An internship of at least 3 months offers you the opportunity to test your knowledge and skills in practice. You can do an internship in serveral fields of work:

  • international politics
  • a policy internship with a multinational, a bank, or a consultancy agency
  • journalism
  • if you opt for an academic career, you can contact applied research agencies like Clingendael, Center for Terrorism and Counter Terrorism and the Institute of Military History.  

Keep in mind that international organizations like the EU or the UN, or the Foreign Ministry of your country cannot offer a job to everyone with a MA degree in IR. However, with your skills in gathering reliable sources of information, and using these to write in-depth analyses on a variety of policy issues in an understandable language, you have the right profile to start a career as a policy maker with every organization and agency in the profit and nonprofit sector. 

How to find an internship?

  1. Find an internshp yourself.
  2. Once you have acquired an internship, contact your MA coordinator who will then assign you to an internship supervisor. 
  3. Contact the Student Information Desk to enroll you for the internship.

Quick links

Internship objectives

  • Applying acquired knowledge and skills in a practical working situation;
  • Improving your skills and social competences in order to strengthen your position on the labour market.

What will be assessed?

The quality and diversity of your work and achievements will be assessed on the basis of:

  • The quality of your internship report in which you analyse to what extent you have been capable to implement the objectives mentioned in your internship working plan (30%);
  • The quality of your portfolio with concrete working products (30%);
  • Your functioning during your internship on the basis of an evaluation by your supervisor on the working floor (40%).

Internship procedure

  1. Once you have secured an internship position, please contact your programme director who will assign you an academic internship supervisor.
  2. Make an internship work-plan and fill out the internship work-plan form (pdf).
  3. Present the work-plan to your academic supervisor. Once the plan is approved, discuss it with your daily supervisor at your internship spot. Once it has been approved by all parties, you and both supervisors must sign the internship work-plan form.
  4. The internship work-plan must be about 2 pages long and contain the following elements: an indication as to what your goals are for the duration of your internship (about 5 goals); what you hope to learn during your internship; why you want to do this particular internship, and how it fits with your future career goals.
  5. Internship goals can vary from the specific to the more abstract. For example, a goal can be 'gaining work experience', though more specific descriptions like 'discovering whether diplomacy is right for me', 'learning how to apply my academic skills in a journalistic or diplomatic setting', or 'strengthening my assertive and communicative skills' can work as well. Make sure to write these goals into your final work-plan.
  6. Link the internship goals to examples from your internship job description. If before starting your internship it is not entirely clear what your role or responsibilities will be, you may hand in the final version of your work-plan to your academic supervisor max. two weeks after starting the internship.
  7. You must draw and sign an internship contract. See the standardised internship contract. In case your internship uses a different form (large organisations, such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, tend to use their own forms for internship contracts), a copy of this contract must still be sent to ‘Studiepunt’ (the Student Information Desk). Do not underestimate the importance of such a contract. Without it you would not have any legal standing in the case of a dispute, or an accident during work hours.
  8. Hand in the following documents at our Student Information Desk, your academic supervisor and your daily internship supervisor. :
    1. a copy of the work plan
    2. the work-plan form
    3. the signed contract at the Student Information Desk
      You will only be officially enrolled in the internship once you have handed your internship contract at the Student Information Desk, this process cannot be completed through Osiris
  9. In case you want to do an internship in a conflict-zone, please contact your programme director. Internships in countries/regions considered unsafe by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (a list can be found online) are discouraged and will not be supervised by the University of Utrecht.
  10. Make sure to check in with your academic supervisor at least once or twice during the course of your internship.
  11. At the end of your internship, your daily supervisor has to fill in an internship feedback form (pdf) to be handed in, together with your internship report, to your academic supervisor. Should there be any complications during your internship, make sure to contact your academic supervisor. This includes cases where an issue arises between you and your daily supervisor that you are not able to solve yourself.
  12. The final report of your internship must be a minimum of 10 pages and should fulfil the following criteria:
    1. Introduce your internship in detail. Take this seriously: for example, if you have interned at the Dutch embassy in Berlin, make sure you discuss the role of the embassy in the context of the historical development of Dutch-German relations.
    2. In the report a link should be made back to your previously listed goals. Indicate to what degree you have completed these goals; if you have not completed them, explain why. Analyse how well you functioned in the intern position, but dare to analyse the internship spot itself as well. Do not be afraid to be critical, though take care to keep an academic distance. Your daily supervisor might want to review your report as well.
    3. Make sure to link the internship back to your MA programme. Explain in what ways the knowledge and skills you have acquired during your MA have proved to be useful over the course of your internship.
    4. Include a portfolio of work product examples that, to your understanding, truly represent the nature, level and quality of your internship. As far as your are not able to submit representative examples of your work in terms of concrete products, please try to describe these as extensively as possible in your internship report.
    5. If your internship spot has indicated that products you have contributed to are of a confidential nature (the Ministry of Foreign Affairs tends toward this view), make sure to indicate that your academic supervisor is willing to return/destroy the documents containing the work products after having read them.
  13. Your internship supervisor is responsible for the final assesment and grading of the internship. He does so by filling in an internship assessment form (pdf).