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Internships and research in the Netherlands

How can you find an internship or research project and what arrangements do you need to make?

Information from your faculty/study programme

Under your faculty or study programme tab you can read more about how to find and arrange an internship or research project.

Information sessions

Information sessions on finding and arranging internships and research projects take place on a regular basis. See the agenda for the latest dates.

Be well prepared

Before starting an internship or research project, always conclude clear agreements and record them in writing in an internship agreement. Also check your position in terms of intellectual property rights (IPR).


If you have any questions, contact your internship or research project coordinator.

Internship information meetings

For some programmes, additional conditions apply with regards to internships. Please check the overview in the third tab. If your programme is not on the list, there are no additional conditions other than those of the faculty.

During the internship information meetings, the internship coordinator will provide information about the internship in the bachelor's programme and in the master's programme. Students who have done an internship before will tell you about their experiences. If you wish to attend an internship information meeting, see the agenda for further information.

Internship manual

In Regulation for internships as part of Bachelor’s and Master's programmes you can find all information with regards to the standards set by the Faculty of Humanities for your internship (individual internship assignment, grading and responsibilities of the student.

As part of your Bachelor’s, Master’s or Research Master’s programme you have the option of following an internship. Under the supervision of one of the Faculty’s lecturers (the internship lecturer) and a staff member from your internship organisation (the internship supervisor), you spend some time working for a company or organisation. The work you perform there should be in line with what you have learned as part of your study programme and it should contribute to the work of the internship organisation. In addition, you are required to spend some of your time at the internship organisation conducting your own internship assignment, the results of which are expressed in the final product you agree on beforehand. 

The position of the internship within the curriculum depends on your study programme. Please refer to the e-Prospectus or your coordinator of studies.

  • You are responsible for finding an internship yourself. You can ask Student Career Service for assistance with for instance orientation, possible internship vacancies, cv and application letter. For more information about how to find an internship, see flow model 'looking for an internship' at the right side of this page
  • Check out the flow model 'found an internship, what next? at the right side of this page

The Internship coordinators can help you find an internship position and coach you through the job application procedure. They have office hours for which you can make an appointment. They read the first version of your internship plan before it is sent to the Board of Examiners and sign the internship agreement on behalf of the Faculty. They are also the people to whom you hand in your internship report and evaluation at the end of your internship.

  • Mr. Atse Fokkens MA,  internship coordinator, career advisor  
    Leiden, Lipsius building
    The Hague, Schouwburgstraat
    Make an appointment online.
  • Ms. Madeleine Wark MSc, internship coordinator, career advisor  
    Working days: Monday (once every two weeks), Tuesday, Wednesday,Thursday and Friday
  • Mabel Isado, internship coordinator, career advisor  
    Working days: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday,Thursday and Friday
    You can schedule an online appointment with Mabel here.
  • Ms. Loes Nordlohne Msc, career advisor 
    Working days: Tuesday, Wednesday,Thursday 
    You can schedule an online appointment with Loes here.
  • Ms. Michelle van der Voort, secretary 
  • Ms. Barbara Sumer MA, internship coordinator (absent)

Internships: A step-by-step guide

For some programmes, additional conditions apply with regards to internships that are part of your programme (extra-curricular internships only need to fulfil the faculty’s conditions). Please check the third tab on top of the page (next to 'Humanities'). If there is no third tab, your programme has no additional conditions other than those of the faculty.

You found an internship, congratulations! Notify the Student Career Service by e-mail.

  • Approach a lecturer from your department to be your supervisor at university. Choose a lecturer who in your opinion has most extensive knowledge of the field of your internship.

N.B.: Some study programmes or minors appoint fixed supervisors at university. You are then not free to choose the lecturer yourself. For more information, consult the e-prospectus or discuss this matter with your study coordinator.

The internship plan describes your internship assignment and all other aspects relating to the internship.

Get started!

