Working in the Netherlands

Staying in the Netherlands to Work 

  • If you have an EU nationality, you don’t need a permit to work in the Netherlands.
  • If you are a graduate from Croatia or a country outside the EEA, you are allowed to spend one year in the Netherlands to find a job as a highly skilled migrant by getting an Orientation Year Permit
  • Application: you have to apply for a permit yourself for this “zoekjaar” at the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND), either before the expiration date of your student residence permit up to three years after graduating if you wish to travel abroad first.
  • Costs and Validity: 192 euros
  • Extension not possible: This permit is valid for a maximum of 12 months, if you are unable to find a job within the Netherlands during this one year period you would have to leave the country or acquire another type of residence permit.

Career Options After Graduation

If you are going to graduate soon but have no idea what you’ll do as a career you can check out a video series of the  UvA-alumni talking about where you can end up after graduating:

Becoming a Health Care or Clinical Psychologist:

In the Netherlands the title ‘psychologist’ is not statutorily protected. Anyone may use this title regardless of one’s training or work experience. When you graduate from a science based university you can use the title Master of Science in Psychology. However to be able to work in certain disciplines within psychology you often need additional registrations.

BIG means ‘Professions in the Healthcare of the Individual’ (Beroepen in de Individuele Gezondheidszorg.) The BIG-register is a governmental body that lists officially acknowledged providers of healthcare. Only BIG-registered professionals are legally authorised to use this protected title that stands for identifiable expertise and capability.

In order to get included in the BIG-register healthcare professionals need to have completed a course or training that is approved by the Dutch government.

You need post-graduate training to become a registered Health Care Psychologist ‘Gezondheidszorgpsycholoog’ (2 year program) or registered Clinical Psychologist ‘Klinisch Psycholoog’ (an additional 4 year program). Note that these most of these post-graduate programmes are offered in Dutch only.

You can read more about this subject on this link.

Becoming a Researcher:

Another career option you could consider after studying Psychology is to become an academician or a researcher. This option might be a bit more international friendly as becoming a Clinical Psychologist without practicing in the official language of a country you’re residing in is extremely difficult. The basic steps of adapting a research career is summarised below;

  1. Earn a bachelor’s degree
  2. Seek research opportunities
  3. Find work in the research field
  4. Apply to a doctoral program and earn your Ph.D
  5. Complete a post-doctoral fellowship
  6. Apply for appropriate licensure
  7. Research assistant
  8. Professor

Gap Year


One of the most fun things you can do during your gap year is to travel. There is nothing like living in a new country, exploring new cultures, and meeting with people from all around! Here we have listed some options that can be helpful for you while planning your year of travel.


Aiesec is the largest youth-led organization in the world. With their ‘Global Talent’ program, they provide internships abroad that help you discover your next step in life. The duration of our internships varies between short (6-12 weeks), mid (3-12 months) and long-term (1 – 1.5 years). As a bachelor student, you can gain experience in your field during your summer break and as a master student, they can help you to start your international career.

If you want to learn more about the details you can check out the VSPA Vacancy Bank!

Year Out Group (YOG)

Year Out Group (YOG) is an association of approved gap year providing organizations most of which are registered in the UK.  At least one of the principal activities of each of these organizations is the provision of well-structured gap year programs in the UK or overseas.

You can check out their website to choose from the various destinations they have like Africa, Asia, and Australia.


BUNAC are experts in work abroad programs and have extensive experience in offering work and travel experiences around the world to students and young people globally. They offer assistance in various different types of traveling:

Internships Abroad

Summer in the States

Working Holidays

Career Breaks and Volunteering

Choosing a Master

Do you want to continue your studies by doing a Masters’s?

SSPN made a great Masterguide summarizing all of the programs offered in the Netherlands:

Masterguide SSPN 2020-2021

Of course, you can choose to go abroad to continue your studies but then you have to decide where you want to go so sadly we can’t help you with that. But here are some tips for choosing a masters;

  • Take inventory of your passions and motivations.
  • Do your research and explore your options.
  • Keep your career goals in mind.
  • Make sure the program fits your lifestyle.
  • Consider your finances.
  • Talk to admissions advisors, students, and alumni.
  • Network with faculty.