Part-time jobs for non-Finnish speakers

There are two ways international students can find part-time jobs without the Finnish language. This blog will discuss those two options based on my experience.

Part-time jobs through university

Exam guard duty

The university needs invigilators or supervisors to conduct various faculties' exams during term exams. Usually, for a 3-hour exam, the guard duty may last up to 4.5 hours.

Students may promptly express interest when the call for applications is made – at the (mailing list) The notifications for all openings for all kinds of positions within the university are conveyed through this channel. So make sure you are subscribed to this list and that you translate messages you don't understand – so you miss nothing! Read the guidelines for exam guards, which may help understand the job's nature.

Summer jobs

From early December to March, the applications for summer jobs are open – and the student may apply for those through a variety of social media channels or the university's internal channels like mailing lists, websites and their study faculties. The university's Career Center is a one-stop shop for students seeking guidance on acquiring skills, networking & getting hired.

Research/teaching/lab assistant

These opportunities are available all around the year, depending on the type of faculty and the subsequent projects they are involved in. Announcements are made on websites and email lists – however, if some fields of knowledge or ongoing projects interest you, don't be afraid to reach out to the professors and students involved in them!

Go through open positions at the University of Oulu and university traineeships pages to see the opportunities which suit you best, be it in an industry or within the university!

Writing a blog

Students can write blogs about various things – to share glimpses of their own life and inform about other interesting things ranging from research to events. Students can communicate their interest about a subject they wish to write about at the (Oulu Student Journal).

The students' magazine cover.

Part-time jobs outside the university: without language requirements

Restaurant jobs

These contract-based jobs involve dishwashing, salad packaging (where free salads will be a part of the perks), and other kitchen work – at restaurants and fast-food places in the city. All you need is a hygiene passport which is a simple test.

Cleaning jobs

These jobs involve a slight amount of physical work, along with the possibility of a work contract. One may apply to work in cleaning companies that undertake cleaning of commercial establishments like clubs, restaurants, supermarkets or private houses. Sometimes, you may require access to a vehicle or a driving license.

Newspaper delivery

This might suit night owls and super-early birds, who do not mind physical activity. Here are the letter and newspaper delivery options that provide a contract:

  • Delivery job at Posti.
  • Delivery job at PKS Jakulu.
  • Delivery job at Kaleva.

Lessons from delivering newspapers and letters for Kaleva:

It's a night job, spanning about 3.5 hours every night between 12 to 6 am, in a slot of free choice. The sleep disruption may be a deal-breaker for some and just another Tuesday for a night owl! It's a flexible job that pays well if one is willing to make changes in their sleep schedule – then, the solitude of the night-times might even be fun!

Food delivery

These jobs are the most popular among students – because of their highly flexible working hours and high average pay. However, these are the only jobs that do not provide a permanent working contract.

Having a driver's license is a big plus for securing a delivery worker position, but it is possible to use one's bike to make the deliveries too. The delivery guidance app will point you to distances according to your mode of transport. Wolt and Foodora are the primary food delivery employers in Oulu.

Delivery jobs are not just limited to cars, you can do it with a bike too!

Three things I wish I knew before I began my employment search:

  • Prioritize university and industry employment over everything else – since it provides stable income and enhances credentials.
  • Lean on people – ask around to find the people who are doing the things you'd love to do and engage with them.
  • Be honest but use tact – when attending interviews or communicating interest, pay attention to what the employer needs for you, and then express your skills and/or limitations accordingly.

About the author

Rishikesh Raut from India is pursuing his master's in Environmental Engineering at the University of Oulu. He tells stories of how it feels and how it looks.