Norwegian students today risk losing their membership in the National Insurance Scheme if they work alongside their studies abroad. Karianne (21) quit her part-time job in the Netherlands.
Membership in the National Insurance Scheme ensures, among other things, the right to health services in Norway, help from NAV and support from the Loan Fund.
– It is difficult to get things going without having a job, all my friends in Norway have a job next to their studies, says student Karianne Folkvord Furset (21) to VG.
“If you are going to work abroad for more than 12 months or work for a foreign employer, your membership in the National Insurance will end,” writes er ARE NOT on their websites. The rule is to prevent people from exploiting welfare benefits, but it hits students hard.
The rule has in long time worried students taking the education outside Norway. ANSA, the organization for Norwegian students abroad, wants clear regulations. The unclear regulations mean that students drop part-time jobs in and outside Europe.
One year ago, the parliamentary parties Frp, Ap and Sp formed a majority to change the regulations.
Storting politician Jan Tore Sanner (H) believes that Norwegian students abroad should have the opportunity to have a job alongside their studies, such as students in Norway.
– We must ensure that the regulations are clear, fair and do not prevent Norwegian students abroad from gaining valuable work experience, he says.
In February 2021, the Storting asked the government to study and come back with the necessary proposals for the rule.
Now Sanner has sent a letter questions to the government where he asks what the current government is doing to follow up the Storting’s decision to ensure that Norwegian students abroad who wish to do so may have the opportunity to have a part-time job.
The Ministry of Labor and Social Inclusion writes to VG that they have received the question and are in the process of formulating an answer. Minister of Labor and Social Inclusion Hadia Tajik (Labor Party) will present the answer on 10 January.
– Students abroad should have the same opportunities for part-time work alongside their studies as students in Norway. We now expect the government to follow up the decision from the Storting, says ANSA President Sebastian Hytten.
– Without a student loan, I have no chance
Karianne Folkvord Furset (21) is studying in the Netherlands at the University of Leiden.
After studying for two years, she decided to get a part-time job. She wants to have some start-up capital before she has finished her bachelor’s degree and no longer receives student support.
– When I got the part-time job, I noticed how much it helped me with the language and with understanding Dutch culture. Then a friend of mine told me about the rule that makes us unable to work abroad and be a member of the National Insurance Scheme.
The unclear rules make many students insecure. VG has previously written about students who studying outside Europe.
The 21-year-old was born with a heart defect that does not create any problems in everyday life, but it is reassuring for her to keep the doctor in Norway where she goes for an annual check-up.
– I do not want to lose the doctor I have now. I also found out that if I had also lost the opportunity to apply for money from the Loan Fund. Without a student loan, I have no chance of getting an education.
Few are aware of the rule
There are around 12,000 Norwegian students abroad, of which about 10,000 are in the EU / EEA according to ANSA.
ANSA leader Hytten says that part-time work is a recurring issue that most students encounter at some point.
– Unfortunately, few people are aware of these regulations before it is too late. This means, among other things, that you are not entitled to a scholarship from Lånekassen, he says.
– Many who need savings
In the first years of her education, Dutch student Furset has had small jobs at the university which have given her extra income.
She says that several people around her are in the same situation. A Norwegian friend of hers who is also abroad is the only one in her studies from Norway, and the only one who does not have a part-time job.
– There are many who need savings or help from their parents to take things around, and this does not only apply here in the Netherlands. I think it is a loss-loss situation both for us and for the Norwegian working life we will enter when we move back, the student says.
In Norway must seven out of ten Students work to make it go around financially.
Jan Tore Sanner (H) hopes that there will now be proposals for changes so that Norwegian students abroad can have part-time jobs without losing their membership in the National Insurance Scheme.
– This was also a problem when the Conservatives were in government, why was it not changed then?
– The question arose in the work on the White Paper on; «International student mobility in higher education». In the Storting, the Conservatives pointed out, among other things, that this was something that had to be investigated and a solution found. Unfortunately, we never completed that work before the country got a new government, but we have high expectations that they follow it up and present a proposal for a solution.
The department director for membership and fees in NAV has previously encouraged foreign students who get a job at the campus to contact them.
This is because there are different rules for students within and outside the EEA.