International Office


In Germany, it is normal to work while studying and many students have a part-time job. Even as a foreign student, you are generally allowed to seek employment and have a part-time job during your studies and thus earn some extra money.

How can you find a part-time job?

There are many ways to find a part-time job:

  • Look for notices on the various bulletin boards on campus
  • Check the advertisement section of regional newspapers, or search their online adverts
  • Search online job portals

The Ruhr-Universität also runs an online job portal, where you can find jobs directly at the university, but also outside of it:

Students can get free assistance putting together a strong job application from the university's Career Service! (Webpage only available in German)

What you have to consider?

The pursuit of employment or a part-time job however, depends on your legal status in Germany. For more information on employment alongside your studies according to your specific status, please see below:

Non-EU citizens

Students from non-EU member states with a visa/residence permit according to §16b are allowed to work 120 full days or alternatively 240 half days annually. Full days are counted as 8 working hours per day and half days are counted as 4 hours per day. Every student must be able to prove that he/she has not worked beyond this legal limit and must submit proof to the foreigners authority if necessary. Therefore, the following should be recorded (in written form) for all forms of paid employment:

  • Employment relationship with indication of the date (beginning and end) of the period of employment
    • in the form of a valid working contract
  • Exact number of hours worked
    • in the form of a time recording table or timesheet

This regulation does not apply to student (SHKs) and academic assistants (WHKs). They are allowed to work to a greater extent, but are obliged to inform the Foreigners' Office of their employment!

Important: The 120/240 day rule also applies to voluntary (even unpaid) internships!

An activity that exceeds the 120 full or 240 half days per year requires a work permit. This work permit can only be issued by the foreigners authority for a specific job offer.

Students from non-EU countries with another residence title please pay attention to the information in your residence document and inform yourself at the competent foreigners authority.

Citizens of EU member states, the European Economic Area and Switzerland

Students from EU member states (and EEA and Switzerland) are subject to the same regulations as Germans. During the lecture period, they may not work more than 20 hours per week. The 20-hour limit can be exceeded during the lecture period if the employment is "short-term", i.e. does not last longer than two months or is limited to 50 working days per year. During semester breaks, the weekly working hours are unlimited.

Students with a refugee background

Whether and under what conditions you can work depends largely on your residence status. Therefore, please pay attention to the information in your residence document and inform yourself at the responsible foreigners' office.

Other financing possibilities


Find financial support here if you are in need.

Briefumschlag mit Schleife im Hörsaal

Here you can find information about scholarships.


Some German institutions offer loans specifically to international students to finance their studies. Learn more!

To top