What can Flow offer you as an international student?
We noticed that some information can be a bit spread out or hard to find. We therefore created this page to give international students more information about important subjects concerning studying in the Netherlands. At the bottom of this page, there is also a useful list of links to other associations or organizations that can help you even further.
What does "becoming active" entail?
Being an active member at Flow means a couple of things. First, you join one of our committees. You can only join a committee at the start of the academic year. There are also special activities for active members, like the Active Members Activity and the Active Members Thanking Evening.
Joining a committee has multiple advantages for you as a student. You gain practical knowledge from working together with a team and making an effort for other students. It’s also good for your resume. Furthermore, you also gain new friends by joining the group of active people within our association!
Working Culture in the Netherlands
Are you an international student and looking for a job in the Netherlands? We’ll give a short description about the working life in the Netherlands since there could be some cultural differences between working here and in your home country.
Dutch people are of course known for their directness. This is something that you can come across in your workplace as well. For example, a boss can criticize you publicly. On the other hand, hierarchies are quite flat compared to other countries and it is common to address your manager by their first name. Staying respectful towards those higher in rank or those who are older is valued, a formal way of addressing them is appreciated and they will take the lead in adopting to a more informal tone.
As mentioned before, Dutch people can be quite direct. This means that small talk during a business meeting is kept short. During meetings it is often the case that meetings involve staff of various levels and all of those people will share their opinions as well. A benefit of the Dutch directness is that when they give a compliment they really mean it!
A final point to take into account is how the Dutch perceive time. For most people the saying “time is money” is applicable. This means you should be punctual and in if you are running late it is important to contact the relevant person to let them know. Furthermore, it is very common to schedule weeks ahead.
Jobs in the Netherlands
Now you know a bit about the Dutch working culture, but what is important when looking for a job? Dutch recruiters mainly value personal motivation, extracurricular and international experience and self-reflection. They find most work experience relevant as long as you can explain what you learned from it! Some essentials for finding a job are an up-to-date LinkedIn profile, a resume, and a cover letter. When going to an interview, it’s important to be prepared for the Dutch communication style. They shake hands at the beginning (before Covid-19) and they keep the small talk relatively short!
You also need public health insurance to be able to apply for a job in the Netherlands, just a student insurance is not enough. You are able to receive a subsidy for this health insurance. The International Center Tilburg can help you with applying for insurance and subsidy. Check out this page on their website for more information!
If you want more information or tips for applying for a job, you can check the Career Portal of Tilburg University ( https://tiu.jobteaser.com/en). Do you feel like you’re totally ready? Then start looking for a job! Below you can find a list of websites that offer jobs and internships for internationals:
The International Center Tilburg also has a Parttime Job Pool for which you can sign up!
The public transport (the Dutch call it Openbaar Vervoer or “OV” for short) in the Netherlands is somewhat centralized. You need an “OV-chipkaart” (public transport chip-card) for access to most forms of public transport. This is a card which you need to check in and out of all forms of public transport. You can load money onto the card, or set it up for automatic withdrawal from your bank-account to top up your balance automatically.
The personal OV-chipkaart is most useful if you use public transport frequently. This card allows you to top up your balance automatically, so you never have to go to a ticket machine or do it online. You are also able to put additional “products” onto this card, such as a subscription to use the “OV-bikes” or to be able to store your bike in a secured garage at most train stations.
The anonymous OV-chipkaart is useful if you don’t use public transport that often and don’t need all those extra features. This card costs as much as a personal card, but you are able to use it immediately and can buy it in most convenience stores.
You can also still buy single use tickets for most forms of public transport. Note: these tickets are sometimes more expensive than using an OV-chipkaart!
The Dutch are known for their directness: if they have to say something, they’ll tell it straight to you without any “filtering”. Most people see this as being rude, but there are almost never any crude intentions when Dutch people are direct. It is just the way most people prefer to communicate in this country.
Most people know that the Dutch love riding their bike to almost anywhere. But they also do it almost anywhere. Whether it’s the allocated bike-paths, the actual road, or the sidewalk. This can be confusing when you are first participating in Dutch traffic, so please be extra careful!
Structure of the University
Tilburg University consists of five faculties. Communication- and Information Sciences, Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence, and Data Science and Society all belong to the Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences.
Our faculty is run by its own Faculty Board. You can find the current members of this board here. The faculty is divided into departments. You can find the heads of each department here. There is also a Faculty Council in which students are also represented. The members of the council can be found here.
Language Center & Language courses
All students at Tilburg University have access to the Language Center of the university. You receive 12 credits that you can spend on language courses. International and pre-master students also receive these credits! You need to “pay” for a language course with these credits. The courses cost either 3, 6 or 12 credits.
We assembled a number of useful links to other websites who are specialized in helping international students. Click on the tabs on the left to see the links in other categories.
The University has a lot of information available for international students on their website, but this is sometimes not as easy to find. We listed the most important pages below.
General information about studying
List of Campus Facilities
Application & registration
Scholarships and Grants
Meeting TiU abroad
Support for international students from the University itself
The International Center is a organization that started “as a response to the internationalization in the region”. They have a location in the city centre and host all kind of activities. You should take a look at their entire website, but we have also listed a few direct links to useful pages.
Part-time jobs for international students
Event calendar (on their homepage)
I*ESN is the Student Association for international students in Tilburg.
Information for students who are coming to the Netherlands
If you have any questions for us, you can ask them through this form!