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Side hustles for international students

Side hustles are ways of making money in your spare time. They can help you boost your skills and earn some extra cash alongside your studies as an international student, especially if your visa restricts the number of hours you can work. Here are some great side hustle ideas:


Tutoring can be an incredibly rewarding side hustle. Not only can you earn some extra money, but you’ll also help other students succeed in their studies. In addition, you can choose your own hours and rates, making it a flexible way to earn cash and skills.

You can teach core subjects like mathematics, English, or the sciences, or teach subjects you’re passionate about, allowing you to make money from a topic you enjoy.

You can teach in person or easily do it online thanks to a number of tutoring platforms that are available on the internet.

Not only will you earn some extra money through tutoring, but you’ll also meet a diverse range of people, allowing you to build a network of lifelong friends and connections.


Freelancing is a fantastic way to earn extra money and gain valuable professional skills. You can offer your services as a freelancer if you’re talented in areas like writing, designing, editing, and coding to name a few.

It’s also a bonus if your freelancing specialism is also connected to your degree. You’ll be able to build a portfolio of work and have a taste of working in the field, which can work wonders when it comes to finding a job after your studies.

There are many websites and apps available online that make it easy for freelancers to find clients and get started.

Blogging or vlogging

Sharing your experiences online can be a great way to earn some extra income, and it can pay well if it’s done right.

Whether you want to start a YouTube channel to share useful tips about studying abroad, become a travel influencer on Instagram, create fun TikTok videos, or simply write about something you care about, blogs and vlogs can be fun side hustles to pursue.

There are a number of ways you can earn money from your blog and vlogs including advertising revenue, affiliate marketing, and brand deals. It’s hard to make money this way but if you post high-quality and engaging content consistently, you could be on your way to success.

Paid surveys

There are a number of websites that pay people to complete online surveys, and they’re usually pretty quick and easy to do. It’s a very flexible way to earn cash on your own schedule.

All you need to do is create an account with a survey company, provide some basic information about yourself, and start taking surveys - it’s so simple.

You’ll typically earn a few cents for each survey you complete, and payments are usually made by PayPal, so you may not need to submit your bank account details to get paid.

Sell your own products

There’s a huge demand for handmade goods, and you can profit from things you’re skilled at making. Whether you’re a keen painter, sculptor, jewelry maker, or woodworker, you can make good money from selling your creations.

You can sell your products to stores, at your own stall, or go down the online route by creating your own shop on sites like Etsy, Amazon, and eBay. Don’t forget to raise awareness of your products through social media and word of mouth.


If you’re great with children then babysitting could be a rewarding way to earn some cash without having to commit to a full-time job. It’s also a great way to meet local people.

To get started, you can post flyers around your local neighborhood or place classified advertisements on community websites.

You can also contact day centers and ask if they’re in need of occasional babysitters. A license and background checks may be needed to babysit depending on the country you're in.

Once you get a few clients, word will spread and you could soon have a steady stream of clients and income from babysitting.

Dog Walking

Not only is dog-walking a fun and rewarding way to spend time with furry friends, but it’s also flexible and relatively easy to start. It’s also a great way to keep fit, explore your new city, and meet new people.

Many dog owners are happy to pay someone to take their pooch for a walk, and there are plenty of sites and apps out there that can help you connect with potential clients. Once you’ve built up a client base, you can set your own schedule and rates.

Sell stock photos

If you’re a budding photographer, you can make decent money from selling your photos. With a little time and effort, you can build a portfolio of high-quality images that buyers will happily buy to use in their projects.

There are numerous websites where you can sell your photos. Try to capture a variety of subjects and styles - the more diverse your portfolio is, the more photos you’re likely to sell.

A professional camera is ideal for taking stock photos. However, many smartphones are equipped with fantastic cameras that are able to capture amazing pictures.

Fix things

Whether you can fix broken electronics, smartphone screens, or furniture, there are always people who need something repaired, and you can earn some handy cash along the way.

It’s a relatively low-cost side hustle to start since all you need is a few basic tools and some know-how. You can spread the word among your friends and students around campus to get your first clients.

Another option is to buy low-priced items, fix or refurbish them, and sell them for a profit. You can do this with anything from clothes and jewelry to furniture and electronics - it’s a great side hustle especially if you’re a creative person.

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