  1. First write an internship plan. Discuss your individual internship assignment beforehand with the internship organisation. Make sure your internship plan describes the internship assignment you will be performing clearly.
  2. Send the draft to the Career Service for their feedback
  3. Get the final version signed by the supervisor at university, the supervisor at organisation and yourself. Send it to the Career Service at the latest ten working days before the starting date (for internships starting in January, August and September different deadlines apply. They will submit it to the Board of Examiners, who officially approves the internship. Your internship can only start after their approval.

Internship assignment

Every internship includes an internship assignment on academic level, for example a research component or an independently conducted project. You should have complete ownership over this assignment. The internship assignment is formulated in consultation with the internship organisation.

Learning objectives

In the internship plan you describe your learning objectives. The learning objectives listed below are very general but can give you a general idea:

  • Increased knowledge and understanding of your own field
  • Applying and extending the skills acquired in your study programme in a specific professional context
  • Developing and improving competences that are relevant to your future career and preferably related to your study programme
  • Collecting and analysing data and/or sources that can be used to reach a conclusion based on scientific, social and/or ethical aspects
  • Applying and extending the communication skills required to communicate knowledge and ideas to specialist and non-specialist audiences
  • The ability to collaborate with others by clearly defining the contribution of your own field in solving a specific problem (scientific or other)
  • Orientation or familiarisation in future professional field
  • Becoming familiar with working within a professional environment
  • Forming professional contacts that may contribute to a smoother transition from study to labour market

Your internship plan should include a justified selection from these learning objectives. Select aspects that you find important and that you wish to focus on in your internship. The idea is that you use this list of abstract learning objectives to create some personal, concrete and clearly formulated learning objectives to include in your internship plan.

An internship as part of your programme

It is important that your internship fits into the bigger picture of your programme. Make sure that this is clear from your internship plan. There are two possibilities (both require approval from the board of examiners!): 

  • As compulsory component of the main curriculum. As an elective in the Bachelor or an optional course in the Master. If this is an individual elective component (and not an internship that is embedded in a university minor), the Board of Examiners needs to see how you will fill the rest of your electives. The Course and Examination Regulation (OER) demands that your electives match the rest of the curriculum in terms of contents and level. In the case of internships it is not always obvious how to construct them as a coherent 30 EC package worth of electives, which is why Boards of Examiners are often prepared to be more flexible with the requirements.
  • As an extra-curricular component.

An internship is not part of your thesis!

An internship is not an internal or external thesis research study. An internship is a separate component of the programme with fixed guidelines and specific learning objectives. You can in some cases use the results of your internship research as one of the sources for your Bachelor’s final essay or Master’s thesis. The internship is assessed separately from the final essay or thesis according to specific internship guidelines. The study credits you earn with an internship cannot be reused (partially or fully) as part of your final essay or thesis.

Interim Evaluation

If your internship takes place in the Netherlands, the supervisor at university of your study programme will come and visit you once at your internship organization (in the second half of your internship). This visit should include an interview between your supervisor at organisation,  your supervisor at university and yourself. If your internship takes place abroad, this is of course not possible. In that case your supervisor at organisation and your supervisor at university will discuss your progress with you at least once by telephone, Skype or e-mail.

Before your internship can start, it has to be approved by the Board of Examiners of your study programme (or in the case of university minors by the Board of Examiners responsible for the minor in question). The Board of Examiners assesses the suitability of your internship on the basis of your internship plan, which is already signed and approved by the supervisor at university, supervisor at organisationr and internship coordinator.

Note that your internship plan should be submitted to the Board of Examiners in timely fashion. This means that you should hand in the internship plan to the internship coordinator no later than ten working days before the start of your internship, so that your plan can be submitted for approval to the Board of Examiners. The Board of Examiners guarantees that it will reach a decision no later than two weeks after receiving an internship plan.

Pay attention: Be in time with your internship plan!

If the Board of Examiners does not approve your internship plan or requests that you modify the plan before starting, you might be facing a problem. This is your own responsibility. The internship can only start once it has been approved by the Board of Examiners.

Different deadlines

During holidays and after holiday periods 
The deadlines for internships that start during or after the vacation periods are as follows:

  • For internships that start in July, August and September: the internship plan should be submitted to the Board of Examiners before 1 July.
  • For internships that start in January: the internship plan should be submitted to the Board of Examiners before 1 December to be sure you receive the decision before the start date of your internship.

