1) Find an internship
Naturally, the first step is finding an internship! Luckily, Amsterdam has a whole host of agencies that can help you find the perfect internship.You can also browse the internships listed on our job search page.
2) Organise your visa and permit
If you move to the Netherlands for an internship or research position, you may need a residence and/or work permit. Please note that EU nationals don't need a permit to work and stay in the Netherlands.
Once you've enrolled in an internship programme, you must make sure you have the correct paperwork and proof of identity. Learn more about what’s required.
3) Get to grips with official matters
Once you arrive in the Netherlands, you should register with the municipality. At the appointment, you'll receive a citizen service number (burgerservicenummer, BSN), which is required for working, doing an internship or opening a bank account in the Netherlands. It will take around four weeks to get an appointment, so take that into account when you're planning. You will also need to set up your health insurance, which is a mandatory in the Netherlands. And don't forget to check with your internship organisation about liability and accident insurance.
4) Pack essential documents
Your passport is a given, but you’ll also need a host of other documents for your stay, including an original birth certificate and a copy of your housing agreement (if you're staying in the Netherlands for more than four months). Some organisations will ask you to apply for a Certificate of Conduct from your country of origin, too. Learn more on the IND website.
If you are doing an internship in the City of Amsterdam (Gemeente Amsterdam), please contact Internship Office Amsterdam about the required documents and procedure.
If you’re planning on driving a car in the Netherlands, check out our information on driving licences.
5) Look for housing
Finding a home in Amsterdam can be challenging, so you should start searching as soon as possible. You need a home address for registration if you're planning on staying for more than four months. Read how to find student housing in Amsterdam.
6) Getting to know Amsterdam
There are many ways to find your way around in Amsterdam, but if you want to do it like a true Amsterdammer, get yourself a bike and cruise around city's quintessential cobbled streets and canals. If you'd rather explore using public transport, you should pick up an OV-chipcard. And don't forget to check out our info on Amsterdam’s iconic neighbourhoods – as well as the city's best restaurants and clubs.
7) Learn some Dutch
Although almost everyone in Amsterdam speaks English very well, learning the local taal (language) will help make your time in Amsterdam even better. Here's a few words and phrases to get you started: goedemorgen (good morning) goedemiddag (good afternoon), dank u (thank you), lekker (tasty) and gezellig (a word that doesn’t directly translate, but it's quite similar to ‘cosy’ – but more of a feeling).
Find out more about learning Dutch in Amsterdam.