Life in Amsterdam is not cheap. The obvious solution is to combine your studies with a job. Although the city offers enough jobs, foreign students can experience some obstacles. The tips offered to you here should help you get around them.
If your study schedule allows it, you might be interested in finding a part-time job. While this can be a great experience, you are advised to first check with your host university for more information on work permits. Additional information can be found on the website of the Netherlands Organisation for International Cooperation in Higher Education (Nuffic), www.nuffic.nl.
Citizen Service Number / Burger Service Nummer
The Burger Service Nummer (bsn) is a unique number for everybody who has to deal with the Dutch authorities. This number, which in most cases replaces the social security number (Sofi-nummer), will become more important in the future. When in the Netherlands, you will automatically obtain a bsn if you register with the municipal authorities. To start your job you will need this number, so it is important to arrange this. To do this, and also if you have other questions, you can go to the website www.burgerservicenummer.nl or contact your municipal authorities. It is, of course, also possible to go to the foreign students’ counsellor. If you are planning to stay for only one semester you won’t be able to get a job in the Netherlands, since it would take too much time to obtain the necessary documents. For more in-formation check the website of UWV werkbedrijf: www.werk.nl.
How to Get a Job
If you are looking for a job, approach a job agency (uitzendbureau); they can be found all over town. They offer temporary jobs, also for students. If they do not have anything on offer, they will try to find an appropriate job for you. Registration is free. For addresses look in the Gouden Gids (www.goudengids.nl) or in the telephone directory under ‘uitzendbureau’ (www.telefoongids.nl).
Look out for posters on shop windows or check the internet. Again, there is a maximum number of hours you are allowed to work as a non-eu student without a work permit. Do not exceed this, or the authorities will consider your residence permit invalid!