Which Countries Allow International Students to Work Full-Time?

If you are moving abroad to study, and also need to gather some funds over there, you’ll need to consider the work time of the particular country. A lot of countries limit the work hours, so much that you can’t make enough to support your education. However, there are 14 countries that allow enough time for you to work even full-time. In this post, I’m going to talk about which countries allow international students to work full-time or more than 20 hours a week. In many countries, students are limited to 20 hours of work per week, so finding a country that lets you work more is a big deal. A work hour is just one of the many factors to consider when studying abroad, and we’re focusing on that today.

If you are self-sponsored, you really need to know how many hours you can work. This is because you have expenses like rent, transportation, and food to cover. Some countries don’t allow international students to work at all. If you’re from a developing country, you’ll agree that studying abroad can be a bit costly, and so it’s nice to have the option to pick up a full-time job to cover the costs.

Which Countries Allow International Students to Work Full-Time?

I’ll talk about some countries where there are relaxed or no restrictive rules at all against working, and some that have a few rules. So, let’s get started with such countries.

1. Estonia

Yes, Estonia is number one. In fact, after I found out that Estonia does not restrict students from working, I decided to write on this topic. There’s no limit to how many hours you can work here. Students can work as much as they want, provided it doesn’t get in the way of their studies. Isn’t that great? And just so you know, in most of these countries, you’re allowed to work full-time during holidays. So, this is how many hours you can work when school is in session. However, you’ll need a work permit after graduation if you want to stay in Estonia.

2. Sweden

And at number two, we have Sweden. So, you’ll see why I have this country on the list of which countries allow international students to work full-time. In Sweden, students can work as many hours as they like, as long as they hold a valid student visa. Getting a visa shouldn’t be an issue. So, no worries there. Meanwhile, I wrote an article on Sweden student visa interview questions—so check it out.

You can work any number of hours as there is no official limit. However, it’s expected that working students dedicate at least 40 hours a week to their studies. Sweden wants to make sure you are not just working all the time. It’s known that some students take advantage of such freedom, so there’s an expectation to balance work with at least 40 hours of study each week.

3. Slovenia

The third country I have for you is Slovenia. Here, students can work up to 40 hours a week. It isn’t exactly one of the countries that allow international students to work full-time. However, this maximum allowed is a big one. That’s like nearly 6 hours a day. So, you can work 40 hours a week in Slovenia.

4. Lithuania

Okay, so for number four, we’ll talk about Lithuania. International students can work full-time there, which means up to 40 hours every week, including EU and non-EU students. Yes, 40 hours a week! So, if the number of working hours is something you consider, Lithuania should definitely be on your list of preferred study destinations.

5. Spain

So, we also have Spain. Well, you can’t say Spain will allow you to work full time. However, this country allows more than 20 hours. Here, students can work up to 30 hours a week while studying. So, if you plan on going to Spain, you can work 30 hours. It really makes a lot of sense because you’ll have about 4.2 hours a day to make money.

6. Japan

Then, we also have Japan. You can work more than 20 hours in Japan as a student, precisely for 28 hours a week. So, if you are going to study in Japan, you can work 4 hours a day, including any overtime. So, everything you do, overtime or not, should add up to 28 hours a week.

7. Australia

That of Australia is a bit complex, so pay attention as you read. So, as a student visa holder, Australia only allows you to work for 48 hours a fortnight. This is equivalent to approximately 3 days per week. Now, a fortnight means 14 days, beginning on a Monday. Let’s look at an example of how a student visa holder’s 48 hours a fortnight working limit is calculated:

  1. week 1: 15 hours work
  2. week 2: 30 hours work
  3. week 3: 30 hours work
  4. week 4: 10 hours work.

This data is according to the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs, so it’s accurate.

8. Finland

And at number 8, we’re looking at Finland. Finland allows international students to work 25 hours a week during the school term and full-time during holidays. Like I’ve said before, many countries allow you to work full-time during the holidays. So, keep in mind that Finland is one of such countries.

9. Turkey

At number 9, is Turkey. Students can work for 24 hours a week here. That’s good. Many developed countries only allow you to work for 20 hours, and some don’t allow you to work at all. So, in Turkey, you can work up to 24 hours a week. You’ll need an official work permit to work in Turkey because your study permit is not an automatic ticket for work.

10. Hungary

In Hungary, students who hold study permits are allowed to work up to 24 hours a week during their study period. So, if this arrangement works for you, Hungary should definitely be on your list of considerations. Also, check out my article about Hungary study visa interview questions.

11. Denmark

I should actually be moving Denmark many steps up but there is a bit of a bias, so, I’m placing this country at number 11. In Denmark, an international student can work 37 hours per week (for EU & Nordic citizens) or 20 hours a week (for other foreign citizens), and full-time in June, July, and August—you can see the slight bias. After your graduation, you can apply to extend your residence permit for up to 6 months to look for a job.

12. Ireland

There’s also a bit of bias in Ireland. Over here, you can work 20 hours a week during the school term and full-time during specific holiday periods, which are from December 15th to January 15th and from June 1st to September 30th. If you’re from the EU or the European Economic Area (EEA), you can work as much as you like, either full-time or part-time without a work permit. So, this is even the reason it makes this list where we are talking about which countries allow international students to work full-time.

13. Canada

So, I decided to keep Canada at number 13. Canada is a unique study destination for students. However, in this list, Canada is not very cheap, compared to others. This includes the tuition fees and cost of living. As a student in Canada, you may work 20 hours per week off campus or full-time during regular breaks. So, outside school sessions, you are free to do all the jobs you like if you reside in Canada.

14. Norway

Finally, we will talk about Norway, another destination to consider where you can work full time as a student. Here, you are permitted to work up to 20 hours per week while classes are in session and full-time during breaks or holidays. If you’re not proficient in Norwegian, you’ll have difficulty finding a job. While not an insurmountable barrier—given the presence of English speakers in Norway—having Norwegian language skills is definitely an advantage. So, start learning Norwegian before your arrival to help you search for a job.


So, we have looked at 14 countries where an international student can work full-time. Now, let’s ask the question again. Which countries allow international students to work full-time? Estonia and Sweden are the two countries that allow international students to work 100% full-time. Others like Norway and Canada only allow students to take full-time jobs on holidays or breaks.

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