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Students Summer Jobs in Europe

Updated on December 23, 2016
Blogs like this one provide helpful tips.
Blogs like this one provide helpful tips. | Source

Europe In The Summer

Snow boots, snow tyres, chilblains and pavements covered with ice are a good time to dream about the summer. Friends and cousins can use Christmas holidays to plan where they want to spend the 2017 summer: working or just bumming around in Europe.

The bombings in Paris and Brussels in 2015 and 2016 might make parents reluctant to allow kids to spend the summer in Europe, but it can happen anywhere, not just in the 28 European Union (EU) countries.

Travel and Personal Growth

Europe might not be your favourite continent, but it affects most of us one way or the other.

Africa, Asia, South America, and the Caribbean continue to lose people who go to Europe in search of a better life and do not go back home. Currency discrepancy between developed and developing countries is a big factor in that decision. What is ironic is that Europeans go to those places as tourists to enjoy the sun and surf.

Canadians and Americans all have some connection with Europe because of colonization. The evening news carries Europe’s political and financial stories that might affect people in Australia and New Zealand.

Besides, travel clears some of the cobwebs you have about life and other people and looks good on your C.V. when you finally look for a job.,AustriaorSwitzerland.aspx

When you get a summer job in Europe, budget for some sightseeing, such as the Louvre in Paris, if you are an art student.
When you get a summer job in Europe, budget for some sightseeing, such as the Louvre in Paris, if you are an art student.

Travel Plans

Unless you live in Trinidad and Tobago, February temperatures in Canada and the U.S. should be an incentive to plan your summer in Europe.

  1. Discuss your plans with mum and dad.

  2. Can your parents help with some cash?

  3. Convince your cousin to go with you.

  4. Postpone buying a used car to take you from campus to your part time job.

  5. Instead save money for your summer in Europe.

  6. If you live in Toronto, New York or Tokyo, chances are, you have taken the subway before, if not, get used to the idea because that is how most Europe travels, by train. Victoria Station in London is quite entertaining during the summer, with all those young travellers and their bulging backpacks. Budget for the eurail rail pass, which will depend on how many countries you want to visit.

  7. Do research before you leave to avoid disappointment. France for example, your idea of what ‘French’ is might not be what you will see in Paris.

  8. Clothing. Pack intelligently because you can buy shaving lotion, soap, towels, T-shirts and extra underwear in Europe without messing up your budget.

  9. Renew your passport.

  10. Online research is great but, if you live in Ottawa or Washington D.C. you can cement it with a visit to an embassy of an EU country, let’s say Denmark and they will explain everything. I must admit though that terrorism has made it very difficult to enter embassies/consulates. When you finally do, officials are behind windows that are thicker than vaults of the Reserve Bank.


The Schengen Visa is the representative of the collective of 26 European countries that have mutually decided to eliminate passport and immigration controls at their joint borders. Within the Schengen area, concurrently, the citizens of these 26 European countries are free to travel in and out of this zone as one single country sharing equal international travel rights. The citizens of the Schengen zone countries cherish the right to migrate internationally without any limitations, the basis of free movement, one of the basic human rights. SOURCE: Schengen Visa Info.

  • Europe is a family called the European Union (EU) and you do not need a visa if you are a national of most of its countries. When doing your online research please check if the countries you intend to visit signed the Schengen Visa, which allows free movement in and out of the EU. Britain and Ireland for example. They are EU countries but are not in the Schengen Zone. They decided not to sign Schengen Visa therefore, their nationals must have visas for Europe.

  • If you live in Africa, North America, Soviet Union, South America etc. you probably do. Get online and find out about non-EU nationals and visas. Do you need a foreign student visa, a short term visa, stuff like that? Does it have multiple entry, which means if you are working in Spain, can you hop over to Portugal and re-enter Spain? Better safe than sorry.

  • How much is the visa and how long does it take to process? This is important because you need to apply for a summer job or volunteer placements and they have deadlines.

  • What about stop-overs? For example, you are going to the Cyprus Republic, an EU member state for the summer. You want to stop over in Egypt and visit some pyramids on your way home. Can you get a visa for Egypt in Cyprus, and how regular are the flights?

  • Medical insurance. What happens if you break your back because that you packed all seven Harry Potter books? Where do you get medical insurance and does it cover surgery? Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

The Right Choice

The most difficult choice to make would be the type of European summer you want to have:

  • A working European summer, a month in Netherlands, a month in Germany and another one in Belgium.

  • An ordinary holiday where you visit historical monuments like the Sacré-Cœur Basilica in Paris, or lounge outside cafés hoping to catch a glimpse of tennis superstar Serena Williams and other famous Americans who have houses in France.

  • A job with a company or organisation whose main business is what you will study in college.


Application Forms Cover Letter

Applying for a summer job teaching kids basketball in Amsterdam, is just as serious as looking for a job after graduation. Use the application to sell yourself. The cover letter is very important when 4,000 young people are applying for the same job. Online application forms also have a section called the cover letter.

What is your unique selling point?

  • You work at the Assiniboine Zoo every summer.

  • You are the editor of your high school paper.

  • You are the treasurer of the Conservation Society in your school.

  • You volunteer at the local YMCA, teaching kids how to swim.

  • You harvest strawberries in your father’s farm every summer.

  • You work at your local Starbucks over the weekend.

The point is, make your application stand out.

Be Creative

You want to go to Europe, so think about other creative ways of getting a job.

When I first came to Canada, nobody called me for an interview, despite my Masters in Journalism from Columbia University in New York. One day I went to the Manitoba Minister of Labour’s office. I told the secretary that I had an appointment with the minister. Needless to say she did not believe me because she controls his diary.

She let me in and I explained to the minister that all I want is an interview. He said every time I apply for a Manitoba government job, I should tell him so that he could ensure that I get interviewed. I did. I got three interviews and the second one hired me.

Janice my boss, was an American married to a Canadian and she knew the calibre of Columbia University graduates. I did so well I ended up writing speeches for the Economic Security Affairs’ Deputy Minister.


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