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Student Financial Aid Office

Studying & Working Part Time

How many hours can I work while I'm studying?

How much you can or want to work while you're studying is something to consider when choosing your degree program. Both you and the demands posed by your degree program will change significantly during your time at the University of Zurich. You should regularly assess whether you want to make changes to your budget. Don't wait until you are already feeling the financial pinch. Do you regularly feel pushed to the limit? Is it taking you significantly longer than the standard period of study to complete your degree? If the answer to at least one of these questions is yes, you should ask yourself whether your priorities are in order. The Student Financial Aid Office can help you with your budget planning.

Full-time study and working part time

Depending on your subject or degree program, you might not have a lot of time left over to work. This particularly holds true for the first year of your Bachelor's study program. It is not recommended to work while studying subjects with an assessment level or in very structured study programs. You may be able to work a few hours at most.

This also varies widely between students: While some seek distraction from their studies, others feel overwhelmed by having a part-time job. You should seek out the balance that fits you, your studies and your financial and family situation. Remember: What is right for your classmates is not necessarily right for you.

Completely defraying the cost of your studies with paid employment comes at a price. You might face poor grades, need longer to complete your degree or suffer from low energy. On the other hand, working a student job with moderate hours can give you some initial insights into a potential career. You can use the opportunity to make valuable contacts. Depending on your study program, you will have more freedom as a Master's student than as a Bachelor's student in a highly structured Bachelor's program.

The Career Services Office at UZH can give you more information about studying and careers: Career Service UZH

Part-time study and working part time

In some study programs it is possible to study part time. Thorough financial planning is also important for part-time study programs. More details about part-time study programs can be found at UZH Student Advisory Services:Student Advisory Services UZH

International students and working part time

There are government regulations restricting who can access the Swiss labor market. If you are coming to Switzerland to study, please be aware that it's not always possible to hold a part-time job.

Students from countries who are not party to the agreement on the Free Movement of Persons (EU or EFTA) can only work to a very limited extent, and they cannot extend their studies due to the need to work. Besides that, it can be difficult to find a job if you have limited knowledge of German.

The legal situation can change at any time. It is therefore best to obtain information directly from the government or your potential employer:Swiss Confederation - Working in Switzerland as a foreign national

Income from part-time jobs

Scholarship recipients should inform themselves about how much they are able to work alongside their studies without reducing the amount of their scholarship. If your employment income is too high, you might lose your entitlement to the scholarship.

In German, this income is referred to as «Eigenleistung» (personal income). You can find the details in the laws and regulations of the office that grants you the scholarship. You should always consult their website.

You should also use online tax calculators for your canton of residence to find out if you have to pay tax on your employment income. Save yourself the stress of an unpleasant surprise and put aside an appropriate amount for later tax payments.

Coordinate your work and study plans

Do you have the feeling that you work too much and don't get around to studying? We will work on a plan together with you. Get in touch with us to make an appointment. Contact

You might also find the FAQ – Studying & Working Part Time on our website helpful.