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Will I have time in uni to work? Will I earn anything?

I will be an international student in the UK next year, and I am trying to determine how good of a uni I can go to. I will have about 30k US dollars saved up, which really isn't enough without lots of debt. So, has anyone worked in university? How much did you work, how much did you earn, and did you find yourself struggling to complete schoolwork? I am definitely planning to work, but if I can't do enough hours to gain money, I can't go to an expensive uni.
Edit: my major is forensic psychology.
(edited 10 months ago)
Original post by Islee
I will be an international student in the UK next year, and I am trying to determine how good of a uni I can go to. I will have about 30k US dollars saved up, which really isn't enough without lots of debt. So, has anyone worked in university? How much did you work, how much did you earn, and did you find yourself struggling to complete schoolwork? I am definitely planning to work, but if I can't do enough hours to gain money, I can't go to an expensive uni.
Edit: my major is forensic psychology.


Hey,

I did psychology as well so hopefully can offer some insight into the workload! Whilst it will depend on what university you go to, you're not normally at uni all day every day, and normally have most evenings free as well as free time during the day. I found that most of the time you have free time during the day and I would just spend time during the day doing my assignments in between or after lectures. I worked a part-time job during most of my time at uni, and normally worked a few evenings and some weekends and still found I had plenty of time during the day to manage the workload!

In terms of pay, I think most part-time retail/food/bar jobs in the UK normally pay around £10-15 an hour, so if you work 8-15 hours a week you'll make at least an extra £80-150 a week (and that's on the lower end of things), which should definitely help with living expenses! Whilst I'm not an international student and had my accommodation etc. covered by my student loan, I found I spent around £30-40 a week on food (this was a few years ago) and the rest just went on socialising/general spending so in my experience, it was doable! However of course this will depend on your personal expenses. :smile:

Also, when you do get to uni, I'd definitely recommend getting a job on campus, as they tend to pay more than most other jobs and are often most flexible around your studies and university life! :biggrin:

Best of luck with everything & hope this helped a little bit!

Natalie
University of Kent Student Rep
Original post by University of Kent
Hey,

I did psychology as well so hopefully can offer some insight into the workload! Whilst it will depend on what university you go to, you're not normally at uni all day every day, and normally have most evenings free as well as free time during the day. I found that most of the time you have free time during the day and I would just spend time during the day doing my assignments in between or after lectures. I worked a part-time job during most of my time at uni, and normally worked a few evenings and some weekends and still found I had plenty of time during the day to manage the workload!

In terms of pay, I think most part-time retail/food/bar jobs in the UK normally pay around £10-15 an hour, so if you work 8-15 hours a week you'll make at least an extra £80-150 a week (and that's on the lower end of things), which should definitely help with living expenses! Whilst I'm not an international student and had my accommodation etc. covered by my student loan, I found I spent around £30-40 a week on food (this was a few years ago) and the rest just went on socialising/general spending so in my experience, it was doable! However of course this will depend on your personal expenses. :smile:

Also, when you do get to uni, I'd definitely recommend getting a job on campus, as they tend to pay more than most other jobs and are often most flexible around your studies and university life! :biggrin:

Best of luck with everything & hope this helped a little bit!

Natalie
University of Kent Student Rep


Thanks! This helps a lot!
Aren't you limited by your student visa as to how much you can work anyway?
Original post by hilly-harrier
Aren't you limited by your student visa as to how much you can work anyway?


Yes, I'll have to wait to see on my visa, but the max is 20 hours per week usually, which is plenty for me.
Original post by Islee
I will be an international student in the UK next year, and I am trying to determine how good of a uni I can go to. I will have about 30k US dollars saved up, which really isn't enough without lots of debt. So, has anyone worked in university? How much did you work, how much did you earn, and did you find yourself struggling to complete schoolwork? I am definitely planning to work, but if I can't do enough hours to gain money, I can't go to an expensive uni.
Edit: my major is forensic psychology.

Hiya!

I am also an international student doing Psychology :biggrin: If you have not yet considered De Montfort University (DMU), it is high time to do so!

I have been working since I started university. I have had a few different jobs, so we can say I have some insight :tongue:

I am also on a student visa and I can work a maximum of 20 hours per week.

I value my university for the fact that the teaching system is designed for the benefit of the student. We have classes 3 or 4 days a week. In total, it is around 15 hours per week. Therefore, before, during, or after classes, I calmly take care of my academic responsibilities. I spend the rest of my days on work and my own life (because that’s something we should not forget about). I would be lying if I did not say that sometimes, when there is more university work, I commit some time out of these days for extra study.

My first job was £6.50 an hour. I worked 20 hours, usually three days a week. It was a job at a fast-food restaurant. Now the salary is higher there. Still, I was able to support myself without much trouble. However, I advise against choosing fast food because it is hard work and inadequately paid.

Then, I managed to get a paid internship at DMU. The best part was not the wage (approximately £10 an hour), but the fact that I was a research assistant in psychology. I worked 10 hours a week. In the meantime, I have applied for student ambassador. I spent the next 10 hours doing this job until I finished my internship.

Student ambassador is the most flexible role I have ever had. Additionally, you can do 20 hours without any problems, and the pay is high. How does it work? We have a lot of different shifts from Monday to Saturday at different times announced regularly. Anyone can apply, so you decide if you want to and you can work.

