Working and finding that internship in the Netherlands
Like most places, finding a job in the Netherlands can be a stressful task. With more and more of us undertaking degrees and employers expecting a large amount of experience to go along with it, you may be considering an internship to give you that boost to land your perfect job. (We know the struggles – we hear you!)
Wait, before we start yakking on about internships in the Netherlands. Please consider these awesome internships at DutchReview. Now we might be biased, but it’s by far the place where you can drink the best coffee, write the funniest stuff ever and actually get paid a bit when doing your internship. (note: only epic people may reply)
Not DutchReview material? Don’t fret! Here is all you need to know about internships in the Netherlands.
How to get an internship in the Netherlands
In the Netherlands on-the-job training or a placement is called a “Stage”. It is fair to say that finding an internship in Holland is a piece of cake. A lot of companies are constantly looking for interns. The interview process is also quite simple – it usually consists of a single interview, and you they tell you either on the spot or within a day if you got it or not. The easiest way to find internships in the Netherlands is by either going on LinkedIn, or just visiting a company’s website and checking. We’ll speak more about that later. 😉
Laws in the Netherlands regarding internships
Generally, internships in the Netherlands are not obliged to be paid. However, most Dutch companies do offer some form of compensation ranging from 100 to 500 euros per month or more. Depending on the company, you can also have your travel expenses covered, depending on how far you live. This can all be discussed between you and the company.
Furthermore, in order to apply for an internship in Holland you must be a European Citizen OR currently be enrolled in an educational institution as a student. You should be warned that after you graduate, you will no longer be able to take a study based internship in the Netherlands. However, there are certain circumstances where this rule does not apply and you can talk to the company about it, but we’ll get to this later.
What is an internship in the Netherlands like?
Even though Dutch working culture is generally very relaxed and informal, that does not mean that as a student you can slack off. You’re still expected to work to a high standard as an intern and with their training and support, this should make it easier for you. This is basically a time for learning, so use the time well!
Of course, they won’t expect you to know everything on your first day, they are there to help you after all. But do be aware that after a while you will likely be expected to have at least one important role within the company, so work out and it should all pay off.
It won’t ALL be fun and games 😉
How many days a week are internships in Holland and how long do they last?
Internships in the Netherlands can range from a few times per week to a full working week. Nowadays internships are generally full-time and you work as if you were a regular employee. This is good in one way because if they want to keep you on after your internship, then you’re already used to the schedule and daily running of the place.
The bad news is that in these instances, they are mainly for students who have a year or so off for this work as part of their degree. It will be impossible else to go to classes AND work your 5 or 6 days a week. Don’t fret though, some internships can be discussed with the company and they can work around you if it still suits them.
The length of time that you are in an internship can also vary. They can be from around 3 months to up to a year usually. This will also have to be discussed with your employer.
The difference between internships, placements, traineeships, and volunteer work in the Netherlands
Internship during your studies
This is an internship that you are doing while you are still in education. So you may be working there a few times a week before classes or you have a semester off to work, but you still are in the process of completing your degree. These are good as you can kill two birds with one stone and once you graduate not only do you have the degree, but you have the experience to go with it from day one.
Final year research project or dissertation
The research can be done for a particular company, and the topic chosen by either the firm or the student. The results of the study are put in a report and often presented to the company.
These internships are normally full-time and are open to people who have recently finished their degree. The internship will be open to candidates who have just graduated in that field, yet don’t yet have all the experience needed to land in their proper careers yet.
Some of these internships also lead to the intern being employed properly after the internship period is over (usually 6 months). If not, then you’re gaining some experience that should help you when applying for that dream job!
A traineeship is where you combine working with training – so the employer essentially trains you in order for you to gain some sort of qualification. Traineeships can be full-time or part-time, yet they are usually full-time positions. They are also usually unpaid (however some do pay) and are open for people in education.
Volunteer work is pretty self-explanatory. This is work that you have volunteered to do and is unpaid. It may seem crazy to be working for no money, but it is highly valued when it’s on your resume. Of course, this isn’t going to pay the bills, so it must be something that you do if you have the finances from elsewhere.
What should I take into consideration when applying for an internship?
If you are a non-EU citizen, you have similar rules as you would a normal job. However, what type of internship you take will determine what sort of permit you will need in order to be able to do that internship. EU citizen? You have the same rights are you would any other job (no permit etc needed!) – check out our permit guide here for more info.
For example, if you’re from a non-EU country, will the internship be part of a study programme or like a paid job? If it is part of your studies, then a work permit does not need to be issued and you can continue as usual on your student visa. You will need to take out Dutch health insurance for this, but due to your low payment, you will be eligible for healthcare allowance which should cover the cost of your healthcare. You will also need to take out Dutch health insurance if you are an EU national undertaking an internship.
If it is anything other than this and you are no longer studying, then you will be subject to the usual working rules, so you need to ensure that you have a valid permit for this. Please bear this in mind before applying.
How do I find and apply for internships in the Netherlands?
You can usually find internship positions through your university and if not, as simple google search should bring up some results. Internships are also posted on usual Dutch employment websites – in the search bar remember to include ‘internship’ and they should all show up. Job fairs are another good way of finding internships. Linked in is another great platform to find them on – more and more people are doing it this way.
When you do find somewhere suitable to apply to, expect to have to send a resume and a motivational letter, just like you would a regular job and like we said at the start, expected to be invited in for an interview. They want to make sure they’ve got the right person.
Have you ever had an internship in the Netherlands? Let us know your experience in the comments!