According to a survey done by Korean Broadcasting Station (KBS), nine out of ten freshman year students chose working part time as one of the things they would like to do during vacations. The main reason was to earn their living expenses by themselves. A lot of students have put getting a part time job on their wish list. So, The Dongguk Post interviewed international students in order to look into the part time culture in other countries.
Miharu Tanabe (Sophomore, English Language and Literature) from Gakushuin University
/Photograph by Kim Ji-min
Q. How was your experience of working part time in your country?
A. Well, I started working part time to earn my pocket money, but I also had a longing for getting a part time job. In Japan, there are some high schools that ban students to work part time, which was my case. So, as a high-schooler, it always looked awesome to work at a café for me. So as soon as I entered the university, I worked at a café and a gym for part time. There were several problems I faced while I was working. At the gym, I had to do cleaning, reception, and counseling at the same time. I always had to encourage the customers to participate in the programs offered in the gym. Since I had to do a lot of counseling for people, those were quite tough jobs for me.
Q. What is it like to get a part time job in Japan?
A. In Japan, once you become a university student, people regard getting a part time job as a matter of course. So it is important for the university students to get a part time job. They usually work to earn pocket money. The minimum hourly wage in Japan is 823 yen, which would be about 8,370 won. It is considered as quite low payment, so people usually prefer those that pay more than 900 yen, which is 9,053 won. People usually seek for the part time jobs through the Internet, or applications. The most popular jobs for the university students are working at a bar or a café. Some people do tutoring as a part time job. The unique part time job in Japan could be working at Disney Land. The qualifications for working at Disney Land are quite intricate. The employees should be equipped with innocence and they are not allowed to mention their jobs outside of their work, since Disney Land count as “the land of dreams” for kids.
Karolina Butkeviciute (East Asian Studies) from Vytautas Magnus University
/Photograph by Kim Ji-min
Q. Can you tell us about your part time job experience in your country?
A. I got my part time job to earn money. This might be the common reason people have. But on top of this, I had another motive for it. During the last summer break, I felt I was just wasting my precious time, so I thought it would be nice to do something productive, which caused me to get one. I had several short-term part time jobs, including cleaning, painting houses, and so on. Although these were for short-term and temporary, I still had some problems while working. For example, as a cashier, I often faced rude customers for complaining about the long queues. Also, while I was searching for part time jobs, the employers all wanted very experienced employees, and the shift matter was very complicated. In Lithuania, not many universities are tolerant with students having part time jobs. On top of this, most of the work is offered almost full time and it is hard to find those only during the weekends, which makes the university life harder than those who do not work. So a lot of students get part time jobs during the breaks.
Q. What do you think about working part time in Lithuania?
A. In general, it is very natural for the students to work part time. Although there are hardships following along the university life, most of the students work to earn tuition fees, living expenses, or to have independence from their parents. Currently, the minimum wage in Lithuania is 380 euros per month, which would be approximately 500 thousand won. This payment is not a satisfying amount, so people usually look for higher wages. The age people can start working is 18. However, young teenagers get part time jobs unofficially to earn money. People usually look for the jobs through the internet. They often send curriculum vitae or resume to the employers. Another method is to visit directly to get one. The common jobs that the university students get are the cashier, barista, or sometimes for higher wages, bartender, although some dangers might follow. Usually the shift is designed by the employers, so the employees get to choose the shift that is available for them.
Lu Yuan Hsuan (Senior, Chinese Language and Literature) from National Taiwan Normal University
/Photograph by Kim Ji-min
Q. How is the part time job culture in Taiwan?
A. Like students from other countries, a lot of university students in Taiwan work part time. It is very usual to have one. The main reason to get a part time job is very similar to that of the other countries. Most of them work to earn their pocket money by themselves. We usually get 5,550 won per hour. The market price in Taiwan is not that high, so this amount is fairly decent. People usually seek for part time jobs through either universities’ online community, or Facebook. The most popular job is tutoring. Since tutoring is considered as the most highly paid and an easy job for the students, many students pursue this part time job. The unique job for me would be to correct the Chinese characters for people. Regardless of age, the Chinese language is still considered extremely hard. So people often ask for the essay or language correction.
Q. Do you have any experience of part time job in Taiwan?
A. To be honest, I started my part time job to spend more time with my boyfriend. We used to have not so much time spent together. So we decided, since both of us were free and were willing to work, to get a part time job. I worked part time as a barista for almost two years. The time of two years was quite long for me. During that time, I have gone through a lot of hardships. For example, every time the money did not match with the total outcome, I had to make up the difference.
We were able to know more about different countries’ part time job cultures. Like the student from Lithuania said, the motivation that makes students get a part time job is quite similar all over the world. Most students seek for part time jobs to share the economic burden of their family. However, regardless of the motivation, cultural differences exist in different countries. For example, in Lithuania some of the universities are not generous with students working part time during the term, while in Japan, some of the high schools restrict students from getting part time jobs.
With differences and similarities in various cultures, it is shown in the article that a number of students get part time jobs to be economically independent from their parents.
Kim Ji-min firstname.lastname@example.org
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