What International Students Need to Fulfill to Do Part-Time Jobs in China

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The idea that international students can do part-time jobs as they study has driven many to desire to study in China. When I heard that an international student can go to China, study, and work part-time, I knew it was time to uplift my background. But later, I realized that there were requirements that one had to fulfill to be permitted to work part-time and get paid in China. So, I prayed hard that the requirement be achievable so that I can be granted permission to take part-time jobs as I study. I was certain that if I was granted permission to do part-time jobs, supporting my studying and living expenses will no longer be an issue to my parents. Equally, the part-time jobs will enhance my professional exposure and give me a deeper look into China’s culture and lifestyle. Additionally, it will enhance my Chinese language writing and speaking skills which will later expose me to translation opportunities in my career path. Of course, all these came with challenges but they shaped me into the efficient professional, and responsible fellow I am today through the many part-time jobs that were financially and professionally promising.

The journey to get my visa approved for part-time work began when I heard from a Pakistan colleague narrating to his friend how he supports his siblings’ study at home through paid part-time jobs he undertook as he studied. He talked about seeking approval from both the host university and the immigration department of China to get started. But since I never wanted to play a fool by asking much about from a friend who was just a foreigner like me, I opted to research more about it slowly. I told my inner self that all I needed was determination and courage to be like this colleague. By the fact that we were in a foreign land, my other colleagues dreaded and perceived it unachievable and gave up on the way. For me, the acute desire to earn an extra coin couldn’t allow me to give up on my endeavors. I then proceeded to the relevant office where I was offered a step-by-step guide on how to have my visa approved for part-time work. First, I had to write an application letter to the Nanjing University administration department for consent to work part-time attaching my certificate from my then-freelancing employer. The application letter together with the attached certificate was then forwarded to the immigration department for approval. At the same time, with my Nanjing University consent, I visited the local police station to have my resident permit in China marked as “Part Time Work”. To my surprise, all approvals were made and I was allowed to work twenty hours a week during my semesters, and during semester breaks, I could work full-time on my article writing job. What I noted was that an international student was allowed to work for a certain number of hours and, for some universities, part-time work was not allowed. So for me, it was an answered prayer. The other thing I discovered was that international students were not allowed to change employers frequently for part-time work, so I was grateful as my article writing job suited my interest and so, I only worked hard to get enough money out of it.

Despite the strict rules and regulations governing part-time jobs for international students in China, if one adhered to all the requirements of the host university and the Chinese immigration department, there were many part-time jobs that international students could do as they study. Among them included freelancing, translation jobs, graphic designing, legal assistance jobs, hotel and restaurant attendant jobs, and internship programs for international students.

Free Lancing

There were many online platforms where talented and skilled international students could access and demonstrate their talents to earn good money per gig. Fiver and People per Hour were examples of websites where one could get freelancing jobs like content writing, video recording, web designing and developing, proposal writing, and social media handling and earn. For me, the freelancing part-time job was a great way for me to build my professional profile and it increased my skills. I also earned a lot from it and this enabled me to support my family back home.

Translation jobs

Many multinational companies and telephone companies needed translators for translating, proofreading, and reviewing. Some native speakers of German, French, Romanian, Hindi, Urdu, Bulgarian, and others used to grab this chance to earn money. Usually, there was a mentor to supervise in the early stages but as one gained experience with time, the salary increased following the gained skills. This was a great way to pave an international student a way into the job market and he/she made contacts in China’s professional sector. At Nanjing University, I even saw some international students working in the university’s admission office as administrative assistants, doing editing, proofreading, and even translation work to earn money for upkeep and their other needs.

Graphic Designing

Graphic designing was among the best-paying part-time jobs in China. Those who had this skill used to earn well in China. It didn’t matter whether one had a diploma in graphic design or acquired skills through YouTube or other sources, what was required was just your ability to do graphic designing according to the demand of employers.

Legal Assistant

For those who preferred this job, it involved typing and handling paperwork. It also entailed proofreading legal documents, performing clerical work, composing legal nature contracts, handling summons and complaints, and preparing routine correspondence of the employer. Those who had experience in secretarial/clerical work and were pursuing law degrees were preferred and were paid $15 per hour on average.

Hotel and restaurant Attendants

Those who had a passion for working in the hospitality industry grabbed this opportunity to work as a hotel or restaurant attendant in China and made between $8 and $10 per hour. There was no experience required and one worked according to his/her schedule. There was also a privilege that one acquired the Chinese language proficiency-highly demanded in the Chinese job market for one’s later career.

Internship Programs

This was another recommended part-time job type in China that helped international students to gain experience in their field of study. Chinese universities offered organized programs where these students were trained professionally to acquire the required knowledge and understand the demands of the job market. This also prepared them to face professional challenges and most important, made their resume ready to get a job right after completing their studies. They not only paid them but also granted certificates at the end of the internship programs. Connect-123 Shanghai, Connect-123 Summer Internships Abroad, CAPA Shanghai: Study & Intern Abroad, and Connect-123 Medical and Healthcare Internships were some of the programs that offered internships for international students during my time, and many international students benefited from these programs.

In a nutshell, international students should be encouraged to go to study in China as they will have access to numerous part-time jobs as long they are granted permission to do part-time jobs as they study in China. All one needs is to adhere to the regulations of the host university and the Chinese immigration department to work part-time and enjoy the benefits of the numerous part-time jobs offered in China. Those who adhere will have all their needs sorted with the earnings they get. Also, the many part-time jobs offered in China enable these international students to support their families at home. What is important for any international student is to understand the conditions for working part-time in China to enjoy all the benefits offered.

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