Tips on how to work your way through college in the Netherlands

Holland is an attractive destination for students who want to study abroad. One reason for this status in the international learning community is quality. Wageningen University & Research, University of Amsterdam, Delft University of Technology, Leiden University, Erasmus University Rotterdam – these Dutch schools are among the best higher education institutions in Europe. Times Higher Education ranked Wageningen University & Research on the 59th position in its World University Rankings 2020.

Although these schools are much more affordable than U.S. and UK universities, an additional source of income is always welcome for students. They may get scholarships and loans, but some of them may need to work throughout their higher education.

What if a student wants to travel through Europe during their vacation? What if they need to pay for essay writing assistance or they want to go out with their friends as frequently as possible?

You’ll find great opportunities for work and study in the Netherlands.

girl thinking, student
Thinking of working and studying in the Netherlands? Don’t worry, you have a lot of options! Image: Анастасия Гепп/Pixabay

It may not be crazy expensive to study in Holland. However, when you realize that the Dutch student culture is based on nightlife, you won’t want to miss out on the fun. Even the smallest cities have an impressive nightlife. Staying social takes money, so you’ll need to earn it.

Let’s see how you can do that.

Figure out the regulations

The Dutch government imposes some restrictions as to who can work in the country. It’s easier for EU citizens. All they need is Dutch health insurance and a BSN. The BSN (Burgerservicenummer) is a unique number that each Dutch citizen has. As soon as you start your studies in the Netherlands, you’ll need to obtain your number.

If you’re a non-EU citizen, you already obtained Dutch health insurance before coming here. You’ll need the BSN, just as EU citizens do. But you’ll face another important requirement: a work permit. The government will issue this permit only if a company that hired you applies for it. The company has to be registered in the Immigration and Naturalization Service of the Netherlands.

student writing
If you want to work and study in the Netherlands, you have a lot to figure out. Image: Free-Photos/Pixabay

This is a complex requirement that not all foreign students can get. But if you get hired by a company registered in the IND, it shouldn’t be a problem.

An internship is a way to avoid getting the work permit. You’ll sign an internship agreement. But of course; keep in mind that internships pay less.

Try freelancing

You are allowed to be self-employed in the Netherlands. You won’t need a work permit for this, so it’s the perfect opportunity for a foreign student to get money.

International freelancing sites offer various jobs for an essay writer, graphic designer, programmer, photographer, and any other profession that can be done remotely.

Freelancing is by far the most flexible way to work and study in the Netherlands. Image: William Iven/Pixabay

Did you know that many students hired useful essay services when they can’t handle their assignments? If you’re doing well with your studies and you have some extra time on your hands, you can complete an extra programming, graphic design, or writing assignment. You’ll get paid for offering tutoring and homework help to students from all around the world. Businesses also need writers and other types of freelancers.

If you freelance, keep in mind that you’ll have to pay taxes. Get well informed; you don’t want to get in trouble with tax authorities.

Choose a part-time job

Between school and parties, are you sure you can handle a full-time job? Most students can’t. The Dutch educational system is challenging. No professor is going to cut you some slack just because you’re a foreign student who works. You have the same responsibilities as any other student, so that’s your priority.

A part-time job will take anywhere from 10 to 15 hours per week. You can easily fit it in your daily schedule without lagging behind on studying material.

Once you graduate, it will be easier to find a full-time job at a company that applies for your work permit. Until then, education is your priority.

smiling boy
You work and study in the Netherlands very easily with a part-time job. Image: JesseMcFly/Pixabay

Find the balance

Are you a productive person? Can you attend all lectures, complete all assignments, do some studying, and still have extra time on your hands? An average student is overwhelmed by the studies themselves, so they don’t even think about getting a job.

Friends will always get you through! Image: Helena Lopes/

But if you can be more productive than average, fitting a part-time job is no big deal. You can freelance for an hour or two per day and do most of the studying during weekends. You’ll still have time for socializing. When in Holland, it would be a shame to miss out on the parties.

You should only find the balance. Making monthly, weekly, and daily plans will help with that. Use your favourite to-do and note-taking apps, so you won’t forget any assignments and work responsibilities.

Good luck!

Do you work and study in the Netherlands? Do you have any other tips? Let us know in the comments below!

  1. Yes, the academic level of Dutch universities is very high. That’s why I always knew I wanted to study in the Netherlands. It was a big challenge to get into a study abroad program, but it’s my personal success.
    It’s not easy to get a part-time job without knowing the language, either. But I had the opportunity to work remotely in English, and that helped a lot. Otherwise, I don’t know how I would have coped.


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