We at International Students Work (ISW) are on a mission to address the dual issues that international students confront in the Netherlands. These challenges include the struggle to find their way in the Netherlands and the hesitancy of Dutch companies to hire international talent.
Our mission is to enable opportunities for international students in every student city.
Our goal is to close the labor-market gap between international and local students, allowing every international student and graduate to feel welcomed and successfully integrate into the local society.
In this blog, we’ll shine a light on the issues we’re addressing and discuss how we’ve been working towards our objective, including some findings from our latest impact survey that took place last summer. This blog also shines a light on how students, academic institutions, and local business can collectively take part in our mission.
The Challenges we take on
We take on the following challenges faced by international students:
- Financial Stability: Financial insecurity affects many international students. In our impact study, 97% of students stated that improving their financial stability is one of the main reasons they work.
- Weekly Routine: Working gives a better weekly routine for 95% of students, allowing them to manage their time more efficiently.
- Social Networks: International students require a sense of belonging. Working facilitates the formation of new friendships, with 92% citing this as a motivation for taking on part-time work.
- Enhanced Productivity: 90% of students reported that working while studying enhanced their productivity, highlighting the need to balance jobs and academics.
- Overcoming Loneliness: For some, university life might be lonely. Part-time jobs, according to 85% of our students, assist with managing feelings of loneliness.
- Networking and Skill Development: Part-time jobs are also considered as possibilities to extend relationships and business contacts (77%), as well as to improve one’s CV (74%). In addition, 67% of students use it to adapt to Dutch society.
- Future Career: A part-time job provides an opportunity for 64% of students to develop new skills that will be valuable in their future careers.
Since 2019, ISW has;
– Established collaborations with over 25 local companies in major student cities including Nijmegen, Eindhoven, Arnhem, Amsterdam and Rotterdam to name a few, providing international students with job opportunities and offering Dutch businesses a chance to hire international talent.
– According to our survey results, 90% of all students working with ISW saw higher productivity, and 67% showed a stronger intention to stay in the Netherlands long-term.
– We bridge by advocating international students capabilities and reducing barriers in hiring international students (e.g. handling work permit applications, guiding students with the bureaucratic matters after finding a job). We were instrumental in assisting some local businesses in hiring their first international students.
– Our students’ response has been extremely positive, with the majority of them ranking our services as outstanding or very good in numerous categories.
Further challenges to encounter
We recognize that language barriers remain a substantial obstacle for international students. We are actively working on solutions to this problem. As we move forward, we hope to expand our relationship with students who have been placed with a company and to improve community events. We are constantly exploring methods to better recompense our students financially.
"Nobody told me"
This is a term a lot of internationals use, which highlights that some information are unknown and sometimes are not provided in English.
Beyond the Workplace: Navigating Dutch Life
We constantly tackle this issue by providing insights on Dutch bureaucracy, cultural nuances, everyday living recommendations, and community-building opportunities on our social media sites.
– Our newsletters are jam-packed with useful tips, local insights, and student tales that give you a better picture of living in the Netherlands.
– Our blogs include a variety of themes, such as language tips, student well-being, and travel recommendations.
Finally, our podcasts deliver real-life experiences, professional advice, and cultural insights right to the ears of our students. We want to provide international students with the knowledge and support they need to fully enjoy their Dutch experience.
Expanding the impact to international students in other cities in the Netherlands
Established in Nijmegen, we have expanded our reach to other cities like Arnhem, Amsterdam, Eindhoven, and Wageningen.
We believe that academic institutions can help us achieve our goals. Radboud University provided us an office space on campus, taking us closer to students in Nijmegen. Rules and regulation, finding job in the Netherlands, and tax workshops are provided annually at both Radboud University and HAN University of Applied Sciences.
ISW Broadcast a channel that connect students in Nijmegen and Arnhem study associations. We bridge study associations in Arnhem so students can enrich their experience by discovering other cultures and expand their network. ESN Nijmegen has been our loyal partner since we started.
Does our Mission Speak to you?
We can collectively have a greater effect by recommending students seeking for part-time work and assistance to us, creating relationships, and knowledge sharing for international students. and even enjoying a cup of coffee with Danna.
If our mission speaks to you, feel free to reach out to Danna to discover how we could both collaborate by booking a discovery call:
Finally, we wish to thank the students who have placed their trust in International Students Work. Your commitment to bettering your life and making a difference in your community is admirable. We can close the gap and build a more inclusive and equal environment for everybody if we work together.