Internship for students in the EU: An internship in the European Union is an excellent first step for a young professional to build a successful career.
Internship programs are actively implemented in a variety of areas and directions. European politicians see this as an opportunity to improve the situation in the labor market.
But in the end, students who are already in their senior courses or immediately after graduation can get their first job in a major company and with good pay.
Yes, an internship in the EU is always paid, moreover, at the level of real labor evaluation in this specialty. We tell you about this in our article.
What is an internship in the EU?
EU internship programs were created as part of a strategy to overcome unemployment. They are organized by the labor office, so that young people who have just completed their education can acquire the necessary practical skills and improve their competencies. Internships have two main functions:
- To help businesses, organizations, and corporations that need people to do urgent work but financial resources do not allow them to hire additional personnel;
- To create employment opportunities for the unemployed by providing them with hands-on experience and the skills they need for future employment.
Internship programs for unemployed professionals without work experience are funded through the institutions of the European Union. The employer in turn can pay additional bonuses to trainees, but this is optional.
Note that the trainee’s pay cannot be lower than the minimum wage in the region and this specialization.
Usually, it is slightly lower than the salary of an experienced specialist, as for a newcomer on general terms. Much of the payment depends on the niche you were educated in and getting a paid internship.
List Of Internship Fields to Consider
Find a volunteering cause closest to your heart.
- Creativity and culture
- Pedagogy and didactics
- Intercultural/intergenerational education and (lifelong)learning
- EU Citizenship, EU awareness, and Democracy
- ICT – new technologies – digital competences
- Youth (Participation, Youth Work, Youth Policy)
- Citizenship and democratic participation
- Disabilities – special needs
- Inclusion – Equity
- Climate action, environment and nature protection
- Teaching and learning foreign languages
- Community development
- Education and training
- International cooperation, international relations, development cooperation
- Health and wellbeing
- Key Competences (incl. mathematics and literacy) – basic skills
- Rural development and urbanization
- Social assistance and welfare
- Access for disadvantaged
- Combat violence and tackle racism, discrimination, and intolerance in sport
- Digital skills
- New learning and teaching methods and approaches
- Romas and/or other minorities
- Social dialogue
- Civic engagement / responsible citizenship
- Environment and climate change
- Equality and non-discrimination
- European identity and values
- Gender equality / equal opportunities
- Green skills
- Healthy lifestyle, active aging
- Migrants’ issues
- Reception and integration of third-country nationals
- Skills development
- Youth (Participation, Youth Work, Youth Policy)
Advantages of an international internship: prestige, excellent experience, and salary
A European internship provides an excellent starting point for further career development. Among the key advantages of getting an internship position in a major corporation or government organization, the European Union offers the following advantages:
- The opportunity to practice your language skills and master the language at a native speaker level. Candidates with medium or even minimal knowledge of English and/or the language of the country where the vacancy is opened may be taken for an internship.
- During the 3-15 months that an internship lasts, you can become fluent in both languages at the level of a native speaker, and get into a foreign language and cultural environment. It is impossible to imagine a better option to improve your language skills;
- A great benefit to your CV. A line on your CV about a job or internship in a major European company or a government, social, or volunteer organization will be an important advantage in the future when you are looking for a permanent job. Any employer pays attention to it;
- Gaining useful practical skills. This is the main goal of an internship, and this method works. At university, you get mostly theoretical knowledge, many of which you understood with difficulty or turned to the write my essay service for help, but how to apply them – is still a question for you. Under the guidance of an internship supervisor you can carefully but effectively apply theory in practice and develop as a specialist;
- The opportunity to continue work in the same company, but this time on a common basis. It is very common for trainees to be hired permanently at the end of their internship. But for this purpose, it is necessary to show your best side, that the employer understood your value to the company. Therefore, from the first days of the internship, take the initiative, try to fit in with the team, perform your duties to perfection and show initiative.
Disadvantages of an international internship
The disadvantages are few. Firstly, the salary – it is paid and it is very good. But to move to the EU this will not be enough – not having other sources of income, you have to live quite modestly.
Also note that the cost of a visa, travel, and accommodation can be paid in the framework of the internship program.
But more often these costs are on the shoulders of the intern. Therefore, be sure to clarify this issue in advance.
We recommend calculating in advance the budget you will need for a month and estimating to what extent the salary will cover it. You will not be able to work in parallel in another company – you simply will not have enough time for this.
Do not treat an internship as an opportunity to live in Europe, travel, and get acquainted with the country. An internship is a regular job, and it will take a full working day.
So don’t expect to have a lot of free time.
Who can get a paid internship in the EU?
There are no special requirements for the programs. The main thing is to meet the professional criteria for the specific position. In other words, if you want to be an engineer, you must have an engineering degree.
