Group of international students at university

Study and work

Many students work part-time during their studies to earn some extra money. Find out how to juggle studying and working here.

Student jobs and internships

Many students in Germany have jobs in their spare time. Some may work as research assistants in universities, research institutes or libraries, while others may work as waiters or babysitters. International students also have the opportunity to work in addition to studying.

Students from third countries are permitted to work up to 140 full days or 280 half-days per year without requiring the approval of the Federal Employment Agency (BA). A working day of up to four hours counts as half a working day. Alternatively, both third-country students and students from EU/EEA countries and Switzerland may work up to 20 hours per week during the lecture period, just like German students. During the semester break, they can work without any restrictions.

These restrictions do not apply to student auxiliary tasks (e.g. academic work at higher education institutions).

International students may also complete internships or engage in self-employed activities while at university. However, any self-employed activity requires the approval of the competent foreigners authority. The authority will consider, among other things, whether the work is likely to hinder or delay the student in the pursuit of their academic goals. 

You will find more information on the Deutsches Studentenwerk (German National Association for Student Affairs) website and at Study in Germany.

Info box

As an international student, you must prove that you have sufficient resources to support yourself in order to renew your residence title in Germany. If you work as a student assistant in a company in Germany during your studies, you can act as your own guarantor. To do this, you must prove that you have at least €934 per month (applicable in 2024) at your disposal from your secondary income. Your secondary employment need not be for an indefinite period.

Employment as qualified professional

Under certain circumstances, it is possible to accept an offer of employment as a skilled worker during a stay for study purposes. This involves a change to a residence permit for the purpose of taking up qualified employment without having to complete a study programme first (Section 16b (4) of the Residence Act [AufenthG]). It is important that your employment is not of a temporary nature. For further details, please contact your local foreigners authority.

Vocational training instead of studying

International students in Germany have the opportunity to switch to vocational training if they feel that their study programme is not suitable for them and they would prefer a more practical approach to training. Your residence permit will need to be amended to allow you to start vocational education and training (Section 16b (4) of the Residence Act [AufenthG]). A residence permit for vocational education and training requires an assessment by the Federal Employment Agency (BA) and other special requirements. For more information on the requirements for this residence permit, see the “Visa for vocational training” section.

Before submitting your application, contact your foreigners authority to find out which documents you need to present.

Please beware

Before your residence permit for study purposes expires, you must apply for a change of residence permit.

Information on the web

  1. Study in Germany Earning money during your studies

Do you have any questions?

Let us advise you on your opportunities to work and live in Germany. Our experts will support you with questions regarding job search, visa, recognition and learning German. 

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