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I live in a Non-EU / EAA country located within Europe (not Switzerland). Currently, I'm employed at a Dutch company and have a very satisfying salary which is far above the salary average in my country. I've been in this company for about 9 months.

However, I keep being thorn between this satisfying job on the one hand, and the ambition to continue my studies by doing MSc in Netherlands on the other. I've found some good programs which are related to what my company does (software development) and I'm considering applying there. I imagine that the perfect scenario would be for me to study part-time for the MSc while working full-time in my company offices in Netherlands.

But before proceeding further with my plans, I have a few questions:

  • How does one approach her company in order to ask for a study funding?

  • If the company offers to help with relocation, does that mean that they will match my salary depending on the expenses in the new country?

  • What do companies usually ask in return for situations such as this? Staying at the company for a certain amount of time in the future?

About the first question I'd like to add that my company already invests a lot in its employees by paying for trainings and conferences. Therefore, a conversation on this topic shouldn't be difficult, right?

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You should first investigate your company's policy with regard to supporting employees in their studies. Some companies are happy to help with studies, some do not. If there is no policy, then you will have to come up with an exceptional reason why they should do so in your case.

Most companies also help with relocation, but the norm is that they do it only when it's desirable from a company point of view, i.e they need someone like you in the new location. If that is not the case, then you will bear the cost of any move. You would need to look for openings in the Netherlands and apply for them like any other job. Many firms have their operations in different countries run by different subsidiaries with different rules. Make sure any policies you research are for the Netherlands operation. Salaries for such a job will be the going rate for that country.

While the two things you consider individually are often doable separately, the two together may be problematic. The operation in the new country may require you to have been working for them for a certain amount time before they will support your studies. You are also going to be asked an important question, which is why studying in Netherlands is better than in your own country? Also you will need to explain why doing all this is beneficial for the company? Just because you want to do something doesn't make it worth the company's money.

Finally the norm for a company paying for your education is that you have to stay with the company for a certain amount of time or pay back the money. But policies vary and you have to ask.

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