Which European country is the best place to find a job after studying there? Exactly how hard is it for an international student who’s studied in that specific country to take advantage of this? Let’s investigate.

Jump to find a job after your studies in: UK, Germany, Estonia

Parents, students likewise, are apprehensive that studying abroad helps recover hefty tuition costs and spark international work experience. Today, more and more European countries are adopting stringent visa and immigration rules. Nonetheless, qualified professionals and deserving students will continue to enjoy the post-study work stream in Europe.

A recent report, by higher education data experts QS, holds that a student’s biggest consideration when choosing a college is the possibility of landing a good job after graduation.

The strength of the work stream for degree-holders is an imperative consideration. Why? The increasing count of students opting to study abroad, and those who intend to work in the same country after their graduation.

The Times Higher Education employability ratings accesses the graduate prospects for every major university. Back in 2015, universities in a handful of countries dominated the top 50 positions in the listing. Universities in the US and UK occupy most of the top slots. Other EU countries with a notable presence in the listing are Germany, France, and Estonia.

All in all, universities that boast of good links to the industry and an impeccable repute among local employers make up part of the equation for international students. There are other considerations too, such as finding accommodation and visa restrictions.

Even for students studying in their home country, securing a good job after graduation is no small feat. Students have to take into account how the cost of living contrasts with the average salary in respect to the state of the post-study job market.

Below is a breakdown of a couple of the best EU countries for post-study employability, with vital information for those thinking of working abroad there after graduating.

Study and Work in the UK


The argument that non-EU students can’t reside and work in UK anymore is merely a tall tale. The post-study work stream is still there in UK. It’s just that the immigration rules are more stringent as of now. The new rules make it tougher for international students, who hope to work in the UK, to stay on after graduating from university.

For an international student to stay on after graduation, one normally needs to have an employer who is to sponsor you and pay you an annual salary of over £20, 800. Find out more on this and other various types of working visas in UK.

The Opportunity at Hand

Recently, the improving graduate work prospects across the UK spark an overall graduates’ employment rate of about 70% in just 6 months after graduation. However, the country’s job market is still competitive. This is partly attributable to the count of graduates who submit applications for a limited number of skilled jobs.

Cost of Living in the UK

Residing in UK, particularly in [London], can be an expensive experience. The rent fees are awfully high. For those on graduate salaries in this capital, you might want to anticipate living with fellow young professionals.

A Student’s Perspective

Gabriel Nwatarali, a graduate in History at the University of Durham, admits that even with a First-Class Honours degree it wasn’t easy to land a job.

“I never thought that I would struggle to secure interviews for the jobs I really wanted. Surprisingly, other graduates with a good degree had plenty of opportunities – but it seemed to be those who studied IT and marketing. It took me about six long months to find a job. However, I probably could’ve landed a good gig if only I were a little more flexible in my career.”

Study and Work in Germany


Germany is another great destination with an exceptional work stream for international students. It might interest you to know that there are no restrictions for all EU nationals – they all have a right to work there.

For non-EU citizens, your stay in Germany is restricted to 18 months after you graduate from university. You can make use of your local foreign national’s registration office to apply for an 18-month German Residence Permit. Only then will you be in a position to rummage around for an appropriate job – relevant to your skill set.

In the due course of these 18 months, you’re allowed to take up any form of employment. This allows you to sustain yourself and fund your job search endeavor. Once you’ve landed a job that’s pertinent to the course you took up in Germany, you have the right to apply for an EU Blue Card, or the German Residence Permit. These post-study work permits have brilliant rules. Did you know that with the EU Blue Card you can take up employment in other EU countries?

*Please be advised that the post-study work stream is for all international students who took up postgraduate studies in Germany. Find out more on studying [masters in Germany].

The Opportunity at Hand

Germany boasts of a hale and hearty job market for deserving young professionals. International students significantly boost their prospects if they’re fluent in German. For the graduates out for English-speaking jobs, you may find that these positions are in high demand.

Unemployment is typically low in this country. Even so, university graduates might have a better shot in western Germany – the unemployment rates in the east are higher.

Cost of Living in Germany

You should be pleased to know that Germany is startlingly cheap to live in, though less so to the west of this country and in Munich. Admittedly, housing there is rather reasonable. However, in cities like the trendy Berlin, rents are spiking rather quickly.

A Student’s Perspective

Justin Griffin, 23, is a recent marketing graduate from the Freie Universität, Berlin. He says, “Berlin is a great destination for international students who want to study in Europe. I love it here. In contrast to where I’m from, the nightlife here is simply amazing. I’m not yet fluent in German, but I’m quite good. Can you believe that most people here speak to me in English? I’m currently seeking English-speaking positions in marketing and all over social media. I haven’t landed a job yet – but, my job hunt for the past couple of months has earned me a few interviews.”

Study and Work in Estonia


Estonia is a lucrative destination for international students looking to study in Europe. Currently, all students who aren’t EU citizens or Estonian nationals have to apply for a temporary residence permit at a nearby Estonian Embassy, or even Consul in their home country. Have a look at the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs page.

In case you’re a non-EU national already residing legally in Estonia – and want to pursue a master’s or doctorate level study – you have the right to apply for a resident permit for study in Estonia. Be advised that this Temporary Residence Permit is issued for the span of the nominal studies (Bachelor – 3 years, Master’s – 2 years).

The Opportunity at Hand

It might interest you to know that international students enrolling for full-time studies in Estonia don’t need a work permit. You can work as you study there, as long as you don’t disrupt your studies. Be advised that you’ll have to be credited passing grades for a handful of courses and also complete your course study within the nominal time.

Right now, Estonia has a munificent incentive for international students of a 5-year residence permit immediately after graduation. What’s more? There’s no limit to the number of hours you can work there as you study.

Cost of Living in Estonia

In comparison to most European countries, the living costs in Estonia are more affordable. The general perspective of foreigners who reside there is that the cost of living is comparable to those in Western Europe.

Honestly, the living cost in Estonia is typically reliant on your lifestyle, accommodation choices, and spending habits. You might want to prepare to part with about €300 – €500 to cover your monthly costs.

A Student’s Perspective

Nigel Tack, a social science graduate of Tallinn University, Estonia, who is originally from the US, says, “Ever since my graduation, I travel around this scenic country working in bars – it pays surprisingly well. Soon, I’ll get my dream career going. It’s travel writing. But, I’m not really sure if I can manage that here. Maybe I’ll have to move back home.”