Erasmus is designed to further develop well qualified and motivated students. Your experience of living in a foreign country will be invaluable in later life, not least because an internship on your CV looks good to future potential employers.
In addition, Erasmus promotes cooperation between universities and civil institutions among all the nations involved. For you this means you have a wide choice of countries that you can choose to visit. This includes all the EU member states plus Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Turkey and Croatia.
To go on an internship abroad you must be registered at an institution of higher education and be studying for a higher qualification. Examples include bachelors, masters or doctoral degrees.
Erasmus also allows you to train abroad more than once, as long as the total does not exceed twelve months per study cycle.
Once selected, you may be asked to complete a language assessment test. Depending on your ability, your current university or college may offer you a free language course or other form of support to prepare you for your time abroad.
The host organisation where you will do your internship can be private or public. They must be active in the labour market, though, or in the fields of education, training or youth. Some examples include:
Ineligible host organisations for traineeships include:
Broadly speaking, it is your responsibility to find your own placement. It is also your responsibility to ensure you have adequate health insurance, as well as wider insurance covering you for the period of your internship. You are also responsible for travel documentation, including passports and visas.
It is recommended that you have travel insurance as well as a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Your insurance should cover medical expenses, flight cancellations, personal accidents, lost luggage, lost or stolen money, lost or stolen personal effects, and a level of personal liability cover.
You can apply for an Erasmus grant to assist with the extra costs of studying and living abroad. The grant is intended to be a supplement to your existing form of financial support - not a replacement. You should therefore seek to continue receiving your existing grants, loans and awards throughout the placement period.
You can get extra money by working. Any payment provided by the host organisation, for example, does not affect the awarding of your Erasmus grant. Part-time work is also allowed so long as you maintain the activities listed in the agreed program.
The level of grant funding you can get depends on the destination country, with those travelling to more expensive locations getting higher amounts. The actual sum may vary between 450 Euro and 500 Euro per month. If you have special needs you may also receive further supplementary funding.
Your first step to getting an internship – and a grant – is to visit the ERASMUS Office, the Internship Coordinator, or the International Office at your place of study. All educational organisations have different procedures and deadlines so it is important that you understand these well in advance.
Once accepted into the program your monthly grant will be calculated and delivered in two payments. The total figure is based on the actual number of months you are on placement. Your first amount will be 70% of the overall total and the second amount will be the remaining 30%. You will receive the first payment early in the internship, and the second payment later on.
Again, your first step here should be a visit to the Erasmus Office, Internship Coordinator, or the International Office at your place of study.
Throughout the internship you will be required to complete a number of documents in order to receive your grant payments.
Finally, your successful completion of the internship will see ECTS credits (European Credit Transfer System) added to your academic achievements. Alternatively, they may be included in your Diploma Supplement. Information on how many ECTS you will be awarded is contained within your Learning Agreement.