Get tips & tricks on building your life in the Northern Netherlands

The Dutch North — which includes the provinces of Groningen, Friesland and Drenthe — is famous for its innovative businesses, pleasant work-life balance and international-friendliness.

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There are grand opportunities for you in Groningen, Friesland & Drenthe

Welcome to the province of GRONINGEN, home of the vibrant student city that bears the same name. Groningen is an incredible place to live and work. With excellent biking infrastructure, you’ll have easy access to a wide variety of shops, services, restaurants, and entertainment venues. Direct train connections link you up to other major cities in the Netherlands.

Groningen Province(c) Deon Prins Large (1)
Visit Groningen
Friesland Province (1)
Visit Friesland

FRIESLAND is a unique province in the Netherlands hosting 11 cities! It features its famous ice-skating 'Elfstedentocht' and the Wadden Sea which is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Friesland offers a number of cultural hotspots complimented by a refreshing cultural calendar. The people of Friesland are bound together through their own language, Frisian, which most of them speak and understand.

Assen (1)
Visit Drenthe

The province of DRENTHE offers stunning national parks, museums, and outdoor adventures. One may cycle through some of the country’s most beautiful and varied landscapes while discovering Drenthe’s rich natural heritage, and fantastic manufacturing industry. Drenthe is also home to the oldest monuments in the Netherlands, the prehistoric tombstones known as ‘hunebedden’.

Average commuting time per day

Work-life balance in the Netherlands

Work
We don't wanna brag, but we've got the best work-life balance in the world. Not only do people work way fewer hours on average than in other countries (30,6 per week), workers are well-protected by labor laws and you cannot easily be fired. That said, getting a permanent contract these days isn't something to take for granted: unless you're in a high-demand field such as IT, health or energy, temporary contracts (up to 2 years) are very common.
At many companies, Friday afternoon drinks, vrijmibo's, are a staple social gathering. Not just with your colleagues but also with your manager! You'll find Dutch working culture is generally not at all hierarchical: you can just walk into your boss's office or give them a call, no sweat.

Life
Because the Netherlands is not just super compact, but also smack-bang in the center of Europe, you can easily make the most of your gallons of free time. It's very safe to travel around, and Dutch public transport reaches most places. There are endless museums (Groninger Museum, Drents Museum, Fries Museum), grand architecture - modern and over 600-1000 years old - and we've got beautiful nature reserves.
But with whom will you go? Your egalitarian colleagues? Ah, therein lies the rub. Dutchies on average have 3,5 super close friends in a range of 3km. While Dutch people are generally super friendly, becoming friends isn't so easy. Thankfully, Dutch Review is here to help you enter the typical Dutch birthday circle of death! Once you're in the circle, you'll know you've made it. 💪 Until then, the North has a great international community, and plenty of activities to help you make local friends.

Frequently asked questions
  • EU citizens can work in the Netherlands without a residence or work permit
  • if you’re here on a study visa, you can usually work no more than 16 hours a week, but you’ll also need:
    • a work permit (tewerkstellingsvergunning) – your employer has to apply for this at the UWV
    • Dutch social security number (BSN)
    • Dutch health insurance

By the way, you won’t need this stuff for doing an internship as part of your studies!

Yes! And soon, more yes! Currently, you can find internships among the regular jobs, but we’re working on adding a board dedicated to internships and traineeships with a couple of sweet goodies and functionalities:

  • Internship toolkit (pro tips for when and how to look for one)
  • Internships offered by companies
  • Internship requests posted by jobseekers
Jobs

Being the home to more than 120 nationalities, the Northern Netherlands is a great international place to be. Want to start your life here? In this article you can read all about the organizations and services you may need and where to find them.

An overview of expat services to help you start anew

Become part of the local community, get to know what’s happening in town, and familiarize yourself with services useful for students in Groningen, Friesland and Drenthe.

Embed yourself in the vibrant Northern Netherlands

That’s what this website is for!

Unfortunately, we don’t yet have the capacity to give you 1-on-1 matching services. 😔 But we want to help you as much as possible, so do check out all the tips and tricks we’ve gathered on this website, and make sure to join events to meet local companies and peers!

Also, and you’ve probably already read it on our website a bunch of times, your network is more important than finding that one great job.

Job hunting tips & tricks

It depends on where you’re from!