Part time jobs in Sweden

I get a lot of texts and emails asking me about part-time jobs in Sweden. Many students wish to enquire regarding it, especially to help them cover their living expenses here. Though every applicant’s situation is different, hence it is always tough to provide a conclusive answer. However, from an almost-an-year experience here in Sweden, I would like to delve a bit deeper in this topic.

To the question ‘Are there part time jobs in Sweden?’ the simple answer is – Yes, there is.

But, the more important question, which I don’t see many students asking is, ‘Are part time jobs enough to cover my expenses in Sweden?’ The answer to that unfortunately is – No, it isn’t.

Then the next logical question that naturally arises is ‘Why not Sweden if you can do it in other countries?’ Answer – Sweden, my friend, is a very expensive country!

Keeping all these in mind, I would like to advise prospective students to look into alternative sources of funding. Remember that the expenses here includes your entire tuition fees AND your living expenses. In this case, it would be next to impossible to cover the entire cost just through part time jobs. If in case you receive a scholarship from your respective universities that cover your tuition fees, you still have to manage your living expenses. Frankly and honestly, even this is going to be extremely hard for couple of reasons –

Part-time jobs in majority of cases, requires you to know Swedish fluently.

You have to be very lucky to find one that requires English.

It is simply hard to find a part-time job.

You are likely to try fast-food chains, restaurants or other possible places. But according to an advisor I met from Swedish Public Employment Agency, McDonalds in a small city like Växjö, for instance, receives 400-500 applications just for the front-end services. Not to mention, nearly all of them knows Swedish or have similar experience, which you don’t.

The hourly rate will not be enough to cover your expenses.

Let’s just consider for the sake of argument that you end up getting a part-time job and that too in English. But it simply will not be feasible for you in terms of payment and time. At the end of the day, please do not forget that you are here in Sweden to study, get good grades and build a career. Part-time jobs are a means your end and not the end itself!

Therefore, to sum up, I would highly encourage you to confirm a source of funding for yourself before moving here. It can be fully-funded scholarship from Swedish Institute (covering all expenses), government scholarships from your home country, any private organization scholarship, support from the company you work for if possible or from your personal fund. Regardless, you have to provide these information at the embassy while applying for visa anyway. Thus, don’t base all the planning on something that is not guaranteed to you in the first place.

So now you may ask, ‘Does that mean I cannot come to Sweden?’ Cheer up! You definitely can and I am confident that you will. Just put in some effort and make an organized plan, consider all alternatives and you will find yourself having come a long way towards being in Sweden!


Written by Redwan

29 Apr 2015