Internship abroad provides you with work experience, language skills, intercultural skills, and contacts. Regardless of how you get an internship, finding the position, application process, and the internship itself require considerable initiative and flexibility from you. Internship completed abroad can also be included in your degree.
You can find an internship placement abroad by yourself or through various internship programmes. Look for organisations and associations that offer internships.
If you seek for an internship by yourself, do also research on the country where you wish to go. If you find an interesting business or public sector actor, be confident and contact them directly. Send an application and CV to the Head of Personnel or a departmental director of the company or institution in their corporate language or English. Call or send email after a few weeks and make inquiries on your chances to get an internship. Larger corporations and associations also often have a web page on internships.
Issues that you need to take care of before leaving are work and residence permits, and taxation. Further information can be found e.g. in EURES portal.
Financing the Internship
Usually employers pay interns a salary. However, internships abroad are often unpaid, or the salary is very small. Because of this, some associations that organize international internships award funding or grants for internships.
University of Vaasa provides funding for international internships in 3 ways: as grant for Erasmus internship (see below), as University of Vaasa internship voucher or as University of Vaasa Travel grant (see below)
Grant for Erasmus internship
Erasmus programme offers funding for internship in another country participating in Erasmus programme.
In Erasmus Internship you would be working in a European business or organisation (private company, public institution, university etc.) for a minimum of 2 months and maximum of 12 months. Embassies and Consulates of the student's home country and of Finland are also possible as Erasmus internship placements. EU organisations, National Agencies dealing with Erasmus funding or placements via EDUFI internship programme administered by Finnish National Agency for Education, are not acceptable as Erasmus internship placements.
University of Vaasa does not have any internship positions abroad to offer. Students must be active in finding a suitable placement. Internship opportunities can be found e.g. on ErasmusIntern Portal, EURES portal, other portals or simply by contacting companies directly or even using services of companies that provide internships. Follow also Mobility Services Facebook for ads for internship placements at our partner universities.
Prerequisites for getting an Erasmus grant for internship from University of Vaasa are that the student is registered as attending and fullfills the criteria of having completed around 30 ECTS / attended semester. Internship should not affect the expected graduation and completion time of Master's programme, which should be possible to complete within the normative 2-year graduation time, including internship period.
In order to get an Erasmus grant for internship, credits from the internship must be included in the student's degree at University of Vaasa. Internship must therefore also be approved by the student's study programme/ Academic School before the internship period.
Application is ongoing for Erasmus grant for internships. The student should submit application documents to University of Vaasa Mobility Services prior to the start of the internship.
Applying for Erasmus Grant for Internships
How to go about with applying for Erasmus grant for internship:
- Before applying for an Erasmus grant for internship, you need to have an internship placement ready.
- Discuss with your study counselor/ responsible person for internships in your study programme about your plans for internship. Make sure that the internship can be included in your degree and agree on nr of ECTS for the internship.
- Together with the Employer organisation, fill in and sign an Erasmus Training agreement.
In Erasmus Training Agreement you agree on your tasks and objectives for internship.
- Submit the signed copy of Erasmus Training Agreement to the responsible person for internships in your study prgramme to sign.
- Finally submit a copy of the Erasmus Training Agreement to Mobility Services at outgoing.international(at)uwasa.fi.
- Another document you need to fill in is Erasmus Grant Agreement (filled out by the student, the bolded sections on the 1st page and signature)
- Submit the Erasmus Grant Agreement to Mobility Services at outgoing.international(at)uwasa.fi.
Additionally before the internship, you need to:
- Complete part 1 of Erasmus+ OLS language test (you will get an email invitation to take the test)
Both application documents can be found in Forms for Student Exchange (see Forms related to Erasmus Placements and Internship).
Please note that the grant is not guaranteed but it depends on availability of Erasmus funding and the number of applicants in ongoing application.
In Academic year 2020/21 the monthly Erasmus grant for internships to higher-cost countries defined by the European Commision (Denmark, Iceland, Ireland, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom) is 620 EUR/month and to lower-cost countires (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria Croatia, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, Republic of North Macedonia) 570 EUR/month.
In addition to this monthly grant, Erasmus programme supports the mobility of people with special needs having physical and/or mental conditions that would prohibit their participation without additional funding. Also participants with underaged children are eligible for additional funding. More information on request from Mobility Services.
