Don't want to study on your year abroad? Interested in gaining first-hand experience of the working world, boosting your CV and improving your language skills in a practical setting? An Erasmus+ Work Placement might be the option for you!
1. What is an Erasmus+ traineeship or work placement?
The Erasmus+ programme enables higher education students to study or do a work placement in one of 32 other European countries as part of a degree course. Students in their first year of study are eligible for work placements.
TOP TIP: Keen to gain work experience but also want to study abroad? If your own university and your host institution agree, you could combine a study period with a work placement, as long as the two activities take place in consecutive periods.
2. How do I find a placement?
You can find a placement in a variety of ways:
- Many students find the work placement independently by direct contact with an employer in another country.
- Through the European/International/Erasmus office in your university.
- On a website or other form of advertisement.
- Through a recognised work placement agency (but be aware they may charge a fee).
- Through speaking to other students about their experiences and contacts (including contacting the Erasmus students society in your university, if there is one).
3. How long does an Erasmus work placement last?
The work placement must be for a minimum of 3 months and a maximum of 12 months. Students in short-term Higher Education courses, such as HND or foundation degrees, may go for a minimum of 2 months.
4. Where can I go on an Erasmus work placement?
You can go to any one of 32 European countries on an Erasmus+ work placement. A full list of participating countries is available here.
TOP TIP: Don’t be afraid to go to a smaller or slightly less well-known country; going somewhere more unusual may make your experience even more exciting and distinctive!
5. Is there any funding available?
Good news! Erasmus+ grants are available for work placements! During your degree, you may now receive an Erasmus+ grant for up to 2 study or work placements in the same or different years.
6. Great! Now how do I apply?
At the earliest possible stage speak to the International/Erasmus office at your university. They will have considerable experience and should be able to guide you through the application process!
Once you have found a placement, through one of the methods listed about, make sure that you are aware of details such as:
- The hours of work
- Holiday entitlements
- Social security cover
- Insurance liability
- General health and safety arrangements
- Whether support will be provided in finding accommodation
- Any civil registration formalities whether it is paid or unpaid (and what this may entail in terms of taxation payments)
TOP TIP: For insider information, try to find out if the employer has had any previous Erasmus work placement students and if they would be willing to put you in contact with them.