/European labor market embraces diversity of foreign students

European labor market embraces diversity of foreign students

September is over, this mean that the first month of classes in the North Hemisphere has come to an end. For many, it was a time to make friends, go out to discover the surroundings and got the essencial supplies for the academic year. This mean, it was time to spend money.

This first phase can seem harmless for most of the students, but for international sophomores it can be the tip of a financial iceberg.

Books, clothes, groceries. These items, along with transportation, rent and documentation cost, weigh at the end of the month. For most of this exchange students, the solution might be finding a job, and, luckily for them, the European labor market seems to be reheating.

According to Alex Aguilera, a representative of the Dutch company UBN, specialized in introducing international students to the regional market, the financial picture is improving and the new generation now have great opportunities to apply for.

“For the completed last ten years, the country has been growing economically and leaving the employment crisis behind. We’re now an open mind market, looking for various levels of practical skills and functional diversity”, he said.

Even thought the market is looking for young, educated, manpower, the bureaucracy to get a work permit in some European countries prevents many of this students to enter this world.


In addition to a residence permit, issued to foreign student officially enrolled in an European university, the student most have a special work permit to start in a job while in exchange.

This procedure is free in The Netherlands. The document is done in, around, four weeks and gives the right to 16 hours per week of labor. In the summer period, the student can ask for a special permit, which allows he/she to work up to 40 hours per week.

The catch is, in the tulip’s land the employer is responsible for the work permit application, not the student. That means that the college boy/girl will only start working when he/she finds a boss willing to apply for the certificate.

Even though there is typically some language barrier, the Dutch market seems to be very open to hiring international students for part-time jobs. “People with higher education tend to attract more offers because of their ease of learning new tasks,” Aguilera says.

If the person gets hired, the document will be valid until the end date stipulated in the official contract signed by the local employer and the employee. After that period, or if the person decide to change job, a new permit have to be made.


With school hours, is not everybody that have time to go searching for international student friendly jobs. Sophiya Boonnoppoornkul, a senior in Utrecht University coming from Thailand is one that had no luck for now.

“The things here are way more expensive than in my hometown, so I am looking for a part-time job to earn my own money. Since most of them require dutch speaking, I’m having troubles to find one. Now I’m seeking other options”, she said.

According to the UBN’s manager, a lot of student come to his company after having difficulty finding a job themselves. Companies like this have a vast variety of options and they do the work permit application as soon as they are contacted by the interested party.

After getting the official document, Aguilera states that it is only a matter of time organization for the student to properly begin his/her journey.