Traveling, foreign friends, learning about new culture and traditions, practicing foreign languages, gaining professional experience and studying at another university... These are just some of the thoughts associated with the Erasmus+ program. Studying abroad is the best known student’s mobility, but the program itself offers much more, including internships abroad, which are an equally attractive form of mobility.
What is the difference between internships and studies within the Erasmus+ program?
Each student can spend a total of 12 months abroad on each study cycle (1st, 2nd and 3rd cycle each), using them freely for studies and internships. For example, you can go for 10 months of studies, and then for 2 months for internships or 3 times for 3-month internships (e.g. every summer).
The stay abroad must last a minimum of 2 months and a maximum of 12 months. Contrary to studies abroad, where the list of available universities is given in advance, a student interested in internships finds the company he wants to work for by himself/herself. He/she has to contact the company, ask about the Erasmus+ internship opportunities (and about the possibility of signing the required documents). Additionally, you may have an interview. If the recruitment process is successfully completed, the person concerned confirms the internship, obligations and duration of the stay abroad, and then fills in the required documents from the university.
In which institutions can you do an internship?
An Erasmus+ internship can be completed in companies, research and development institutions, non-profit organizations, universities (e.g. a project or in a laboratory), in state administration units or in other institutions such as hospitals, libraries, museums, etc. The internship cannot take place in EU institutions, in institutions responsible for the management of EU programs and in Polish diplomatic missions abroad.
The institution where the internship will take place must be located in a country participating in the Erasmus+ program.
Which countries can you go to for Erasmus+ internships?
We can travel to 27 countries of the European Union, to the countries of the European Economic Area: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and to North Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey.
What is the recruitment and placement procedure for Erasmus+?
Recruitment of candidates is conducted by the university and all formalities are organized by it too. Recruitment may be conducted centrally at the university or at individual faculties. Recruitment process for the internships usually takes place in the academic year preceding the start of the internship. It is worth checking in advance when and how often recruitment is organized, because each university displays its own schedule. It is best to inquire about the applicable dates at the International Relations Office (the name may vary depending on the university).
The student first participates in the recruitment for internships within the program at the university, then finds the company where wants to do the internship and contacts it and arranges the details of the stay abroad (dates, duties, number of working hours, etc.), then contacts the university/departmental internship coordinator. After making arrangements with him/her, appropriate documents are filled in (in the next stage they must be approved by the university). After the placement agreement is signed by three parties - the student, the university and the host institution, as well as other required documents, the student signs the mobility and scholarship agreement, which specifies all the details of the stay abroad.
What criteria are taken into account during the recruitment process?
The basic criterion is knowledge of the language in which the student will carry out the internship or the language required by the host institution. Additional criteria may be set by individual universities and include, for example, student’s motivation, activity at the university or grade point average. In the case of Erasmus+ internships, the criteria are different from those for admission to studies and it is worth checking with the International Relations Office exactly what they are.
What formalities should be completed before departure?
The basic document related to the Erasmus+ internship is the Learning Agreement for Traineeships (LAT), which must be completed and signed by the sending institution, host institution and the student. The agreement specifies the dates of the student's stay abroad, her/his duties during the internship and contains information about the host company (including the data of the supervisor). LAT is the basis document for recognition of the internship by the university.
Before the departure, the student must also sign the mobility and scholarship agreement.This document specifies the amount of the grant, the method of its payment and the date on which the documents must be settled with the home university after returning from the trip. The placement may also be carried out without a financial scholarship or with partial funding (e.g. for part of the stay, the student receives a grant, and for part of the stay she/he receives a zero grant, and thanks to recruitment by the university, he/she can go abroad under the program).
Before going on an internship, you must also purchase an insurance - accident insurance (ubezpieczenie od Następstw Nieszczęśliwych Wypadków - NNW) and civil liability insurance (ubezpieczenie Odpowiedzialności Cywilnej - OC; ISIC or Euro26 insurance is often the chosen option), as well as obtain health insurance. In the branches of the National Health Fund (Narodowy Fundusz Zdrowia - NFZ), the European Health Insurance Card (Europejska Karta Ubezpieczenia Zdrowotnego - EKUZ) is issued free of charge, thanks to which the student has the opportunity to use basic medical care abroad, just as if she/he were using the services of the National Health Fund in Poland.
Mandatory and additional internships
Depending on the requirements set by the university, you can go for internships within the Erasmus+ program in many cases both for compulsory internships, i.e. specified by the study program and relevant ECTS points, entered in the grid of subjects on the university's website, and for additional internships, i.e. an additional stay abroad developing student’s skills. Already credited compulsory student internships in a Polish company do not exclude the student from recruiting for Erasmus+ internships.
Where to find Erasmus + internships
There are many websites where you can find foreign internships, but the best way is to contact companies directly - look for companies in the region of Europe that interests you and contact the companies from relevant sectors corresponding to the student's field of study by email. The student then sends e-mails to the companies, attaching their CV and asking if the company is looking for interns.
The internships may be found at:
It is also worth remembering that university career offices conduct free CV consultations for all students of a given university.
Tips for completing the Learning Agreement for Traineeships (LAT) in English and Polish: click! and we look for Akcja 1. Mobilność edukacyjna, and then Erasmus+ Umowa finansowa KA103-2020 dla uczelni and finally Porozumienie o programie praktyki,