The internship in the second semester offers you the opportunity to learn how to apply academic skills and knowledge in real-life situations and to gain practical experience in your field, better preparing you for employment after graduation. The internship should comprise an individual, well-defined assignment at an academic level on a political or societal issue: it should deal with the original, development and effects of political, economic or social institutions. Regarding the nature of the assignment: think, for instance, of doing (applied) research, writing a policy document or advice, or carrying out a policy evaluation.
We make an effort to look for intenship positions for our students: usually in the form of projects that allow a number of students to work on the same issue (community empowerment, for instance) at different organizations. This allows you, as a student, to share information and experiences. However, only limited number of internships in such projects will be available. Moreover, you will not simply be assigned to one: there will be a selection procedure.
The alternative is to look for a suitable position yourself and submit it for approval. Consider, for instance, public and semi-public organizations, NGO's, research and advice councils, political parties, or large business companies. If you search for an internship yourself, you have considerable liberty to find yourself a position that fits your wishes. Of course, the internship should still comprise of an inidividual assignment at an academic level, related to a political or societal issue. Finding a good internship position takes time and energy, so it is important to start early. At the start of the academic year you will be given tips and advice on how to go about your search.
Before you start the intrenship, you are to describe its content and aims in an internship work plan, which requires the approval of your supervisor at the university and of the internship organization. The assessment of the internship takes place according to the rules of the Faculty of Humanities. You will find them below, under 'internship regulations'.
An alternative for the internship is the skills lab: a project that allows you, in cooperation with a small group of fellow students and supervised by one of the teachers, to delve into a current-day political or societal debate and make your own contribution to that debate. You select the topic yourself, together with your group. You make use of various sources of information in order to gain a thorough insight in the multiple aspects of your topic: you, for instance, read and analyze policy reports, interview experts, attend meetings, or distribute questionnaires. Within your group you divide tasks and at the same time ensure coherence. Your final product will consist of indvidual contributions of each of the group members plus a group product. As as group you determine the form of your product yourself: it can, for instance, be a website, one or more publications, or an advice presented to an organization or politician.
Both the internship and the skills lab should cover 420 hours: the equivalent of 15 EC. Ideally you spend three days per week on the internship or skills lab in the months February to May. This leaves the other two days plus the month June for the thesis. Howver, if the internship organization prefers so, it is also possible to concentrate the internship in one study period and the thesis in the other.