Working while studying: Finding a job being an international student in the Netherlands

During your stay in the Netherlands, some students find out that they’re left with free time to use productively, once they’re finished with their studies for the day. A natural choice is to look for places that hire students part-time to work. Whether for work experience, advancing your skills in a particular field, or as a way of financing your stay. Whichever the case, the rules on it can be unclear at the beginning, so this article will try to answer all of your burning questions.

First off, what do you need to start working?

Depending on where you’re from, you may or may not need certain documents to start working. If you’re from:

  • the EU,
  • the EEA,
  • or Switzerland

– you will need your BSN, assigned to you upon registration in your city or town of residence, as well as start off, as well as health insurance from the Netherlands.

However, if you come from a different place than from those enumerated, you may find certain difficulties on your way to finding jobs for international students. You similarly require health insurance and a BSN. Still, there are stricter limitations on the number of hours available for work, outside the months of summer. Additionally, you will need a working permit, which can only be done by a company that thinks of employing you, as you can’t do it yourself. That needs to be done at least five weeks before you’re employed.

One major exception is if you’re planning on doing an internship, which is directly relevant to your studies, in which case you don’t need a work permit. Instead, your university signs an agreement with your internship employer. A different approach to bypassing those limits is by becoming self-employed.

Great, how do I go about finding a job now?

You may notice that finding student jobs in Amsterdam for English speakers, or in other big, student-oriented cities, is a challenging task. That’s because it can be pretty competitive. Luckily, the more international students, the higher the chance for more English-only positions to be open, so it tends to balance out. But let’s say your search for part-time jobs in the Netherlands for international students hasn’t turned up any results yet. Some alternative means of traversing the job market include:

  • employment agencies,
  • university services,
  • networking,
  • or open days

There is a large number of agencies out there offering their help in hunting down the perfect job for you. They offer assistance with everything from searching to writing the motivation letter for job application. Similarly, universities tend to be a great starting point for coming into contact with future employers. At the very least, they’re great for providing the necessary guidance in finding and contacting employers on your own. Proper networking and building your online presence can go a long way towards creating a rapport between you and your prospective employers. Finally, if all else fails, you could look up your company online, and see if they offer any guided tours or host any open days. Those are designed explicitly by showing that the company is ready to take on recruits.

Good luck hunting!