When I moved to Germany, I knew that I wanted a student job, but I didn’t really have any idea how to get one that I wanted. I knew that there were some options for non-german speakers, but they were either quite hard to get or not enjoyable. Thankfully, our program head forwarded an email to us for an excellent job opportunity at a local research center, and I am no longer jobless and now an assistant to researchers and their assistants.
Getting a job can be a bit stressful, even without the expectations of parents that can form when their only child moves to the other side of the world. For me, getting a job was important so that I could have better shot of work after graduation, as the reality of doing so when one comes from a place that is not Europe is a bit daunting.
I’m not the only one who thinks that getting a student job is important – when people ask me about moving to Germany, they oftentimes ask me about the possibility of getting a job.
If you’re wondering whether or not it’s possible to get a job in Germany as a student, the answer is most likely yes. The range of jobs, however, is highly dependent on if you speak German or not. Time is also a factor in getting a job related to your program.
If you speak German, you have lots of prospects. It’s just like finding a job anywhere else. You might have to search around to get the best fit, but it’s definitely possible.
It gets a bit more complicated if you can’t speak German. I know the sure way to get a job in my city if you don’t speak English is to work at a fast food chain, or doing something with cleaning.
However, there are options otherwise. The biggest employer of students who don’t speak German is usually the university or hochschule itself. Depending on the qualifications at your institution, there is a possibility that you can teach a language. At my university, there are also possibilities to teach tutorials or become assistants to professors. There are also chances to assist with research projects.
Depending on your city, there might be opportunities outside of your university to become an assistant somewhere. The only way that you can find about this is to do some research on the institutions in your city, but then again, nothing is guaranteed. The reality is that the jobs at these places are competitive to get, but not out of reach.
The other aspect is time. It took me seven months before a job was advertised that I was actually interested in, and nine before I got the job that have now. Unless you are either lucky or have good experience in the field, the chances of getting a job related to your study program right after arrival are not that high.
Pursuing a quality student job is worth the time and effort, and I highly recommend it to anyone studying in Germany. My experience working has benefited me in ways that my study program could never have done – there is only so much that theory can do. In my future blog posts, I will elaborate more on how to get a job/how it is balancing a job, uni, and social life, but for now – don’t give up, it is possible.