How To Make Money As An International Student

Study Tips

February 13, 2020

No matter how well you budget, going broke is a regular phenomenon as a student. As an international student, you also pay enormous tuition fees to study in the UK. Many of you will be under a debt crunch due to student loans, while others would be on a tight budget. 
No wonder that students wish to earn while they learn. As an international student, it is important to take note of the restrictions under your Tier 4 Visa. This Visa allows you to work for a maximum of 20 hours per week during term-time. This means you can only work for a maximum of 20 hours in total in a week (starting Monday), combining both paid and unpaid work. It also allows you to work full-time during official vacation periods, but you need to check the specific dates with your department or University. 
As a student on a Tier 4 visa, you cannot be self-employed or engage in business activity, and there are further restrictions as to the kinds of work you can be engaged in. Therefore, if you want to earn money while you are in the UK, you have a limited number of options with you. Let us explore these options in detail: 
Get a part-time job
The most obvious and beneficial way to stabilise your financial position while studying at a UK university is to get a part-time job. It helps you gain pertinent work experience, hones your employability skills as well as brings you a regular salary. 
Most students can find such jobs in the retail, hospitality or administration fields.  However, often, external organisations also hire for specialist roles or the universities come up with work experience roles and student caller or such vacancies where you can apply. 
Your careers services departments will have a jobshop or an online portal where organisations, especially, small businesses and partner organisations will post vacancies for part-time/casual and vacation work. Job sites like Indeed, Total Jobs, etc are also helpful in this regard. City centres also host job fairs. You need to be on the lookout!
Be a student ambassador
Another great way to earn as a student is by becoming a student ambassador for a brand. Most brands and organisations either pay you an hourly rate or a sales-based financial reward. The work could vary from making sales pitches to something as simple as distributing flyers!
There are also many jobs posted for the students’ union throughout the year - such roles come with a good salary, professional exposure and loads of networking opportunities. 
Sell your old stuff
Sites like Depop and eBay are fairly popular among students as they allow you to make money by selling your unwanted clothes online. We are all hoarders, so it is always a good idea to heed to Marie Kondo’s advice and declutter your wardrobe. Everything you want to discard can be sold off on these sites. Just get your stuff, post the pictures and price it right!
Make money from writing
If you are a budding journalist, you can start pitching to newspapers and publications even as a student. All you need is a good story to cover. At the same time, writing as a financial pursuit is open to everyone  — organisations working in all fields are in need of relevant ‘content’ these days. Make sure you are paid fairly!
Are you an expert in math? Or do you feel comfortable teaching English? Do you have strong fundamentals in the subject you are studying in your degree? There are a lot of online tutoring sites like Superprof that recruit tutors for various subjects. They let you decide the age and subjects you are comfortable teaching. You can fit your teaching hours easily around your uni schedule!
Make money from your hobby
Like crocheting? Sell customised crocheted merchandise online! Consider yourself a decent baker? Cater for birthdays! Do you like dogs? Get paid for walking them! All of this can only be done informally, though. It could be once or twice, and you could be paid decently, but you cannot formally be self-employed while on a Tier 4 Visa. 
Everyone loves to have some extra cash to be able to go on that weekend trip or that music gig - find out what works for you and make some money!

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