Why do an internship?
Representing a perfect chance to put academic theory into working practice, an internship not only serves as a vital link between academic study and the labour market, it is also the perfect opportunity to better come to grips with your talents, skills and abilities and to explore the practical value of your university education. Internships offer many other advantages, including:
- Invaluable practical experience. Gained, for instance, from taking part in an actual selection procedure or the daily operations of a company or organization.
- Increased appeal of your CV. Previous working experience is a great way to draw the eye of prospective employers.
- Better employment prospects. After graduation, many students work for their former internship provider.
- New networking contacts. These will benefit you both during your studies and after graduation.
Forms of internship
A wide range of internships are possible. The most common of which are:
- Work internship. The focus lies on gaining practical professional experience. For example a French student who is given the opportunity to complete several assignments for an embassy.
- Research internship. The focus lies on actually conducting scientific research often at a scientific/research institute of a foreign university, for example, but also at a commercial enterprise or cultural institution or other type of institute. For example a history student who conducts a literature study about the Golden Age on behalf of a museum.
Step-by-step plan (Research) Master's internship
The steps below will help you prepare for your internship. Please read these carefully together with the detailed HUM Internship manual – (Research) Master’s (pdf), which includes important information on finding an internship, internships abroad, writing the internship work plan, registering in Osiris, supervision, keeping a logbook and writing the final report and evaluation.
Important documents in the initial phase
Detailed HUM internship manual – (Research) Master’s (pdf)
Internship work plan guidelines – (Research) Master’s internship (docx)
Internship work plan form (pdf)
Standard HUM internship agreement (docx, English) / Standaard GW stageovereenkomst (docx, Dutch)
Internship agreement extension form (docx, Dutch)
Finding an internship
You are responsible for finding your own suitable internship. The internship contact person of your (Research) Master’s programme and the Coordinator careers orientation of your department can also help you if needed. In any case, you should start your search as early as possible and always check if the internship meets the requirements of your study programme.
Useful tips for your internship search can be found in the detailed internship manual.
You have two supervisors during your internship:
- Your internship supervisor (this is the supervisor at the internship organisation): this is the primary person responsible for providing supervision during the internship; this person is your first contact during your internship and supervises the content of your internship.
- Your supervising lecturer (this is a lecturer, usually from your own study programme): this is the person that decides whether the internship (assignment) meets the requirements and mainly supervises the internship process. In addition, the lecturer is the one who at the end assesses the internship.
The supervising lecturer is often assigned to you by your programme, however some programmes ask you to find a lecturer yourself. See the programme specific internship information for how it works at your (research) Master’s programme.
Internship work plan
Once you have secured an internship position, you will write an internship work plan in which you describe the internship assignment, your learning objectives and motivation, and agreements relating to supervision. The exact content of the plan depends on the specific internship you wish to complete:
Approval internship work plan
Your supervising lecturer and internship supervisor approve your internship work plan by using the internship work plan form (pdf). You will fill out this form and arrange a signature from both supervisors.
Arranging an internship involves signing an agreement between the Faculty of Humanities, the host organisation and you as the student. This agreement sets out your internship allowance and your liability insurance, giving you greater legal security. You cannot start the internship without this agreement. Preferably you use the standard HUM internship agreement (docx, English) / standaard GW stageovereenkomst (docx, Dutch).
For some organisations, different arrangements apply:
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Mediastages: these organisations have their own internship agreements that you must sign and submit.
- Meertens Instituut: you must submit both the faculty agreement and the Meertens Institute’s own agreement.
Once you have signed your agreement and obtained a signature from your internship supervisor (not your supervising lecturer), you will email the following three documents to the Humanities Internship Office (email@example.com):
- Internship work plan form (signed by you, your internship supervisor and your supervising lecturer)
- Internship work plan
- Original internship agreement (signed by you and your internship supervisor)
The Internship Office will check the submitted documents and then signs the agreement, providing the third signature. Please note that it is obligatory to hand in the three abovementioned documents at the Internship Office before you start your internship (abroad).
Subsequently you, your supervising lecturer and the internship supervisor receive a signed version of the internship agreement from the Internship Office. The Internship Office will then also register you in OSIRIS (you cannot do this yourself).
Now you are ready to start your internship!
