Erasmus+ traineeship: How I found a position and prepared for the journey

If you are a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree student at Tampere University, I am sure you have heard of Erasmus+ grants for traineeships. I had the best time doing my Erasmus+ traineeship last summer, and I am going to share with you some tips of looking for a position.

Erasmus+ grants for traineeships are an incredible opportunity for students to get funded for doing an internship/traineeship in a country that is a member of the Erasmus+ programme. The minimum duration of the training is two full calendar months. Working should be full-time, at least 30 hours a week.

Finding a traineeship

Keep in mind that there are three application rounds in each academic year and we can apply for the grant via the Mobility-Online system. The funny story is, I applied and got offered the grant in spring 2018, but my process of finding a traineeship took months, and I only started working in summer 2019. I personally found that the difficult part is not getting the grant, but getting the traineeship that suits you.

Here are some of my own tips and useful suggestions for traineeship search:

  1. Have a clear idea of what kind of traineeship you want to do and where you want to be. Remember that the countries who take part in Erasmus+ programmes are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and United Kingdom.
  2. Check your university emails. Tampere University’s Erasmus office provides a huge help as they often forward traineeship offers to all students who recently got Erasmus+ grants. These offers are from organisations who are directly looking for Erasmus+ students to work for them, so you won’t waste too much time discussing as they already know how to deal with Erasmus+.
  3. I actually got my traineeship position thanks to one of my friend’s recommendation. So yes, connect with other students, especially ones who also got Erasmus+ traineeship grants. You can share the opportunities you found with each other. A position that does not suit you that much might be a perfect fit for your friend who studies a different field, and vice versa. If the company is recruiting more than one traineeship position, you might end up getting on board together, who knows?
  4. I mostly looked for a traineeship position online. Some organisations post their vacancies, some don’t. If you are interested in working for a particular company but don’t see that they are hiring trainees, don’t hesitate to send them an email introducing yourself and your current situation of holding an Eramus+ grant.
  5. Don’t be shy to ask for help from your supervisor, professor and faculty coordinator. They are people who have various contacts in their academic field and might know if there is an opportunity around. My supervisor Sirkku Kotilainen from the Faculty of Communications actually supported me a lot during my traineeship search, as I wanted to find a communication-related position.
  6. Some student associations offer really good traineeship programmes such as AIESEC, IAESTE, FiMSIC (for medical students), ELSA (for law students).
  7. Some useful websites: Eramus; The European jobs network EURES; Erasmus In School;

Preparing for your traineeship

After you are offered a position, things now get easier and more exciting! You know where you will go and now it’s time to sort out the paperwork, do a bit of research on the new place, look for accommodation, book your flight ticket(s)…

  1. You need to earn credits from your traineeship to be eligible for an Erasmus grant. Make arrangements with the academic coordinator at your faculty to include the traineeship in your degree.
  2. Ask around if there’s another Erasmus+ student who has been or is going to the same city or country. In my case, I was lucky enough to find a student who, a year ago, was an Eramus+ trainee at the exact same company that I was going to. We got in touch and she was a super great help by sharing her experience with me.
  3. Discuss with the receiving organisation if you have any problems. An Erasmus+ colleague of mine struggled with finding accommodation and one of our managers immediately referred her to a very nice flat nearby the company.
  4. Be aware of Erasmus benefits you are entitled to by contacting Tampere University Erasmus office.
  5. Try to arrive at least a few days before your traineeship starts so you can have time to explore the city and get familiar with things such as bus routes.

Alright, I hope my tips will help you at least a little bit in your journey of finding an Erasmus+ traineeship. Good luck and don’t forget to enjoy, as you will have fun!

You can find out more about Erasmus+ traineeship here.

Feel free to connect with me at my LinkedIn!

– Sophie

Photo of Sophie
About the writer: My name is Sophie Nguyen and I am originally from Vietnam. I am doing my Master’s degree in Digital Literacy Education at Tampere University. You will mostly find me around the City centre campus and at Y-kampus doing Marketing and PR.