Germany gives you twice as long to find a job

Pressure to find a job driving away foreign graduates

cartoon vacature
Illustration: pxhere

International students could help fill labour market shortages after they graduate. If we can manage to keep them here, that is. Of the students who came to the Netherlands from outside Europe in 2010, only 12 percent were still living here ten years later. By means of comparison, 45 percent of foreign graduates in Germany stay there – that's the highest retention rate worldwide. However, according to a recent report by the German organisation DAAD, which aims to internationalise education, many other countries are also outperforming the Netherlands when it comes to retaining foreign graduates. 

Nuffic, DAAD’s Dutch counterpart, believes international students in the Netherlands are quicker to leave because they are given less time to find suitable work after graduation. They only have one year to find a job before their residence permit expires, compared to two years in Germany.

Work and housing 
Besides the extra time pressure, Dutch work culture also plays a role, Nuffic explains. “Employers often want jobseekers to have a good command of Dutch and there are only so many entry-level English-speaking positions, so competition is fierce." The situation is compounded by the housing crisis. With many Dutch graduates struggling to find a place to live, the prospects for their international peers are even slimmer, according to Nuffic.