This post was most recently updated on December 13th, 2020
Just for the sake of going abroad for the very first time, we usually tend to neglect things that we never should.
Cyprus is a European country.
When your friends ask what you are doing these days, you would proudly say that you are applying for Europe.
I know it’s an amazing feeling to share with others.
I was there too. I felt happy when I told my friends that I was going to Europe.
Trust me, that happiness doesn’t last long.
As soon as you arrive in Cyprus and get to know things, you would regret your decision on a grand scale.
Today in this article, I will try to tell you things that you should know before coming to Cyprus or even before you think of applying for Cyprus.
I don’t want you to make the same mistakes I did.
Or let’s say I don’t want you to make the same mistakes 90% of the international students in Cyprus did.
Let’s continue, shall we?
The struggle is much harder here comparing to other countries
Every time when I suggest somebody not to come to Cyprus on a student visa, they usually say the following things:
The struggle is the same everywhere. No matter which country you go to, you will have to work hard to make a living. Even people in the USA or Australia are also struggling. So, when I will come to Cyprus, I will work hard and make my life better.
Let me tell you what makes that statement wrong.
Yes, there is a struggle everywhere. I agree. But the outcome after the struggle varies from country to country.
I am sure you have friends in the USA or Australia. You might have heard from them saying that they work in 3 to 4 places. Eventually, they earn more money.
In the USA, there are 5 jobs for every 1 guy. Hence, the guy can go to 5 different jobs and earn a good amount of money.
Meanwhile, in Cyprus, there is only 1 job for every 5 people.
It’s not the same here as in the USA. It’s exactly the opposite.
1 guy would get the job, but what are those 4 others going to do?
Nothing, because there is nothing for them to do.
Are you following through?
Do you understand what I am saying?
If you became that 1 guy, it’s good for you.
But what would you do if you fall among those 4 unemployed guys?
Have you ever thought about that?
Cyprus isn’t like the USA or Australia.
There is a similarity in a lot of aspects, but when it comes to jobs, the struggle is much harder in Cyprus.
Only a few job sectors are open for students
Job opportunities in Cyprus are very less for international students. You can’t work here wherever you want to work.
According to the Ministry of Labor, international students in Cyprus are only allowed to work in the following sectors:
- Food Industry
- Household Activities
- Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Fishery
- Restaurants, Recreational Centers
- Health and Social Care
Read here to understand better about the sectors international students are allowed to work.
What will happen if you are from a different field?
I am afraid you would have to compromise and search for a job in the sectors allowed for the students by the government.
Let me give you an example.
A friend of mine used to work in the Indian Marine Sector.
For those of you who don’t know what marine is, Marine is related to Boats and Ships.
He is very experienced in that field. He came to Cyprus as a student and tried to find a job in his related field.
He was very hopeful that he would get a job, but unfortunately, he didn’t.
As he was an international student, he wasn’t allowed to work in the Marine sector in Cyprus.
He struggled for 1 year and went back to India.
Now he has joined the previous company in India and happy working there.
My suggestion to you:
Don’t do something you might regret later in the future. If you are qualified and experienced and you want to come to Cyprus, try to come here on a working visa.
There is a very high chance you could get a working visa in your field.
But if you think you would come on a student visa, look for a job in your field and get it, chances are very low for that to happen.
Legally, international students aren’t allowed to work for more than 20 hours a week
Yes, that true.
Legally, you are only allowed to work for 20 hours a week during the college days and 40 hours a week during the holidays.
There are students who are working more than that. Some of my friends do too. But that’s totally illegal.
Let me tell you why it’s illegal.
When companies hire you, they have to make you a work contract. In that contract, they have to mention how many hours you work in that company.
As a student, you can only work for 20 hours a week. So they will put 20 hours in the contract.
Companies have to pay insurance/tax to the government when they hire a foreign national.
As you are an international student, the company has to pay insurance relative to 20 hours a week of work to the government.
Now, the tax for 20 hours a week from your work has gone to the government.
Till here, it’s all legal.
Let’s discuss the illegal part.
