Traineeship experience at The Embassy to The Kingdom of The Netherlands in The Hague

Matas Cancingeris

Following bachelor’s degree graduation from the Vilnius University in June 2018, from the Institute of International Relations and Political Science, I thought it would be useful to have a gap year that would allow me to feel more strongly about reinvigorating and refocusing my academical and professional pursuits. Traineeship vacancy at the Embassy of Lithuania to the Kingdom of The Netherlands in The Hague for four months sounded like a great option, since, during bachelor’s degree studies, I always wanted to experience diplomatic work peculiarities and try myself living abroad in The Netherlands, a country that I enjoyed visiting in the past.

Even though the beginning of the traineeship was quite challenging, mostly considering the accommodation scarcity and dutch cultural peculiarities that were new to me as I am from Lithuania, I really enjoyed my time staying in The Netherlands and feel that the traineeship allowed me to grow professionally and personally.
During the traineeship I was able to experience daily routine features of the diplomatic work and apply academical skills that were acquired during the undergraduate study years in practice. It mostly consisted of attendance of various conferences, think tanks and Dutch government’s briefings about its official stance and agenda priorities regarding EU’s Foreign & General affairs councils and EcoFin and Eurogroup meetings and report drafting afterwards. Also, I was introduced to day-to-day consular work features and provided consultative consular assistance to other Lithuanian citizens.
Traineeship was also a valuable experience considering the personal self-enrichment. There would be weekly social gatherings for trainees from the EU Embassy’s in The Hague. Also, sharing a flat with one Australian and two German roommates was an interesting experience too. The Hague is a city that is only a 50 min. train ride away from The Amsterdam and even closer other historical and beautiful towns like Delft, Leiden and Rotterdam. Considering that, there is always something to do on your free time even if you get bored staying in The Hague all the time.

I would like to express my gratitude for the Embassy of Lithuania in The Netherlands staff for a warm welcome, interesting tasks and good professional guidance throughout the whole traineeship and would recommend other fellow students that are interested in similar experience to try it out for themselves.

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