In exceptional cases, permission may be granted to deviate from these deadlines. 

Last-minute internships 
If exceptional circumstances mean that your internship really has to start within ten working days of you obtaining the position, and it is not possible to postpone the start date to a later date, the following procedure applies: 

  • Within two days of finding out that you have been accepted, report the internship, including start and end date, by e-mail to Student Career Service.
  • Within one week of this announcement, hand in the final version of your internship plan to Student Career Service, including all required signatures, except for the one from the Board of Examiners.

If this procedure is followed correctly, the start date of your internship will remain the same and the EC credits will count from this date onwards. Internship plans handed in later, will not be  taken care of by the Board of Examiners.

Pay attention: Internship agreement is highly recommended!

We strongly advise you to get an internship agreement to define under which conditions you will join the organization during your internship. If the internship organization has its own internship agreement, you can send it to the Career Service before signing so they can check the content for you. 

If your company has no standard internship contract, then ask the Career Service to put together an internship contact for you.  More information.

This agreement can only be signed once the Board of Examiners has approved your internship. The internship coordinator signs the agreement on behalf of the faculty. You should hand in a copy of this agreement, signed by you and your internship supervisor, to Student Career Service.

You can find more information on Internships Abroad.

At the end of your internship you write an internship report. One of the appendices to this report is the final product of the internship assignment you completed during your internship.

Content of the internship report

The internship report should include the following components:

  • A description of your internship activities
  • A description of the department and/or organization
  • A reflection on the learning objectives defined beforehand
  • A reflection on a follow-up study programme (in particular in the case of an internship during the bachelor’s phase) and your future career
  • A reflection on your own knowledge, skills and competences with respect to the labour market
  • A reflection on your personal development

Handing in your internship report

  • Send your internship report and your internship assignment to your supervisor at university. The final deadline for handing in your internship report is 15 days after the last day of your internship
  • You will be informed of your internship grade in the course of an interview with your supervisor at university. Your grade is based upon your internship report and the evaluation from your supervisor at organisation.

Final evaluation and assessment

In order to successfully complete your internship, you must obtain a pass for your internship report (including all appendices) and your functioning during the internship. If your supervisor at university awards you a fail for the internship report, you will be given a single opportunity to revise this component based on your supervisor at university's feedback. Your grade will be registered as ‘fail’ in uSis. You can revise your report, which then counts as a resit. The second version of your report should be handed in within 15 days. If you are once again awarded a fail or if you fail to hand in the second version in time, you will be awarded a ‘fail’ for your internship. 

Once your supervisor at university approves the internship report and assesses your internship, you send your internship report and the completed ‘internship evaluation form (student) to Student Career Service. You should also send the final version of your internship report to your supervisor at the internship organisation.

At the final meeting with your supervisor at university he/she will give you a grade for your internship. The following aspects will be part of the evaluation

  1. Communication; your communication before, during and after your internship with your supervisor at university as your supervisor at organisation.
  2. Preparation of the internship: the preparation of the internship plan and other activities.
  3. Performance during your internship: based upon the evaluation of your supervisor at organisation, the updates you have sent your supervisor at university during your internship and the assessment of your work during the visit of the supervisor at university to the organisation (or phone call when you do an internship abroad).
  4. Internship report: the content and quality of the internship report.
  5. Final product: the quality of the final product that you have produced during your internship and its description.

In the course of your internship you may decide that you would like to extend your internship and that you would like to obtain additional study credits for doing so. In that case you should submit a separate request for extension of internship to this effect to the Board of Examiners.

  • This request, which forms an appendix to the internship plan, should be submitted to the Board of Examiners via the Student Career Service no later than three weeks before the start of the desired extension period.
  • This request should specify your reasons for requesting an extension. An extension of the internship can only be granted on content-related grounds (for instance because you need more time to complete your research or because a project you are involved in is not yet completed). Additional EC credits for a longer internship can be added to your diploma supplement as extra-curricular components. This is something that the Board of Examiners decides.
  • Your request for an extension should be submitted to the Board of Examiners via the same procedure as your original internship plan and it should include the same signatures.

