Netherlands: Eligibility and Guidelines for Students and Recent Graduates

Open the Gateway to Your Aspired Internship in the Netherlands

Are you envisioning an internship in the Netherlands but uncertain about your eligibility? Your search ends here! Enter Piktalent, your trusted partner in internship arrangements. With our expertise, we will navigate you through the process seamlessly, regardless of your nationality or personal circumstances.

Prepare yourself for an exciting opportunity as we delve into the eligibility requirements and essential guidelines for internships in the Netherlands. This comprehensive guide will equip you with the knowledge needed to seize the moment and embark on a rewarding journey.

Standard Study, Graduate, and Research Internships

Meeloopstage Internships

a unique type of internship in the Netherlands that translates literally to "walk-along internship". To provide students with an immersive, on-the-ground experience within a particular job role or industry

Afstudeerstage Internships

or graduation internship, is a unique feature of Dutch education, typically undertaken in the final year of a student's Bachelor's or Master's degree. It's research-oriented and is often combined with the student's final thesis or graduation project

Orientatiestage (Orientation Internship)

allows students to explore different sectors and job roles within an industry to find out what they are most interested in. They usually involve shadowing professionals in various roles within a company. These internships are often shorter and can sometimes be undertaken in addition to the student's studies

Snuffelstage (Sniffing Internship)

these internships are usually very short, lasting only a few days or a week. They're intended to give school students a taste of the working world and a chance to "sniff out" potential career paths


a work-based learning program that combines work experience with training. They are usually aimed at recent graduates and can last anywhere from a few months to a couple of years. Traineeships are often rotational, giving trainees experience in different departments within the company

There is a wide variety of internship opportunities in the Netherlands across multiple sectors, catering to different educational levels and interests. From hands-on experience in multinational corporations to research opportunities in prestigious institutes, the Netherlands provides a rich landscape for growth and learning.

Eligibility Requirements for Internships in The Netherlands

If you are a Dutch citizen, you have unrestricted access to internships in the Netherlands. Dutch law does not specify any age, education level, or work experience requirements for internships, although individual employers may have their own prerequisites. It’s also worth noting that Dutch law requires employers to pay interns a reasonable allowance, the exact amount of which can vary greatly depending on the industry and the company.

Citizens of European Union (EU) countries have the same rights as Dutch citizens when it comes to working in the Netherlands, including pursuing internships. They do not need a work permit, but they will need to register with the local municipality in which they will reside.

For non-EU students and recent graduates, obtaining an internship in the Netherlands involves a few more steps. They will need to apply for a work permit (known as a TWV), which should be done by the employer, and also a residence permit for staying in the country for more than three months.

If you are a recent graduate, you can apply for the ‘Orientation Year’ visa, also known as the ‘Zoekjaar’ visa. This is a one-year permit that allows recent graduates from non-EU countries to live and work in the Netherlands without a work permit. To be eligible, you must have completed a higher education degree in the past three years, either in the Netherlands or abroad.

Explore the information in our right column’s section on documentation tailored for students and employees in the Netherlands.

Dutch Student visas

Internship regulations for national and foreigner

Dutch Working Visas

Job regulations for foreigners

Guidelines for Internships in The Netherlands

Discover essential guidelines to successfully navigate the process of finding and securing an internship in the Netherlands with confidence and ease:

  1. Initiate your search ahead of time: Initiate your search for internships a minimum of six months before your intended internship start date.
  2. Harness the power of online tools and digital resources: Piktalent and job portals serve as excellent avenues for discovering internship opportunities.
  3. Network: Participate in job fairs and networking events to forge valuable connections and engage with potential employers in person.
  4. Get ready to elevate your application to new heights: Ensure that your application encompasses a compelling cover letter, comprehensive CV, and pertinent certifications or diplomas to enhance your chances of success.
  5. Be patient: Be prepared for a potentially lengthy application process when pursuing internships in the Netherlands, as it may require some patience on your part.
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Cultural Considerations of The Netherlands

To make the most of your internship experience in the Netherlands, it is crucial to appreciate and honour the country’s cultural norms and practices. Here are key considerations to bear in mind:

Bicycle Culture

Bicycles are a common mode of transportation, and bike lanes are prevalent. Be aware of cyclists and follow the rules of the road when walking or driving.

Personal Space

The Dutch generally appreciate their personal space. It's important to maintain an appropriate physical distance when interacting with others and respect their privacy.

Work-Life Balance

They prioritize personal time, family, and leisure activities. It's important to respect boundaries and separate work and personal life.

Piktalent Services for The Netherlands

We can provide a range of services to make the internship experience unforgettable.

Frequently Asked Questions

No, EU citizens have the right to work in any European Union country without needing a work permit. This includes undertaking internships.

There is no legal minimum wage for interns in the Netherlands, as they are not considered employees. However, it’s common practice for companies to provide a monthly internship allowance, which can range from €200 to €500. The exact amount often depends on the level of education and sector.

Applicants usually need to prepare a CV and a cover letter, which should be written in Dutch or English, depending on the company’s preference.

A “meeloopstage” is a type of internship that allows the intern to shadow a professional in their day-to-day activities. It provides hands-on experience and gives an inside view of what a day in the role entails.

An “Afstudeerstage” or graduation internship is a research-oriented internship usually undertaken in the final year of a student’s Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. It is often combined with the student’s final thesis or graduation project.

While many internships are geared towards students, there are also opportunities available for recent graduates and professionals. Graduate internships and traineeships are examples of these.

While knowing Dutch can certainly be advantageous, many internships, particularly in larger cities and multinational companies, are conducted in English. This is especially true in sectors like technology, finance, and international business. Nonetheless, check the language requirements specified in the internship description.

For minors (under 18), the maximum working hours are regulated by Dutch law. For adult interns, there’s no statutory maximum working hours; it’s generally based on the company’s working hours.

Yes, it’s mandatory for everyone living in the Netherlands, including interns, to have Dutch health insurance. EU citizens can usually transfer their health insurance coverage from their home country to the Netherlands for the duration of their internship.

EU citizens must register with the Dutch tax office and may have to pay income tax if their internship allowance exceeds a certain threshold. It’s advisable to check with the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration or a tax advisor for detailed information. If you’re a non-EU citizen, you’ll need to arrange for health insurance coverage in the Netherlands for the duration of your internship.

Yes, non-EU citizens will require a work permit to do an internship in the Netherlands. However, the process of obtaining this is usually handled by the employer or internship provider.

Non-EU nationals generally need to obtain a residence permit for ‘study’ or ‘exchange’ (depending on the duration and nature of the internship). You might also need an MVV (long-stay visa). Your employer or internship provider, in collaboration with the Dutch immigration authorities (IND), will typically handle this process. Always verify your specific visa requirements based on your personal circumstances and the nature of the internship.

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