Two people will supervise you during your internship:
- the supervising lecturer, who will supervise the internship from the university side (focus on the learning process)
- an internship supervisor at the host organisation (focus on the content and daily activities)
Keeping a log
During your internship, you check in regularly with your supervising lecturer. You will keep a log in which you record your activities and reflect upon them. Eventually you add the logs as an attachment to your internship report. Together with your supervising lecturer you determine how often and when you submit your logs during your internship.
Start writing your internship report
Your internship will be assessed based on your internship report. It is best to start writing the report early on in your internship. Guidelines for the internship report can be found in the detailed internship manual.
Extend the internship
If your internship goes on for longer than originally intended (and you have discussed this with both your supervising lecturer and internship supervisor), use the internship agreement extension form (pdf) (or in Dutch).
Important documents in the final phase
Detailed HUM internship manual – (Research) Master’s including guidelines for the internship report (pdf)
Internship assessment form – (Research) Master’s (docx)
Internship assessment form & feedback form internship supervisor – (Research) Master’s teaching internship (docx)
Feedback form internship supervisor (docx, English) / Feedbackformulier stagebegeleider (docx, Dutch)
Finishing your internship report
At the end of your internship you finish your internship report. The report contains an evaluation section and a description of the ‘product’ of the internship (see manual for details). This report will form the basis for your supervising lecturer’s assessment.
Feedback internship supervisor
A few weeks before the end of your internship, you will ask your internship supervisor of the organisation for feedback on your internship by using the Feedback form internship supervisor. You will integrate this feedback into your internship report.
Submitting your internship report
You submit your report (including all attachments) to your supervising lecturer and in some cases as well to the internship organisation.
Assessment of your internship
Your supervising lecturer is responsible for assessing your internship. The quality of your internship report will be the main determinant for your final grade. Assessment is conducted using a standard assessment form specific to the internship type:
- Internship assessment form – (Research) Master’s (docx)
- Internship assessment form & feedback form internship supervisor – (Research) Master’s teaching internship (docx)
At the end of your internship your supervising lecturer will organise a consultation with your internship supervisor on your internship performance to come to a final assessment. Feedback from the feedback form will be discussed.
Although the internship report is the main determinant for your final grade, the feedback of your internship supervisor can influence the final grade (at most with 0,5 points, higher or lower). Your lecturer will inform you of your final grade, and ensure that you receive (or have access to) copies of the completed assessment forms. Your grade and the number of EC will be entered into OSIRIS by your supervising lecturer.
Archive internship report
Once you have received your grade, you email your final report (including all attachments) to the Humanities Internship Office: firstname.lastname@example.org
Finding an internship if you have a disability
Internships for students with disabilities are not always easy to find. If you run into any problems, please contact the internship coordinator of your (Research) Master’s programme or the study advisor. The following websites offer useful suggestions and/or internship vacancies:
- Expertise Centrum Inclusief Onderwijs (website in Dutch only)
Information on completing an internship with a disability, including a useful Guidebook.
- Onbegrensd Talent (website in Dutch only)
A recruitment and selection agency for highly-educated people with a disability.
- Onbeperkt aan de slag (website in Dutch only)
A digital platform for employers and employees in the Utrecht region.
Student athletes may face more difficult challenges in finding an appropriate internship. Fortunately, a growing number of companies are aware of the needs of this group of student interns and are taking steps to make it easier for this target group to complete internships (e.g. flexible working hours and a longer internship duration). For more information on the possibilities within your own programme, please refer to the internship coordinator of your (Research) Master’s programme or Study Advisor.
- Preparation time: depending on your citizenship, doing an internship abroad usually takes more time to prepare than an internship in the Netherlands. Especially if you are going to a country outside the EU. It is therefore wise to start your orientation early, ideally about a year in advance.
- Personal commitment: one of the aspects that make an internship so educational is the fact that you have to do a lot yourself. Arranging an internship abroad requires even more of your own initiative and perseverance than arranging one in the Netherlands or your home country. Like studying abroad, this can be very rewarding: you experience daily life in another country, you learn more about the culture of the country and (in many cases) the language, and you have much more contact with the local population than when studying abroad. Moreover, it provides you with an international professional network and you work on your intercultural skills in a professional setting.
- Travel advice: please note that in areas where the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issues a negative travel advice (Code Orange or Red), the university will not approve your internship.
