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Societal Internship



The Honours societal internship enables students to experience the complexity of professional life. Students assist organizations in everyday processes in a certain work domain, such as: organizing events, streamlining communication strategies or organizational processes, and coordinating projects in collaboration with primary school students and city authorities. The goal of the internship is for students to obtain a thicker understanding of the world of practice, potentially in a different field than they are being trained for. Students do this by observing colleagues, interviewing people, and working on concrete tasks under the guidance of their internship supervisor.

The entry point for the internship is the student's clearly formulated, exploratory question, in which their academic knowledge is applied in work settings. Students therefore ask themselves: What do I want to find out, and which personal and professional skills do I want to develop during the internship? Students organize the internship around their own questions and areas of interest. Students can find a societal internship in whatever area they choose, ranging from governmental and non-governmental organizations, companies and volunteering organizations to cultural organizations, such as a museum.

Course objectives

Through this course, we strive to achieve that students are able to:

  • practice the knowledge obtained during the Honours College trajectory in real work situations

  • gain further practical knowledge from concrete and specific situations in work-related settings

  • engage in reflection and reflexivity before, during, and after their practice in an organization

  • employ their strengths and weaknesses more consciously and strategically in an organization

Mode of instruction

Depending on the extent and duration of the activities involved, this internship is worth between 1 and 5 EC (which includes compiling the internship report). Students can find a manual with more information about the societal internship on Brightspace.

Assessment methods

Internship plan and contract (pass/ fail)
The internship is supervised by a supervisor from the organization in which the student carries out the internship. Students draw up a short internship plan and an internship contract between themselves, the supervisor from the organization, and an assigned internship teacher from the Honours College track Science, Society and Self. The internship contract and plan need to be approved and signed before the start of the internship.

Internship report (pass/ fail)
After the internship, students write a report, which includes information about their motivation for choosing this internship, a description of the activities carried out in the context of the internship, as well as an evaluation and reflection on their own performance. The assigned internship teacher from the Honours College track Science, Society and Self provides feedback for growth.


The societal internship can be in any language. The internship plan, contract, and report must be in English or Dutch.


The skills covered in this course differ between internships. The skills shown in bold are for sure covered in this course:

Researching Collaborating Reflecting
Analysing Oral communication Independent learning
Generating solutions Written communication Resilience
Project-based working Presenting
Digital skills Societal awareness


The student can start with the societal internship in consultation with the internship supervisor and the assigned internship teacher from the Honours College FSW. The number of hours spent to the internship per week is also discussed with these persons.

During the internship information meeting former students share their recommendations for finding an internship and their societal experiences. This is followed by a question and answer round.

Date Time Location Program
25-09-2023 17:15-19:00 Leiden Internship information meeting

Admission requirements

Second- or third-year students of the Honours College track Science, Society and Self can follow a research internship. Students can contact their coach regarding the practicalities.


You do not need to register for a societal internship. Your first step in organizing a societal internship is contacting your coach.

Contact information

If you have any questions, please contact your Honours College coach.