Student - October 21, 2009

'VHL Leeuwarden instruction on internships too late'

The second years and fourth years at Van Hall Larenstein in Leeuwarden are due to start their five or six month internship in four months' time. Many second years think information about internships leaves a lot to be desired.

Students are issued with a reader containing internship information at the start of the school year but no information is given at that point in the form of a class. 'It is all very well having information in the reader on how to arrange an internship but I need a face-to-face explanation in order to see what it will be like in practice. It is our first time', says Lisa Faber, a second-year student in Coastal and Marine Management. Arranging an internship is not something you can manage with one telephone call. It is often a question of patience and not giving up. 'I started sending my CV to potential companies for internships at the start of the school year but didn't have any luck. By chance, I got my first positive response last week, after three months', says Jodi Bakker, a second-year Environmental Sciences student.
Preparing students for their internship has been done in this way for years at Leeuwarden. This is because students are expected to be able to find out about internships themselves without supervision. 'We try to assist students as much as possible by scheduling internship interviews with their study supervisor and by giving internship instruction in the form of a class three months before they leave', explains Angelique Kuiper, internship coordinator for Coastal and Marine Management.
'Of course we will succeed in arranging our internships, but it would have removed a lot of doubts among students if we had had information in the form of a class at an earlier stage', says Marlous Heemstra, a second-year Coastal and Marine Management student. /Marlot Roelofs