Student work rights: Agents speak out on the importance and benefits

19–JUN–2023 | “Agents on…Student Work Rights” – In a recent interview to StudyTravel Ltd (ST Magazine & ST Alphe Conferences), a leading organization in the education industry, our founder and managing director Dejan Trpkovic highlighted the immense potential of countries with low disposable incomes as a valuable source of language students in terms of talent and numbers. He also talked about the factors that have become crucial considerations for students when choosing their study abroad destinations.

Student Work Rights academic advisors speak Dejan Trpkovic PRODIREKT

In the June edition of ST Magazine, we asked agents all about student work rights and how important this factor is for students eager to study abroad. Read the insights from Dejan Trpkovic of PRODIREKT:

StudyTravel: A flash survey of agents conducted by StudyTravel Magazine in November last year revealed that 52 per cent claimed that work rights were an important consideration for their language sector clients, while 87 per cent said the same about their university clients. In general, how important are work rights for students?

Dejan Trpkovic PRODIREKT Group

Dejan Trpkovic: With 20+ years of experience in both language travel and study abroad, PRODIREKT and the Verbalists Education & Language Network have developed a keen understanding of the wants and needs of language and study abroad students. Countries with low disposable incomes could be a rich source of language students in terms of both talent and numbers, if only they were able to work while learning a language abroad. Offering work rights to language students would not only boost language schools’ revenues, but it would also help fill the growing gap as employers worldwide struggle to find enough workers. Additionally, it would create a more diverse student body in language schools, enriching the experience for all involved.

StudyTravel: Aside from financial gain, what other reasons might a student have to work in a study destination?

Dejan Trpkovic: Besides financial gain, a student might choose to work in a study destination to develop important skills, immerse themselves in the local culture, build a professional network, and offset the costs of living and travel. It is important to note that the ability to work for many language students can also mean the ability to enroll in a language course.

StudyTravel: Do your clients often enquire about work rights during a consultation? If so, what is the typical profile of a student interested in working while abroad? Are they in a certain age? Are they studying a particular type of course, at a certain type of institution, for a specific amount for time?

Dejan Trpkovic: As PRODIREKT’s business focus is on the emerging markets, our students very often inquire about work rights. Those students are usually 20 to 30 years old. There are many students who just want to go abroad for a period of up to 6 months to improve their languages skills and gain some work experiences before returning to their home country.

StudyTravel: Is it easier for a university client than it is a language sector client to work when studying abroad? Please explain.

Dejan Trpkovic: Currently, most language students worldwide are not allowed to work while attending their language courses abroad…and that is the main problem.

StudyTravel: Are you more likely to send a student to a destination where it is relatively easy for them to seek employment (during study)?

Dejan Trpkovic: Absolutely! For example, assuming that they have equal or similar work rights regulations, countries with better employability are the winners. Canada wins over Spain. In addition to the availability of work rights, employment quality has also become an important consideration for students when making study abroad decisions. Specifically, students now place much greater emphasis on factors such as potential job opportunities and expected earnings after graduation.

StudyTravel: Which destination offers the best package in terms of work rights? And which destination is behind in this area?

Dejan Trpkovic: Canada and Australia are generally known for offering generous work rights to international students. France is known for its strict work restrictions for international students, while the UK has become more restrictive in recent years following Brexit.


StudyTravel Ltd has over 29 years’ experience in connecting agents and educators in print, online and in person, through our reputable and trusted brands. StudyTravel Magazine, the monthly business publication read by 22 000 agent readers in 129 countries, provides news, industry statistics and articles on all of the industry sectors.


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