The Internship coordinators can help you find an internship position and coach you through the job application procedure. They have office hours for which you can make an appointment. They read the first version of your internship plan before it is sent to the Board of Examiners and sign the internship agreement on behalf of the Faculty. They are also the people to whom you hand in your internship report and evaluation at the end of your internship.

  • Mr. Atse Fokkens,  internship coordinator, career advisor  
    Leiden, Lipsius
    The Hague, Schouwburgstraat
  • Ms. Mabel Isado, internship coordinator, career advisor 
    Leiden, Lipsius
    The Hague, Schouwburgstraat
  • Ms. Madeleine Wark MSc, internship coordinator, career advisor  
  • Ms. Michelle van der Voort, secretary 


Internship: extracurricular or as part of elective credits

There are two options for International Studies students that want to do an internship: as part of their elective credits or extracurricular. 

Extracurricular internship 
Follow the faculty procedure in the internship manual and/or check the information under the 'Humanities' tab.

Internship as part of your elective credits
For an internship as part of your elective credits you need to follow the faculty procedure as well. Besides this, additional requirements apply, which are mentioned below. Please read these carefully and have a look at the flow. For questions, please contact the internship coordinator. 

The total amount of EC for an internship as part of your elective credits adds up to 30 EC, composed of:

  • The course Organizational Design, Culture and Behavior (5 EC).
  • The internship (15 EC), including two academic assignments (3 EC)
  • An academic research paper (7 EC)

The components –explained more in-depth below- of this semester may not be selected separately; the semester can be taken for 30 EC only. Any missing component will result in 0 EC for the whole.

Internship requirements

  1. Successful completion of the course Organizational Design, Culture and Behavior
    The course Organizational Design, Culture, and Behavior is taught in the second semester of the second year. The online course is an introduction to the sociology and psychology of organizations, paying specific attention to the understanding of the culture and structure of the internship organisation and to working with the various cultures in the world. Successful completion of this course is a requirement before the students can start their internship.
  2. The internship
    The internship itself should meet several conditions
    - All rules and regulations applying for internships set by the faculty
    - The total amount of hours should be at least 420 hours.
    - The internship should be international in some way
  3. The research paper
    Students must write a relevant research proposal prior to starting their internship. This proposal consists of a literature review, research question or hypothesis, research methodology, provisional outline and a bibliography (between 2,000-2,500 words, all-inclusive) and must be discussed with and approved by a Leiden University Faculty of Humanities lecturer with a PhD. The paper should be connected to the internship through concepts and theories related to the organization, its areas of work, industry, country, world region etc. The proposal should lead to a research paper, consisting of 5,000 words, all inclusive).

The student submits the internship plan and research proposal to Humanities Career Service who will submit your package with the Board of Examiners. Please note that it is not possible to start with your internship if the Board of Examiners has not approved your internship package!

Prepare an internship package, consisting of two documents: the Internship plan and the Research Proposal. The first draft of your internship plan you can send to Humanites Career Service. The first draft of your research proposal you can send to your research supervisor.

Internship guidance flowchart explanation

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As soon as you have found an internship, you inform Humanities Career Service. Use the template on the right to draft your internship plan. Of course you consult with the internship organisation, but make sure nobody signs the plan at this stage.

  1. Email your concept internship plan for approval to the Internship Coordinator of Humanities Career Service who will review it for the overall quality of the internship.
  2. After approval, email the concept to the Internship Supervisor (coach) who will review it for its content.
  3. Only after the Internship Supervisor’s (coach) approval, you can send it to the internship organisation for final approval.
  4. When all parties agree on the content, you can start collecting the signatures on the final version of the plan. The first three signatures are those of yourself, the Organisation Supervisor and the  Internship Supervisor. 

Please use the template on the right for the research proposal. 

Once your internship package is approved, you can arrange your internship agreement (recommended) and apply for scholarships (be aware that deadlines for scholarships are strict!) For more information, please visit the Humanities tab.

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