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Fieldwork Internship/Practicum


Admission requirements

Admission to the MA Linguistics


It is possible to arrange an internship/practicum in a documentation (or similar) project in Africa, South East Asia, or the Americas. The activities can range from primary data collection and analysis to preparation of educational materials for mother tongue education or revitalization, documenting oral traditions, developing language policies, helping out with dictionaries (including multimedia), preparing orthography advice and assisting in alphabetization. It is possible to collect data for the final thesis at the same time. From the perspective of the planning of your MA the best period to do such an internship/practicum is during the first months of the calendar year, although in some regions the local weather may require you to go earlier or later. It is crucial to plan such an internship far ahead and in consultation with a staff member that is familiar with your area of interest, and it is essential to have your final thesis plan accepted before you go on fieldwork, in order to ensure that you can finish your studies within the academic year.
Depending on the envisaged workload this ‘course’ can be taken for either 5 or 10 EC. In addition, there is the choice as to whether to consider it an internship or a practicum. For an internship, our faculty’s Career Service has to be involved in the planning and all their prerequisites have to be met. An internship provides the option of applying for financial support at the Faculty of Humanities. Note that a local supervisor is required for an internship.
You can also consider this a practicum. For a practicum, there is no financial Faculty support (but you can apply for support at the Leids Universitair Fonds), and you do not need a local supervisor.
The activities in both types of fieldwork will be similar. Note that a Fieldwork must be clearly distinct from the work you do for your thesis, but part of it can and often does involve data collection for your thesis.

Course objectives

  • to experience working and living in one of the countries where the languages that we study are spoken

  • to learn how to work in/on a project

  • to learn how to work with and for a community

  • to acquire practical skills to bring a project to a fruitful end in a new and culturally different environment

  • possibly, to experience data collection in the field


Visit MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

Practical work under supervision (local or at distance)

For 10 EC:
time spent on preparation and writing a practicum/internship plan: 30 hours
time for interaction with local and Leiden supervisor: 20
time for working in/on the project: 200 hours
time for writing final report: 30 hours

For 5 EC:
time spent on preparation and writing a practicum/internship plan: 15 hours
time for interaction with local and Leiden supervisor: 10
time for working in/on the project: 100 hours
time for writing final report: 15 hours

Assessment Method

Assessment is based on the work carried out during the internship/practicum in combination with the evaluation of the local supervisor (if applicable) (50%), and ii) the final report by the student (50%)

Reading list

not applicable


Enrolment through My Studymap is mandatory


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For questions related to the content of the course, please contact the lecturer, you can find their contact information by clicking on their name in the sidebar.

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