Studying in Germany means top-notch education at high-ranked state universities with no tuition costs for international students. Sounds amazing, right? But studying in these beautiful German cities comes with its own price tag. The average expense of a German student living in a big metropolis like Munich or Berlin can range up to 1,100-1,300 euros.

So, how do you make ends meet while pursuing your academic dreams in Germany? Discover the answers in this article, where we’ll guide you through various ways how to work while studying in Germany. Give it a read!

Ways to Work While Studying in Germany

Now let’s look at the 5 most essential ways to work and study in Germany, making the most of your academic experience!

1. Dual Study Programs

Work-Study or Dual Study Programs in Germany offer an excellent way for students to work while studying and are quite popular as well due to their unique blend of academic theory and practical implementation. However, as mentioned earlier, Dual Study Programs are primarily offered by Universities of Applied Sciences (Fachhochschulen) in Germany. And as we’ve learned, they offer a treasure trove of benefits for students interested in them.

To apply, students typically need to secure a position with a participating company, and requirements may vary based on the specific program and institution.

2. Minijobs

While Dual Study Programs offer a long-term career booster, sometimes you just need a short-term cash income to cover your living expenses in Germany. That’s where Minijobs come in, with a maximum monthly earning of €520 tax-free!

Along with that, Minijobs are quite flexible. These part-time jobs allow international students to work up to 80 hours per month, providing financial support without jeopardizing their academic commitments. Common MiniJobs include roles in retail, hospitality, or tutoring and students can apply for these jobs by looking at job advertisements or searching online portals such as Staufenbiel.

3. Student Jobs

Seeking regular student jobs is another option for international students to sustain themselves financially in Germany. These jobs, although not limited by hourly restrictions like MiniJobs, offer greater flexibility in terms of work hours and responsibilities. While working at student jobs, international students can expect to fill roles such as research or teaching assistants, library helpers, or administrative assistants.

This convenience of on-campus jobs is particularly appealing to students who may not be well acquainted with the cities in Germany, making it easier for them to manage work and academics.

4. Voluntary Internships

Unlike Minijobs and Student Jobs, doing internships is an opportunity that offers a deeper, more intensive experience within your chosen field, opening doors to future career paths and valuable skill sets. However, it’s important to note that not all internships guarantee financial compensation. Compulsory internships integrated into academic curricula may not provide a salary or may offer a minimal stipend. On the other hand, voluntary internships, especially those in collaboration with external companies, have the potential to be paid at least a minimum wage of 12 EUR per hour, with compensation varying depending on the organization.

5. Freelancing and Self-Employment (EU-Nationals only)

For EU nationals studying in Germany, freelancing or self-employment is a viable option to generate income while pursuing academic goals. This option can lead to more flexibility in working hours and a good amount of money in a relatively shorter time. However, it comes with responsibilities such as managing taxes, legal compliance, and building a client base.

In contrast, non-EU students should be aware of visa restrictions and legal considerations related to self-employment and freelancing. It’s crucial to understand and adhere to specific regulations of their student visa to ensure compliance with German immigration laws and to make the most of this opportunity while studying.

FAQs About Working While Studying in Germany

Is there a Work-Study Program in Germany?

The answer might surprise you! While there isn’t a uniform, national “work-study program” encompassing all universities in Germany, many universities, particularly universities of applied sciences such as Munich University of Applied Sciences and FH Aachen, offer their own internal versions. These often go by the name “dual-study programs” as well.

These programs serve a dual purpose, combining academic coursework with hands-on work experience within a company. This approach ensures that graduates possess both a degree and practical skills in their respective fields, facilitating a smoother transition into the job market. And bonus, prospective students usually earn some good money while they learn!

Can You Work in Germany While on A Student Visa?

Yes! International students on a valid German student visa are entitled to work but with some limitations:

  • During semesters, students from EU countries can work up to 20 hours per week and have up to an unlimited number of hours during semester breaks.
  • Jobs requiring specialization such as being a doctor or lawyer, may need additional authorization from the Federal Employment Agency
  • International students from non-EU countries can only work for 120 full days or 240 half days per year.
  • International students from non-EU countries are not allowed to be self-employed or work as freelancers.

It’s important to note that your primary purpose in Germany on a student visa should be studying, and exceeding the allowed work hours may result in visa issues or additional taxes.

What Are the Benefits of Working While Studying in Germany?

Working while studying in Germany offers plenty of benefits. First and foremost, it allows students to supplement their income, easing the financial burden associated with high living expenses in German cities. For example, Minijobs, the most common option for student work, lets you earn up to €520 per month tax-free.

But the benefits go way beyond just cash. If you plan for dual study programs, you will be graduating with not just a coveted academic degree but also a valuable vocational qualification in a relatively short time. Moreover, the companies you work with during your studies become familiar ground, opening doors to internships, future job opportunities, and even recommendations later on.


With all the answers in front of you, we hope this article has guided you through all the complexities of choosing between work options as a student in Germany. Remember, the key is to choose the path that best aligns with your goals, skills, and visa regulations, making your academic journey in Germany a springboard for success!


Hopefully, this article will help reduce your academic and living costs in Germany. For more study options, check out the Study in Germany for valuable tips, scholarships, and helpful articles! Do check out Available Programs in Germany for currently open courses!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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