Please note that you cannot apply for Erasmus funding if you get some other financial support from University of Vaasa. Bachelor students completing both a Bachelor and Master degree at University of Vaasa can receive Erasmus funding once during Bachelor an once during Master degree studies. Students who only complete Master's degree can receive Erasmus funding for internship once. On each level (Bachelor/ Master/ Doctorate) student has 12 months of Erasmus funding they can apply for. These 12 months can be also divided between Internship and Erasmus student exchange.
Please note that you cannot graduate from University of Vaasa during the internship.
In addition to Erasmus Training Agreement, you should also make an employment contract /internship contract with the organisation in accordance with the legislation of that country and find out about working visas and insurance policies. With your Finnish residence permit you can stay in another Schengen country usually only for a limited time and after that you need a residence permit of that particular country and the host organisation should help you to acquire this.
According to Erasmus rules the student must have valid sickness, occupational accident and liability insurances during the internship. Student must agree on these either with the host organisation or acquire them with their own insurance company. University of Vaasa only provides occupational accident insurance if the internship is without pay, other insurances mentioned above the student must acquire themselves.
Funding for international internships outside of EU or at institutions not eligible as internship placements according to Erasmus programme, please see University of Vaasa Travel Grant section of this website.
After the internship you need to submit the following document to Mobility Services at outgoing.international(at)uwasa.fi:
- Work certificate OR
- Learning Agreement for Traineeships section: Traineeship Certificate
Additionally, you need to:
- Answer to European Commission's survey (EU Survey) on your internship
- Complete part 2 of Erasmus+ OLS language test
- Apply for credits for the internship by contacting your study counselor/ person responsible for internships in your study programme
More information on Erasmus internship:
University of Vaasa Travel Grant
For an internship abroad, it is possible to apply for a travel grant awarded by the University of Vaasa up to a maximum of 1000 euros. The travel grant is intended for travel expenses of internship. Basic degree students (Bachelor, Master) of the University of Vaasa who have registered as present are eligible to apply for a travel grant. There are five annual travel grants.
The travel grant is a one-time compensation, the amount of which is determined by the student’s travel cost estimation. A travel grant may not be granted to cover the full cost of travel, but may also be part of the total cost of the trip. Travel grants are not granted retrospectively. If the internship for which the grant is awarded is canceled or interrupted or the internship period is changed, it must be immediately notified to the career service and the awarded grant must be returned.
A travel grant will not be awarded if the student's internship is organized by the National Agency for Education, if the internship is an Erasmus placement or if the student has an internship voucher issued by the University of Vaasa or the student receives another grant. Also, a foreign student's internship taking place in his/her home country is not eligible for a travel grant.
- A travel grant is awarded for a period of internship abroad which lasts at least three months.
- At the time of the application, the student must have at least 160 credits in the study register or be a Master's degree student at the University of Vaasa.
- The student must include the internship to his/her degree at the University of Vaasa.
- The student completes his/her Master's degree after the internship.
- The University of Vaasa pays the travel grant to the student’s informed account.
- The student is allowed to use the grant only for travel expenses of the internship.
- If the internship for which the grant is awarded is canceled or interrupted or the internship period is changed, it must be immediately notified to the career service and the awarded grant must be returned.
- The student him/herself takes care of the necessary insurances.
- At the latest two months after the end of the internship the student must deliver a copy of the certificate of employment or a 1–2-page informal internship report and travel receipts to the Career Services.
- If the above mentioned requirements are not met, the grant may be recovered.
You can apply for a travel grant throughout the year after receiving an internship placement. Apply the travel grant by filling in a travel grant application. You must attach a Personal Study Plan for Internship, a curriculum vitae (CV) and a travel cost estimation to the application. Applications with attachments are delivered to career services. The student is informed of the decision by e-mail. On the basis of a positive decision, a travel grant agreement is made.The travel grant is paid in the end of the following month after the decision has been made. The travel grant must be used for the purpose mentioned in the application during the time indicated in the application. The student must deliver a copy of the certificate of employment or an internship report as well as travel receipts within two months after the end of the traineeship to harjoittelu(at)uwasa.fi.
Before you apply for a travel grant, you may want to inquire about the possibility of obtaining an Erasmus grant.