How To Bag A Paid Internship In Europe?

paid internship in Europe

We know the feeling students get when they start looking into various opportunities for interning abroad, but always seem to come across that one big buzzkill that pops up all of a sudden – funds and money. Where are you going to come up with all the cash needed to fund this much-important career-advancing venture?

One can’t deny the exceptional opportunities signified by an internship abroad – however, far too frequently, the cost that comes with it discourages capable and potential interns from even applying and grabbing this incredible chance. With such an enormous pool of internship prospects internationally, in which ones that are paid seem so far and few, it can be quite exasperating and equally tempting to reconsider one’s plan altogether.

Therefore, in an effort to burst this bubble standing between you and your way to interning abroad, we are spilling the beans on everything there is about paid internships abroad. Since, yes, they do exist, even in a place like Europe.

Working and living in Europe is every student’s dream and can also be made into reality. Rich in its cultural heritage and incredible history, Europe is one of the hottest destinations in the world – with a large, strong and potential economy that offers incredible opportunities for you to experience something new and hone your best skills.

Maybe you’ve received your business or science degree and see working in a developed hub like Europe as your next major career move? Or perhaps you studied abroad in Italy, France or the U.K and fell in love with the rich cultures and lifestyle that these countries brought with them and wish to land into a paid internship there during your last semester before graduation?

Bagging a paid international internship is surely possible and is undoubtedly a great way to receive an effective international work experience while living that artistically moving European lifestyle for some months, a year, or longer. Not only is the continent an excellent place for people who want to it big professionally and reap the best out of their lives, but it also offers a diverse experience in terms of meeting new people from different backgrounds, interacting with rich history, landscapes and architecture alongside a highly professional work space that is in no way replaceable.

You will have to do your research about internship opportunities for your field, the budgets, top cities for your desired industry and of course, visas, before you’re all set to pack your bags for this exciting adventure. All it needs is a little planning and you’ll well be on your journey to your first day at an all-expense paid summer internship in Europe. It is never too early to start considering where and when you wish to intern and here are some outstanding tips to help you start and speed the process.

students discussing internship opportunities

Look For A Funded Internship In Europe For Your Final Semester Credits

If you’re still perusing your education whilst doing an internship, then earning a course credit would surely provide you with the added benefit of contributing towards your graduation requirements. The best part? You earn money and gain the desired work experience both.

When and where you decide to work abroad would determine if you should look into a paid internship that’ll count for your course credits at your own university.

In case you’ve decided to opt for an internship for added credit, we’d recommend your first step be to check with your university or college’s career center to see if they’ve got any sort of agreements and collaborations with organizations or companies where you might like to intern.

Another worthy option is to go for a part-time internship with a study abroad language program. This outstanding combination not only lets you get on-the-job experience in a related field to your studies but also enhances your language skills while you interact with a mix of different ethos and backgrounds.

You might want to consider looking into these programs to speed up your hunt for bagging a paid international internship:

Look Into The Finest European Countries For Your Field

Unless you’ve your mind set on bagging an internship in a specific European country or city, you might want to look into where your skills and academic background may be used at their greatest. Do you want to intern with a fashion designer, an NGO, a museum, at a large company or at a newspaper? Certain European cities are more famous for specific fields and researching into those areas beforehand might help you in landing the internship of your dreams.

As a start, you can talk to people in your field about which places in Europe have most opportunities and consider your options further.

For instance, if business and banking is your industry, you might want to think of interning in London – one of the world’s biggest financial hubs. Or if museums, history and art are your passion, Amsterdam, Rome or Paris might be just the right place to find your perfect placement. Do you love fashion? Milan might be worth considering.

Evaluate Your Language Abilities

If you’re someone who speaks more than one language — particularly if that language is spoken in a European country where you wish to work- you’re likely to appear more desirable to prospective employers. Although there’s no denying that being an English speaker would be extremely useful for an internship abroad, having a professional proficiency in a secondary language will surely get you more options and opportunities.

One important point to remember is that you have to be very realistic when it comes to your language skills before you plan your internship time abroad and thoroughly research if your industry possibly requires any secondary language or not.

If you’ve decided a particular country where you want to work, you might want to start familiarizing yourself with that country’s own language at least a year in advance, to land into the workplace of your dreams.