- Internship process: in addition to the abovementioned points, the same steps and forms apply for an internship abroad as for an internship in the Netherlands. You can find these on the internship page of your programme on students.uu.nl.
Even if you live in the Netherlands as an international student, it can be interesting and useful to do an internship in another country. Moreover, the working language of most organisations in the Netherlands is Dutch. An internship abroad is therefore a good choice if you do not speak Dutch.
There are several ways to find an internship abroad:
1. You search one yourself. Below you will find some tips on how to search.
2. You can also ask an intermediary organisation for help. Below you will find a number of organisations that can help you; however, there are more.
Don't know yet what kind of organisation you want to do an internship with? A good start to your orientation is to take the free tests from Career Services. For more tips on how to get an internship that matches your interests and ambitions, check the internship manual for students on the internship page of your programme. Can't work it out? Make an appointment with the internship coordinator of your study programme. They will be happy to act as a sparring partner.
Option 1: Finding your own internship
An internship abroad can be done at many different kinds of organisations. Are you a Master’s student? Keep in mind that most Master’s programmes only allow internships that are related to the subject of your studies. Always contact your programme’s (internship) coordinator to discuss your plans.
- Organisations/companies that do work in your field of interest and are in line with your study background;
- A foreign branch of an organisation from your home country (for example: news organisations, embassies, cultural institutes or NGOs); or an organisation in your home country;
- A local company abroad with an international orientation or in a country where you speak the/a language at a high level;
- One of several international organisations or governing bodies (such as branches of the UN, the EU, NATO, or IGOs) or other organisations with an international orientation such as a multinational;
- (Research projects at) foreign universities* or research institutes;
- Museums, events, think tanks, cultural institutions, etc. with a collection/activities important for your specialisation.
* Internship Dutch as a Foreign Language: are you a student of Dutch, or are you interested in the Dutch language, language acquisition or language teaching? Then you can combine a study abroad with an internship teaching Dutch as a foreign language (NVT). Countries with many students of Dutch include France, Spain, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Germany. For more information and available traineeships, please contact Emmeline Besamusca-Douwes.
Option 2: Finding an internship through an intermediary organisation
There are several organisations that mediate in the search for internships. They often charge money for their work, so read the conditions carefully and ask yourself if this is really necessary for you. Not all internship vacancies are equally suitable, but you can use them to see which organisations offer internships and get ideas that way. Some links that may help you further:
- Europe: Jobted, Europlacement, ETCi - UK, iAgora
- Other regions: United States, Australia, Curaçao, South America
- Worldwide: iHipo, AIESEC
When arranging your internship, you can use an international internship agreement (such as this model agreement). Also check what you have to take into account regarding health and safety: are there safety risks? How is health care organised?
Doing an internship abroad can be quite costly. Here are some useful links (mostly in Dutch):
- Erasmus+ grant
- Beursopener (overview of (private) funds). Have you found a fund here and does it require a letter of recommendation from a student dean? Then look here.
Visas and permits
- Depending on your citizenship or current visa, you might need a visa or work permit.
- Bear in mind that arranging a permit can take a long time. In some countries, this can take up to a year! So be sure to check well in advance.
Insurance and liability
- Whether you are adequately insured during your internship depends on various factors, such as the amount of your internship fee, the duration of your internship and your age.
- It is important that you have properly examined your individual situation before you go on an internship and have signed a contract. This also includes which insurances you have and how these are arranged according to the law and the internship contract.
When you have found an internship abroad, you must prepare your internship papers a few weeks before you leave. On the internship page of your study programme you can find what documents are required. In addition to going through these steps, you also need to register your internship abroad in OSIRIS: Through the button 'Abroad' you can indicate for which period you will do an internship abroad. Do not forget to fill in your foreign address. This way we can contact you in case of an emergency.
If you have questions after reading this information and the information on the internship page of your study programme (incl. internship manual), please contact the following contacts:
- Information about doing an internship abroad: your internship coordinator
- Writing an internship work plan, connection to supervising lecturer: your internship coordinator
- Registering in Osiris and signing the OV-form: Internship Office (Student Information Desk Humanities)
- General information abroad and applying for an Erasmus grant: Erasmus Office or International Office Humanities
If you want to know more, or if you have any questions about internships, contact your programme coordinator. If you have any questions about your enrolment in OSIRIS, please contact the Internship Office Humanities.