Student jobs in Germany
What international students need to consider
There are many opportunities for international students in Germany to earn money alongside their studies, for example as waitresses, academic assistants or tutoring. However, there are also certain restrictions and regulations that you should be aware of.
We have compiled all the general information here.
We summarise below what international students in particular should also bear in mind.
Rules for international students
Students from the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland have free access to the German job market and are practically equal to German students. However, if they work more than 20 hours a week, they (like German students) have to pay certain insurance contributions.
Special legal regulations apply to students from other countries:
- International students from other countries are allowed to work 120 full days or 240 half days a year. You may not become self-employed or work freelance.
- If you want to work more, you need the approval of the employment agency and the immigration authorities. It depends on the situation on the labor market: Opportunities are better in regions with low unemployment.
- This does not apply to work as a research assistant. It can be exercised indefinitely.
However, you still have to inform the immigration authorities. If you are unsure what kind of job it is, you should seek advice from one of the Studierendenwerke or the International Office.
Rules for language course and preparatory college participants
Anyone attending a language course or studying at a preparatory college may generally only work with the approval of the employment agency and the immigration authorities - and only during the semester breaks.
TIP: It is important to know the labor law regulations for international students. Anyone who violates this can be expelled from Germany. The International Offices of the universities or our social counsellung office will help if you have any questions about the conditions.
The regional contact points of the Federal Employment Agency often have a job agency for students. At large universities there are job offers at the Studierendenwerk. Online job exchanges can be found on the university websites and on the websites of the student unions. Sometimes a look at the bulletin board at the university or in the advertisements of the local and regional newspapers is enough.
- "Hiwis": Some students work as research assistants (colloquially "Hiwi") at the university. For example, they are responsible for supervising the library, leading tutorials or researching literature for professors. Hiwi positions are a good addition to your studies. Anyone who is interested should ask the secretariat of their own institute about vacancies and pay attention to the notices at the university.
- Off-campus: Typical off-campus student jobs include waitstaff, work at trade shows, babysitting and courier work. Student teachers give private tuition more often, journalism students work for newspapers: it is most worthwhile when the job is related to the subject.
TIP: It is practically impossible for students to finance their entire living expenses through part-time jobs. There are only a few corresponding offers on the job market for students in Germany - and if you work too much, you unnecessarily prolong your studies. It is better to use the lecture-free time and make sure that you are financially secure through scholarships or with the help of your family.
There has been a minimum wage in Germany since 2015. Since 1 January 2022, it has been €9.82 per hour.
It will increase to €12 per hour starting 1 October 2022
However, how much you earn depends heavily on your own knowledge, the industry and the regional job market. Hourly wages are usually higher in cities like Munich and Hamburg, but so are the costs of living. For assistants, production help in industry or service staff at trade fairs, the average hourly wage is often slightly higher than the minimum wage.