In case you’re not proficient in a secondary language, fear not! Not all internships in Europe require potential interns to speak a secondary language. Try limiting your search to cities where English is the first language so you can effectively gain the most out of your time abroad.

student travelling in train during paid internship

How To Find A Paid Internship In Europe? 

Now that you’re done with all the prep work, it’s time for you to shortlist all internships that you wish to apply for. Start contacting organizations and companies that you are interested in to find the right spot. You can also approach various fee-based services and websites online that are known to combine opportunities for unpaid and paid internships throughout Europe:

  • Erasmus+: An organization of the EU, Erasmus+ includes internships, work placements, trainee ships and much more. The various exceptional prospects on Erasmus+ are available to recent graduates and all students.
  • org: specifically provides and lists opportunities at various NGOs and other companies around the globe, that focus on their corporate social responsibility and giving something good to community where they live and work.
  • AIESEC: AIESEC provides you with the ideal chance of activating your leadership skills by going on an international experience that’s sure to develop and explore your potential. At AIESEC, you can not only search for hundreds of internship paid opportunities in Europe by industry (from wildlife conservation to accounting), country and time period but can also come across a list of volunteering programs in too.
  • Internship placement service providers:This is a great option for students who want to reduce some of that research time it takes to look for a placement. There are many organizations that charge a fee to match potential students with an internship that provides stipend salary, free meals and fares for your commute.

group of professionals going to work

Tailor Your C.V. (And Cover Letters) Accordingly

Once you’ve found some paid internships in Europe that suit you best, now it’s time for you to start applying to them. For this purpose you might want to update your C.V. / resume in a way that includes your experiences abroad, language skills and any college coursework that’s related to international education. Don’t forget to update your resume with relevant skills for each internship opportunity that you consider.

A tailored cover letter that explains how your experiences are the perfect fit for the employer is also essential for each application.

Look For Fashion Week Internships

Paris and Milan are two fashion capitals that have got the world drooling over their outstanding aesthetic styles, glamour and luxe fashion.  Landing an internship at a fashion week will not only let you get a live view of behind the scene Fashion scenarios but will also give you the opportunity to draw inspiration from different designers and from big fashion icons within the beauty industry.

These programs begin every month and they run throughout the year, so remember to apply at your earliest. You need to have a keen eye if you want to bag a paid internship in Paris or Milan fashion week since this chance is truly a dream come true for lovers of fashion, lifestyle and beauty. And you never know, by taking part in such an internship you end up being a model yourself.

Madrid Is Another Hotspot For Interns

Madrid’s a business powerhouse and has companies for every industry throughout its region. Bagging an internship in Madrid has so many benefits. This way you will be able to learn the Spanish language while boosting your career skills within a mix of elite cultural twists. Along with this, you will also be able to enjoy the much-raved Spanish cuisine which is another win-win situation.

Consider Barcelona And Berlin

If you are looking for tech internships then Germany and Barcelona are the right place for you. These places are one of the biggest and best tech hubs and it is quite easy to find a funded internship in Europe if you find it here. Getting an internship is a matter of sheer luck here but if you are lucky to land a financed internship in any of these cities then you will get a meaningful tech work placement. The culture of each city is equally progressive and you will get to learn high level Spanish or German skills.

Some Other Important Tips To Remember

Planning A Budget:  No one really enjoys discussing finances, but the reality is what it is! Making a rough budget is important when considering a paid summer internship in Europe as it allows you to have genuine expectations regarding places where you wish to work, the amount you need to save and pay for travel, food, rent and other extras while you’re there.

Getting Your Visa Work In Process: For a EU visa, you’d have to work and check with your prospective employer in order to complete all required paperwork and document submission at the consulate in your own country. All these procedures have to be done before you leave for your internship – and must be started several months before your expected start date.

No matter what the world says, there certainly are companies in Europe that are looking for interns throughout the peak seasons, especially summers. You simply need to find such companies. First and foremost make sure you create an internship resume that stands out. Next step is all about emailing the companies which are on a lookout to find interns. Most companies will not respond to you but some will. The last step is all about using your persuasion power to convince the company that you deserve this internship in Europe.

student going in train in front of Eiffel tower

So stay optimistic, start researching for your paid international internship and gear up to fly your way into an unforgettable experience!

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