How To Make Extra Money As An International Student In The UK

As an international student in the UK, making ends meet can be tough between paying tuition, rent, and daily expenses. Finding ways to make extra money is often a necessity to keep from dipping into savings or accumulating student debt.

Luckily there are a variety of opportunities for international students in the UK to legally earn supplemental income during their studies. From tutoring and freelance work to participating in research studies and market research, the options are diverse.

In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the best ways for international students studying in the UK to make extra money and supplement their existing funds.

Get a Part-Time Job

One of the best ways to earn money in the UK as an international student is to get a part-time job. There are plenty of openings for part-time gigs that are eager to hire students.

Places like pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops, and other campus spots frequently hire students for shifts. The key is tailoring your schedule around your classes. Most establishments are happy to offer night and weekend shifts that won’t interfere with academics.

These types of jobs have the extra benefit of helping improve your English skills too. Interacting with coworkers and customers is great English practice.

When job hunting, be sure to ask specifically about their willingness to sponsor international students and work with student visas. Certain jobs have restrictions, but there are still ample opportunities.

Tutor Students

Offering tutoring services and homework help is another excellent way to earn. Subjects like mathematics, business, economics, computer science, and English language are almost always in high demand. And these happen to be areas that international students tend to excel in.

Reaching out to lower level students at your university is a great way to discover tutoring opportunities. You can advertise your services on university message boards both online and around campus. This allows you to set your own schedule and rates.

For something more formal, consider signing up with an academic tutoring company. They’ll handle matching you with students as well as payment and scheduling logistics.

Join the Sharing Economy

The sharing economy has exploded in recent years, and it presents some fantastic money making potential. Websites like Airbnb, Uber, and TaskRabbit allow you to turn your time and assets into cash flow.

As an international student, you can take advantage of these flexible gig platforms to choose your own hours and earn solid sums. Specific opportunities include:

Becoming an Airbnb host – Rent out a spare room or your whole flat when you’re away.

Driving for Uber or Lyft – Use your car to transport passengers.

Running errands with TaskRabbit – Get paid for misc tasks like cleaning, delivery, handyman work, moving help, and more.

Renting your parking space or storage space – Apps like JustPark allow you to rent out unused private space.

Becoming a tour guide – Lead visitors around iconic London sights.

These types of sharing platforms are wonderful for making extra as an international student because you can truly tailor the work to fit your schedule and interests. The flexibility empowers you to take on as much or as little work as your timeline allows.

Sell Your Specialty Products

Use your international roots to tap into unique streams of income. The food and products from your home country can be highly desirable in the UK.

Whipping up popular dishes from back home and packaging them up for sale can become quite a nice little business. You can market and deliver your offerings to other international students missing a taste of home along with open-minded locals keen to expand their palates.

Beyond food, also consider specialty goods that may be hard to come by in the UK. Items like traditional clothing and fabrics, ornamental wares, hygiene products, candies and snacks, entertainment goods like music/movies, and more tend to appeal to expat communities.

Tools like Etsy, eBay, and Amazon make it really simple to set up an online shop. And sites like Facebook Marketplace offer a platform for offering your homemade and imported specialty items locally.

Become Social Media Influencer

Building a following on social media platforms presents entrepreneurial possibilities. As an international student, you can offer a unique viewpoint that global audiences may find quite compelling.

From sharing your observations and comparisons between your home country and the UK to documenting your study abroad journey to discussing international issues – there are endless topics you can cover as an international student influencer.

You obviously need to establish credibility and gain an audience before you’ll attract sponsorships or make money. But by consistently creating sharable content optimized with strategic hashtags, you can grow quite quickly on platforms like YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter.

Once you build an engaged following, there are all sorts of monetization options:

• Get sponsorships from brands

• Enable viewer donations

• Place affiliate/product links in your profile

• Sell merchandise like t-shirts

• Publish paid content your followers access via subscription

• License your viral content

This digital influencer route leverages your identity and creativity vs more formal employment. But it can become quite a lucrative endeavor in the long run.

Other Money Making Ideas

Here are a few final quick suggestions for making extra money as an international student:

Sell unused course materials – Prior year textbooks, notes, etc. still have value to new students.

Apply for paid clinical trials – Some medical research studies offer nice stipends.

Freelance creative skills online – Graphic design, writing content, web development etc.

Enter prize sweepstakes – No guarantee but can get lucky.

Take paid surveys – Small sums but they add up.


Making extra money as an international student while studying in the UK can seem daunting, but is certainly possible with a bit of time and dedication. The opportunities mentioned in this post like tutoring, freelancing, paid research and surveys represent some of the best ways to supplement existing funds without too much difficulty. They allow you to gain valuable skills and experience as well without overburdening busy academic schedules.

I hope these ideas spark some thoughts on potential ways for you to offset your student expenses. The key is turning what makes you unique as an international student into an advantage. Get creative and don’t be afraid to try a few options. The extra income will sure come in handy during your educational journey abroad.

Best of luck making money as an international student in the UK. Let me know if you have any other specific questions.

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