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Internship or graduation project

Last updated on 16 September 2022
During your internship or graduation project, you gain relevant work experience and show that you can apply the knowledge and skills you acquired during your studies in practice.

Doing an internship can give you insight into the kind of job, work or company that interests you and can help you orientate on your career. You will also expand your network, which can be valuable when you are looking for a job.

An internship is the best way to put the knowledge and skills you have gained so far during your studies into practice and to get an idea of what you want to do after your studies. 

Preparation

  • Mandatory or not?

    For some studies, an internship or graduation project is a compulsory part of the programme. Check the Study Guide to see whether this is the case for your study programme. In most cases, the course description will list an internship coordinator who you can ask for more information.

    Please note: Some study programmes do not allow you to do an internship in your elective space. An internship is sometimes only possible as a graduation project.

  • What kind of internship are you looking for?

    Some studies have fixed internships that you can choose from, but often you have to look for a suitable internship yourself. The better you think about what you would like to do and where, the easier it will be to find the right place. For example, if all you know is that you want to do something with sustainability in Europe, your search will be much more difficult than if you are interested in cultivating edible seaweeds in the North Sea.

  • Arranging your internship

    If you are looking for an internship at another university, you can write directly to the right researcher. Keep the e-mail itself short: Try to answer the questions 'Why do you want to work for that researcher?' and 'Why do you think you have the right background for it'? You can attach your CV and grades (available via the Student Desk).

    Many large companies and non-profit organisations have special internship coordinators that you can write to. Again, it is good to be as specific as possible in the e-mail about your choice and your qualifications for that organisation. In this case too, you can attach your CV and grades (available via the Student Desk).

  • Registering your internship

    Register your internship abroad in your personal dashboard on vu.nl. This way, we will always know where you are in case of a crisis in the country where you are doing your internship.

  • International travel policy

    It is important to read our International Travel Policy carefully. Here you will also find information about the travel advice of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Check in time whether the colour code for the country of your internship is not orange or red, because in that case it is not allowed to travel for an internship or graduation project.

    The webpage also has information about the insurances that are relevant for your internship or graduation project.

  • Arranging accommodation

    Many universities can offer trainees accommodation or at least advise them on alternative options. With other organisations, you will often have to find accommodation yourself.

  • Optional: extracurricular internship

    If your study does not have an obligatory internship, you can also decide to do an extracurricular internship yourself.  If you want to get a scholarship for this, it is necessary that someone from your study/faculty signs the application. In this case, ask your study advisor who would be best to contact for this.

    In case you need a general internship agreement, you can find one here (in Dutch).

Scholarships

  • Internship within Europe

    Erasmus+ scholarship for traineeships

    • If you do an internship as part of your studies within the European Union and some other European countries, you are eligible for an Erasmus+ scholarship for traineeships.
    • The internship should last at least 2 complete months (60 days).
    • If you have been on exchange already during your current study programme, the combined duration of your exchange and internship may not exceed 12 months. 
    • The internship should be approved by your supervisor at the VU and by the examination board of your programme.
    • The amount of the scholarship is different for three country groups, that have been classified by costs of living. The monthly amounts are approximately €400/€450/€500.
    • You have to apply for the scholarship at least one month before the start of your internship.
    • Your international internship must be registered at VU Amsterdam (My Dashboard). 

    Internship after graduation

    It is also possible to apply for an Erasmus+ scholarship for internships, if you like to do an internship after your Bachelor’s or Master’s programme as preparation for the labour market. Please send an e-mail to erasmus@vu.nl to sign up. Please note: the application has to be done well in advance before the graduation date! 

    (If you have been on exchange already during the relevant programme, the combined duration of your exchange and internship is not allowed to exceed 12 months.) 

    More information

    Roadmap Erasmus+ scholarship for internships

    Detailed information Erasmus+ Scholarship for internships

    PhD Grant Agreement

    PhD Learning Agreement

    PhD Statement Green Travel

    PhD Traineeship Certificate

    Student Grant Agreement

    Student Learning Agreement

    Student Statement Green Travel

    Student Traineeship Certificate

    Recent Graduate Grant Agreement

    Recent Graduate Learning Agreement

    Recent Graduate Statement Green Travel

    Recent Graduate Traineeship Certificate

  • Internship outside Europe

    Fondsendesk scholarship

    Requirements

    • The scholarships are available for students with limited financial means and can prove this because they receive a Supplementary grant from DUO during the period of their internship.
    • Your internship or fieldwork research has to be mandatory part of your study programme and has to be approved by your internship coordinator or the examination board. 
    • The internship lasts at least 2 months.Your internship is not eligible for an Erasmus+ scholarship.
    • You need to apply before the deadlines (1 April for internships starting between 1 January and 30 June, and 1 September for internships starting between 1 July and 31 December).
    • You have to register your international internship.
    • You can apply for Fondsendesk scholarship only once during your studies at VU.

    Selection

    • The available budget is limited. Applications which meet the requirements will be awarded in order of application.

    Required documents

    • Fondsendesk statement
    • DUO letter granting study finance for the calendar year in which the internship takes place. You can find it on the Mijn DUO page under Mijn berichten. A scan of the paper version of the letter (as PDF) is also accepted.

    General information

    The scholarship amount is €1,250,-.

    Information Fondsendesk scholarship

Contact

Do you have any questions? Please contact the Student Desk.

Call +31 (0)20 59 85020 (Mon – Fri: 10:30 – 12:30 and 14:00 – 16:00)

If you have questions about the tuition fee, Studielink or your personal dashboard on VU.nl, please contact the Student Desk: studentdesk@vu.nl

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