HomeEducationWhich is the Best Country to Study and Work in Europe?

    Which is the Best Country to Study and Work in Europe?


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    With so much variety in such a small space, Europe is the ideal continent to work and study. Bouncing around during your stays or hunkering down in a country you’re eager to get to know better is easy. Working while studying abroad isn’t always an option, but in Europe, it’s attainable if you look in the right places.

    A study abroad student wearing a yellow jacket is holding their books as they walk down steps in a European city

    Of the 44 countries in Europe, each region has its own special flair that might attract different folks for different reasons. Western Europe has European staples like France and Germany, while Eastern Europe offers an alluring smattering of Slavic countries like Poland, Romania, and Belarus. Up North, you’ll find the cozy nordic countries and proper Brits, along with Iceland, the land of fire and ice!

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    Southern Europe’s Mediterranean vibes are a dream come true, so there’s no going wrong when choosing a country. If you’re looking for a place to study and work, Europe is the place to go. But now comes the age-old question: what is the best country to study and work in Europe? Spoiler: there isn’t one answer.

    Is it possible to study AND work in Europe?
    Would we be writing this article if you couldn’t?? Of course, you can study abroad and work at the same time! You’ll just need to figure out the best way to strike a balance between work and school, but you can definitely make it happen. There are some things you need to get in order beforehand, and it might be a little more complex depending on the country. So let’s break it down.

    Different work visas or permits apply depending on the country you study abroad in.

    There are many programs that pair work and study abroad for you, making the application and documents easier to sort through because, well, it’s the program’s job to help you through the process.

    Other countries may offer amazing study abroad opportunities, but you’re on your own when it comes to finding a job. Some students interested in study and work in Europe will opt for internship programs because it’s a good balance between real-world experience and structured work environments in a foreign country.

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    So what’s the deal with visas? If you’re from the US, getting a work visa in most European countries is doable. Of course, it depends on where you want to go. Some countries require you to report your work status to the local immigration office. Others require you to apply for a full-fledged work visa.

    It’s also possible that you’ll have to establish yourself to some degree in the country you’re studying in before getting a job. Most countries have stipulations regarding how long you can work and how many hours a week.

    We know. The nuances are overwhelming. But don’t let that deter you from working while studying abroad! Below you’ll find 11 countries in Europe where you’ll be able to study and work abroad.

    Which is the best country to study and work in Europe?
    1. Spain
    This Mediterranean country has an open door for student workers.

    Spain is known for its flashy culture and vibrant people—and is a great place to study and work abroad. The sunny beaches, rich heritage, and tasty food is a huge draw, but what is it like to study and work there?

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    Spain is a popular destination for international students, so the process of getting a visa and applying to universities is pretty straightforward. However, it’s important to note that non-EU students will likely have to pay a little extra (this is the case with most EU countries). The actual process for working in Spain while studying is pretty flexible, so you don’t need to worry about jumping through hoops.

    You need to ask for a permit to work up to 20 hours per week from the local authorities. However, you need to have a student visa to do that. You can stick around until that expires, workin’ your bottom off along the way.

    The cost of living will depend on what city you end up in, but on average, it’s a good place to get your money’s worth. It tends to be cheaper than the US or UK, with average monthly budgets ranging from 1,800-2,200 euros.

    2. Sweden
    Sweden may be a little cooler than Spain, but the people are warm and cozy, like their coffee and their sweaters. With vast snowy landscapes, enchanting fjords, and the Northern Lights, it’s an absolutely charming place to settle down in. It’s also an easy choice for working and studying because all you need is your student visa!

    Sweden is well known for being environmentally friendly and innovative. Many universities teach courses in English, so you don’t need to worry about perfecting your Swedish before arriving. Education is important to the Swedes, so they made it free for their people. Unfortunately, as a US citizen, you don’t get to cash in on that. However, it can still be cheaper on average than many US institutions.

    3. Germany
    Germany is a great place to study abroad if you need to make money!

    Hearty food, beer for days, lakes of plenty, and an active lifestyle are staples of German livelihood. If that appeals to you, look into working and studying in Germany. But wait, there are some rules (this is Germany, after all). First, you need to get permission from the Federal Employment Agency and the foreigner’s office.

    Then, the flexibility of hours is more strict for non-EU citizens. If you’re coming from the US, Australia, or any non-EU member state, working while studying in Germany is more complicated. You’re only allowed to work 240 half days or 120 full days per year, either in term or during vacations. However, there are loopholes depending on the work you choose.

    If you’re working as a student assistant, the 120-day rule can be thrown out the window! There are virtually no limitations to jobs at a university. But you still need to get in touch with the foreigners’ registration office to let them know you want to work more hours.

    4. Switzerland
    The compact country is brimming with emerald snow-capped mountains, opportunities to explore the outdoors, dollhouse-like villages, and pristine lakes. If skiing famous slopes and living in a virtually crime-free nation appeals to you, Switzerland may be the ideal answer to your question about working and studying abroad in Europe.

    Many people speak English, so you won’t encounter too many job search barriers. Switzerland has quotas for foreign workers, but if you’re there on a student visa, you don’t need to apply for a separate work visa—huzzah!

