I am currently working in Alma 3 in Leuven, which is a student restaurant and I am helping at the buffets and with general cleaning. I’ve been working in Alma since October and I work from 3 to 4 days a week part-time. Getting the job was quite easy, I just had to apply online on their student job database and I got accepted. I have previous experience in the food industry but even without the experience I think they would have picked me as well. There are many opportunities for students in Leuven but most of them are for Dutch-speaking students. For English-speaking students the options are limited and they mostly consist of restaurant work or baby-sitting. The pay is also very good, I get paid 11 euro an hour. Recently some of my colleagues told me about an agency called Interim and they help students, regardless of their nationality, to find a student job. So perhaps for incoming Erasmus students in Leuven, it could be a good starting point if they want to find a part-time job that is different from restaurant work.
In addition to my part-time job I also do an internship 1 to 2 days a week. In March I started working at KU Leuven, in the Social Sciences Faculty as an international relations and marketing intern. I have a variety of tasks, which consist of maintaining social media feeds, administration, event management of one of their summer schools- Europe Inside Out, organization of guest lectures and cultural workshops, and many more. During this internship I learn so much every day and I am very happy for this opportunity. My advisor also signed off the internship as an official Erasmus traineeship which looks amazing on my CV. I was eager to start an internship alongside my Erasmus exchange because I think that this will boost my CV more by showing that I managed to balance both. I do not get paid for it but I think the things I am learning and the fact that it will be considered as a voluntary Erasmus traineeship outweigh the disadvantage of the internship being unpaid.
Written by Marsela Ivanova, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium