Students of the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture acquire professional experience next to their studies at the Academy. They receive half of their study credits for the professional experience. Below you will find the answers to frequently asked questions about the professional experience. Do you have a question about working in practice which is not answered here? Please send an email to nico.vanbockhooven@ahk.nl

How many hours do I have to work?
Minimum 840 hours per year. An academic year consists of 42 weeks. Students work a minimum of 20 hours a week during 42 weeks. Mostly students work 4 days of 8 hours, a total of 32 hours, a week. You cannot work on Fridays, since you have lessons at the Academy.

What is relevant work?
For an Architecture student a job at an architecture firm  or a comparable professional environment. For an Urbanism student a job at an urbanism firm or an urban planning department. For a Landscape Architecture student a job at a firm for landscape architecture or a department with an environmental design focus.

What type of work should it be?
Preferably you will have one of the following types of employment:
- Employment on the basis of a temporary or permanent contract. 
- Freelance work for multiple employers within the student’s field of study.
- On the basis of certain conditions students are allowed to combine their Master’s with their own company or firm. On condition that the student hands in a written request beforehand in which the tasks he/she conducts, the amount of time spend on these tasks and the professional qualifications that are being developed are defined and an external assessor who supervises the student’s work is appointed. Furthermore, the student has to motivate how and why the employment situation meets the qualitative requirements as set by the Academy. After approval from the Academy the student can include this professional experience in his/her practice documents for the yearly assessment.

Does a job need to be approved by the Academy beforehand?No, the job does not have to be approved by the Academy, unless you have your own company (see above). The requirements for the professional experience and what the student should learn in practice are described in the External Curriculum (see study guide). It is the responsibility of the student to obtain the required professional experience. The Academy assesses at the end of the academic year whether the student obtained sufficient professional experience. If you have doubts about whether your job meets the requirements, you can ask for advice from the coordinator of professional experience Nico van Bockhooven. You can ask questions by email (nico.vanbockhooven@ahk.nl). Or make an appointment via the study secretariat.

What is the role of the Academy in finding work?
In principle students are responsible themselves to find a job. If desired, we can help with the motivation letter or the composition of a portfolio. Furthermore, employers regularly send us vacancies on the basis of which we advise students to apply for these jobs.

How can I find a job?
There are several websites on which vacancies are posted for architects, landscape architects and urbanists:
www.archined.nl
www.architectenweb.nl

Furthermore, the Academy  has its own website on which vacancies for students are posted: www.avbwerkt.nl. On this website you can also create a profile (cv and small portfolio). Employers can take a look at these profiles when looking for new employees. To access this website you need to register. This is possible when you have a student number. The Academy also has a list of employers and firms where our students work or have worked. You can take a look at the websites of these firms to check whether they have vacancies or are open to direct letters of application.

How much should I get paid?
In principle the Academy does not interfere with the employment contract between student/employee and employer, so neither with the amount you should earn. For your study at the Academy it is important that you obtain the right knowledge, the amount you earn does not matter. Employers of architecture firms need to comply with the collective labour agreement. You can also find the salary scales of the agreement on this website.

Do I already need to have a job at the start of my studies at the Academy?
Preferably you already have a job when starting your studies at the Academy. The combination between study and work and the interaction between both brings about an inspiring and stimulating form of education. This is considered the core quality of the study programmes by the Academy.

Sometimes it is difficult to find a job before starting your studies. For example, because you are an international student living abroad which makes it hard to have job interviews. If you find a job later and you work 32 hours a week, it is not a problem. In that case you can still obtain the required 840 hours of professional experience.

I am a national from a country outside of the EEA (European Economic Area), what should I take into consideration?  
The Academy admits a limited number of students from outside of the European Economic Area. These students can work a maximum of 20 huors per week without a work permit. However there are several conditions to comply with:
- Students are employed with the objective to acquire the professional experience necessary during the Master’s programme according to the concurrent model of the Academy of Architecture;  
- Employment takes place on the basis of a employment contract which includes the amount of hours per week, the length of the contract and the salary;
- Also a three-party agreement is signed between the Academy, the employer and the student according to the model of the Ministery of Social Affairs and Employment referring to the employment contract;
- Both the three-party agreement and the employmentcontract are in the possession of the employer as well as the educational institution;
- The labour contract is registered with the UWV (Employee Insurance Agency) in advance via the notification form of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment;
- The student is paid in compliance with the collective labour agreement;
- The maximum amount of working hours a week is 20 hours.

In addition, it is possible to work an extra 16 hours a week with an employment permit. Your employer must apply for this employment permit. Both schemes (20 hours without work permit and 16 hours with work permit) may be combined.

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