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Frequently Asked Questions
Who can apply?
Master and PhD students from all Dutch Universities currently enrolled, or within one year of graduation. International students are welcome to apply! Bay area companies are looking for leaders with curiosity for challenge and deep drive for innovation and technology.
What is the selection procedure like?
We are open for applications until 20th December. From December 20th until January 24th your university will perform a first round of selections. The second selection is executed by a Selection and Talent Committee based in San Francisco in February. The committee will propose the best matching candidates to our internship companies, who make their final decision based on an online interview which will take place during March. Candidates could be proposed to various companies. You will be informed at all stages if you are a selected candidate. We aim to start the first internships in Spring (May/June) 2020.
Which companies are offering internships?
We constantly work to partner up with interesting Silicon Valley startups, scaleups and established companies, in order to offer a work experiences that are tailor-made to match your ambitions. Among the internship companies we can proudly confirm: Arcadis, Atomwise, Chrysalix, DuPont, Ligand Pharmaceuticals, Parsley, Roose Lab (UCSF), Segmed, Tellus and Zymergen. More will follow over the next months.
In what fields are the internships offered?
Internship companies have indicated they are interested in interns from the following fields of study:
Artificial Intelligence; Biomedical Engineering; Biochemistry; Biochemical Engineering; Biomedical Sciences; Biotechnology; Business Analytics; Business and Economics; Data Sciences; Data analytics; Finance; Health and Life Sciences; Humanities; Law and Legal Sciences; Mathematics; Molecular Biology; Natural Sciences; Psychology; Social Sciences; Software Engineering; Engineers.
Because of the phase the internship program is in, and the nature of companies in Silicon Valley, at the moment the internship positions are mostly in STEM fields. However, it is a misconception that these are the only work fields available in the region. We aim to expand the program with a wider variety of internships as we develop. If you are a talented student from another field of study, please don’t let the current internship portfolio withhold you from applying. If you are a talented applicant, we will actively search for a match with your profile within the network of the consulate-general and the Talent Committee.
Why are there no internship vacancies published on the website?
Most companies create an internship position that matches your ambitions. Your talent comes first. We are expanding our company portfolio as we further develop the Internships in the Valley program. If you don't see a company that matches your talents, do not get discouraged, we are constantly adding new partners. If you have a great pitch but your field is not listed yet, we can always propose that one of our portfolio companies hire you as an intern.
Why are there no internship positions at the Big Tech companies of Silicon Valley?
Our partners companies are neighbors of Twitter, Google or Facebook. However, these big companies have their own strict selection procedure to hire interns. Therefore we are not offering internships there for now. If you would like to know more, please visit their internship information pages.
Where are the companies located?
Most of the internship providers will be based in the Bay Area, California, US. However in rare occasions, like with Chrysalix in Vancouver, an internship could be located somewhere else. In any case you will receive the same support with the visa procedure and finding accommodation.
How many hours of work a week will my internship demand?
Aspects of the internship such as duration and monthly income will be arranged directly with the hiring company. However, you can expect a working week of 40 hours. In the US internships are seen as a "first job" experience, rather than just training.
Should I write a motivation letter tailored for the company and position I am interested in?
Your motivation letter is where you describe your past achievements and ambitions for the future: what do you want to bring to the world and why should Bay Area companies hire you? If you are sure about your match with one of the companies in our current internship portfolio, you can address this in your letter. However it might be that, once you are selected, you will be proposed to other companies as well. It is therefore mostly important that you specify your expertise and field of interest. Make sure to include extra-curricular activities that reflect your entrepreneurial and innovative attitude and leadership skills.
Can I write my thesis during the internship?
There could be possibilities to write your thesis while doing your internship. However, keep in mind that in the US interns are usually perceived as a full time employee. If you plan to base your thesis topic on the company/internship you will be doing, this must be approved by your thesis supervisor and accepted by the company before departure.
Can I take the internship as part of my study curriculum?
This must be determined in agreement with your university and the internship company. Please contact your thesis supervisor or student advisor at your faculty. Companies are most likely flexible to adjust your role so it can fit your curricula requirements.
What are the costs involved?
No fees are involved in the selection process. On average you will need US $2500-3000 per month for living costs and transportation. Most companies will offer an internship allowance that covers your cost of living and transportation. It varies per company whether costs of relocation are included as well. Occasionally Internships in the Valley might be able to arrange funds in case a company has not enough budget for a substantial allowance. The J-1 visa cost is between US$ 1200-1900 depending on the duration of it.
What type of visa should I request and how?
Internships in the Valley works together with the Netherland-America Foundation (NAF) for a smooth J-1 visa procedure which includes American health insurance. At the moment that you are hired by one of the companies, we will go into the details of the visa procedure. For now there are few things that are good to take into consideration:
- The visa procedure will take approximately between 8-10 weeks
- To proof you have sufficient financial funds during your stay in the US, you should be able to proof you have $1.000 per internship month in your account. Or show a letter/ bank statement from a parent or guardian
As an international student you will have to proof your binding to the Netherlands, this can be done by being/staying enrolled in a Dutch university and/or a housing contract that has your name, that exceeds the date of your return to the Netherlands. Due to the current government administration, it is unlikely that applicants from the following countries will be approved for a visa: Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen.
What is the start date of my internship and how long does it last?
Start date and duration of the internships will depend on your wishes as well as the possibilities of the internship provider. This is an arrangement between you and the hiring company.
Will there be other enrollment periods?
Yes, enrollment will open again 1 October 2020.
What is life like in San Francisco and it's surroundings?
We will provide relevant information about the Bay Area through our social media channels, and we recommend the official San Francisco Travel website for more in-depth information. Once you are selected for an internship, we will help you prepare for your work experience abroad. We will provide a guide with information about:
- Where to find housing
- Opening a bank account
- Getting a local SIM card
- Health insurance
- Taxes for J-1 visa students
Is there any preparation or training before I start my Internship?
To prepare you for your internship experience, we will organize a workshop – either in person in the Netherlands, by webinar, or through a self-learning module. Workshop topics will include a run through of the program, living in San Francisco, American business culture, and communication skills.
Will I get support throughout my internship?
The Consulate General of the Netherlands in San Francisco, as well as the Internships in the Valley team will be there for you all throughout your stay, in case any issues arise. We will provide opportunities to meet up with other interns from the Netherlands and invite you for periodical social activities.