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Doing an internship

What you should know to obtain an internship

Questions about an internship in the first semester of 2020-2021?

Please check the frequently asked question on the corona page: Can I do an internship or a graduation project abroad in the first semester of 2020-2021?

During your internship

Already doing an internship? Go to During your internship.

Why do an internship?

Doing an internship has a lot of benefits:

  • you will explore the world of work;
  • you will discover the application of the theoretical knowledge you were taught during your programme;
  • you will develop professional skills and a working pattern;
  • you will have the opportunity to demonstrate your skills, improving your chances of a job after your studies;
  • you will build a professional network;
  • you will be able to make a more informed choice about what Master’s to take.

Experience is crucial to your CV

Employers in the Netherlands feel that it is important for you to have study-related practical experience in addition to your degree. An internship is able to provide that experience. In addition, a study by Allen and Van der Velden (2011) showed that the employability (the degree to which someone is able to obtain and keep a job) of graduates increases if they have already gained professional experience before taking up an entry-level position.

Types of internships

There are essentially two types of internships: research internships and work-along internships.

  • During a research internship, you will be carrying out research for an organisation – as part of your thesis, for example.
  • Work-along internships are more practice-oriented in nature: they are designed for you to gain experience. The objective is simply to learn. As such, you have no responsibility regarding the result of your work.

Some internships contain elements of both types.

Internship or traineeship?

In some countries an internship is called a traineeship. This is confusing, because in the Netherlands this term is used for a graduate job.

Internship in your curriculum

Some study programmes have an obligatory internship, some have the possibility to to do an internship to collect data for your thesis and some of our programmes offer the opportunity to do an internship as an elective course. Check your studyguide for more information or go to, type in your study programme and click on A-Z in the upper menu. Then choose Internship in the list.

The faculty of Economics and Business has it's own career centre to help you find an internship.

Looking for and finding an internship

There are several ways to find an internship. In order to get an idea of what exactly you are looking for, you could:

  • speak to lecturers, internship coordinators or a careers adviser;
  • read the internship reports of fellow students;
  • think about what kind of organisation appeals to you: a research institute, an NGO, a commercial company, a start-up, etc. Alternatively, consider what types of subjects and fields appeal to you most.

You can even ask family members, friends and colleagues to help you explore the possibilities. They will undoubtedly know people that you do not yet know and who can help you move forward.

UvA Job board

The UvA Job board also lists internships, some of which may align with your field of interest. The Job board includes a variety of search filters.


Get an early start

Factor in at least four months from the moment you start exploring your options and approaching organisations until you sign your contract.

Applying for an internship

If you come across a vacancy for an internship that aligns with your programme and field, then the next step comes down to your application skills. You can find more information about drafting a CV, writing an effective cover letter and conducting a job interview under Application tips.

Internships abroad

Doing an internship abroad is a unique way of gaining work experience and experience abroad. Go to the internship page at for more information on the various options.

Please note: Internships are often referred to as ‘traineeships’ abroad, whereas an ‘internship’ may often just refer to an entry-level position. Make sure to check what the vacancy means.