Samantha’s got a job

Job hunting for students who don’t speak Dutch ‘seems impossible’, four international students claimed last month. Well, the article resulted in at least one of them getting the job she wanted.

Samantha - Reyer

Samantha Edwards’ job offer came from Elisabeth Duursma, a researcher for the University’s Centre of Language, Education and Communication. ‘Samantha was interested in babysitting and had a lot of experience’, says Elisabeth, adding: ‘We are a bilingual family, so I had been searching for an English-speaking person to look after my kids as all their homework is in English.’

When Samantha was contacted by Elisabeth a mere week after the article was published, she was overjoyed: ‘It was surprising considering my contact details weren’t included in the article. Elisabeth had to ring the magazine and request them specifically, which I really appreciated.’

Food bill

Samantha has been working for Elisabeth for two weeks now and really enjoys spending time with her children. The feeling is mutual. ‘Samantha is wonderful!’ Elisabeth says. ‘The kids love her and were disappointed when she finished her first day with us.’

Most of the money Samantha earns goes towards her weekly food bill. Sadly, the work isn’t regular enough to earn her any DUO job grants. Therefore, she’s looking for more work: ‘I do feel a little less guilty about my parents paying for my tuition fees now.’

Lunch assistant

Elisabeth is very aware of the difficulties international students face trying to get a job in Groningen. It is a shame that more Dutch people don’t employ them, according to Elisabeth, who says: ‘International students really bring something positive to the community.’ She thinks a university employment office for international students would be great for introducing international students to Dutch employers.

In the meantime, however, it might be a good idea for international students to contact the international pre-school and primary school Groningse Schoolvereniging to see if there’s work for them there. Elisabeth is on the school board and knows it often uses international students as lunch assistants. ‘International students can post messages offering their skills on the board at the entrance of the school’, she says. ‘I’ll be happy to help them with this.’