Is it easy for an international student to find a part time job in London? My unique guide to finding a part time job in London

I remember that before coming to London, I had many questions about the cost of life and the different work opportunities that I might have to support myself financially during the period of studies. From my personal experience, I would say that it takes few weeks but it is definitely easier than in some other countries (France for example). Many websites are available to students willing to find a part time job (you will find a small list at the end of this article) depending on your studies and areas of interest. It is a little difficult to find a particular part time job. The more you keep your options open, the more chances you have to find a job quickly; otherwise it might take some time.

For example, I applied to Macdonald’s and got a response one week after inviting me for an interview. Also, as you are walking in the street, you might find some announcements on shops and caf├ęs (vitrines), so always carry copy or two of your CV with your availability. The easiest part time job you can have is in Macdonald’s. You can also work in Primark, or any other chain like Costa, Starbucks, Pret a Manger… (Click on the links to access the recruitment webpages). You can also give your CV to an agency, some of them offer free services for students looking for part time jobs such as this Timewiserecruitment.

Part time jobs are available, yet you need to make sure that they fit your expectations and allow you to have enough time to study. Some part time jobs pay up to £10 or £15/hour but those are not very frequent and they usually require specific skills such as the ability to speak 3 or 4 languages or a relevant work experience.

Before applying to a part time job, I would advise you to ask you counsellor at school about the rules and regulations. As tier 4 visa students, you are not allowed to work more than 20 hours per week, you cannot work as a self employed person (not even in freelance) and more than this, you cannot work in some areas such as professional sportsperson or trainer. During vacations your can work full time. However, UKBA does not define what is meant by vacations on their webpage.  However on London School of Economics website (and during my orientation at Queen Mary university), I found that holidays time for students in the UK are during Christmas and Easter breaks only. So these are the only two periods when you are allowed, as a student holding the general student Tier 4 visa, to work on a full time basis. Note that although you will not be attending classes during the dissertation period, this latter is not considered as holidays since you are expected to make research. As a result, you will not be allowed top work more than 20 hours. The exact dates might different from a university to another so please check with your advisor in the university. Note that if you work beyond 20 hours, you will be committing a criminal offense  with the following consequences : automatic refusal to enter the UK territory and you can also be suspended from your studies and deported to your home country. You can check this link for more information on the topic

I would advice you to put your availability on your CV (Although this seems unusual on a CV) since it is a quite important piece of information for the employers. Most of part time jobs also require some kind of flexibility so don’t be surprised if your future employer  futur employer asks you during the job interview if you can work overnight or during weekends.

Generally, you will be informed of those regulations during orientation week by the Careers services of your university but you can always comment on this post or get in touch with me using the contact form if you want more info.

Here is a list of websites you might want to use if you are looking for a part time job in London or the UK:

Hope this helps,

Cheers to you all :)