    But you can only use it after living in the country for six months and only work 15 hours a week while there. It may not be the most lucrative option, but in terms of experience and culture, it’s definitely worth considering.

    5. France
    Eiffel Tower at dusk with trees and buildings in the background
    France has one of the more lenient work policies in Europe for international students.

    Oui, you can indeed work and study abroad in France. Heck, you might even be able to study abroad in France for free! France isn’t just on this list because it is filled with historical art and divine pastries (although that is a definite draw), but it’s also a great place for students to study and work abroad.

    Like many countries on this list, you can only work part-time. But who wants to be working full time as a student, anyways? There are different types of work visas in France depending on the work you end up getting. For example, if you end up doing an internship, you need to have an agreement of sorts signed by you, your employer in France, and your school or college back home.

    You may also need to prove financial security. However, the baseline rule is that with your student visa, you can do paid work up to 964 hours a year in France. If you’re working for the university you attend, the contracts may differ slightly, so don’t hesitate to reach out to the people in the departments you’re hoping to work for.

    6. Italy
    You came for the pasta and stayed for the culture, and now you need to make some cash so you can continue to live, work and study abroad in Italy. Italy can be a little pricey, but if you play your cards right, it can be affordable.

    But making a little money on the side is never a bad thing. If you’re on a student visa, Italian laws will only allow you to work 4 hours a day and a maximum of 20 hours a week.

    However, if you’re hankering for a full-time position before you graduate, you can convert your Italian stay permit from study to work permit, but only within the annual quotas established by law.

    7. Norway
    Green Northern Lights span the sky over a lake at night in norway
    Don’t forget to leave yourself enough free time in Norway to catch sights like this one.

    Norwegians tend to have well-paying jobs and cushy health care. You may not get all the perks as a student worker, but that doesn’t mean you should write Norway off your list! Norwegian people are very reserved yet laid-back.

    They rarely complain and prefer to spend time relaxing than stressing about to-do lists. The cost of living according to expats in Norway trends on the higher side, but wages tend to meet up at a reasonable rate so you can afford it on an average hourly job.

    Before you start looking for work, you’ll need your student permit. But then you can work up to 20 hours a week during your studies and full-time between semesters.

    8. Czech Republic
    Living in the Czech Republic as an expat is affordable and exciting: it’s a little outside the norm when it comes to Europe. The people are welcoming, and the weather is not unlike the Midwest US. It’s one of the most industrialized economies in Central Europe and has been steadily growing in popularity.

    Like most countries on this list, you’ll need your student visa before even thinking about jobs in the Czech Republic. You can get a part-time job if you’re a “third-country citizen” (aka not from the EU/EEA or Swiss). The rules are a little more strict if you want to work on your student visa, as you cannot work more than 7 consecutive days or a total of 30 days in a year.

    But you can always apply for a work visa on top of your student one. The job opportunities may be limited to knowing the language, but if you’re planning on studying abroad in the Czech Republic, you may already have an upper hand here.

    9. Ireland
    In Ireland, you can focus on classes during the semester and work (and travel!) in the summer.

    Ireland is an island dripping in natural beauty. You’ve probably heard of the breathtaking Cliffs of Moher and the Ring of Kerry, but seeing them is another adventure altogether. It’s no wonder that Ireland is one of the best European countries to study and work in!

    You can work 20 hours a week on your student visa, but only during certain months (June, July, August, September, and parts of December and January). Bonus points for native English speakers: you won’t need to learn a new language to work and study here! Of course, some thick Irish accents may have you staring dumbfounded at your new boss, but it’s all part of the experience.

    10. Netherlands
    The Netherlands, also known as Holland, is a quaint country in central Europe. People are happily cycling everywhere they go, windmills are chugging away on the horizon, and tulips are definitely worth the hype. If you’re looking for work while you study in the Netherlands, you’ll need to check some boxes. As a non-EU/EEA or Swiss citizen, you’ll need to ask your employer to give you a personal work permit.

    Then, you’ll be limited to working 16 hours a week during the year or full-time during June, July, and August. You don’t need to apply for extra permits if you’re doing an internship! The student visa is enough if the internship relates to your studies. So spend your free time exploring Holland, and put in extra hours over summer.

    11. Portugal
    Portugal’s warm climate and low cost of living is ideal for any student worker.

    Southeast Europe’s warm, sunny country is the perfect place to explore. The dramatic coast contrasts the soft rolling north; everywhere you go is filled with old-world culture. Portugal is perfect for students because the vibrant nightlife is actually pretty affordable. Portugal won’t break the bank, but it won’t leave you feeling cheap by any means. If you’re interested in working while you’re in school, you can do so on a student visa.

    If you’re coming from the US (or any non-EU country), you need a student visa and a residence permit for the length of your studies. If you’re a non-EU student on a Portuguese student visa (plus your residence permit), you can work in Portugal! You just need to keep to part-time work, up to 20 hours a week, with full-time opportunities during semester breaks and holidays.

    There are many reasons folks may look for work during their European study abroad endeavors. Some people need to make a little extra cash to afford the trips, while others are eager for an international work experience. Whatever your reasons for working while in school, GoAbroad is here to make sure you find the absolute perfect program. What are you waiting for? Source: GoAbroad

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