Mission (Im)possible: Working while studying

“Can I work while studying?” is one of the FAQs from prospective students when considering to apply for a program. The question even remains in the mind of the current students, with some actively seeking for job during the study period. So, before you decide whether it will be a mission possible or mission impossible for you, read on as I will share with you my personal insight when I started a fulltime job while doing a fulltime study.

Beware, slippery road ahead!


Try hard to not get slipped.

Things might get slippery for you to start working while studying. You might have to slip out of the class. Your grades might start to slip down. You might have to sacrifice your valuable slip time (pun intended!). You have to make yourself be very clear of these before deciding to commit on both working and studying. Otherwise, you have to let one of them slip away.

Since I had worked and studied at the same time before moving here to Sweden, then I have already known and experienced the hardship of this decision. For me, it was a clear choice, I want to apply the knowledge I have acquired directly in the real-word situation. Sometimes, it’s the other way around, I get confirmation in the class regarding something I did during my work. This is why I always value both working and studying as complementary for each other that will boost my personal improvement better than doing them one by one in sequence.

Document here, document there

As an international non-EU student, I have to deal with paperwork both with my employer and the Migrationsverket. While it is allowed to work for the duration of my study permit, I decided to apply for a work permit before my student permit expires. The process started with the employer submitting the application from their side and then I received a confirmation to carry out the rest of the process by submitting my personal documents.

You have to keep in mind that the paperwork will also require your dedication as you want to make sure you have everything right.

Eat, pray, consult

It’s good to measure own capability before making decision to work and study at the same time. I use the term “eat” to symbolise the physical aspect, whether I manage to eat regularly, stay physically healthy, and so on. While “pray” is for the mental and spiritual aspect. How I can manage the stress and pressure, if I can still enjoy myself at work or at class, and so forth. The last one is consult. This one is figurative. I consulted with my wife and kids first as they are the first to experience the impact of my decision, aside from myself. I also consulted with friends and even the program director. When all seemed clearer and feasible, then I took my decision to start working fulltime since the start of my second year.

So far, it has been a mission possible for me and the family. But this is always only a personal insight and should not be generalized. In the end, it will depend on your personal target, your perspective on what is important and what is sacrificiable, the availability of the suitable open position, and even your luck. So, good luck!

Also, don’t forget to read Dasha’s experience of doing several part-time jobs during her study.

Do you think that working while studying will be a mission possible or impossible and why? Do you have any related experiences? Share your stories or comments here.



e-mail: winner.ng@stud.ki.se

LinkedIn: Winner Ng




7 things that may convince you to accept your study place at KI – Student blogs from Karolinska Institutet

7 things that may convince you to accept your study place at KI – Student blogs from Karolinska Institutet

[…] The permit to stay in Sweden as international student allows you to find a job. So, you can do part-time job when you are studying at KI. This is a good opportunity for students who want to earn some money during their studies. But remember to prioritize your study 🙂 You can read DA Winner’s experience of working in Stockholm while studying at KI. […]

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