How to get a part-time job as an international student in Turku?

During the past year of being a student ambassador, one of the most frequent asked-questions is the possibility of finding a part-time job in Turku for international students.

You might also have the following questions in your mind: What kind of part-time part jobs that international students are having? How do others manage to find a part-time job? What are their experiences of having part-time job while studying?

In this blog post, I will write about success stories of other international students. You will learn how they have found part-time jobs and more about their experiences. Bare in mind the processes and situations are different from individuals and fields. However, I think this blog might still give you a glance of the part-time working life as an international student!

The Ways to Find Your Part-time Jobs

There can be several reasons for finding a part-time job. It could be for example building your network or gaining working experiences in the relative fields for future careers. Based on different expectations, students would have their own goals and plans on job searching.

1. Simply ask your communities and friends.

For me, the Chinese community here is very essential part for reducing my time to find an accessible position. Because not only does networking function as the first step, but also the employers have previous experiences of hiring (international) people who have similar background as me.

When I first considered a part-time job, naturally, I was hoping I could find ones that would relate to my fields. I wanted to gain more experiences (and get paid by the wages here). However, I found out there was not much left for me. One reason was my ability in the local languages here. Another big reason was scheduling issues. As a first-year student I found it difficult to find shifts that would work with my course schedule.

Then I started to search some jobs that I could access and also allow me to work more flexibly to take care of my study and personal life. I found the options of working in restaurants here are quite practical. First through an online group of Chinese communities, where people could publish part-time job recruitment information, I found my first part-time job of working for a barista. Then with my previous working experiences, my friend who is also working in a restaurant referred me to become her colleague. 

2. Search on the internet.

Alam, a Masters student in ICT Cryptography, is currently working as a part time worker in a restaurant in Turku. Two months after arriving in Finland, he started to actively search for a part-time job. His first part-time job was working in a cleaning company. He found this job through simply applying in the company’s website. Alam shared that he was interviewed and asked about previous experience in cleaning, and he got the job after interviews. According to his friend’s referral, he is now working in a restaurant after he got his hygiene passport. Alam’s life has been quite busy, since he needs to take care of study, work, exercises and life at the same time.

Yimeng studied Energy and Environmental Engineering at TAMK in his bachelor’s degree and is now a second-year student in the Master Degree Progamme in Biomedical Imaging at the University of Turku. Through the online website such as Facebook and, he managed to get part-time jobs such as being a Chinese-English translator and waiter in a restaurant. Yimeng also used to work as a tour guide and interpreter through the recommendation of his friends.

3. Use the resources from University.

The University of Turku offers a wide range of student career assistance. On the University website, you can find information on job vacancies. Also, an internship subsidy for all students are provided by the university.

Yimeng found his first internship chance by searching through some of the websites that his teacher had shared in the students’ emails. By continuously trying, Yimeng managed to get his first internship in the biomedical field in Turku.

After the first success, Yimeng then found his second internship on LinkedIn, where that company was recruiting for both full-time and part-time positions. In the interview, Yimeng mentioned that he could apply for the University of Turku’s internship subsidies before graduation. The company decided to sign an internship contract for three months first for him, and then consider whether to renew it depending on the situation.

4. Try remote working?

Remote working has been a trend. It provides students good opportunity to expand their part-time work chances, regardless of the limitation of space and language.

Zejia shared her experiences for remote working. Zejia has finished her Master’s degree in Drug Development this year. She is going to start her PhD position in University of Turku soon.

Zejia has been mainly working as a freelancer in the field of medical English. Before she came to Finland, she had already gained one year’s experience working in the similar field in China. Having these experiences, after she arrived in Finland, a US-based pharmaceutical company hired Zejia for another translating position. And because the degree and experiences would influence the job seeking in the field of medical English translation, Zejia’s academic performances and experiences gave her better chance to gain the position.

The Challenges that You May Face

From Zejia’s perspective, it is not so easy to find a part-time job other than working in delivery, restaurant or cleaning as a foreigner at the first step. Thus, it is a good opportunity for students to find part-time job and gain relative work experiences through remote working positions, in which students can be able to go beyond these restrictions.

Yimeng shared these feelings too. When I asked him about how did he feel about the balance between jobs and studies and whether it made him feel tired, he replied “I feel that part-time jobs are generally jobs that are not related to studies, so the tiredness is mainly on the physical level. And because of language barrier, it is relatively difficult to find a job compared to local students.”

Despite the difficulties, Yimeng thinks the majority of his international friends and classmates have part-time jobs while studying full-time. And it is a valuable experience to make the best use of your study time. However, Yimeng especially reminded that it is essential to be aware the labor laws and employment issues before deciding at the same time.

Also, know your rights ….

The first thing to start with your part-time job searching plan is to check the legal regulation of international student’s working in Finland and know your rights.

According to Finnish immigration regulation, a student who has been granted a residence permit for studies is allowed to engage part-time job, or even full time internship or job.

It is also addressed by the Finnish Immigration Service, international students need to provide proof of savings which are able to support their first year of study.  When you apply for your first residence permit for studies, you cannot secure your income with work. 

After you find your part-time jobs, it is important to know your rights while working.


It is common for Finnish students to work during their studies. However, among the international students I interviewed, part-time work can also be obtained from several sources. Apart from searching the internet, it is good to make good use of your own network and university resources.

Part-time work is a great way to enrich your study experience. It gives you an early taste of what it is like to work in Finland. It also further expands your abilities and network. Hope you have a good journey in studying and working here!

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