Combining work and study may not really be as easy as one may think. The important thing a student should know is making sure that both sides are balanced.
High tuition fees of colleges and universities with flexible study options can warrant students to look for jobs so they will be able to cover their tuition fee.
Some schools, faculties and departments, discourage students from engaging in a study and work situation. They believe it makes the student less involved in school activities, thereby, in a way eating deep into the academic performance of the student.
Students who have the opportunity of having a study and work offer, should first of all consider the pros and the cons.
- No need to worry about tuition fees. A good job is a great way to avoid debt and focus on long-term plans. With the right salary, you are able to pay the tuition fees and even save some extra cash. Dropping out of school won’t be needed.
- You may keep your current job. This way you avoid the stress of having to find new employment in the future. At the same time, a good college degree is a great addition to your CV and may result in a promotion. Upon completion of your study, and you wish to stay back, a visa extension might be granted.
- Gain work experience. The extra years of employment may open the way to better job opportunities and more advanced study programmes that require extensive work experience.
- Develop a brand new set of skills. Knowledge gained from your studies and the demands of combining study and work will play an important role in your personal and professional development.
- Time for job hunting. If you are not already employed you will have to put time and effort in submitting application letters, taking interviews. You may find this to be significantly challenging.
- More stress, less energy. This is especially true during exam periods or when asked to meet important deadlines. The great amount of work may also affect your grades.
- Work/ Study clashing. You should be prepared for this. Unpredictable events may interfere with your schedule, such as an unplanned important business meeting, working overtime or extra schoolwork.
- Less time for school activities, study groups or projects. A great part of university life is about creating new contacts and building a future professional network. Your job may interfere with your social life and require alternative means of communication, usually through online services.
If after weighing both sides and you think it is achievable and you can still stay focused, you may still want to try these methods on how to go about it:
- Try to get the class schedule as early as possible in order to plan ahead of time.
- Keep in contact with your classmates and find ”the inside man” to keep you updated.
- Inform your teachers and employer that you are a working student. They may be more flexible if they are aware of your situation.
- If you feel overwhelmed, seek alternative options. Some universities may let you switch from full-time study to part-time study, mid-study year.