What is the difference between Dutch and Belgian students? This sounds like the start of a bad joke. But we’re serious. In fact, Randstad carried out a survey in Belgium last April. Do you have a job? How do you spend your money? These questions and more were put to 1000 young people. Comparison of the results with a similar survey performed in the Netherlands provided some interesting insights.
The survey revealed that Dutch teens enter the job market early. No less than 64% of 15 and 16-year-olds do student work or have some type of summer job. That’s a massive number. Especially when compared to 1.5% of 15-year-olds and 5% of 16-year-olds in Belgium! Conclusion: Dutch youngsters are taking a step towards independence and financial self-sufficiency a lot sooner.
We continue to see this trend with young adults. When Dutch students go to a vocational college, a whopping 56% swap their home for a student pad. For university students this percentage is even higher: 73%. To pay for this freedom, 7 out of 10 students in the Netherlands have part-time jobs or paid internships during college. Dutch students work on average 690 hours a year, which earns them an annual salary of around EUR 3984.
Again, the contrast is stark. Our survey showed that a measly 14% of students in Belgium live in student housing. And they often only stay there during the week when school is in session. Most students go home to ‘Hotel Mum’ for the weekend or during the holidays. However, although most Belgian students don’t have to stand on their own two feet yet, a relatively large number hold jobs. Belgian students work on average 322.5 hours a year, which earns them an annual salary of around EUR 2030.
The differences are certainly noteworthy! The Dutch study grant system and, of course, national legislation obviously have something to do with this. By the way, did you know that student work legislation in Belgium has changed recently? You are now allowed to work more than you used to – up to 475 hours a year.
So if you have some time on your hands...