“Can I work while I study?” This is a common question asked by all international students going abroad for higher education.
In France it is very common for students to work during their studies as it helps them look after their living expenditure as well as gain some working experience prior to course completion. International students are permitted to work in France if they have a student residency permit (carte de séjour d'étudiant) and are enrolled in a recognized institution.
An international student is allowed to work up to a maximum of 20 hours per week while the study term is in progress whereas during holidays students can work full-time.
To work in France it is essential to have at least basic knowledge of French. The most common part time work options are working at a local grocery store, bar, restaurant. In fact, a lot of students who are still learning basic French opt for babysitting because minimalistic knowledge of French is required on the job.
For students who have a good command over the language can apply for on campus jobs i.e. part time jobs at the university itself such as the library, cafeteria, student services etc. A lot of Indian students (and international students from English speaking countries) who are confident of their French i.e. speaking and writing can take English language tuitions in France.
Before students begin to explore part time job options it is recommended that they first assess their class schedule. The reason being that some Master’s courses are so intensive that it becomes difficult to fit in a part-time job like teaching that requires serious preparation. There may be courses where attendance is mandatory, and some classes take place in the evenings or on weekends. Hence whatever students do to earn while they learn, it should not be at the cost of neglecting their studies which is their primary objective for being in France.