Switzerland can be an expensive place to live in. If you are thinking of studying there, you may want to think about working part time to support yourself.
The good news is that students can work in Switzerland, even if you are an international student. However, there are some rules and restrictions and it is important to know what these are. There are no work-restrictions for students who are from EU/EFTA countries and have a residence permit, like France, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom, to name a few. The ESFTA countries are Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. But, if you are not from one of these countries, you can only work up to 15 hours a week during a semester. In the holidays, you don’t have to follow the part-time hours per week rule and can work full-time. International students don’t need a work permit to work as a student, but you do need to have lived in the country for six months before you can work as a student.
What is important to note is that some Swiss Universities, like the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, do warn against part-time jobs for students. They believe that it interferes with the studies, as the workload is a fair amount. So before taking up a job, you need to take stock of the study load and be sure that you can manage both work and studying.
Students usually find jobs in Switzerland through career and employment websites, newspapers and through universities. Many students work in cafes and malls in the city. They also do dog walking, babysitting, or some online work like freelance writing or social media assistance. Part-time work is also available on the campus, like libraries or gyms. Some universities facilitate job searches with job boards to help students. Moreover, it’s a good idea to join local groups and events, so you can be plugged into what’s happening. Often opportunities come through your own networks.