Itching to work abroad, but no idea where and how? Love Europe, but English is your go-to language? Enter Amsterdam, the city famed for its hipster beauty and the gateway to Europe. With the countless cycle lanes, long boats bobbing along the world-known canals, and inhabited by the world’s happiest people, the city welcomes anyone with passion and motivation to succeed. Amsterdam, known for its rising tech sector along with many other international companies, is an ideal city for interns aspiring to gain internship experience for their future. Welkom (welcome)!
Popular Types of Internships in Amsterdam
Given the central location of Amsterdam within Europe, as well as the frequent use of the English language, it is easy to see why many multinationals have claimed Amsterdam as their city of choice for their headquarter (Unilever, IKEA, Heineken and Philips, to name a few). As yay as gooey stroopwafel!
Popular fields of work. Out of the numerous industries Amsterdam boasts, the fields most popular for international internships are business, marketing, communications and finance. Given the broad range of sectors available to choose from, there will be an internship that suits your professional development needs.
Short-term and summer internships vs. long-term internships. Most Amsterdam internships last one month and up to a year; companies are flexible and understand that you’re in Europe, traveling around might also be high on the priority list. The Dutch take the work-life balance very seriously; you will not be working a minute over your agreed hours a week.
The minimum length allows you to carry out a veritable project, allowing you to truly make a difference to the company.
Paid vs. unpaid internships. The majority of Amsterdam internships are unpaid, but if you are able to secure an internship independently (through your own network and channels, you lil’ hustler!), you might be able to advocate for a stipend or hourly wage. In years’ time when you look back at your achievements, it’ll be the experience that stands out and the resume highlight you mention at every job interview. Think long term!
Life in Amsterdam for Interns
Daily life in the ‘Dam: navigating through the narrow cobbled streets by the meandering canals on your bike, picking up freshly baked ontbijtkoek (gingerbread), musing the tulips and windmills. Sounds dreamy? It only goes up from here. With the rich culture and the long history the country proudly remembers, living in Amsterdam will allow you to immerse yourself into the Dutch and European lifestyle in no time.
Being a relatively small country, getting around is easy and affordable. Efficient trains, trams, and buses mean every weekend you can explore in-depth different part of the country and beyond. Locally too, there are many ultra-cool neighborhoods of Amsterdam to get the insta-perfect picture for your friends back home to drool of envy. Camp in Zeeburg with friends and outdoor BBQ on the cusps of Amsterdam, then stroll around Jordaan, the vision of the city everyone has when they think of the capital. No matter what taste your palate holds, there’s a part of the city and the country you will fall hopelessly in love with.
Professional life in Amsterdam is not much different from the out-of-office vibes. As one of the most gender equal countries with a very flat hierarchy system, Holland has been hailed as one of the countries to follow example from and adopt their policies. If you’re looking to learn from the best and take away from the best, look no further than Amsterdam.
GoAbroad Insider Tips
Amsterdam is home to an incredibly diverse, open-minded and humble people; it’ll be hard to come by another city that glows in recommendation of its people, let alone the atmosphere and cafes (the list goes on). The people you meet, the friends you make will be for life. Make Amsterdam your second home, the one you come back to in years’ time and know you can go back to your favourite restaurant tucked away in a hidden alleyway with your favourite humans. Fantastisch.
Unfortunately, most of the internship placements being unpaid may be hard on your finances. However, think of it this way: these internships are an investment for your future. Plant the seeds of your success now, in funky Amsterdam, and some way down your career path, you’ll reap the rewards from the “Amsterdam-experience-tree.” In the grandiose scheme of matters of the universe, the lifelong lessons and experience you will take away from your internship placement will pale in comparison to the financial sacrifices you had to make. Take the leap.
All those times you’ve pondered about taking the time out to explore, to work abroad, try out something new... now is the time to take small steps towards achieving that dream. The memories and the experience gained will be those you look back with a sense of achievement. Venturing into the unknown cannot go wrong as long as you learn from it; with that in mind, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags, take charge of your future, and head on down to the Venice of the North to find Amsterdam internships!
Read our comprehensive guide on interning abroad in the Netherlands.