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Working Abroad in Amsterdam

By Michael Herrera, StudentJob

Posted: 7th October 2014 11:13

Working in Amsterdam comes with an overwhelming amount of fun.  The city has a knack for never-ending surprises and with Amsterdam’s culture, comes the open-minded and permissive atmosphere.  With much of the Netherlands below sea level, it is considered to be a ‘low country’, however this most certainly does not reflect the Dutch.  The Dutch are a happy bunch.  If you’re considering working or will be working in Amsterdam, you may find this guide to be useful. 


EU, EEA and Swiss nationals are free to live in The Netherlands.  If you’re from elsewhere on the globe you will need a residency permit card from the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND).  It is advised to make an appointment with the IND two weeks prior to your arrival.  It is located at Stadhouderskade 85, near the Heineken Brewery. 

Finding a place to call home

The key to finding a place to live in Amsterdam is searching well in advance.  The most favoured source by StudentJob is  We advise all our staff and interns to use this website.  However we also advise our employees to be mindful when responding to rooms. 


  • It is common to be invited to see the room and meet future housemates.  Therefore it is wise to book appointments and visit before you arrive to live

  • Be aware of scams: never send money before meeting the landlord and seeing the contract/apartment

  • Be aware that ‘Furnished’ doesn’t always mean the room has a bed, table, draws etc.  included, so double check

  • Monthly rent should include water, gas, electricity and service costs.  Internet is usually included but check to be sure. 

Registering at the City Hall

If you have found a place to live and plan to stay in Amsterdam for longer than four months you will be required to register with the City Hall and be issued a BSN (Burger Service Number).  This number will be your ticket to being able to work, open a bank account and access healthcare.  This sounds daunting, and it can be if you’re unprepared.  Firstly you will need to book an appointment at the City Hall in Amsterdam, located at Amstel 1 in the city centre.  Secondly you will need to attend the appointment with the essentials listed below. 

Registration essentials:

  • Passport/ID

  • Signed rental contract for where you will be living in Amsterdam

  • A notarised copy of your birth certificate


As you will be working in Amsterdam, it will be best to open a bank account with one of the main Dutch banks, these include: ING, ABN Amro or Rabobank.  You will need your BSN number, your rental contract for a proof of address and just to be safe, bring your employment contract for proof of income. 


The standard of Dutch healthcare is arguably one of the best in Europe.  It is a legal requirement and it comes at a monthly cost of €100 per month.  The insurance company will ask for your Dutch address, your BSN number and your Dutch bank account details. 

Public Transport

The best and most cost effective way to use public transport around The Netherlands and Amsterdam is by using an OV-Chipcard.  This nifty card is the Dutch equivalent to London’s Oyster card allowing you to travel on trains, trams, buses and the metro.  You are required to check in at the start of your journey and checkout at the end of your journey.  The OV-Chipcard costs around €7.50 and thereafter you will need to top up the card for your journeys. 

Phew...  That’s the boring (but important) stuff out the way!


It’s likely you’ve heard that the Dutch like to bike, and it sure isn’t a myth.  At first, it’s difficult to come to grips with how people could be so confident riding their bikes through a busy city, but soon enough you’ll be doing the same.  A bike equals freedom here; you can bike literally anywhere, day and night.


The nightlife in Amsterdam is second to none, with an abundance of small to large pubs, bars and nightclubs; you’re really spoilt for choice.  Leidseplein and Rembrandtplein are great places to start. 

And there you have it.  StudentJob’s guide to working in Amsterdam as a student.  It is likely we’ve missed a couple of points, but there is just so much to address.  All in all, Amsterdam undoubtedly has a lot to offer and you’re guaranteed to have the time of your life.  There really is a place for everyone in Amsterdam. 

If you have any questions or queries regarding the above information, please do not hesitate to contact us on  All the above has been written from firsthand experience, therefore we will be able to confidently answer any of your questions. 

StudentJob is an online job portal that specialises in providing jobs, part-time jobs, internships, placements and graduate programmes for students.To view our vacancies, head over to

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