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How to find an international student job in Groningen

Date:11 July 2019
Trust me, Linkedin (or anything else) works better than this.
Trust me, Linkedin (or anything else) works better than this.

Welcome to our ‘How to:’ series! In this blog series, we will try to explain to you how to find your way around Groningen, your studies and student life in general (fully DIY proof). Today, our How to blog will deal with a hot topic which we get a lot of questions about: Finding a job in Groningen as an international student! 

One of the things they don’t tell you before starting uni is that being a student means being used to little. Little sleep, little healthy food, little time. And of course a little budget. While you can always try fixing your sleep pattern, eat less Dominos and start your essays earlier,  it is easier to admit that this will unlikely happen anytime soon. However, a low budget can be fixed with a simple trick: a student job. Now admittedly jobs don’t magically appear on the street corner like you’re playing Pokemon go, especially if you are an international student in a foreign country who does not speak Dutch. However, there are more opportunities than you might think to find a job in the Netherlands, even as an international student. This is why in this blog post I have summarised some of the best tips on where to find a job in Groningen as an international student, based on my own personal experience. 

1. University Career Tab

The best starting point for beginning your job hunt is the university career tab on Nestor. This would be my number one tip for you, as this is the way how I found my job as a student assistant. Under the Career Tab, you can find different organizations that have vacancies and which are listing various kinds of job opportunities and internships, either part-time or full-time. This is also where the university posts most of its own job vacancies so you may be able to find student assistant positions here. Beware though, that student assistant positions are highly sought after so you might also want to have a plan B ready in case it does not work out. 

2. Local Job Listings

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 look for around the city. The best way to find local jobs is to check the supermarket notice boards (you can even advertise your own offer here!) or to just walk into local businesses and ask if they are hiring. 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 to help out on the weekdays/weekends. A very popular job among international students is also working for a food delivery service like UberEATS or Thuisbezorgd, where you can easily pass by without knowing any Dutch. Another job popular among international students is carrying out mail or local newspapers in certain neighbourhoods.

3. Paid Research Participant

If you’d rather not commit to a regular job and only make a few extra bucks on the side, you may want to try participating in some research studies. 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. Also, rest assured that these are not the kind of studies where you have to test a new medication or where you have to spend four weeks in the hospital. The Faculty of Economics and Business also needs research participants! Besides using the Uni’s official platform 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, how much time it will take and leave behind their email, so you can contact them with further questions if you’re interested. I actually once participated in research where you had to try to cheat on a fake exam. Besides earning a few extra Euros it definitely made for a very interesting and fun experience, plus I got to help some fellow students out and learn some new skills! ;) 

4. Student Associations and Full-Time Boards

Many student associations have a great network of employers whom they work together with to arrange job and internship positions to their student members. For example, 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. Another good way to boost your CV and make a little extra money on the side is by joining a full-time board or advisory body of the university. As these are directly funded by the university, members of a board or advisory body can sometimes get several thousands of euros in compensation, depending on the amount of work which the position entails. 

5. Online Gigs

Nowadays there is a lot of money to be made online, and I am not talking about investing in Bitcoin or playing online poker. For example, on certain platforms like Fiverr, Freelancers can offer their skills to others on a job-by-job basis. Personally, I would recommend trying this out if you don’t have too much extra time on your hands and want to earn some extra money while being flexible. I offered translation services for a while, and I actually got quite a few gigs in during that time! Besides this, there are also plenty of customer care jobs that you can do from the comfort of your home. Another great way to find jobs is by using platforms such as Linkedin, Indeed or Monsterboard. I have even gotten quite a few jobs offers through my Linkedin account, so that is definitely something worth having a look at. 

6. Volunteer Work

I know you’re probably thinking: “I can’t make money volunteering.” This is only half true though! Some volunteer positions will actually pay you some form of compensation, even if the amount paid of course will not make up for a full- or part-time job. But besides making money, life is all about experiences. And though you don't get paid, or only receive a minor compensation, 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. Personally, I have been volunteering at a newly founded project called “Het Overweeghuis” a few times and really enjoyed helping out! The project aims to aid women who want to quit street prostitution and help them build a new life. They are always looking for new volunteers and the project itself is close to my heart, so make sure to check it out! 

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

About the author

Hey there! My name is Asmo and I’m a Finnish/German student exploring life in the Netherlands. Besides being into photography and politics, I am currently completing my double master's degree in European law and international law. Oh, and I write blogs as well.


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