It’s not news that international students in the UK pay higher tuition fees than domestic or EU students. In 2018, students from UK and EU enrolling in to English universities had to pay up to £9,250 (~US$13,050) annually. However, fees for international students vary considerably, ranging from £10,000 (~US$14,130) and going up to £38,000 (~US$53,700) or more for medical degrees. Along with a high cost of living, the average cost of studying in the UK is estimated to be £22,200 (~US$31,380) per year. Needless to say, studying in London is likely to be significantly more expensive.
Fortunately, there is support available and ample part time jobs for students to top up their funds and pay their university fees. If you are an international student in the UK, and are enrolled into any full-time undergraduate or postgraduate degree program at a recognised university, you are allowed to work part time during the term for up to 20 hours a week, and full time during the holidays.
InstaReM, Southeast Asia’s leading digital money transfer company, presents some useful information on employment preconditions and lists the types of part time jobs that international students can pursue in some of the favourite UK destinations.
Students in the UK have a range of part time jobs—from sales assistant to bartender!
The UK offers a range of part time jobs for students. Flexible in nature, the Key Responsibility Areas (KRAs) of these jobs are designed so that they suit the life of a student.
Websites such as indeed.com and studentjob.co.uk highlight great part time jobs in the UK like:
- Sales Assistants in Retail
- Customer Assistants in Hospitality
- Research Assistant in Universities
- Data Analyst in Corporate
- Event Organizers
- Catalogue Distributor
- Shopping Assistant
There are other jobs like babysitting and pet-sitting. There are also paid internships where you can earn a wage and gain vital work skills, like teamwork – great for your CV!
The UK has set national minimum wages—you get paid according to your age and nature of job
The National Minimum Wage is the minimum pay per hour almost all workers in the UK are entitled to. Regardless of the scale of an enterprise, they still have to pay the correct minimum wage.
- Workers aged 16 or 17: £3.87 an hour
- Workers aged 18 to 20: £5.30 an hour
- Workers aged 21 or older: £6.70 an hour
- Workers aged 25 and above: £7.20 an hour
- Apprentices: £3.30 per hour
*These rates are as on 2016 and are reviewed annually by the government
Part Time Jobs of Various Natures Are Available in Cities Popular Among International Students
Below you’ll find a list of the top 7 cities in the UK with the largest population of international students and the types of part-time jobs and wages offered there.
Only Tier 4 General Study Visa allows you to work part-time as a student in the UK
There are 2 types of student visas in the UK:
A short-term study visa is issued for a duration of 6 months—for any short course (including English language courses), or a short period of research if you’re 16 or over. However, you cannot work (including on a work placement or work experience) or carry out any business with this visa. You can’t apply for an extension either.
Tier 4 General Study Visa is issued to students enrolled in courses that are 1 year or longer. How long you can stay depends on the kind, of course, you’re doing and what study you’ve already completed. But with this visa, you can work in most jobs—depending on what level your course is and what kind of sponsor you have. You can also apply for an extension.
If you are an international student in the UK, you may not have to pay tax on your income
If you are working part-time as a student in the UK, you won’t need to pay tax on grants or student loans. However, you are still liable for income tax and National Insurance (NI) the same way as other workers in the country. However, the good news is that you are entitled to a certain income before being taxed – this is called your Personal Allowance. You can get information on the current allowances on the GOV.UK website.
For the tax year 2017/18, those born after 5 April 1948 are entitled tax-exemption on earnings up to £11,500 per year. So if you’ve got a part-time job and earn under £11,500, you don’t pay any tax. Above your Personal Allowance, the amount you pay depends on the amount you earn. In 2017/18: the first £11,500 is tax-free; you pay 20% tax on earnings between £11,501 and £45,000. Few students are likely to be earning over £45,000, but if you do, you pay 40% on this.
Also, if your home country has a double-taxation agreement with the UK, you don’t have to pay any tax on your income if you work while you’re a student. However, if your country doesn’t have an agreement like this, you have to pay tax in the same way as other workers in the UK.
Sources: worksmart.org.uk, gov.uk, studylondon.ac.uk, blogs.lse.ac.uk, ed.ac.uk, e4s.co.uk, taxguideforstudents.org.uk, indeed.com, expatica.com, studylondon.ac.uk, studentjob.co.uk