Thinking of working while studying in the Netherlands? A complete guide to getting the job

A part-time job is an ideal way to finance your stay abroad. In essence, it helps you cover your bills and offers ample opportunities to learn skills you couldn’t otherwise. Even though there are many jobs for international students available during your stay abroad, it can be deceptively hard to get them. Whether it’s unclear regulations, questions about the rules of employment, or wondering if you meet all the necessary criteria – there are some significant barriers in your way. But no obstacle is unbeatable, so buckle up, we’re going job hunting!

First off – you might need a permit! Before you begin to look at the available deals for college students on the market, see what else you might need first. If you’re not an EU/EEA, Switzerland or Japanese citizen, then you will need to apply for a TWV work permit. That will limit your working hours to a maximum of 16 hours per week and an exception is applicable during the summertime where you can do it fulltime. Either you or your prospective employer may request the permit, although it is usually the employer who makes the request.

Secondly – health insurance! Even though it is recommended, students are exempt from having to take out Dutch public healthcare insurance, but once they become employees, it becomes mandatory. All students looking for jobs will have to get insurance, to be allowed to work in the first place. If you’re planning to work non-continuously, it is highly recommendable to get a healthcare insurance plan that will enable you to switch between public and private readily. It will save you a lot of headaches in the long run.

Thirdly – looking for work! Luckily there are plenty of job websites for students, specifically designed to connect students and potential employers. Struggling at that?! There are specialized employment bureaus that can help you find something suitable. A lot of places still practice walk-in interviews too – just come up to the counter and ask if they need help. In this case, all you need is a bit of courage and luck. Finally, your university can help connect you to your future employers, if what you’re looking for is closer to your field of study. Keep in mind that in most cases, potential employers would prefer students closer to the end of their study program. 

In case you need to meet additional requirements for the job position, switch on the initiative mode, and bring it up to your employer. However, often the case that most student part-time jobs revolve around the HoReCa industry, meaning if you lack the required experience. Still, you are an ambitious individual, consider you got the job. From there, all that’s left is discussing the formalities and expectations with your potential employer. Use this opportunity to get better acquainted with the organization’s rules and state-wide regulations that might apply. 

In broad strokes, that’s it. Reality tends to throw quite a few more curve-balls than indicated; in case you may have questions that are too specific to find a reliable answer online. In that case, there is Student-Helpr, a reliable community that will help you find answers to all your questions regarding this subject. They do that not only by offering great advice, often pro bono but also with sorting out all the necessary prerequisites to getting the job, as well as networking. 

The faster you’re hooked up with a job, the more spending money you get in total. And most of all, good luck!