Studying and Part-time work :how to manage
Is it possible to combine work with study, and still do well in your course and have a life ?. Many students take on part-time work to earn some extra cash , to make new friends, improve their language skills and for career oriented networking .
You know there are 168 hours in a week. It sounds like a lot, but when you consider a full-time degree course-load may take up 30 to 40 of those hours, and you also need time to sleep, eat and travel to and from campus or work, that time starts to shrink rapidly.
Studies have shown that students who work between 10 and 15 hours per week can manage their full-time study and their work. If you work more than this, you may find it more stressful – and that your study and results may suffer. So even if your student visa allows you to work 20 hours per week, this may not be ideal.
Plan out your Working
What is your main goal for working? If it’s to earn money, you’ll want to find a job that pays reasonably well, yet is flexible or part-time. Temp jobs, where you may fill a short-term position full-time during the summer holidays, may be one option. If you already have skills and experience you may be able to freelance – as a research assistant or graphic designer, for example.
If you want something less stressful, an on-campus job (especially an office admin position) may be more suitable. It will save you time commuting, and you may feel safer working on campus.
If you’d rather leave your work to the weekends, and focus on study during the weeks, you might be able to pick up work in a café or bar, or in a retail store, or even working on seasonal events or festivals. This may be less lucrative than an office job, but there are other benefits such as staff discounts. It may also be more sociable, which is great if you want to make new friends or learn more about your new country’s culture.
There are other types of temporary jobs during holiday breaks, such as seasonal fruit picking or farm work. It can be physically hard work, but is a great way to see a different part of the country.
If your main goal is to network in your industry, meet people and improve your CV, then an internship may give great experience and hands-on training – but it may not be paid.
Tips to Remember
1. Plan your time. Use one calendar only, for all your personal, study and work commitments. Make a note of all your due dates and exams.
2. Write down how much time you need to spend each week on each activity, and enter all your regular weekly commitments into your calendar – even the really obvious ones.
3. Leave some free time. Sometimes things don’t go to plan, and you need to be flexible. Research for an assignment could take longer, the train may be delayed, or you may need to see a doctor.
4. Set yourself a homework hour every night. Attend classes, and keep on top of the small stuff, and it won’t pile up into big stuff. Got a spare half hour? Do some quick revision – don’t go on Facebook!
5. Wake up half an hour earlier. Sounds so simple. But that gives you an extra 3.5 hours a week!
6. Set yourself small achievable goals every day or every week. And reward yourself with some personal time when you achieve them. Because it’s not all just about work and study – it’s also about you and your life!
At Czech College, we encourage students to undertake part-time job on and off campus. Our experience is that it is very important to balance your work,study and life.