• Netherlands
    • Amsterdam
20 weeks
Computer Science Design Engineering Sustainable Development Technology

Program Details

Academic Year Fall Spring
Weekly Hours


Starting Price
Price Details
Pricing depends on your background, check out our website for more information: https://digitalsocietyschool.org/traineeship/

Next to a one-time tuition fee our partners have made available a monthly stipend for participants.
What's Included
Some Activities Some Meals Visa Wifi
What's Not Included
Accommodation Airfare Meals SIM cards Transportation Travel Insurance
Mar 25, 2020
Nov 02, 2021
7 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Do you want to learn how to change the world with Design Thinking? Our traineeship might be what you are looking for.

During 20 weeks you will be In Digital Society School you will work on a project with one of partners. These projects are clustered around our themed Tracks. At the end you will present an prototype solution to the challenge posed. In addition you will participate in workshops, masterclasses and personal coaching to get you ready for the next step in your career.

As a diverse group of researchers, thinkers and doers we want to shape tomorrow’s society through digital technology, using human-centered design approaches. We think big, start small and are explicitly open, placing our findings at the world’s disposal.

We believe that our digitally fueled future can -and should- be inclusive, intelligent and involve us all. We invite students and professionals from creative industries to join out community.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • the focus of the projects is on sustainability
  • you will use design thinking to solve a real life challenge
  • you will learn to leverage transformative tech
  • you will learn about making and UX design
  • we are based in the centre of Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Related Programs

Program Reviews

8.4 Rating
based on 10 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 60%
  • 7-8 rating 30%
  • 5-6 rating 10%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Growth 8.1
  • Support 9.2
  • Fun 8.4
  • Housing 7
  • Safety 9.4
Showing 1 - 8 of 10 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Great way to enter the tech field in the NL

I have a background in the (fashion) design field. Prior to DSS, I completed a coding course. DSS was for me the perfect place where to bring together my different skills, and refine them through a real project in a real team. It's a great place to start your career in the tech field, also if your faculty at University is not specifically technical, and you learn by doing.

Not everything goes smoothly during the projects, but that's part of the fun and of the learning experience! I learnt and grew up a lot during my own, and could reuse what I've learnt as anecdotes during the interviews I did after completing DSS.

The program has a good name among people in the tech field in the Netherlands, so it's a really good experience to add to your CV, me and my friends have all found jobs after this experience.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I wouldn't spend the whole time on Zoom meetings during the research phase of the program! (I did it during the lockdown) It's important as teams to schedule together and alone time and set boundaries since the beginning.
10 people found this review helpful.
Response from Digital Society School

Hi Cinzia,

Great to hear from you! I hope your future remains as bright as it is now, you did great and showed awesome growth throughout the semester.

Don't be a stranger.

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Great opportunity to learn outside my comfort zone

I was worried that I could not fit in at the beginning of the traineeship, since my formal study doesn't seem to have a direct connection to the topic. But my worry meant nothing at the end, because the traineeship offers a rare opportunity to learn for everyone, even ones who thought they had zero design skills. I have gained good understanding of digital transformation through the fruitful discussions not only with fellow trainers, coaches, and staff but also experts on various topics (I definitely received great support from the DSS staff and coaches from beginning to end of the program!). Through the close work with the client, I have also gained a bit of knowledge of Dutch working culture.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would have had less worry about fitting in. Everyone is learning regardless of their background studies and all. The fact that it didn't feel so much comfortable in the beginning is because I chose to expand my comfort zone and learn substantially.
9 people found this review helpful.
Response from Digital Society School

Hi Adela,

I am so happy to hear your worries were proven false! I think you and your team did great work under challenging circumstances.

Take care!

Default avatar
Bridget Leigh
Yes, I recommend this program

Flexible program, great way to get experience in the Dutch innovation space

I joined the DSS program to develop my professional portfolio after pivoting into UX research and design. It was a great way to get experience working for a client as part of a product development team. Likewise it gave me the space to work on a professional portfolio and get lots of useful feedback about how to talk about past projects.

A tip to those who are considering DSS: you get what you put into this program. While each project team has a coach with some expertise in the field, the bulk of project work is done alongside your peers: other newcomers to the innovation space. From my experience, the ones who gained most at DSS were self-starters, those who went out of their way to learn from their peers' relative expertise and to teach themself new skills throughout the program. At DSS training wheels are off; so before you apply consider that you'll need to do the leg-work for your own personal and professional development here.

9 people found this review helpful.
Response from Digital Society School

Hi Bridget,

Thanks you for your kind and honest assessment of the program!
I especially love the fact that say "At DSS training wheels are off" because they most definitely are.

Take care and be in touch!

