The Pros and Cons of Working while Studying Abroad


The primary goal of any student who wants to study abroad is to get admission in one of the best universities in the US, Canada, Germany, or other top international study destinations to build a career of her/his choice. Apart from academic requirements, the financial aspects of the entire process require students to take some vital decisions both before and after university admission. Studying abroad is an expensive proposition that requires one to plan ahead carefully. The majority of international students have to take education loans to cover the tuition fee and other related expensed such as housing, meals, transportation, stationary, and like.

Post admission sooner or later students are often faced with the question-“whether they should look at working during college or not?” There are several reasons why students consider working part-time while pursuing their studies at college. Reasons might vary from student to student but there are some common factors like – assisting one’s family by contributing financially, earning some extra cash to help meet small personal expenses, and learning useful on-the-job skills.

Your student visa generally allows you to work on-campus up to 20 hours per week during school sessions and during school break periods students can work full-time up to 40 hours per week. On-campus employment is defined as work that is done on campus, or at an off-campus location that is affiliated with the school.

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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2017, about 23 percent of high school students and 44 percent of full-time college students were employed in the workforce in the US. More females than males attending high school or college were juggling work and academics.

There are many pros and cons of working during college. If you are considering working while still studying at college, the following points will help you in taking the right decision:


Pros of Working During College

More Money

More Money

A motivating factor to take up a job while studying is having more money in hand. Being an international student the expenses are anyways going to be on the higher side compared to domestic students. With a large student loan and its interest, students often worry about the repayment and stress themselves out trying to manage daily expenses on a shoestring budget. Availability of spending cash acts as additional support that helps students at many levels.

A part time job ensures a steady flow of extra money in the form of an income which helps manage expenditure on personal expenses a lot easier. An income eases the financial stress especially when it comes to daily expenses. It can get stressful to manage your needs on a limited budget or wait for the money to arrive if there is an urgent need or exigencies in the form of unexpected bills, any other unforeseen expenses, or just occasionally going out with friends. Surety of some extra spending cash in hand gives a peace of mind in the way that it releases the stress of being broke at month-end.


Professional Experience

Professional Experience

Working during college is an early start made. It will prove beneficial not only during the college years but will add immense value to your profile after completion of the course as well. Getting an exposure to working in a professional environment during your college years will give you an unmatched experience. The process of job hunting on its own can be a huge learning experience. During interviews, students get to speak to people in a professional environment which helps them improve their confidence. Whether one gets selected for a job assignment or not, the experience helps an applicant understand her/his positives and weaknesses. Students appearing for interviews can ask for feedback which is also a way of self-learning.


Time Management

Time Management

Working while studying is not easy. It requires commitment and time management. Students who are able to handle the requirements of work and studies together often learn to manage time better. This not only helps them professionally but also helps them do better in their studies. Higher education is often time demanding with lectures, projects, and extracurricular activities to manage, students who work along with these commitments develop time management abilities better than others. Working students learn to manage their schedules early on. They learn how to create a balance between class and job load. This becomes an asset which helps them manage their studies as well as work efficiently.


Communication Skills

Communication Skills

No matter which industry you want to make a career in, your communication skills will always be something that will act as an important deciding factor in your professional growth. According to the Carnegie Institute of Technology, only 15% of financial success comes from knowledge or technical skills. The other 85% comes from an individual’s ability to effectively communicate, negotiate, and lead.

Working in a professional setup early on means exposing yourself to an environment that will require you to communicate with colleagues on a regular basis. Communicating with different kinds of people across various levels and functions helps one improve and enhance communication skills significantly. Handling professional emails, calls, presentations, interacting with colleagues/customers all help in enhancing one’s communication skills. Good business communication skills help students with improved presentation and written communication skills.


Networking Skills

Networking Skills

Students who work professionally during college have to collaborate with different kinds of people which helps them enhance their networking skills. Working professionally gives them an experience on how to communicate and collaborate with other team members, remote workers, and seniors. At the workplace, they are required to communicate with colleagues and clients for problem solving, brainstorming, and day-to-day coordination. This helps them develop networking skills that involve treating people well with courtesy, appreciation, respect, and finding common ground with people they may not necessarily agree with. Good networking skills help in establishing a good rapport with clients and colleagues that go a long way. Additionally one gains valuable contacts who can late provide recommendations in the future if required. Acquired networking skills also come in handy at college when dealing with faculty, other staff members, and acquaintances.




If you decide to work during your college years, by the time you complete your studies you would have ample of work experience to put on your resume which will certainly speak volumes about your academic and professional capabilities. It will let employers know that you can manage demanding situations well and have good work ethics. In a pool of applicants without any job experience, your resume will stand out leading recruiters to give your resume a special consideration. Apart from a good academic performance recruiters give weightage to professional experience as such applicants easily fit in the corporate culture. Employees with prior work experience have a shorter learning curve which saves time for both the employee and employer.

