Work Rights for International Students: Working while Studying in Germany

by Ellen Schönfelder | April 05, 2024
Explore the work rights in Germany available to international students during and after their master's programs and discover the advantages of pursuing a master's degree in Germany - and why Leipzig is particularly a great place to start out as a student.

This article does not intend to provide legal advice. All information is given without guarantee of accuracy or completeness.

Embarking on a master’s program abroad not only broadens horizons but also presents exciting opportunities for personal and professional growth. Germany, with its exceptional educational institutions and thriving job market, has emerged as a top choice for international students and offers several work rights for international students.

Part-Time Work Rights for International Students in Germany

One of the significant advantages of studying in Germany is the opportunity for international students to work part-time while pursuing their full-time studies.

Germany is progressively introducing new measures outlined in the Skilled Immigration Act. The latest measures to come into force in March 2024 included improvements for international students. Previously international students were allowed to work up to 120 full days or 240 half days per calendar year without obtaining a work permit. This has been increased to 140 full days or 280 half days per calendar year.

Alternatively, employment with up to 20 hours per week is also permitted, now. This is an increase from the previous limit of 10 hours per week.

One of the significant advantages of studying in Germany is the opportunity for international students to work part-time while pursuing their full-time studies.

Ellen Schönfelder, Program Consultant | Full-time MBA Program

This means that international students can gain practical work experience, supplement their income, and enhance their skills while studying.

Moreover, Germany offers many part-time job opportunities, especially in hospitality, retail, tutoring, research assistance, and language teaching. These experiences provide financial stability and foster cultural integration and language proficiency.

Our Tip: At HHL, we strongly recommend using the first term of the study program to get settled into the new environment before going out on the job hunt.


Visa Options for Students After Completing their Master’s Program

After completing a master’s program in Germany, international students have several visa options to explore, opening doors to a promising future. Let’s delve into three common visa and residence permit options available:

Our Tip: As a student, make the most of HHL’s highly-ranked career development service. Each program has a dedicated career development manager who has a toolbox full of skills to share with you. The team also regularly organizes career fairs and company events, so make sure to network and attend as many as you can to give your career a head start.

HHL Full-Time Programs for International Students: A Pathway to Success in Germany

At HHL, we take pride in offering exceptional study programs to international students looking to relocate to Germany.

HHL’s MBA programs are an excellent stepping stone into the German job market – 97% of MBA graduates have chosen to remain in Germany for their post-MBA career.

HHL’s Master in Management programs offer the perfect job assurance – 100% of our MiM graduates have secured a job within 3 months of graduating.

HHL’s Master in Entrepreneurship is the newest addition to our portfolio. We’re Germany’s #1 Entrepreneurial University and home of 2 of the leading European Start-Up Hubs (Spinlab #2 & Digital Space #12) according to The Financial Times.

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Study-Work-Life-Balance: Leipzig has got what it takes

Leipzig, with its affordability and exceptional opportunities, stands out as an ideal destination for international students pursuing a master’s program in Germany. Recently named as one of the top three cities for affordable rent for students, Leipzig offers a high standard of living without breaking the bank. This affordability, combined with part-time work opportunities, sets the stage for a financially stable student life.

Blog Leipzig Top City Quality of Life

According to the European Commission’s latest report, 95% of Leipzig residents are satisfied with the overall quality of life in our vibrant city. Moreover Leipzig is not just a great place for HHL students but also an excellent spot for families, ranking 4th in family friendliness with another impressive 95%!

Furthermore, Leipzig has gained recognition as a top destination, having been voted as such by Lonely Planet. It has even been dubbed “the cool kid town” by the Financial Times. Our vibrant city offers a rich cultural scene, a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem, and a strong job market, making it an attractive place to start a career in Germany.

Our Tip: If you can, visit us in Leipzig and see for yourself! If that is not possible watch the video below and virtually follow Marc and Mariana on a walking tour of the campus and the city of Leipzig.

Conclusion: Working and Studying in Germany

Choosing Leipzig as a starting point in Germany provides a unique combination of affordability, work opportunities, favorable visa options, and a promising job market. International students can enjoy a fulfilling academic journey, gain practical experience through part-time work, balance financial stability and a high standard of living, and set a solid foundation for a successful career.