Work and internships during your studies (2023)

For students from non-EU/EEA countries, there are strict rules for working in the Netherlands during your studies.

  • Volunteer work during your studies

    Volunteer work during your studies

    • If you want to contribute to society by doing volunteer work, you don’t need a work permit.
    • The Volunteer Declaration (Vrijwilligersverklaring) is sufficient. The Volunteer Declaration is aimed at asylum seekers, but also applies to international non-EU/EEA students who have a valid Dutch residence permit.
    • Under the Dutch Foreign Employment Act (Wet Arbeid Vreemdelingen) voluntary work is also seen as labour.
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    1. Dutch basic health insurance is required during the time of your volunteering. A student insurance like AON is not sufficient.

    If you receive financial compensation more than €150 per month or €1,500 per calendar year for your Volunteer work, it is considered a wage. For more information, follow the link below.

    1. Liability insurance is strongly advised
    2. The organisation where you’ll be volunteering needs to have a Volunteer Declaration: “Vrijwilligersverklaring”.
    3. The organisation can apply for the Volunteer Declaration at UWV (the Employee Insurance Agency in the Netherlands). The declaration is valid for 3 years and for all its volunteers.
    4. Please check beforehand if the organisation has such a Volunteer Declaration. Otherwise, you risk losing your residence permit.
  • Part-time or seasonal work during your studies
    1. Students from non-EU/EEA countries need a work permit.
    2. This permit is free of charge.
    3. The number of hours you’re allowed to work in the Netherlands is restricted. Every calendar year, you must choose:
      • Seasonal work in June, July and August. Both part-time and full-time are allowed.
      • Part-time work throughout the year, but no more than 16 hours a week.
    4. You cannot do both.

    Tewerkstellingsvergunning or TWV

    1. In Dutch, a work permit is called a tewerkstellingsvergunning, often abbreviated to TWV.
    2. Your employer or employment agency must apply for a work permit for you. They can do so at theUWV, afdeling TWV, T: 088 898 20 70. You cannot do this yourself.
    3. Your employer or employment agency needs to apply for this work permit (TWV) at least 5 weeks prior to the start of your employment.
    4. It can take up to 5 weeks to process the application.
    5. You can give your employer the following links if they are not familiar with the TWV for student jobs.
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    From you, your future employer or employment agency needs the following two documents to accompany the application for a work permit:

    • A copy of the front and back of your residence permit for study purposes
    • Proof of enrolment, which you can get yourself at your education service desk, which you can get yourself at the Education Desk of your study programme


    After the application has been processed, your employer will receive your work permit. You can ask your employer for a copy of your TWV for your own administration. Your work permitwill bevalid for the same time period as your registration at the UvA. Therefore, your employer needs to request a new work permit if you renew your registration at the UvA.

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  • Working as a Freelancer/entrepreneur during your studies
    • Self-employed work by non-EU/EEA students and knowledge migrants is exempted from the TWV. You can be self-employed in addition to your studies, without needing a TWV work permit from UWV. However, you have to register with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce.
    • Remember that as a non-EU/EEA student, you need to comply with the conditions for your residence permit.
    • It also entails registering at the Dutch Tax office (Belastingdienst) and the Dutch Tax office collects tax 4 times a year on every product or service sold in the Netherlands.
    • The work permit obligation does still apply to non-EU/EEA (and Croatian) students wanting to pick up a part-time job or internship alongside their studies. EU students have free access to the Dutch labour market.
  • Internship regulations during your studies
    • An internship is a work placement or practical training arrangementdesigned to give you practical experience in the field of your study. It often offers a small financial compensation. Because an internship is a learning goal, this allowance is not regarded as a salary.
    • A traineeship in the Netherlands, however, is a starter’s position for graduates with a normal salary. Therefore, a traineeship is not regarded as an internship in the Netherlands.
    • Please note that most organisations in the Netherlands look for students to fill in their internships. Internships after having graduated from a bachelor’s or master's degree are less common in the Netherlands.

    For EU/EEA students

    1. You will need a signed internship contract between student and company (some study programmes do have internship contract formats that you can use).
    2. You will be allowed to keep your international health insurance for the entire period of your internship. You will not need to change it.
    3. A liability insurance is strongly recommended (often part of AON insurance by the way).
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    For non-EU/EEA students:

    If you are from a non-EU/EEA country and would like to do an internship at a company, you need permission from your study programme do to so. If permitted, you then need to sign and use the UvA internship agreement for Academic education (UNL model internship agreement).

