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Work and internships during your studies

For international students

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.
    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 the UWV, 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.


    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 permit will be valid 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.

  • 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 arrangement designed 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).

    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 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. If your internship is part of your programme (elective or mandatory), it has EC’s 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.
      If you want to follow an extracurricular internship during your programme (no EC’s), throughout the academic year or in the summer, your internship coordinator will take your study progress (at least 50% of the EC’s set from your study programme for that academic year) and possibly other requirements into account, before agreeing to sign the "UvA Internship Agreement for Academic Education".
    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 page Health 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.