About the youRegion community
The youRegion project encompasses the community of welcome centres and institutions. They support newcomers in living and working across the Euregio-Meuse Rhine. In Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands, all partners bundle their information and services in order to create a culture of welcome and job market without borders.
There are over 150 Euregio’s across Europe, regions where European Union Member States borders meet. The Euregio Meuse-Rhine is a geographic area in the heart of Europe. It includes five regions along the borders of Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. It is also registered as a legal entity: the “European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation”. The EGTC Euregio Meuse-Rhine facilitates cross-border cooperation, smaller projects and larger ones such as youRegion.
EU citizens are eligible to live and work in all three countries of the Euregio Meuse-Rhine, ensuring that administration requirements for registration, taxation and social security are met.
For third-country nationals (non-EU citizens), your residence or working status might be connected to one of the three countries in particular. Leisure activities (volunteering) and short-term stays under 90 days do not usually constitute any problems. Our sections on securing a visa and work permit as well as consultations with the youRegion-partners might help with a first overview of what is required.
The best advice is probably to start looking early, especially in university towns like Aachen, Hasselt and Maastricht. About 2,200 students in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine also find housing in a country different from their universities. Find more tips and tricks in our housing section.
Your employer or university is usually able to assist, as well as the youRegion partners Expat Centre Maastricht Region and Expat Centre Limburg (in Hasselt BE), Newcomer Service Aachen, Dual Career Service RWTH Aachen and GrenzInfoPunkt / GrensInfoPunt (Cross-Border Information Points) in Maastricht and Aachen/Eurode are eager to help.
Head to our registration section for how to register at your local municipality. Most likely you will need to make an appointment and bring documents that prove your residence.
In some cases (in Germany), you might need a preliminary proof from your employer in order to get your work permit which, in return, allows for making a final contract.
The youRegion community of Expat Centres and Newcomer Services organises events and facilitates contacts among people new to the Euregio Meuse-Rhine. No matter where you live, you can make use of these services, also across borders. Our website also provides an overview on how to find your own community, for example with information on buddying.
Special services exist, particularly with the universities that provide Dual Career Services. RWTH Aachen as part of the youRegion is currently building a Spouse Network. Consultations can be also arranged at Expat Centres and GrenzInfoPunkte (for cross-border commuters). Employers also often offer special support. In the youRegion Network, we regularly organise meetings specially directed at partners of internationals across the Euregio Meuse-Rhine, find examples in the youRegion Spouse Network events section.
Frequently, you will find at least some personal support in English or foreign languages.
Especially in Belgium and Germany, you will, however, likely face documents and procedures in the respective languages only. Many employees in government institutions’ support departments are able to speak multiple languages. All youRegion partner organisations are multilingual. Also find our multilingual pages for an easier entry into your new life.
Within about one hour’s drive from Maastricht, you can potentially reach up to 2 million jobs – from Aachen, this is even more. Due to the fact that the Euregio Meuse-Rhine exists of five regions, we provide an overview with first hints on finding a job for each respective region: online portals, job fairs, Dual Career Services, and more.
Application procedures in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands have a lot of things in common. To find out more check out our information on the respective (working) cultures in the intercultural learning section. Head to the respective sections for more in-depth information regarding work permits, social security, and cross-border commuting.
Find an overview in our recognition of diplomas section. Within the European Union, as a general rule diplomas/degrees are mutually recognised. However exceptions are not infrequent. The services listed in this section help you clarify your situation.
Besides the employment agencies, there are other public services dedicated to facilitating finding a job.
Note that in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine, the Services Grensoverscheidende Arbeidsbemiddeling – SGA in Kerkrade/Herzogenrath and Maastricht (website in Dutch, French and German) can support you in finding a job across the border. In addition, becoming involved in volunteering or attending networking and community events might be helpful – the more people you know the greater chances are to hear of something interesting.
There is a large network of public services, financial possibilities and mentorship available in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine. Find a starter kit in the starting a business section to get you acquainted.
Also note the variety of incubators, clusters and branches within and across the border. This adds to your possibilities in new markets, without travelling long distances.
For EU-citizens there are quite a lot of things to consider, so we have listed them in our section on cross-border commuting. In short, these are primarily taxation, social security, transport, as well as language learning and intercultural differences. For non-EU citizens, visas and work permits might be affected and should be double-checked.
So yes, there is more paperwork for the cross-border commuter, as legislation on social security still differs from country to country. GrenzInfoPunkte in Aachen/Eurode and GrensInfoPunt in Maastricht offer dedicated advice on this. Economic cycles, part-time opportunities, salaries, markets and working culture still differ from country to country. This can mean taking the leap and working cross-border particularly worthwhile.
Free time is the one thing that is truly without borders in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine.
To name a few highlights: GaiaZOO – the most beautiful zoo in the Netherlands; indoor skiing and snowboarding in SnowWorld Landgraaf; hiking in the Eifel and Ardennes mountain ranges or cycling across German hillsides.
People in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine share a passion for enjoying life, they many speak dialects share common roots – and a great deal of inhabitants identify with being part of a border region in the very “heart of Europe”.
Whether you approach the Euregio Meuse-Rhine from the outside or inside – we prepared a selection on intercultural learning and “euregional onboarding”: where to sneeze in what way, where to kiss for greetings, and how to deal with a culture shock and expectations you did not even know you had.
Our transport section contains a map that provides an overview for all public transport in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine, including the EuregioTicket.
For season tickets, the transport and ticketing systems do differ quite a lot and it is worthwhile to check for their respective advantages. For only €6 you can journey to the Belgian seaside, and as a student in Aachen you can travel back and forth to Heerlen or Maastricht for free.
Find more info on public services in our buddying, volunteering, clubs and language learning sections.
As another example, note that in Germany, the Volkshochschulen are a good first entrance point.
Find an overview on (sport) clubs and (student) intiatives and associations. You can certainly find a football club somewhere nearby. However, especially for those hobbies that are not as common, a look across the border can broaden up the possibilities within a reachable distance. Also find our overview of sports for disabled people with special needs.
We have collected overviews of legal advice, sport activities and transport in our special needs section. Note that if you hold a disabled status in one country, it may not be automatically applicable in the neighbouring country. We can help you find out how to get it done if necessary. Also note, that you might qualify for several discounts in public transport on one or the other side of the border.
For EU-citizens, this is certainly a given, and about 2,200 students in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine do so. Especially around Aachen where students live in Vaals (NL) and Raeren (BE) and also around Maastricht where students live in Lanaken (BE) and Riemst (BE).
For non-EU ciitzens, check to see if your visa allows this – and then make an appointment with the GrensInfoPunkt Aachen/Eurode or GrensInfoPunt in Maastricht.
Maastricht University provides a great deal of their courses in English, and English is the language of instruction in various Master programmes across the Euregio Meuse-Rhine. Find an overview in the dedicated section on higher education.
Students studying in Aachen can use the Semesterticket to travel by all (except ICE) trains in North Rhine-Westphalia and also return journeys to Heerlen and Maastricht. For students residing in Parkstad and studying in Aachen, Studierenden-Ticket Parktstad Limburg is an additional option for free bus and train travel in the Parkstad municipalities.
For students in the Netherlands, the student ov-chipkaart can offer great possibilities to travel the length of the country. For students in Hasselt and Liège student prices for trains in Belgium apply. There are also discounts such as the ISIC international student card and FlixBus coaches offer routes connecting the Euregio Meuse-Rhine to the rest of Europe at considerably low cost.
Find more info in the section on euregional transport.
Most universities provide housing guides or first hints on this topic. Also find more information in our section on housing.