20 hours a week means around 3 hours a day.
You are supposed to work for only 3 hours a day, but do you do that?
No, you don’t.
You work for more than that.
Sometimes 8 hours, sometimes 10 hours, and sometimes even more.
Now, if you work for 8 hours a day for a week, your total work hours will be 56 hours a week.
How many hours are you legally allowed to work?
- 20 hours a week.
How many hours did you actually work?
- 56 hours a week.
You have worked for 36 more hours. But the company has paid the insurance to the government only of 20 hours a week.
The government thinks you are only working for 20 hours a week, but in reality, you are working more than that.
Actually, a lot more than that.
Hence, any work more than 20 hours a week is illegal.
You might have a question in your mind.
What if the company pays the tax for all the 56 hours you have worked?
The company can’t do that.
Don’t forget that you are on a student visa. If you were on a working visa, the situation would be different.
But as rules, an international student in Cyprus isn’t allowed to work for more than 20 hours a week.
You can’t work for more than 20 hours a week and a company can’t hire you for more than that time. If you do, and if the company does, then it’s illegal.
Read here to understand better how much an international student can legally earn money in Cyprus.
Neither your friends nor your relatives are trustworthy in here
If you are thinking of applying to Cyprus with the help of your friends or relatives, then here are a few things I want you to know.
- The college fee for a year in Cyprus is around 2500 Euro.
- It’s almost impossible for you to travel to Schengen countries from Cyprus.
If your friends have told you that the college fee is 4600-5000 Euros, then they are lying.
If your relatives tell you that you can easily travel to other Schengen countries from Cyprus, then they are lying.
When you apply through them, they become the agents for the colleges.
As they are bringing students to the college, the college gives them the commission.
The total fee 4600 Euro is actually 3000 Euro (college fee) + 1600 Euro (agent’s commission).
Some of the colleges even take 5000 Euros as the fees and give 200 Euro as the commission to the agents.
It’s tough to find a job in Cyprus. But to bring someone on a student visa and get the commission, it’s very easy.
That’s why almost everyone in Cyprus would try to bring their friends and relatives to Cyprus so that they could get the commission money from the college.
Read the following articles to know better about the Cyprus student visa.
You can actually apply for a Cyprus student visa on your own
You would be surprised to know that you don’t need to waste a lot of money for the Cyprus student visa processing.
Even if you go to an agent, you can pay them less and still get a visa.
You also can become your own agent too.
All you need to know is what kind of documents do you need to prepare and how to get them verified from the government.
Follow this step by step guide on how to apply for a Cyprus student visa on your own to be resourceful and understand better.
Living cost in Cyprus isn’t that expensive
Compared to a few other European countries, Cyprus has a pretty manageable living cost.
It’s one of the things I like the most about Cyprus.
You can easily get a good room for 200 Euros a month where you can share it with your friends.
Electricity, water, and internet bills are also manageable.
Most of the grocery items in Cyprus are cheaper.
If you are from Asia, you will find similar prices on food items in Cyprus comparing to your country.
Even if you worked just for 20 hours a week, you could easily manage room rent + food + utility bills.
Some other things about Cyprus that you should know before applying:
- Greek is the official language of Cyprus. Better to learn a few basic words before coming.
- Most of the people in Cyprus are racist. They are educated, but they are racist.
- When you come to Cyprus, you are all on your own. Neither your college nor your agent will help you find a job.
I have met people who are in Cyprus for the last 20 years.
I have also met people who didn’t like Cyprus and went home just after a few months of their arrival.
It really depends upon your purpose of coming to Cyprus.
If you want to study and finish your degree, Cyprus has some good Universities and Colleges.
In fact, some of the universities in Cyprus are world-renowned.
You can check here the top 5 best Universities in Cyprus to follow through.
But, if your intention to come to Cyprus is just to earn money, then I am afraid your intentions will betray you.
Cyprus is totally different than what your agents have described.
I suggest you not to come to Cyprus if you intend to earn money. Even if you earn money, you won’t be able to save it.
Think twice before applying.
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