Part-time jobs in Sweden for international students are a rare species, one would say that they are a considered to be endangered.
However, there are a handful opportunities out there. Most of the questions I was getting when working on the Instagram ↗️ account were about Part-time jobs. How easy was to get one? If it was possible to cover tuition fees and living expenses? Even though everyone has a different situation, there are few things in common about part-time jobs in Sweden.
A lot of students are seeking opportunities to kick-start their career abroad, and Sweden is a great place for doing that. recently I came across an article about Sweden being the Valhalla of start-ups right after Silicon Valley (which probably will be my next entry in the blog), that shows how good Sweden is for entrepreneurs.
Despite the jungle of start-ups and growing companies in Sweden, getting a part-time job in Sweden as an international student is hard. But, why is it like that?
Are there part-time jobs in Sweden?
The answer to that question is tricky, there is no way of answering this question objectively since it depends on A LOT of factors. Firstly, not everyone has the same background nor doing the same academic program, the opportunities are different all across Sweden, and most importantly they are always changing.
Whenever someone sends me an email asking about part-time jobs, my answer is always “yes there are part-time jobs…”, but the important part of the answer comes afterward.
90% of the part-time jobs in Sweden require you to speak fluently Swedish, and even if you find one English speaking job that with a lot of luck fits your schedule, it won’t be enough to cover your living expenses and tuition fees. I don’t know anyone that lives and pays their tuition fees on a part-time job.
Assuming that you work more than 25 hours a week, remember that you are still a student and that the deadlines and assignments will be there. A reasonable amount of time is needed to complete in time the deadlines.
I’m not saying all of this to discourage you, on the contrary. My point here is to demonstrate that in order to find a part-time job in Sweden one needs to put a lot of effort and stand out the multitude to find one. The challenge is real here.
Summer-jobs and internships.
The aim of an internship or a summer-jobs is to provide students with opportunities to gain experience in their field. There are quite a few companies every summer posting their vacancies online. Unlike part-time jobs, summer-jobs most of the times are targeted to everyone and not only Swedish speaking people, hence there is a better chance of getting one.
Don’t confuse “a better chance of getting one” with: “it is easy to get one”. Because is not, paraphrasing what Gimmy said in his blog post, no one will give you a job out of the blue, there is no job offer stapled to your plane ticket on your way to Sweden. I applied to a few summer-jobs the past summer, went to an interview and at the end, I didn’t get anything.
I have little knowledge when it comes to summer-jobs and internships. I speak from my experience but probably is a good idea to read the blog posts from Ivana about; what to expect from an internship? and the challenges involved. You can get a better insight from her experience.
To sum everything up…
A. Part-time jobs in Sweden are hard to find if you don’t speak fluent Swedish.
B. It is nearly impossible to cover living expenses as well as tuition fees just by working halftime.
C. The university will take a large portion of your time. Take this into account if you want to look for a part-time.
D. Summer-jobs and internships are most of the times unpaid and short term. They aim to give you hands-on experience that could boost forward your career.
E. Keep looking if you want to find a part-time job, maybe not for covering your expenses but to entertain yourself maybe.