For internship institutions

The internships public history are collectively organized by UAntwerpen and UGent and are identical in design and goals. The only differences are the position in the curriculum, the timing (first semester or full year) and the additional bachelor internship organized at UGent. 


Internships offer master students in History the possibility to gain a first kind of professional experience, more specifically in the cultural heritage sector: archives, museums, heritage libraries, heritage organizations, cultural organizations, production houses, tv or radio stations...

The focus is on acquiring knowledge, competences and skills related to the (historically oriented) public functioning of these organizations.

For the coordination of the internships and the composition of a list of internship institutions, the Department of History of the University of Antwerp and the Institute for Public History of Ghent University collaborate closely. 

Position in the curriculum


  1. Bachelor: the observational and participatory internship (prof. dr. Bruno De Wever) (5 study points, 2nd semester) is part of the practical component of the public history program and started in 2016-2017. Students who choose to complete this practical program also take up the courses History and Society (prof. dr. Berber Bevernage) and Arts policy and Museum studies (prof. dr. Manfred Sellinck). 
  2. Master: since 2007-2008 the optional course Research Seminar Public History (5 study points, first semester) (prof. dr. Gita Deneckere and prof. dr. Bruno De Wever) exists and is complemented with a practical component: a practical internship. Starting from 2017-2018, the research seminar and participatory internship are embedded in the practical part of the public history program. 


Starting from 2016-2017, the master internship (prof. dr. Pierre Delsaerdt) (6 study points, full year course) is part of the renewed master's History curriculum of the University of Antwerp. The internship is optional; as curriculum component it is a non-mandatory course. The course unit is comprised of a couple of lectures in the first semester and the actual internship, which can take place in the first and/or second semester. The student writes an internship report and a critical screening of the internship institution, which is handed in to the lecturer who coordinates the internships. 


  • Lectures: 12 (Antwerp) resp. 25 (Ghent) contact hours, mainly on a wide and diverse range of aspects related to public history and public historical functioning of heritage institutions (i.a. guest lectures by specialists from the field)
  • Internship: 120 hours to be performed = f.ex. 20 working days of 6 hours
  • Report and critical screening: approximately 42 hours of work 


The assignment is twofold: 

  1. Observation: the intern observes the historical practices of the organization. 
  2. Participation: the intern collaborates in the completion of a public historical product or activity.

The internship focuses mainly on a concrete and purposeful participation and can contain the following activities: 

  • Research and reformulation for a large public 
  • Contribute to public historical products (publication, website, exhibition, educational map, interview…)
  • Attend internal meetings
  • Write texts intented for a large public
  • Network with professional and non-professional heritage partners
  • Contact with and communication for public 
  • ...
    ! Pure administrative or inventorial tasks are not allowed 

Expectations towards receiving institution

  • The organization is ready to work with one or more interns and provides the coordinators with an appealing text, in which the organization briefly introduces itself, describes the internship and makes clear how many internship vacancies it offers. 
  • The receiving institution appoints among its staff one internship supervisor. This person is the first point of contact for both student and university coordinator. 
  • The supervisor and student make agreements beforehand about the times, the expectations and the content of the internship. The intern communicates this information to the responsible coordinator before the start of the internship.
  • Once the internship is completed (and ultimately before January 10 / May 31 of the semester in which the internship ended) the supervisor provides the appointed coordinator with a grade and a brief account in which a general assessment of the intern's performance during the internship is given.
  • The internship is not remunerated.

Responsibilities of UAntwerpen and UGent

  • The lecturers coordinate the distribution of the students to the receiving institutions. Point of departure for this is the collective list of internships offered.
  • The university in question provides a contract by which students are insured for the duration of the internship.
  • The university coordinators do not perform visits in situ, but they are available in case problems would emerge. 
  • The final evalution of the student is the responsibility of the lecturer. The basis for this evaluation are the supervisor's appreciation and the reports handed in by the student.

Practical: communication internship options and distribution

  • The deadline for the potential internship institutions to provide the coordinators with their internship proposal(s) is the 31st of August prior to the academic year in which the internship will take place. 
  • The internship proposals are communicated to the students at the beginning of the academic year. 
  • The students have one week to provide the lecturers with their motivated top-3 of possible institutions. The coordinators appoint the internships after mutual agreement, after which the internship is allowed to start immediately. 
  • (Only for the bachelor internship at Ghent University, which takes place in the second semester: an extra round to appoint the internships is possible, with the 1st of November as deadline for the internship proposals. Communication about this is solely restricted to the Ghent University coordinator.)

Contact info

Ghent University:

Fien Danniau (teaching assistent public history)
Universiteit Gent, Vakgroep Geschiedenis
Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 35
9000 Gent
T: 09-331. 02.78

Prof. Dr. Bruno de Wever
Universiteit Gent, Vakgroep Geschiedenis
Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 35
9000 Gent
T: 09 331 02 81

University of Antwerp:

Prof. dr. Pierre Delsaerdt
Universiteit Antwerpen, Departement Geschiedenis
Prinsstraat 13, lokaal D-319
BE-2000 Antwerpen
T: 03-265.44.49