Doing an internship
An internship is a valuable component of or addition to any educational programme. It will give you an insight into the world of work and an opportunity to compare theory with practice. For many students an internship is also an avenue towards longer-term employment.
In the Netherlands many organisations hire interns and it is not uncommon to get real responsibilities in addition to working towards your learning objectives.
You can find an internship via your institution as most institutions have dedicated people and resources to assist you with this. You can also search via regular job search engines, industry websites and professional associations.
Internship as part of a programme in NL
If you are currently studying in the Netherlands, you can do an internship on the basis of your EU citizenship or valid residence permit for the purpose of study. If you are not a EU/EEA or Swiss citizen, you do need to sign a tri-party internship agreement that must be co-signed by your employer and educational institution.
Standard internship agreement for non EU/EEA students
Please note that receiving a stipend or salary might have implications for your health insurance and taxation liabilities. You can read more about that below, under 'Internship pay'.
Internship after your studies
Once you have received your diploma, non-EU citizens can apply for an 'Orientation year highly educated persons' or 'Orientation Year permit' in short. During this year, you are allowed to do an internship and/or have a paid or voluntary job.
For more information about the Orientation year permit visit the website of the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND).
If you are a EU/EEA or Swiss citizen, you are free to live, work and do an internship in the Netherlands. EU citizens in the Netherlands do have certain rights and responsibilities. For more information visit the website of the IND.
Internship as part of a programme abroad
It is also possible to do an internship in the Netherlands when you are studying in another country. If you are not an EU/EEA or Swiss citizen, your employer will need to apply for a residence and/or work permit, depending on your nationality and the duration of your stay.
Please consult this decision tree for more information about the administrative procedure for your situation.
There are no rules about the salaries paid to interns, this is between you and the internship provider. Interns usually get some form of payment. If you get paid a salary for your internship, it does have consequences for your liability to pay tax, your social security status and your obligation to have health insurance.
As long as your pay is only a compensation for expenses, it will not be subject to taxation. Expenses include, for example, travel expenses. If any other form of payment is made, the internship provider must pay tax and social security contributions.
You might be obliged to take out Dutch public health insurance if you are doing a paid internship. For more information, visit our web page on Insurance.
You can read more about the tax and social benefit implications on the government website business.gov.nl.
We have developed a guide for employers on how to hire an international intern. You can share this with your prospective employer.