Slovenia is one of the best options for obtaining quality education under favourable conditions. In addition, it is one of the few European countries that offers an opportunity of official employment for foreign students. Imagine that, besides living in a peace-loving and safe country with gorgeous nature, climate and ecology, you study at a university, which ensures your competitiveness in any developed country worldwide, travel around Europe without visas, and also work! At the same time, you receive a salary of 300–500 EUR per month, which is completely enough to pay for the dormitory, food, transportation, and even for trips to the neighbouring countries. Combining work and study will help you not only keep within budget, but also establish business relations and make a lot of useful contacts. In addition, after obtaining a diploma, you will automatically be free from the dilemma on “how to find a job without experience,” since you will already have work experience necessary for starting a career.
All foreign students in Slovenia receive a residence permit, which allows official employment. This fact favourably distinguishes Slovenia from other European countries, in which foreign students receive only a study visa without the right to work.
What is the official employment? This is, above all, a guarantee of protection from unscrupulous employers and the accumulation of seniority.
Let’s be frank – it is quite problematic to find a job for foreigners, but at the same time – more than real.
When choosing employees, each employer firstly gives preference to the Slovenes, then to the citizens of the European Union, and only then to the rest of the candidates. This is due to the fact that companies want their employees speak at least Slovenian and English and have work permits. Few employers want to deal with the paperwork required for the employment of a foreign applicant.
To become part of the Slovenian labour society (and, therefore, to be able to obtain permanent residence in the future), you can, for example, find a suitable vacancy, go through all the stages of interviews and approvals, and finally convince the company that you are crucial for their prosperity. Or you can enrol in an educational institution in Slovenia, register with a special student employment service and choose a job that you can easily combine with the academic process.
Slovenia is a member of the European Union and, accordingly, all its citizens can move freely throughout the EU without applying for additional permits. Local young people prefer to leave for the countries that, FROM THEIR POINT OF VIEW, are more promising in terms of career growth – such as Germany, France, Italy, and Austria. In this regard, there is a lack of young professionals. Therefore, many employers prefer students from the CIS countries. The knowledge of Russian is often an additional advantage when searching for employment in some focus areas. In addition, employers pay less taxes on students.
Here is what a 2TM client, Yaroslav Korchak, tells about student employment:
“- Is it easier for students to find a job?
– Yes, it is. Since, in general, it is easier to cooperate with students. When a person comes to the country only for finding a job, then the process of employment and legalisation of all documents is complicated. Therefore, it is more convenient for employers to deal with students.
– How did you look for a job?
– I was looking for a job through the Student Service.
– How do students get this leeway when it comes to work?
– Just because of their student status. In Slovenia, they budge young specialists, because it is profitable for everyone. A student gains professional skills in desired field, an employer receives an employee. Therefore, students have a slightly higher salary.
– Do you mean, when compared to labour migrants?
– Yes, exactly. They will spend part of their salary for taxes. Students are also charged a tax, but it is minimal.”
It should be recalled that foreign students in Slovenia receive a residence permit, thanks to which they can work from the first year of studies. Consider for yourself an official employment only! This is the only way not to put yourself at risk and comply with all the requirements of migration legislation.
It is possible (and necessary!) to find a job and correctly legalize your relationship with an employer through the Student Service (in Slovene: študentski servis). This agency is an intermediary between students and employing companies, covering all aspects of their relationship.
Work while studying is possible only under an issued referral – a legal basis for employing a student with a company. It is issued either for a certain timeframe or for the entire period of study. Important! In order to lead a legal activity, you need to order a referral and transfer it to your employer before starting work. Otherwise, you face significant financial penalties (and the company too).
What else does the Student Service offer? In addition to issuing referrals, it bills employers, accepts payments from them, uses part of payments to pay taxes and pension savings, and transfers the remaining amounts to the students’ accounts.
The Student Service daily updates the list of vacancies. At the same time, you are not limited solely to the options offered by the Service. If you already have an offer from a certain company, feel free to contact the Service with a request to include this company in the register and give you a referral. Further, the Service will solve all issues concerning transfer of payments, taxes and salary amounts directly with the company. Employees of this organization are always ready to help in the event of any controversial and incomprehensible situations.
Each job must be paid for adequately – this is the only way to inspire an employee for maximum return. In a number of countries, students who earn extra money receive very low wages due to lack of professional experience. Thus, work during studies becomes irrelevant for them. But not in Slovenia! On 1 April 2018, the Government established the minimum hourly wage rate, which makes 4.73 EUR gross or 4.00 EUR net. Every month, a net amount is transferred to a student’s card, and the difference goes to pay taxes and pension savings. The upper limit of income is not defined.
It is important to keep in mind that when the gross amount to be paid is 400 EUR and above, the tax rate increases from 22.5% to 25%. However, the Student Service comes to the rescue of students – it offers employers to split large sums into 2–3 parts, which helps to avoid paying a higher tax. Third-country nationals who are not tax residents of Slovenia are charged a rate of 22.5% from each payment. At the same time, students from the countries that signed the Double Taxation Treaty with Slovenia may submit a request for partial tax reimbursement to the Ministry of Finance (FURS).
To make a conclusion, it is possible and necessary to combine study and work in Slovenia! Go for it! And we wish you interesting jobs and career achievements!