Below you find a brief summary of the procedures for arranging to have an internship as part of your study programme.
- Research your programme’s rules for internships by consulting:
- the prospectus
- your programme’s website
- the internship guide (if available)
- Schedule an appointment with your internship coordinator.
Other issues to bear in mind:
- There is a lot to get sorted before you start your internship, including updating your CV, concluding a contract with an internship provider, finding an internship supervisor, etc.
- If you want to complete an international internship, you should start making all financial and other arrangements early on. One year to 18 months is common.
- If you have a disability or if are a student athlete, read more details.
Some studies require internships to be arranged via an internship coordinator. while others rely on you to make the arrangements. Useful tip! If you research your options independently, we recommend the following sources:
- Lecturers have an extensive network at their disposal. Asking for recommendations from a lecturer active in the field that appeals to you offers the advantage that he/she may also be willing to serve as internship supervisor.
- Companies and various agencies and institutes approach internship coordinators with opportunities, the details of which are posted on bulletin boards and other physical/digital means of communication.
- The Career Services internship database can help you find interships that are suitable for students from different academic programmes.
- Visit the site of Utrecht University Knowledge Centres (click the link ‘Student’).
- Various student organisations serve as intermediaries in finding internships:
- Integrand (Dutch private sector)
- Aiesec (International internships)
- You can also directly contact the company, agency or institute of your choice to ask about internship opportunities. Visit the labour market page for an overview of potential internship providers and sectors of interest.
- Don’t forget to make use of your own network. Ask fellow students. Maybe you have an acquaintance, friend of family member who works for a company where you might want to be an intern.
- The Utrecht University Careers Day offers an opportunity to become acquainted in an informal setting with a large number of prospective private sector internship providers www.uu.nl/careersday. See also the useful links page.
Meet with the internship provider and discuss the options, but do not yet make any binding agreements. While some companies will provide you all the details you need in response to a phone call or an email, others request that you first submit a letter of application along with your CV.
In addition to finding a supervisor to represent the internship provider, you must also arrange for a lecturer to serve as your internship supervisor of your studyprogramme. Get in contact with internship coordinator, or your lecturer if your programme does not have a internship coordinator.
Draft an internship action plan/project description and have it approved by your programme. Do not forget to arrange for interim progress meetings with your faculty internship supervisor regularly reports by email.
Insist on a written agreement between you and the organisation where you will serve as intern. Many companies use their own standard agreement to be signed by the student. You could also use this model agreement if your faculty does not provide a model agreement. Compare it to the actual agreement to make certain everything is being arranged properly. Organising an internship abroad? Don’t forget to register your internship (location) in Osiris!
Legal status of interns
Working as an intern for a company is not the same as being employed (see Article 1 of the model agreement) While some arrangements will be the same, including working hours (Article 3) and injury and damage liability (Article 4), the legal liability of the intern with respect to the internship provider differs from that of employees (Article 4). As you are officially a student – not an employee – you are not entitled to leave days, unless arrangements for this have been made.
Internship pay and financial issues
If arrangements for this have been made, interns can receive pay of up to 450 euros a month. Don’t be fooled by fantastic stories. The rumour making the rounds about a student who received a temporary lease car is – if true – extremely unusual. The top priorities should be the substantive aspects of your internship and what you can learn from it, and any financial or other gain on your part is just icing on the cake. If all you receive is compensation for costs actually incurred (expenses and commuting costs), it is not considered income in determining your student grant, nor will it be subject to tax. Consequently, the internship provider is not obligated to withhold statutory payroll tax and social security contributions (wage withholding tax and national insurance contributions). This is, however, the case for internship pay.
If your internship runs through the summer, remember that your student public transport card (Studenten OV-chipkaart) can only be used for the discounted fare to and from the address where you work as intern.
If you are having problems financing your internship period, you can visit https://students.uu.nl/en/funding-grants for an overview of various public and private funds offering support to students completing an internship.
Insurance and liability
Of course something can go wrong during your internship. It is important to make sure you thoroughly check your individual situation beforehand and an agreement is signed. This includes research on which insurance you (should) have and how things are handled according to law and the internship agreement.
The internship is a learning process. It is far better to take a proactive approach and make mistakes than to be passive and take a wait‑and‑see attitude. If the internship falls short of expectations, try to find a way to make it work. Look for solutions and make suggestions for improvement, possibly in consultation with your programme internship lecturer. The range of options and opportunities at commercial internship providers is often extensive. Always contact your programme internship coordinator when you are experiencing problems.
Bear in mind that as an intern you are an ambassador of Utrecht University in general and of your programme in particular. You will be expected to:
- Honour agreements made (see also action plan and internship agreement)
- Adapt to the corporate culture and organisational hierarchy of the company
- Make a full commitment to the internship provider/employer
- Do not accept financial or other compensation from third parties for your work for the internship provider
- Always contact your programme internship lecturer or internship coordinator when you are experiencing problems.
Write a report and/or give a presentation about your key findings. Have your internship supervisor and internship lecturer assess your report and/or presentation and discuss it during an internship review session. The intern assessment form (for internship providers) (in Dutch) lists several skills which can potentially be assessed.
Your internship coordinator or lecturer will pass on the internship grade to the Student Desk via a preliminary exam statement so that it can be recorded in Osiris or submit your results together with your assessment form (document in in Dutch) to the Faculty Student Desk.