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Finding a student job at the University

From Indians in Magdeburg - A Guide for Students
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General information[edit]

It is common business for students in Germany to work in their free time of studies. Even if it is not that easy, it is possible to finance your studies with the help of part time or student jobs in Germany. Students who come from non- EU countries are restricted by a total of 120 full or 240 half days of work per year.

Work as a research assistant at the University does not count to these days. Work at the University as a research assistant (Studentische Hilfskraft).It is common practice that a professor at a German university hires a student for e.g. 6-8 hours a week as a research assistant. The tasks may be to design lecture materials or to collect information about a special topic or work in a lab for example. Rarely,at the web page of your university you will find the information about the current vacancies but practical advice is to write an e-mail to the doctorate students or assistant professors of the institutes you are interested in or already got acquainted with by attending some lectures. I wouldn't recommend writing directly to professors itself or knocking the door without appointment as they will be super busy and hardly able to respond.The work at the University can be done additionally to the allowed days for work per year.

Minimum Wage[edit]

Minimum wage in Germany is 8,85 Euros per hour. If you earn under 450 Euros you don’t pay taxes. If you go over 450 Euros then the wage tax (Lohnsteuer) will be deducted, but you will get this money at the end of the year when you apply for tax return (Steuererklärung). The procedure is not complicated. Contact finance office (Finanzamt) of your city for this.

Typical part time jobs include waiters, industrial production assistants etc. You can read more about this in our article: Finding a part-time job outside the University.


The command of German improves your chances to find a job quickly. It is important to speak German for those kinds of jobs like a waiter where you have lots of contacts with people/guests you need to serve. In the IT-sphere or in big international companies it might be possible to get a student job with good English knowledge only.

Where and how to find a job[edit]

Ask your friends for a job possibility. Networking is very important at this point. If you were suggested by your friend for a vacancy, it might be easier for you to get this job. Be active and initiative. Tell as many people as possible that you are looking for a job. Find the companies operating around your place of studying and check on their websites for vacancies particularly useful for IT students. It is always good to find a job in the same sphere of your studies. It also looks great in your CV and makes job application after your studies easier. Lots of students get their full time Jobs in the companies where they worked as part time students before.

If you search for a student job please also check the following websites:

How to apply[edit]

There are different ways of how to apply. In most cases you need to create a CV, but not longer than two pages and send it mostly via email to the employers. Don’t hesitate to call the employer before, if you have any questions. Additionally, some employers expect certificates that prove your abilities and skills. If you are invited to get a job, a job permission should be provided. Possibility to learn German before your studies begin If you plan your stay in Germany and you are short of money or German knowledge, you can apply for an Au-Pair programme from your home country. Within this programme you stay for one year in a German family, take care of their children and probably help around the house. During this time you don’t have any expenditures for accommodation or food as your guest family pays for it and you get some pocket money for your job. This way you get one-year time to look around, better plan your further studies, make contacts and improve your German. Google for Au-Pair programmes and agencies where and how to apply. Keep in mind that you would need basic knowledge in German to work as Au-Pair.

In general, you need to follow these steps if you want to work at the University as a HiWi:

  1. Know your area of interest as the work you do as a HiWi would also eventually help in your career goals.
  2. Go through department’s webpage; and take a careful look at the projects and research topics the department is working on.
  3. You can find a synopsis of the project on the website. In case this information is in German, make use of online translation tools and dictionaries to understand the content.
  4. E-mail the PhD student who is working on the project you are interested in. Do not expect any replies if you email the professor directly! Please also read the article: Email etiquette.

Buddy-Tip by Olga[edit]

I study in Magdeburg and finance my studies on my own. My list of costs of my student life in Magdeburg per month:

  • ~200-250€ for apartment
  • ~90€ for health insurance, if you are under 30
  • ~200€ food

Good luck with finding a job. Edited the original link [1].

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