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program


Fun and Education at the same time! DSS brings a new way to learn by doing it, experiment it and develop ideas in a unique and safe environment. Thinking outside of the box mindset and cool office vibe. Staff is welcome to everybody and willing to help about any question. You can learn so many things about the digital transformation process and gain practical skills (even in online-remote workstyle) :D
The very friendly atmosphere during the whole 5 months being part of Digital Society School :)

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
Choose more workshop courses for gaining new skills :)
20 people found this review helpful.
Response from Digital Society School

I knew your cohort had fun despite everything going on last semester, that much was obvious at the (socially distanced) going away party in the Flevopark.

But I am really grateful for your kind words Dino, thank you very very much.

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Great traineeship for people looking to take first steps in their career

Being part of the DSS community was enriching and fun. I'd definitely recommend this program for students in the graduation year or people taking a shift in their career. As a UX/UI designer I definitely had a lot of freedom in what and how to design. Working with real clients also helps to build your resume and gain industry experience.

Unfortunately I didn't feel as much growth as I was expecting on my own field as the program focuses more on learning a bit about a lot of fields and being the only designer in my group I had to mainly rely on my previous skills. But for people looking for getting the first hands-on experience it is a great please where work & fun is combined.

Be open to learn about a lot of things and participate in a lot of group activities. People of DSS are super knowledgeable and supportive & also super fun.

18 people found this review helpful.
Response from Digital Society School

First off thanks for all the great compliments Helena, I will let everyone here know about the fun you had and how you enjoyed our guidance and support.

Additionally I will definitely look into how we present the program since you indicate you were expecting something a bit different.

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

A programme for everyone

An experience that everyone with any background is welcome. Diversity is a key element here and it helps you learn more. You meet people from different specialties and you will hear/learn about different skills from design to coding and much more.This can help you better choose the right path for you in your career and learn how to work with people from different backgrounds.
The staff, coaches and colleagues are very supportive and the atmosphere is very friendly.
I am personally grateful for the experience that I had in DSS :)

18 people found this review helpful.
Response from Digital Society School

I am happy to hear you had such a great time with us Pari.

Even though your team was a little understaffed I think you more than rose up to the challenge.
And it was a joy to see your team collaborate with each other!

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Good experience if you are willing to try new things

I was starting a career shift when I joined DSS and I enjoyed my project a lot, partly because I think I was really lucky with my team and partners. From what I have heard from other people, this is not always the case since the team and the project are essential for your experience and you can't really choose them 100%. The profiles of the students are very diverse, which is interesting, but usually brings unbalanced teams, and the filtering of the DSS when recruiting is not infallible.
DSS staff are nice and helpful but don't expect them to guide you on every step or go very deep on the subjects during lessons, although you can always get extra time on specific issues from them. Workshops are scarce and provide very basic learning about many different themes, so they look more intended to open your eyes to new areas rather than turning you into an expert on any of them. So it's mostly up to you to make it work, the energy and dedication you want to bring, and the hunger for knowledge you have. Learning from your team members as much as possible is highly recommended, although this can be limited if the course takes place online (on the other hand, workshops and project work ran quite smoothly digitally despite of the inability to use the space at HVA). It's also supposed to be fun, but when online...well is not always fantastic.

17 people found this review helpful.
Response from Digital Society School

I really appreciate your honesty, Daniel. I think you description is accurate and also helps us to pinpoint area's where we want to improve the program. All the teams during the last semester did an exceptional job and your team impressed me with it's aura of calm competence.

Stay in touch and let us know what you get up to in the future!

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

New Experience

Being a researcher for more than 4 years and wanting to learn new techniques in the data science area, connected me with DSS. It was a new experience to work with different nationalities and with people from different backgrounds. I have to emphasize this diversity is very rare, and you do not experience this often! Enrolling in this program was one of the best decisions that I have ever made. It helped me to learn new skills such as Design Thinking and Communication, and it helped me to find solutions in a simple, yet elegant way. I got full support with every problem, and they are there for you if you have any questions. I was working on a project that needed a lot of research. During the project, we had a coach named Abdo, who guided us through this journey. I am so happy that I chose this program since it changed my life! I have learned data science methods as well as soft skills while I was at DSS.

What would you improve about this program?
Release the title of the projects, so that people have time to do research and to learn more about them, before enrolling in the program, and choosing the project in less than two hours. Since one has to work 40 hours a week on these projects, they need a subject that they can be passionate about.
18 people found this review helpful.
Response from Digital Society School

You and your team showed great flexibility and resilience in the face of the challenges you faced.

And it's great to see you have managed to use to see you have been able to use it as a springboard to a great new challenge!

Questions & Answers

Since we try to be inclusive we try to not use formal requirements if we can help it. In other words if you can convince one of our program managers that you are a match for one of our projects, you are in. In case you are not an EU citizen however you will need to have a completed Bachelor's degree. This degree should not be older than two years.