In Holland, a student from outside the EU or the European Economic Area (EEA) is allowed to work no more than ten hours per week, and full time during the summer months, provided the student has a work permit. But applying for this work permit, done by the student’s employer, proves a major bureaucratic hassle.

Non-European foreign students can legally work much more easily in many European countries than in the Netherlands, a report by Nuffic (the Netherlands Organisation for International Cooperation in Higher Education) shows.

In countries like Finland, the UK, France, Denmark, Switzerland, Slovenia and Germany, students only need their student visas to be allowed a job. During the study year, a maximum number of hours per week is set, ranging from fourteen (in Germany), to twenty five (in Finland). Sweden is the only country that allows non-European students to work full time the year round. Yet in Norway, Belgium and Poland these students may only work during the summer months.

“The procedures for applying for work permits differ significantly from country to country”, Jenneke Lokhof of Nuffic says. “In Denmark it is a mere formality but in Bulgaria you wait for months.” Another thing to consider is whether the costs of the health insurance will not be too high compared to the salary, Jenneke points out: “The health insurance is compulsory in Holland for all employees, including foreign students. The costs of that are sometimes just not worth it compared to the student’s salary of only a few hours work”. In popular countries like Spain, Japan, Italy, Greece and Austria the student visa does not allow the student to make some extra money either.

For these findings, all EU member states and Iceland and Norway (the EEA states), and four popular overseas destinations: Canada, the US, Japan and Australia, have been looked into. HOP

More information