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Finding the Perfect Student Job in the Netherlands

If you’re about to start studying, you may not know the feeling just yet: You’re only two weeks into a new month, yet you’ve already spent a solid chunk of your allowance on drinks with friends and midnight pizza-ordering sessions from Thuisbezorgd (the Dutch version of Just Eat Takeaway). And that doesn’t even include your additional monthly expenses, whether it be rent, groceries, public transport or that Spotify premium subscription you simply can’t live without. If you’d like to avoid putting yourself into that situation and stay one step ahead of your bank account at all times, then there’s one fool-proof solution out there for you: finding a student job.

There are a ton of job options for international students, many of which require no proficiency of Dutch whatsoever. Knowing where to start, however, can be overwhelming, especially when considering the bureaucratic practicalities that surround getting a part-time student job. But don’t worry, we’ll break those down for you so you can start working in no time!  

What do you need to do to find a job?

How quickly you’ll be able to start working all depends on where you’re from. Are you coming from an EU/EEA country? Great news, you don’t need a work permit and can start working up to 16 hours per week immediately (and full-time during the summer months). If you’re not, then you’re a bit less lucky and certain restrictions do apply if you want to work.

Fortunately, it’s not going to be you who has to go through the hassle of getting the permit; rather, it’ll be your employer who does that for you. All they’ll need from you are your residence permit and proof of enrolment at your university. Once you’ve received the green light, you can choose between full-time seasonal work in June, July and August or part-time work throughout the year (up to 16 hours per week). 

What’s definitely important to keep in mind for all employee-to-be students is that taking out Dutch health insurance, or so-called ‘basisverzekering’, is a requirement for everyone (student insurances like AON won’t be enough). You’ll also have to have your BSN (Burgerservicenummer / citizen service number) on hand. 

Starting the job search...

Chances are that your student job won’t be your ‘calling’ but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still look for something that’ll be a good fit for you. After all, you’ll be the one putting in the hard work. So why bother going for that barista training if you can’t stand the smell of coffee? While the options are abundant, and thinking outside the box may help you land the best vacancy, here’s a list of some common student jobs:

  • bartender 
  • waitress
  • barista
  • delivery driver 
  • cook
  • housekeeper
  • tutor 
  • shopworker 
  • call center worker 
  • babysitter
  • dog walker

Oftentimes, walking directly into a store, restaurant, bar or café and asking them if they need any help is a good way to get started. If you drop off enough copies of your CV, you’ll probably hear back from someone about a training period eventually. Contrastingly, if you’re applying to more established businesses, like Starbucks or Albert Heijn, then you can expect an online application procedure. 

Working at your university

Working at the same location where you spend endless hours cramming for your exams sounds horrible to some people. But if you’re not like most, and a change of scenery isn’t important to you, then looking for a job opportunity directly at your university may appeal to you, especially if you’ve already decided that your career prospects lie within the world of academia. In that case, research assistant or teacher’s assistant positions may not just bring in some extra cash but also provide valuable networking opportunities for the future. 

Volunteering

Do you want to earn a little something extra on the side as well as give your moral compass a boost? Then maybe volunteering is for you, and you won’t even have to ask for a permit to do so. Either consider organizations that you already stand behind and reach out to them directly or check websites like volunteering.nl to get a feel for the good you can do close to home. 

Need a little help?

Have you been going through a streak of bad luck? You’ve dropped your CV off at various cafés and restaurants and nobody seems to be hiring? Well, it’s not shameful to ask for a little help… There are various job agencies out there who exist for the very purpose of guiding international students in finding work in the Netherlands, such as, for example, studentjobs.nl, Undutchables, ASA talent, etc.

Instead of switching websites though, you can also just take advantage of Student Mobility’s job search function. Simply tell us who you are and what your email is and we’ll see what opportunities are out there for you. Before you know it, you’ll have it all: the perfect student life and the perfect student job. 

In case you feel like being your own boss, we have a whole guide on how to successfully establish yourself as a freelancer in the Netherlands here.

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