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International's guide to finding a job in Groningen

Date:30 March 2018
Hard at work or hardly working?
Hard at work or hardly working?

If you’re an international student who is trying to find a job in Groningen, then you know that it isn't always easy. Some places require that you are able to speak Dutch and other places might say that you don’t have the right experience. Here’s a list of some places you can check out to find a job. 



The boring stuff you need to know before looking for a job

  • To work here you need a BSN (burgerservicenummer). This is your citizen service number and everyone living here needs to have it. You will be given it when you register at the municipality. If you haven’t already done this, then you should probably go asap.
  • To legally work in the Netherlands you must also have a basic Dutch health insurance, and to those of you who are wondering, a European health insurance card doesn’t count as a Dutch health insurance.
  • If you are from outside of the EEA, you have an extra step to go through, you need to have a work permit to legally work here, but your employer should provide you with this. You are also only able to work up to 10 hours a week.
  • The Career Services office at the University is happy to help you with any career or job-related questions that you might have.

Where to Find a Job

1. University Career Tab

A good starting point is the university career tab on Nestor. Here you can find different organizations that have openings and they list various kinds of job opportunities. You may be able to find student assistant positions and other part-time jobs. This is where I found my job working as a student assistant at the university. I applied for the job and was then called in for an interview, and a week or two later I was offered the job. So I definitely recommend using this as a starting point.

2. Employers Around the City

If you’ve checked the university career tab and nothing seems to be interesting for you, there are also plenty of jobs that you can take around the city. Many restaurants offer part-time server positions and not all of them require that you speak Dutch, and who knows, you may be able to pick up some common Dutch phrases and words as you work.

Bars and clubs also offer opportunities for international students to work, so it's worth going in and asking if they need someone one to help out on the weekdays/weekends.

3. Paid Research Participant

The university offers a platform where you can sign up to be a research participant for psychology students, some studies are performed in Dutch, but many are also available in English. The faculty of business and economics also needs research participants, you can check that out here! There is also a facebook group where students looking for research participants will post asking others to participate in their project, they usually list what kind of project it is and leave behind their email, so you can contact them if you’re interested.  

4. ESN Groningen

ESN has a page dedicated to job opportunities for students with or without job experience in Groningen. They list different companies that are searching and invite you to directly contact the companies.

5. Volunteer Work

I know you’re probably thinking, I can’t make money volunteering. This is true, but life is all about experiences and though you don't get paid with a volunteer position, it looks good on a CV, is very rewarding and can bring you valuable life lessons! It’s also a way to make new friends and expand your network, which may come in handy when you’re done studying and start looking for a job. Another advantage is that there is a wide range of positions available. You can check the Vrijwilligers Vacature Bank  (Volunteer Vacancy Bank) or Vrijwilligers Groningen (Volunteers Groningen) for available volunteer positions in Groningen.

Don’t forget that the university provides Dutch courses to those who are interested if you want to learn some basic Dutch which can help you find a job!

That’s it for me. Do you have tips for job-hunting as an international? Let us know in the comments!


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