at the institution they attend. However, to work off-campus, a work permit is required, which mandates the student to work up to 20 hours per week during a school session, and full time during vacations and breaks.

Germany: with permission from the “Agentur für Arbeit” which is the Federal Employment Agency in the country, international students can work a total of 120 full or 240 half days per year. However, obtaining a work permit depends on the state of the local labour market.

Australia:  to work and study in Australia, international students must apply for the subclass 500 student visa. With this visa, the student can work up to 40 hours every two weeks during the academic session and unlimited hours during holidays and breaks.

Other countries include France, Spain, Singapore, and Malaysia

In conclusion, if distance learning programs do not appeal to you, and you are not considering scholarships because of their highly competitive nature, or perhaps you plan to avoid student loans, then applying to a work-study institution is the way to go.

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