Spain is known for many things, but sadly, attractive salaries aren’t really one of them. The truth is people move to Spain for the lifestyle, not the money. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t make some extra coin while here on a student visa! It’s all about finding what student jobs in Spain could work best for you.
However, before you get too excited, you need to understand that if you want to legally work here, you can only work 20 hours per week on your visa. And, the company that hires you will have to pay for and process a ton of paperwork on your behalf. Sadly, many companies in Spain won’t do that if you only intend to live here for a short time.
Okay, now that I got that out of the way, I can give you the good news. There are many expats in Spain that started on a student visa and were able to transition into legal working folks. So, nothing is impossible here.
Because Spanish bureaucracy is infamously difficult to weed through, a lot of us have found ways to earn some pocket cash while we study and plan our next steps. So, here’s all I’ve learned about student work options while studying and living in Spain. Good luck!!
Job Opportunities in Spain for International Students
Can you guess the most popular way to make extra money? Yup. Teaching English is one of the most common job opportunities in Spain for international students. While many students here are actually already working as teaching assistants, others pick up classes once they arrive.
The easiest way to find potential students is through the various Facebook groups. Even if you’re not a trained teacher, many locals are looking for conversation partners. You can also post flyers in your neighborhood. Or, create a simple blog or website and start promoting on Instagram. I’ve seen people get very creative!
As a teacher, you can charge between 10-20 euros per class depending on your experience level and location. (You can charge on the higher end if you live in the larger cities. Lower end if you’re in a smaller town.) If you do score some students, just be sure that you factor in any travel costs. It’s always best to try to find clients that are located close to where you live or work.
Teaching English Online
Additionally, there are many online job opportunities in Spain for international students. Again, I must reiterate that even working online isn’t technically allowed legally without a work visa. But, it’s one of those grey areas. Many people do it, so you must decide for yourself what’s right for you.
So if you’re determined to teach online, know that requirements are usually based on your nationality and which countries you are legally able to work in. Most companies will want teachers from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland, or South Africa.
Some companies offer simple conversation classes. In addition, many provide the lesson for you, and others allow you to teach subjects beyond English.
Online teaching job payments range between $10 to $25 per hour (note the estimate is USD and not euros). But remember, you are responsible for reporting taxes in your home country. So, it’s best to save about 30% of your paycheck. It may seem like a lot, but it’s always good to have some cash in reserve.
Whatever your teaching skills, there’s an online company out there that could fit your needs. If you think this option could be right for you, then check out this article where I break down teaching online in more detail.
Summer Jobs in Spain for Students
If you’re looking for something for only a few months, there are some options for summer jobs in Spain available.
Summer camps are a big thing here in Spain, and because many travelers can come to Spain as a tourist for three months (check latest Covid travel restrictions first!), you don’t have to worry about securing a work visa.
One great school that can help you secure work is Canterbury English in Madrid. Their Summer in Spain Lifestyle Program trains you before helping you get work in one of the country’s summer camps.
Be a Nanny or Au Pair
If teaching English doesn’t really work for you, then working as an Au Pair or nanny may be a better option.
If you’re already here in Spain, then you can easily just put the word out that you’re available to take care of kids over the summer. Generally, all nannying requires you to do is chat with the kids in English while they go about their lives. Some parents may want “activities” thrown in, but they don’t necessarily need to be educational. Dances, crafts, games, etc. are all fair game.
Pay ranges from 8 to 15 euros per hour and depends on the number of kids. Nannying doesn’t usually pay as well as teaching English but is still an excellent option. You might even get food and accommodation included in your pay! Just remember to sell yourself and your talents, set your price, and stick to it. You can always negotiate your pay based on the number of hours and the number of kids.
If you aren’t already in Spain, you can apply for a summer “job” as an Au Pair through a company like Interexchange. This company helps young people from the United States find placement with a Spanish family.
While you won’t really make money with this option, it is a type of summer job opportunity for international students that pays in experience and may open the door to other things for you!
Part-Time Jobs in Spain for Students
Back in the day, I heard about students being able to pick up part-time summer jobs in bars and restaurants. But now with the tourism industry struggling and unemployment rates sky-rocketing, that just doesn’t seem to be an option anymore. So now I’ve noticed a rise in students in Spain using their hobbies to make some extra money.
The Creative Angle
Do you have a hobby that you love doing? Maybe it’s artisanal nut butter making, Kombucha brewing, or yoga teaching. If you have a thing you like doing, you can likely find people to pay you for those services or interests in *ahem* cash.
Pop over to any Facebook page for expats in Spain, and you’ll see what I mean. Some people offer up pet-sitting services, sell their homemade beef jerky, or offer their services as make-up artists.
So, is starting a side business your dream? Well, while everyone is out at the beach, you could gather some great experience by creating your own summer job. Find ways to turn your passion into profit!
The Business Angle
Don’t have a creative hobby but instead looking to ways to put that anticipated degree to use? Well, if you have some very marketable skills and are thinking of staying Spain after your studies, then it is actually a very good idea to start planning now.
While you can’t be a full-time freelancer on a student visa, it’s actually not a bad idea to try to get some side gigs now via websites like Fiverr or Upwork. Being able to prove that you have experience and a stream of clients and income will help you build your case if you’d like to modify your student visa to a freelance work visa later.
I know, I know…. it’s all very confusing! You’re probably thinking, “So, I can’t work legally on a student visa without being “sponsored,” but if I want to go freelance legally after being a student, I need to already have clients? What lunacy is this?!” Yup, welcome to Spain.
That is why so many of us here do what we need to do while a student to set ourselves up for a long-term stay after we’re a student. Everyone is bound to tell you something different, share a different experience on how they made it work.
Making Money on a Spain Student Is Possible
So, the moral of the story is… yes, even on a Spanish student visa, you can find ways to make a little extra money. Student jobs in Spain do exist! They might not be ideal. You may not find your dream job. And whatever you find may not cover all your expenses. But, with the cost of living in Spain being relatively low, you could make out pretty well. But, shhhhh, if anyone asks… don’t tell them I told you!
Note: If you are studying or living in Spain on any visa, it is important to check your legal ability to work. The above information should only be considered ideas for students in Spain and not legal guidance.