    1. Why do I need a UNL model internship agreement?
      A company offering an internship to a non-EEA student in the Netherlands must take into account such things as the Foreign Nationals (Employment) Act (Wav) and the Foreign Nationals (Employment) (Implementation) Decree (Bwav). Briefly, this legislation requires the company to be able to produce an internship agreement that meets the requirements set out in Article 1f of the Bwav.
      To make it easier for students, universities, and companies, UNL has drawn up a standard internship agreement that meets the Bwav requirements. Accordingly, the University of Amsterdam therefore has "Internship Agreement for Academic Education".
    2. a.) If an internship is part of your programme (elective or mandatory), it has ECTS credits and therefore fulfills the requirements for your residence permit. This means that your internship coordinator can then sign the "UvA Internship Agreement for Academic Education"directly.
      b.) If you want to follow an extracurricular internship during your programme (no ECTS), throughout the academic year or in the summer, your internship coordinator will take your study progress (at least 50% of the ECTS set from your study programme for that academic year) and possibly other requirements into account, before agreeing to signthe"UvA Internship Agreement for Academic Education". However, not all programmes allow students to follow an extracurricular internship due to policy reasons. Please contact your programme's study advisor to see what the possibilities are.
    3. You will be allowed to keep your international health insurance for the entire period of your internship. You will not need to change your international health insurance to a Dutch health insurance. Changing your international health insurance to a Dutch health insurance is only mandatory when you work in a side job or graduate job. Read more about health insurance for students on the pageHealth insurance and liability insurance.
    4. A liability insurance is strongly recommended (and often part of AON insurance, by the way).
  • Finding an internship

    The UvA Student Careers Centre can help you with finding your internship through workshops and personal coaching on career orientation, personal skills and career skills.

    Go to
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Can you intern while studying? ›

Needless to say, pursuing an internship while studying offers a series of benefits. Working while studying is challenging, but it offers you long-term benefits, which are as follows: You will get a real feel of the work environment and a clearer picture of how the industry works.

What are the benefits of having a job or internship while in school? ›

When working in a real-world environment, students will get to meet many people in the field they are interested in. Internships give students crucial network experience as they can exchange ideas and learn from employers, mentors, industry experts and more.

Why are internships important to complete during your academic career? ›

Internships are beneficial because they help develop your professional aptitude, strengthen personal character, and provide a greater door to opportunity. By investing in internships, you'll give yourself the broadest spectrum of opportunity when seeking and applying for a job after college.

Is an internship a study or work? ›

The first difference between an internship and a work-study program alternation lies in the work contract within the company. A work-study student is subject to the Labor Code, whereas an intern is hired after signing an internship agreement, without an employment contract.

Is it possible to work full time and do an internship? ›

You can, in fact, do both at the same time. I have been, for almost six months now, and if I can do it, so can you. It's been hard at times, sure. I've sacrificed some sleep and social events.

Can I take a day off as an intern? ›

But, since it is understood that internships are not the same as an employment relation, the answer is easy to deduce: No, interns are not entitled to vacation. It is another thing if the company wants to grant them. However, the employer is under no obligation to do so.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of doing an internship? ›

Below, we will guide you through the advantages and disadvantages of taking unpaid college intern work to help inform your decision.
  • Pro: Get Invaluable Experience. ...
  • Con: You Pay for Unpaid Experience. ...
  • Pro: Networking Opportunities Abound. ...
  • Con: You Will Not Receive Benefits. ...
  • Pro: Trial Run Your Future Career.
Mar 7, 2023

Are internships a good or a bad thing why? ›

An internship is important because it can present you with new skills and opportunities that you may not receive otherwise. Interns gain technical knowledge within the industry of their choice by working directly with professionals in that field.

How do internships help students? ›

An internship provides you with firsthand experience, professional opportunities and personal growth. It will also make you more competitive when applying for jobs. As an intern, you'll gain relevant skills to showcase on your resume.

What is the purpose of internships? ›

An internship is a professional learning experience that offers meaningful, practical work related to a student's field of study or career interest. An internship gives a student the opportunity for career exploration and development, and to learn new skills.

What have you gained from the internship? ›

7 things you'll learn from doing an internship
  • How to put my knowledge and skills into practice. ...
  • The benefits of networking. ...
  • Understanding workplace culture. ...
  • Enthusiasm is invaluable. ...
  • Keeping a journal is great for personal growth. ...
  • How important good communication is. ...
  • The benefits of taking on feedback.

Is an internship basically a job? ›

An internship is a short-term work experience offered by companies and other organizations for people—usually students, but not always—to get some entry-level exposure to a particular industry or field. It is as much of a learning experience as it is work.

Is it better to do work study or get a job? ›

Work-Study Pros and Cons

PRO: You take it in place of higher loans. That means less accruing interest. PRO: On-campus jobs mean you don't need to worry about owning a car, spending an hour on the bus or travel expenses. CON: Jobs are typically minimum wage or only slightly higher.

What are the benefits of having interns? ›

Here are five great benefits to gain from interns:
  • A larger workforce. Interns are valuable support and help to current employees, even if tasks given to them have modest levels of responsibility. ...
  • Mentorship opportunities. ...
  • A new perspective. ...
  • Positive publicity. ...
  • An employee candidate pool.
Jun 9, 2023

What are the benefits of having a job? ›

15 benefits of a job
  • Financial security. A job can provide you with a steady income, which can help you cover living expenses and save money for the future. ...
  • Health insurance. ...
  • A sense of purpose. ...
  • Retirement savings. ...
  • New skills. ...
  • Valuable connections. ...
  • Discounts and perks. ...
  • Intellectual stimulation.
Nov 6, 2022

What are the benefits of getting paid for internship? ›

Paying interns will likely motivate them to stay engaged and do their best work, provided there's ample mentorship and support in place. Further, paid internships allow interns to be more fully present because they don't have to work one or more side jobs to eke out a living during the internship.


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