It’s not until you get into the real world of work that you really appreciate the lovely long holidays that students enjoy. A three month summer vacation gives ample time for rest and relaxation, but it also presents some brilliant opportunities to experience different countries and cultures.

Unfortunately, not everyone has deep pockets, and the alternative to idly travelling through different continents is to work your way round.

And arguably self funding through summer jobs is a much more experiential way of enjoying those three months – you meet more people, see a different side of different communities, and end the summer with money in your pocket, as opposed to bigger debt.

Here are some of the best summer jobs you can pursue as a student anywhere in the world.


Investing a small amount in gaining lifeguard qualifications can set you up for spending long hot summers on beaches or by pools earning a good hourly rate of £9.66 in the UK. The certification and the skills you gain are transferrable across many countries and look excellent on your CV too in the future.

Fruit picking in the UK

Seasonal fruit picking is hard work but can be sociable, earn you decent money, and include food and accommodation too. Fruit picking is brilliant for students as it tends to take place in the late summer/early autumn before term starts again.

UK is a country where fruit picking jobs are currently in plentiful supply. As a result of both Brexit and the pandemic, the workforce for doing this job has shrunk considerably.

As a result, many farms are actively encouraging students to apply for seasonal work. It is hard, physical work, so if some hard graft doesn’t worry you then your services will be in high demand.

If the UK doesn’t appeal, there are plenty of other opportunities elsewhere in the world.

Grape picking in France

The grape picking season in France runs through September and most of October. Known as the ‘vendange’, there are literally hundred of vineyards that will happily provide you with board and lodgings in exchange for your labour in the field.

They might not always pay, offering food and a bed as well as the experience, but it is generally sociable and attracts different characters from all over the world.

Equally, if a career in viticulture interest you for the future, the experience it will give you is beyond measure.

Enjoying the ski season

You may want to look at a seasonal job as part of a longer gap year before you get into the real world of working. As part of that, working the ski resorts will give you the opportunity to stay in some of the most beautiful locations in the world, earn some great tips, and refine your own skiing skills during your time off.

Waiting, bar staff and hospitality

No matter what country you are in, there is always going to be a demand for good waiting and bar staff. The hospitality industry is known for its temporary nature, and the comings and goings of casual staff.

It may not be the most well paid, but with tips and staff meals you can probably earn enough to give yourself a good summer. More importantly due to the nature of the work it is sociable and will give you a great insight into the local culture.

Working in restaurants will give you the skills to deal with difficult customers in a diplomatic, non-confrontational way, and will give you insight into working within a team. Whatever establishment you work in, there will always be an interesting range of characters.