College can be expensive, especially when you study abroad. The education fund investment and planning your parents undertook for you should be enough to cover your tuition and housing. However, a side hustle can help you earn some extra disposable income to off-set an overstretched budget.
A side hustle is basically a part-time job that you can do in your free time when you are not engaged in classes or coursework. You need to pick a job that is easy, requires skills you already possess and fits into your schedule as a college student. Here are some suggestions for side hustles you can do as a college student.
Freelancing can be an easy and flexible side hustle for college students. Freelancing involves offering your skills or services for hire on a contract or project to project basis. Depending on your skill set you can freelance as an artist, a writer, a programmer or developer or a translator.
Freelancer marketplaces and platforms like Fiverr and Upwork let you take up projects and clients on a flexible schedule which is perfect for students. Additionally, freelance work can be done remotely and you do not need to go to an office. This is great for students who study abroad and may not have a car or a license.
Tutoring is a great option for you if you like working with kids or teaching. You can offer personalised tutoring services for highschool students, especially students who are starting to apply to colleges. These students can benefit from your experience with college applications and admissions. You can offer them both education and mentorship.
If you are studying abroad and worried about not being able to connect with non-Indian students, or if you do not have a car to move around, you can offer to tutor online. Holding online classes saves you time and enables you to offer your services to a much larger potential demographic.
3. Sell Hand-made Crafts & Products
If you are creatively inclined and skilled in arts and crafts, you could make some money selling your work online. Products like hand-made candles, soap, decor and knickknacks sell really well on marketplaces like Etsy and through social media.
You can start by starting an Instagram or Facebook page advertising your products to students on your campus. After that, you can expand your little business on other platforms.
Keep in mind that your college may have rules or guidelines in place if you are starting your business from your dorm room. If you are making products like soap, that involve harmful chemicals, you may have to get special permissions and take appropriate precautions.
4. Get A Retail Job
Retail jobs are jobs that involve selling products or dealing with customers or inventory in a retail store. These jobs have been traditionally popular with students who go to study abroad. You can work as a sales representative, as a stockist or as a cashier.
These jobs may seem like they are trivial or unsubstantial, but they teach you a lot of real world skills that you can later bring to the job market when you graduate. They teach you the basics of sales, inventory, accounting and customer management. They also give you the experience of working in a real workplace environment with co-workers, managers and bosses. Retail jobs can be a real learning experience.
5. Get A Restaurant Job
Jobs working in a cafe, restaurant or coffee shop are also popular with college students who study abroad. In fact, you may not even have to go off-campus for one of these jobs. Usually, cafes and coffee shops on college campuses have barista, wait staff or line-cook jobs available for students.
The benefit of restaurant jobs, especially if you are a server or wait staff is that you can earn money on top of your salary through tips. This makes these jobs quite lucrative. Like retail jobs, restaurant jobs can also teach you valuable skills like customer management, order management and accounting.
6. Food Delivery Service
If you have a vehicle, like a car or even a bicycle, you may be able to work as a food delivery person. You can work with a restaurant directly or work through a food delivery service application. These jobs can pay well and, just like with waitering, you can expect to rely on tips as well which can be lucrative.
A downside of food delivery is that it can be time-consuming and involve a bit of travel. However, college campuses house hundreds of students and faculty who tend to order a lot of food. This means you may not even have to travel to far-flung areas to deliver your orders. Your location may be able to offset some of the downsides that are usually typical of food delivery gigs.
7. Library Assistant
If you are an international student with big study abroad dreams but not enough knowledge of the job market in a foreign country, you may like to work close to campus. Campus libraries are always looking for extra help with reshelving books and managing the lending software.
A library assistant job will keep you close to campus so you do not have to worry about traveling to and fro and missing classes. It can also be extremely rewarding, especially if you are a book lover. Being familiar with your college library will also be useful during exams and assignments. You may even be able to snag important and popular books before someone else issues them out!
8. Get Paid For Taking Online Surveys
Marketing research companies are constantly looking for data on consumer behaviour and preferences to improve their products and advertisements. These companies often pay people to take surveys for them so that they can sell this data to product designing and manufacturing companies and ad agencies. This is a good side hustle that does not even require you to leave your dorm room. You can squeeze in some questionnaires and short surveys in your free time and get paid for them!
Your parents have, no doubt, given you everything to the best of their ability, investing in education fund trusts and taking on education loans for your future. However, as you grow into adulthood, it is time for you to start learning to take responsibility for your own income.
One of the things that makes your decision to study abroad truly worth it is the independence and self-sufficiency it teaches you. A part-time job can teach you the hard work it takes to earn real money out in the world. Being on your own in a foreign country is a unique adventure that you should take full advantage of. A side hustle can be part of that adventure!