As an international student in a foreign country it is natural that you would face some problems with expenditure. You are young, and wild, and free. But of course, you have needs that require the occasional extra Swedish Krona. Cheesiness aside, working and juggling several part-time jobs at once has been becoming the prerogative of students both international and national since a long time now. Becoming independent fast becomes the top priority of students when they begin their higher education. Living away from your home and parents leaves one with a sense of responsibility. Paying your own rent and making your own meals would surely be highly satisfactory.
What job opportunities does Sweden house for international students?
For non-native speakers, looking for jobs in Sweden can be bit of a drag. Not to mention the fact that you would mostly be dead on your feet from the forty-odd hours of lectures every day.
The good news for international students with a residence permit is that you have an additional six months of stay permitted in Sweden after your graduation in which you can prove your mettle to show whether your skills are at par with what Sweden wants.
You can never begin early enough for applying for paid internships and jobs. If you are still a student and interested in working part-time you need to know that there is a lot of competition. First of all, Sweden is a very expensive country by anyone’s standards. You need to understand that working part-time would help but would not leave much after covering your living expenses, if that. As compared to after-graduation jobs, working part-time would require you to speak Swedish and speak it well. You might probably end up in working at the nearby Burger King, or the local bar and that requires you to be fluent in the local language. Secondly, you would probably be paid by the hour. You need to decide your priorities because time would be of essence. You cannot skip out on lectures as there is a fixed minimum hour-limit for that.
Depending upon the city and the area your University is in, the prospects may change. However, there is not a lot of scope for international students and that is the hard truth.
If you are really looking to decrease the load, you can work for scholarships. Also, if you are interested stay-at-home content writing jobs, etc. are also well paying.
If you are a graduate student you should ideally begin with inquiring in your University’s “career centre”. Most of the Universities will have it, and they can very ably direct you to the next step. They might also aid you in perfecting your CV according to the demands of the current market, give you counselling, test your interview skills, etc. You might need to register for this, though.
Arguably, the second step is at par with the first as far as importance is concerned. You need to have a reasonably good command on your Swedish-speaking skills. Perhaps even learn how to write it properly. Although Swedish people are big on speaking English nothing beats having the knowledge of the local language when filing job applications. Any ‘extra edge’ you might need would begin from here.
However, if you are more comfortable with English and want to stick to it, there is certainly no dearth of opportunities for you in Sweden.
While still in University, you might consider doing as many internships as possible. This is a Rule of Thumb in any University, be it at home or away. Internships give you experience and a steeliness that you would definitely require when stepping into the gruelling corporate world. More importantly, you get the opportunity of building exceptional connections and get a chance to be a part of important professional circles if you are smart about it. The best guidance you may get for this would be from the student unions/student organizations in your University. It might be time to pester your seniors, too.
Finally, three words. Publish, publish, publish! You would be told to write a thesis—a giant, million-page paper on a specific topic related to your discipline—at some point or other in your higher education. Make it original, concise and worthy of publication and presentation. Your dissertation might well hold the key to opening doors to hot-shot Swedish companies. For this, begin with choosing a topic with an idea which is both compatible with your chosen discipline and would sell like a hot cake in the market.
On a separate note—this is not a guaranteed fool-proof method, but no harm in trying—you can also hit up various job-search engines and register yourself.