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Enhanced Classroom Experience

Enhanced Classroom experience

Working during college acts as an invaluable learning opportunity. Students who work have a dual advantage. They not only get to apply their classroom acquired knowledge at work but also get to discuss their work related problems with their professors to gain a better understanding at college. This helps them in performing better in their studies giving them an opportunity to score well.

Cons of Working During College

Like everything, taking up a job during college also has its flip side. We have so far discussed the positives, however, there are certain drawbacks to it. Following are the cons of working during college:

Lack of Time

Lack of Time

Tough time management is something which you will eventually learn juggling both college and work, there may be times when the situation may get demanding. For instance- there could an important assignment that may require you to spend more time in college or there could be an event or project at work that may require you to work extra hours during the weekend. It can mentally and physically wear you down. You may not have much time to spend with your friends or socialize as both work and studies will demand most of your time. Here it is your time management skills that can come to your rescue. If you find it difficult to manage your commitments then it is recommended that you reconsider your decision.




With lack of time stress will set in. It can be a result of lack of sleep, the stress of pending assignments at college, or performance issues at work. Responsibilities of a job and pressures of maintaining a deadline at college can lead to burnout. The exhaustion can cause anxiety which might lead to a negative impact on your academic as well as professional performance.


Impact on Studies

Impact on Studies

If you are not able to manage your schedule properly, you may start to lose focus on your primary goal-which is earning your college degree. If you think you need more time to learn to balance both work and studies, hold off on taking a job, as your first priority is to focus on your studies. Self–discipline, time management, and organization skills are key to creating a balance between your studies and job, so till the time you gain a better understanding of it do not take up a job at the risk of compromising your grades.

Looking at the pros and cons mentioned above the upshot is that taking up a job while studying at college is a decision that should be taken with a few serious considerations in mind. Do not rush into it because others are doing it. Most importantly understand the impact it can have on your studies. While the lure of money is strong as it helps ease the financial stress to a certain extent, by ensuring extra spending cash in hand, but a lack of time management skills can become a cause of stress. As a student, your primary objective is to earn a degree with good grades, if the stress and pressure become too much to handle it is advisable to take a step back and focus on your studies. You can in the meantime speak to your working friends at college and observe their schedule, lifestyle, academic performance, and time management skills. If you think you too can create a balance between your studies and job as well as they do, take the plunge.


It is recommended that a candidate must choose a  study abroad consultant that will eventually help him in getting the best guidance and right study abroad counseling. Study abroad counseling empowers students & professionals to succeed in their life by making right decisions on Colleges, Careers, Subjects and Courses. Admissions consultant helps students to realize their true potential, identify their goals and hence make informed career decisions. Abroad education consultants offers personalized recommendations on individual strengths that are provided through an online test based on Personality, Aptitude, Motivation, and Interest. Study abroad counselling teaches a student HOW to study effectively and gain ability to plan ahead, meet their goals. foreign education consultants not only teach students life-skills & study skills but also teach them & their parents to come on-board with a new methods of doing things. Parents would be assured that everything will run smoothly at School and their child will have the best support possible to make sure they are performing in the most favorable way possible. overseas education consultants can help improve the performance of any student.


Frequently Asked Questions


What are the advantages of working while in college?

Learning new and on-the-job skills like time management, communication, listening, problem solving, and networking skills. Apart from this, extra income helps students manage their expenses without any stress.

What are the disadvantages of working while in college?

Lack of time and stress. Both jobs and studies are time consuming activities. If you are not able to handle the demands of college and work together, it can get exhausting. The exhaustion may lead to a negative impact on your studies.

How many hours a college student should work?

Statistically speaking, according to the Department of Education, 12 hours per week or less is ideal for students to create a balance between their studies and job. This helps avoid burn out and students can actually benefit at college from their learnings at work.

Can college students work from home?

Yes. Today there are plenty of jobs available online that prefer hiring college students. If you get paid well as a fresher, working online is a better option as it saves time and money on traveling to the office and back.


Find Your Dream University

If you are planning to study abroad and searching to match your profile with the best suited university, Experts at Manya – The Princeton Review have gathered important information of top Universities from abroad. Surely, this information will help you narrow down your quest for universities. You can access accurate & authentic information related to rankings, application fees, average tuition fees, cost of living, scholarships, latest updates, and much more from more than 1000+ universities. You may also search for universities by name, country, or courses in common specializations, such as Physics, Finance, Business, Language and Culture, Agriculture, Environmental Science, Computer and IT, Media and Communication Marketing.

Manya – The Princeton Review offers end-to-end study abroad services encompassing admissions consulting services, test preparation, English language training, career assessment, and international internship opportunities to study abroad aspirants.

For more information, call our Study Abroad Helpline 1800 102 4646

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