Doing part time jobs would definitely make student life easier. It offers many benefits, but the most practical is that it will help augment your monthly living expenses. However, you must be aware of the fact that it must be among the least of priorities in your list of options for finding ways to meet your financial ends. The order of importance should be as follows:
1) Research Assistantship
2) Teaching Assistantship
4) Part Time job
In this article, I’m going to talk about part time jobs. As an International Student, you are allowed to work 20 hours per week within the University campus. Any work outside the campus — like in gas stations, restaurants, hotels, motels, etc. — is considered as illegal. It may even lead to your deportation from the U.S.
I once had a friend who was working in an restaurant near his university. Once day, an International Student Advisor went to that restaurant for lunch, and he chanced upon my friend who waited the advisor’s table. A couple of days later, he went to IO for some paper works, and the same International Officer happened to meet him. He advised him to quit working at that restaurant immediately, so as not to suffer any adverse consequence. This happened a few years back.
Simply put, there is very good chance of getting deported back to India if you will be found working outside your campus. But do student tend to take such risk? Yes, of course. However, weighing its advantages and disadvantages, I really feel it is not worth the risk to take on off-campus jobs.
Requirements for Part-Time job:
If you don’t have an RA/TA, start looking for part time jobs on-campus from Day 1 you reach the U.S. This is because it will help you in many ways, like:
1) Part Time jobs will get you an SSN.
2) That will indirectly, help to get credit cards, driver’s license and build credit and driving history.
3) And above all, it will help pay for your monthly expenses.
To apply for part-time jobs, you would need:
- A concise one-page Resume.
- Know where to look for jobs.
- Know who is the right contact person for that job.
- Know a few seniors who have part time jobs, who are willing to give helpful pointers.
- Be proactive during job search.
In some schools, getting part time jobs is very difficult. This is the case especially when the number of International Students are high in a particular University. Also, not everyone will get an RA/TA. Likewise, the number of part-time jobs available tend to be very few. In situations where part-time jobs are scarce, you need to exert additional efforts in searching for all possible opportunities to find a job.
Some jobs will pay you like $10 per hour, whereas some offers a $6 per hour rate. You must look at all possible areas of part-time employment: Look for jobs in the University’s library, multimedia labs, computer labs, department offices, college cafe, football stadium, basketball grounds, administrative departments, registrar’s office, etc. I have heard that at Texas A&M @ College Station there is an RA position for feeding and observing research animals like pigs. Although this seems to be a dirty job, its salary is quite high: RAs are paid around $1,200 per month!
If you attend big schools in terms of students strength (> 35,000), you will have higher chances to find the part time job that you need. If there is a medical school in your campus, also try looking for jobs there, too.
I will be discussing more about the One Page Resume that I’ve mentioned in future posts. If you like this post, I would really appreciate if you could share some comments and suggestions. Thanks!