I think like most students (undergrad or graduate), a part-time job is essential for making ends meet and keeping our budgets on track. In my first week in the UK, I was delighted to find out that the University of Kent has multiple programs to assist students in finding a job. They ensure that you are able to find work that suits your class schedules and still allow for time to enjoy some free time. So, how do you start searching for a job as an international student?
If you would like to work while studying abroad, you must register for a National Insurance (NI) number. it’s best to organize this as soon as you arrive in the UK and pick up your biometric resident card.
Contact GOV.UK and follow their instructions. An application will then be mailed to your UK address which takes between 7 – 10 days to arrive. Once you have filled out the application, a letter with your NI number will be posted to your UK address. Easy!
There’s no need to wait for your NI number to arrive before starting your job search. Once you’ve asked for a NI application you can already begin looking for work. You will only need your NI number when signing work contracts and for payroll.
At the University of Kent they make a great effort to provide as much job search assistance including the job shop, where you can stop in and talk to an adviser on open positions on campus, in the city center and the neighbouring towns as well as online links to job vacancies.
I am currently an ambassador for the School of Arts. I applied for this role through a recruitment email that was sent out to all Arts School students. I responded right away with my resume and relevant details; within a week was interviewed and hired. It has been easy to balance work and school with this position because it’s on campus and my employers understand the importance of class and project time. The work is great fun; I meet with prospective students lead tours around campus and promote our university. Thanks to my job, I have had the opportunity to network with other students from varying departments within the School of Arts.
I found my second part-time job also through a recruitment email. I am now an assistant teacher in the Architecture department, helping undergraduate students prepare for their upcoming project critiques. I have had the most incredible time helping and advising the Architecture students and watching them become more confident with public speaking.
The resources are too vast to detail but universities in the United Kingdom, like Kent, are committed to their students’ employability. If you would like to find out more about studying at Kent, or any other UK university partners of Across The Pond, please contact a UK Study Expert.