There’s more to the Netherlands than just windmills, clogs and tulips- this country was ranked as the “happiest” country in the world in 2011 (based on a study by the Organization for Economic and Development) and its population of 17 million have earned the title of ninth highest per capita income in the world! Amsterdam, the well-known capital city, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, appealing to all ages with their rich culture, unique rituals and a lifestyle that everyone can enjoy.
The Netherlands has become a hotspot of multiculturalism as a result of their successfully well-developed economic industries. This success can be attributed to their strict labor laws and requirements regarding working overtime or being abused at your work place is never a concern. The Dutch place great emphasis on leading balanced lifestyles and make sure to distinguish between work and interests in life outside of the office.
If you are interested in pursuing an internship in the Netherlands, there is a crucial distinction you must make before hand- whether your program is a local study program through a Dutch institution or if it is a study abroad program hosted by another institution, as this will determine the legal documentation that you will need for your stay. The documents that depend on this clarification include your work permit, residence permit and the maximum internship compensation that is considered tax-free and if there are any social security payments that need to be deducted. More information can be found at Study in Holland for specific guidelines on deciphering Dutch internship immigration facts.
There are many popular industries in the Netherlands, anything from natural gas to electrical goods to banking to fishing. Some of the worlds’ most prominent companies are Dutch such as Unilever and Shell. If you are interested in internships in the finance field, Amsterdam will be your prime location as it is the financial capital of the country. The offices of several Dutch banks make their home in this prime spot so that they are easily accessible both physically and by telecommunications because there is a great deal of international trade and business that occurs here. UBS, a major Swiss bank has offices here that offer internship opportunities in their finance department. However, they give priority to Dutch-speakers, so if you are not that far along in your Dutch language skills, there are several other companies offering internships such as Procter & Gamble and Vattenfall.
The ability to speak English is not only extremely beneficial for finance positions, but marketing, trade and tourism industries also extremely appreciate fluent English speakers and especially cherish bilingual and multilingual speakers that can accommodate an even wider demographic. Marketing internships are a plenty in various different corporations and organizations based in Amsterdam and Graduateland has an up to date listing of marketing positions at reputable companies like Nike, Tommy Hilfiger, Philips and Heineken. English speakers truly flourish in marketing because they are able to communicate effectively when writing copy and developing ideas that appeal to other market audiences. Amsterdam’s popularity as the fifth most popular tourist destination in Europe holds unlimited opportunities for internships in fields from hospitality to tours of all varieties!
The Netherlands trade industry is also a source of their flourishing economy, and thanks to their centralized location in Europe they are able to achieve extensive access for imports and exports in international trade. If you are interested in learning more about trade, rather than heading to Amsterdam, take a shot at Rotterdam where Europe’s largest trading post exists. Positions in this field can include office work to on the ground hands-on duties, some internships can even combine both so that you get an all around understanding of the trade industry. Lastly, the Dutch Electronics industry has been extremely successful with companies such as Philips. If you have been studying programming, engineering or other technology related fields, there is a wealth of opportunities awaiting you in cities likes Utrecht and Eindoven, as well as Amsterdam.
Visas for Interning in the Netherlands
As mentioned earlier, it is very important to clarify your internship classifications. The Dutch restrictions on entering the country are not strict for short periods of time, but when it comes to work and residence permits it can get a little more intricate. Study abroad programs will usually not run more than the allotted short period of time, but programs through Dutch universities can often be longer and will require residence permits.
One of the special things about the Netherlands is that they offer a Working Holiday Visa to certain countries. This visa is well suited for younger citizens to apply for short-term work abroad. These countries include the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand which are countries that usually also offer this type of visa.
Cost of Living in the Netherlands
The Netherlands has a few options for housing- you can find housing outside of the institution dorms through www.kamerket.nl and rent will usually run you about EU500. When budgeting for your stay, you must take insurance into consideration which can cost as much as EU100. Other costs include utility bills, which total about EU60, food varies but if you are cooking at home, your groceries can cost about EU120. Public transport throughout the Netherlands is quite proficient throughout the various cities, namely buses and trains. However, a much cheaper transportation option is to make use of the most popular transport system, bicycles!