In some cases (especially if we are talking about social directions) it is very important to know a foreign language. But what institution of higher education did you previously attend, your nationality will not be a key criterion for selection.
The job description for intern positions will detail all of the requirements for the candidate. Be realistic and honest about your abilities. There will be an interview anyway, and the whole truth will come out.
And if you are aiming to build a career in this field at the end of the internship, it can go to your disadvantage.
Internship in the EU and regular internship: the main differences
Everyone understands the term “internship” in different ways. Many believe that this is a short university internship, which will require a report to the university, which is held for the score. Or the probation period, which allows to get practical experience, improve skills and get used to the profession a little.
However, at the stage of the usual probationary period, the employer pays minimal or no money. And they take newcomers reluctantly – even without pay. For the employer, it is too much trouble, after all, he has to train newcomers which distracts from the main business processes. That is why internship in many countries has not become a popular practice.
In Europe, there are both regular internship practices and EU-funded internship programs. Thus, In this article, we will focus on the latter option.
In the EU, internship programs are funded by the government, so the student (or in this case, it is more appropriate to say a young professional) receives a scholarship from the state in addition to his/her salary.
Usually, the funding goes through the European Bank or the government of the country where the program is being implemented.
How to find an internship in Europe?
There are several ways to find a government-initiated paid internship in the EU.
They can be:
- The websites of the organizations that initiated and fund the internship program;
- Personal communication with representatives of organizations that implement internship programs. Usually, these are local employment centers (they may be called Bureau of Labor Affairs or otherwise – it depends on the specific country);
- special events – job fairs, exhibitions, etc. They look for employees for both regular jobs and internships;
- consultants at universities who help with employment and registration for paid internships for their students.
Finding an internship opportunity depends on the country in which you plan to work. Each country may have its specifics and agencies that administer such programs.
Rules for applying for an internship in the EU
It is worth noting that each European organization has its procedure for the registration of interns. Let’s consider the general points. Usually, to become a participant in the internship program, it is enough to fill out an online application.
The duration of the program may vary from a few months to a whole year or even a year and a half. Short internship programs lasting 3 months are more common.
Once the application is approved, you will meet with a future employer and be interviewed. Once you have found a suitable internship program, you need to contact the employer.
An internship is first of all a job, so you need to have an interview. If you find common ground with the employer and understand that you will be comfortable working with this company, and if you are a good match, you sign a contract and start your functional and professional duties at the appointed time.
While we have already talked about the main features of internships in the EU, we want to note that there is another option. It is more simple, but no less interesting and just like the previous one opens up many prospects – at least traveling and getting to know a new country.
Volunteering. Volunteers all over the world strive to make life better. Volunteer opportunities are available in a variety of fields such as daily life, social work, youth issues, health, culture, digital skills, and so on. It is a simple task, and you will receive a competitive stipend and salary. This is an incredible paid internship in Europe for international students, similar to Erasmus Mundus Internships 2023.
Volunteer internships in the European sense can be divided into two subgroups:
- You help organize events of all kinds.
- You help the community to protect the environment, stand up for human rights, help the disabled, the homeless, the hungry, etc.
Volunteering is a noble and often unrewarding job. It is a noble and often unrewarding activity, not only for a student but also for any other person.
European Institutions, Bodies, and Agencies
You’ve certainly heard of the European Parliament, the European Commission, and the Court of Auditors, but there are many other European institutions, bodies, and agencies that run internship programs, with most of them posting positions on a yearly or biannual basis.
We believe that if you are interested in doing an internship at a European institution, you can discover a good choice for your profile regardless of your field of study, professional experience, or aspirations.
Among the many chances are those at the European Medicines Agency, the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction, the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity, the European Institute for Gender Equality, and the European Central Bank.
We recommend that you visit the EU careers platform to learn more about the internship programs and application deadlines, however, if they open a new vacancy, we will post it on our social media networks so you don’t miss out.
Most internships last 3 to 5 months on average, but it is possible to obtain internships that last up to a year.
In terms of qualifications, it is important to note that the majority of the selected interns held a Master’s degree, implying that the institutions are looking for interns with extensive knowledge and some experience in their field so that they can contribute to the work being developed while also developing their own knowledge and skills.
Frequently Asked Questions About EU Internships
Can I apply for more than one internship?
Yes, however, if you are chosen for more than one, you must choose one of them because each individual can only do one internship.
How much is the internship grant?
The grants vary on the country and institution where the internship takes place. On the EU Careers page, you can find this information.
Can I do an internship during my Master’s?
Yes, you can do an internship during your degree. If you have a mandatory internship, you will need to confirm the option with the institution, since those internships have different features
I have already applied for several internships, but I was never selected, what should I do?
There is a lot of competition for these internships, so you should continue trying, adapting your application, taking some courses, do volunteer work, among others.
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