Internships in the Netherlands
Internships in the Netherlands
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Internships in the Netherlands

The most important thing about your internship in the Netherlands is whether your Masters programme includes an internship in the curriculum. There are two options – an internship as part of a programme you study abroad or an internship as part of a programme you study at a Dutch university. Both options have different requirements and steps for a student to undertake before applying and starting the internship.

Studying abroad and doing an internship in the Netherlands

There are a few rules to follow that mainly depend on the student's nationality. If you are not an EU/EEC or Swiss national, the company that wants to hire you for an internship will require a work permit for you (in Dutch: Tewerkstellingsvergunning, or TWV). In general, the TMV is very easy to get, but it might take up to a month until you receive yours.

The next thing students might need is to get a residence permit or a Short Stay Visa.

Important note: If you are an EU/EEC national, you don’t need any residence permit or Short Stay Visa in order to stay in the Netherlands.

If you are a student from outside the EU/EEC and your internship is longer than 90 days, you will need a residence permit and a work permit. The Dutch government made things easy by combining both permits in one calling it Single Permit – read about how to apply and all the required documents here.

If the internship is shorter than 90 days, students can apply for a Short Stay Visa. Depending on their country or region of origin students will have to prepare differently. Check all the requirements before you apply.

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Studying in the Netherlands and doing an internship

Combining both studying and doing an internship in the Netherlands is pretty simple and you will not need any extra documents or permits. Your employer won’t need any residence or work permit – they will only be required to present an internship agreement to the Labour Inspectorate, when requested of course.

How and where to find an internship in the Netherlands?

The first place to check is your university, as every university has a network of partner companies that offer internships and even jobs. Find the internship office and they will be glad to help you looking for the right internship.

Another option is to browse and look on your own – there are many websites and platforms where you can search based on your Masters, location and personal preferences. Have a look at some of the useful websites we found:

Important note: if you need some advice on how to successfully apply for an internship or a job you can check our Applying for a job article and get some useful tips.

Internship payment in the Netherlands

Yes, you can get paid for your internship in the Netherlands, but it all depends on your employer, because there are no rules set by neither the Dutch government nor the European Union. The most important things you need to know are connected to taxation and health insurance. If the company, on the one hand, covers only your travel expenses or any other type of compensation, this is not a salary. Thus, you will not be  subject to taxation and you will not need to pay any extra dues for your health insurance.

On the other hand, if you receive a salary, you might be liable to pay taxes and you will need to pay for an extra health insurance (if you don’t have health insurance until now, and you only used your EHIC card, you might need to make one now, or pay an addition to your exiting health insurance). No need to stress; your employer will help you dealing with this.

Tip: You can finance your internship with Erasmus. It includes every student from all the EU member states plus Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Turkey.

Tips for a Dutch internship

How hard it is to find an internship in the Netherlands? Easy answer – not hard! There are many global companies with offices and headquarters in the Netherlands, which are willing to hire local and international students. Moreover, there are many start-ups that welcome “fresh blood” and new ideas to their projects. Finding an internship will prove relatively easy, but we have some tips to make it even easier:

  1. Find the job that you will enjoy. There are many options, so don’t go with the convenient choice but look further and check more. It is possible that your internship defines your future career.
  2. Be honest – Dutch people are very direct and they will appreciate if you show all your strengths but also some hints of your weaknesses and things you want to improve.
  3. Start applying early as companies take some time to check all the applications and to answer them. In addition, there is the saying “The early bird gets the worm”, so be the early bird.
  4. Apply to as many places as you like and make sure you answer everyone. Companies appreciate to hear if you are still interested or if you already found something else.
  5. Finally – a well prepared CV and a customized cover letter are key components. Spend enough time and make them flawless.

The right internship is a gateway to a better career, a great place to meet professionals and gain precious experience.

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