I hope that helps!

If you're eager to embark on your psychology adventure at a university that place a strong emphasis on employability and a better study-life balance, DMU might be your perfect match!

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions :h: You can also chat with me and other student ambassadors through The Ambassador Platform.

Julia :wink:
Psychology student
De Montfort University
Reply 6
Original post by Islee
I will be an international student in the UK next year, and I am trying to determine how good of a uni I can go to. I will have about 30k US dollars saved up, which really isn't enough without lots of debt. So, has anyone worked in university? How much did you work, how much did you earn, and did you find yourself struggling to complete schoolwork? I am definitely planning to work, but if I can't do enough hours to gain money, I can't go to an expensive uni.
Edit: my major is forensic psychology.


i think so
Original post by Islee
Yes, I'll have to wait to see on my visa, but the max is 20 hours per week usually, which is plenty for me.


Note that just because you can work 20 hours a week doesn't mean you should. Based on experience I would really not recommend more than 8-12 hours a week of work during term time if you're studying full time; maybe 15 at most. It's a very big commitment on top of a full time degree (bear in mind for full time study you're expected to spend approximately equivalent time to full-time work on the course - so 35-40 hours a week during term time, although most students effectively do less than that as some of that time is picked up out of term on assignments etc), and will be hard to balance doing well in your studies.

Also note that it may be challenging to find a job able to offer you that many hours which manage to completely avoid any clashes with your academic timetable (and remember your timetable may change between terms). As I understand it international students on student visas need to have their attendance recorded by lecturers to meet the requirements of their visa so you also don't have the potential to skip out on lectures and self-study the missed material to enable you to do a job during the time of that lecture.
Original post by Islee
I will be an international student in the UK next year, and I am trying to determine how good of a uni I can go to. I will have about 30k US dollars saved up, which really isn't enough without lots of debt. So, has anyone worked in university? How much did you work, how much did you earn, and did you find yourself struggling to complete schoolwork? I am definitely planning to work, but if I can't do enough hours to gain money, I can't go to an expensive uni.
Edit: my major is forensic psychology.


Hey! I've worked throughout 2nd year and plan to work throughout 3rd year as well :yes: (couldn't work during first year due to pandemic :sad: ).
I think as long as you manage your time alright, e.g. I did mostly weekends and evenings, you might be able do around 2-3 shifts a week without feeling overwhelmed plus studying. Initially when I started 2nd year I started out with doing x3 shifts a week which was about 21 hours, but eventually I found it tiring once there was a load of deadlines to do as well. x2 shifts a week was more manageable :smile: It does depend how much availability/intense your workload is though i think as well.
(edited 10 months ago)
Original post by artful_lounger
Note that just because you can work 20 hours a week doesn't mean you should. Based on experience I would really not recommend more than 8-12 hours a week of work during term time if you're studying full time; maybe 15 at most. It's a very big commitment on top of a full time degree (bear in mind for full time study you're expected to spend approximately equivalent time to full-time work on the course - so 35-40 hours a week during term time, although most students effectively do less than that as some of that time is picked up out of term on assignments etc), and will be hard to balance doing well in your studies.

Also note that it may be challenging to find a job able to offer you that many hours which manage to completely avoid any clashes with your academic timetable (and remember your timetable may change between terms). As I understand it international students on student visas need to have their attendance recorded by lecturers to meet the requirements of their visa so you also don't have the potential to skip out on lectures and self-study the missed material to enable you to do a job during the time of that lecture.


Yes, that is why I said "that is plenty for me." Meaning that I didn't want to work that many. I was planning on 10 hours a week. Also, although my current college is just a plain, low-stress US college, I am managing full time college plus 25-35 hours a week work, volunteering, AP high school class, and high school sports without a problem. I'm sure UK university will be much harder, so that is why I would only be doing 10 hours a week work and my classes; no extracurricular activities for me.
Original post by Islee
Yes, that is why I said "that is plenty for me." Meaning that I didn't want to work that many. I was planning on 10 hours a week. Also, although my current college is just a plain, low-stress US college, I am managing full time college plus 25-35 hours a week work, volunteering, AP high school class, and high school sports without a problem. I'm sure UK university will be much harder, so that is why I would only be doing 10 hours a week work and my classes; no extracurricular activities for me.

10 hours a week of work seems plausible. You probably would have time for some other activities alongside that and your academic work that way. Of course the other activities may end up being "sit on couch watching netflix" depending on your preferences :biggrin:
Original post by Islee
Yes, that is why I said "that is plenty for me." Meaning that I didn't want to work that many. I was planning on 10 hours a week. Also, although my current college is just a plain, low-stress US college, I am managing full time college plus 25-35 hours a week work, volunteering, AP high school class, and high school sports without a problem. I'm sure UK university will be much harder, so that is why I would only be doing 10 hours a week work and my classes; no extracurricular activities for me.


I'm surprised that you think UK uni courses are harder! Unless you're at Oxbridge I don't think that's really true, and even then it's mostly due to how different Oxbridge is - the volume of work is somewhat balanced out by the longer vacations. Certainly I think a lot of Brits would see US universities as harder to get into.

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