Work and study: Students on how they combine the two activities

Work and study: Students on how they combine the two activities

Photo: Robert Slensvik & Julian Cortes

Students around the world work and study at the same time. 72 percent of Norwegian students work alongside their studies. It is quite a big number if we compare it with other European and especially Scandinavian countries: 50 percent in Sweden and 66 percent in Denmark. In this article, we decided to bring up this issue with the example of students from our university.

Why do the students work?

Even for Norwegian students, Norway is not a cheap place to live in. Though almost everyone gets approved for a student loan, the living expenses are much higher than the loan itself. Due to this, the financial aspect is the main reason which drives the students to start or continue working. Some just want to have something next to their studies as there is a lot of free time.

Also, there can be un-obvious reasons. For example, Chelsea Mihaylova works in the Danish clothes store “Only”, and she told us about one of her motives:

It looks good on my CV.

Chelsea Mihaylova

Where do they work?

A significant part of the students doesn’t work in the same field as their studies.

They choose jobs that require little to no experience, education, or specialization. The students work in stores, bars, restaurants, gyms, etc. It is easy to get a job in these places as you don’t need qualifications and most of these positions allow you to work part-time which is an essential point while you are studying.

How do they find these jobs?

There are two main ways to find a job in Norway: to use special websites such as, and or to ask your friends and acquaintances.

For example, Kristen Odde applied for several positions on mentioned websites and got called for interviews.

Or we can take into consideration Robert Slensvik’s experience. He wanted a job and the store where his friend worked was in need of people, so the friend talked to their boss and Robert got this job.

Photo: Robert Slensvik

When do they work?

In Norway students usually have 2-4 courses in the semester, so they have some free time to fill in. Of course, most of them work during the weekends. But some have extra free days during the week when they don’t have studies and can work as well. Working 2-4 days a week gives the students a possibility to earn approximately the same amount as their student loan in a month.

Is it easy to work and study at the same time?

The answer is definitely yes for the students that we asked. As it was mentioned before, studies usually do not take all your time, so you don’t need to skip classes or delay your assignments because of your work.

For me it is okay. Economics is quite chill compared to other studies like IT or engineering. They require much more effort and work.

Julian Cortes

However, there can be some difficulties.

Magnus Andersen Eeg who works in Absolute Bar shares his experience:

If I have an early lecture the next day and work late night, it is challenging to get enough sleep. But thankfully that’s the only problem.

Magnus Andersen Eeg

Photo: Julian Cortes

Working alongside the studies can be good financial support for students in Norway. Though they might meet some challenges, Norwegians are quite lucky as their studies do not take all of their time and there are enough workplaces where they can work part-time.