As a student, you can join the unemployment fund if you are in paid employment. When you are a member of the unemployment fund, you accumulate earnings-related unemployment security for yourself while working. If you do not find employment immediately after graduation, you can receive earnings-related unemployment allowance from the unemployment fund.
In order to receive earnings-related unemployment allowance, you must meet the employment condition, which means that you have to have worked for 26 calendar weeks, i.e. 6 months. However, the work does not have to be from one time period only: as a student, you can accumulate working weeks for several years, for example in summer jobs.
You cannot, however, have any interruptions in your unemployment fund membership. So, after you join, stay a member of the unemployment fund throughout your studies – even if you don’t work alongside your studies all the time.
Earnings-related unemployment security is accumulated by all kinds of paid work that is in accordance with the employment condition. Therefore, when joining the fund, you do not necessarily have to do work in a job related to your own field of study. People who work part-time can also join the unemployment fund, but they must have at least 18 working hours per week to fulfil the employment condition of the earnings-related unemployment allowance.
For more information, check the page Conditions for earnings-related allowance to see what is considered paid employment in accordance with the employment condition.