What Is An Erasmus Internship?
Going abroad to work on an Erasmus internship is a great way to gain great life experience! It develops not only your work skills, but also broadens your mind by introducing you to new people, places and cultures that you might have never discovered if you had never decided to travel – values of tolerance and openness are key to the philosophy of the Erasmus plus program.
Doing an Erasmus internship is a brilliant way to spend your time abroad. It gives you the opportunity to earn a bit of money while you’re away and, arguably more importantly, gives you work experience in the real working world. It’s like a free trial for your adult life. Whether your placement is in a career field that you love, or you discover, after having worked in a certain field for a bit, that you want to focus on other projects after you graduate, the experience you gain during your Erasmus placement will be useful for the rest of your life.
But wait, why are we talking about both Erasmus and Erasmus plus? Let us explain…
What Is Erasmus Plus?
Erasmus plus is the EU programme which gives people, especially students, the opportunity to live, work, study, and gain experience abroad. It’s the program people mean when they say “Erasmus”.
What’s The Difference Between Erasmus & Erasmus+?
Well, there isn’t one really! Erasmus plus is simply the new, updated version of the Erasmus program. It was introduced in 2014, and it merges together seven former programs to offer opportunities to a wider variety of people.
The original Erasmus program was primarily about students and professors being able to travel between universities in Europe. The new Erasmus plus involves internships, work placements, or study exchanges. It is simply an expansion of the original program. Erasmus evolved into Erasmus plus, but the goal is the same – to help people develop their sense of a European identity, and to discover new places, people, and experiences.
What Is An Erasmus Traineeship?
It’s a work experience offer which allows students and recent graduates to work in a European country as part of their degree or their time in higher education.
It’s often simply an internship or work placement, but it’s known as an “Erasmus traineeship”. This is because is that if you want the funding from the Erasmus plus program, then you need to have a written agreement, with both your university and the company or institution offering you a placement, stating that you will be trained and will learn new skills during your time abroad. It makes sense really.
You can work in most sectors! It could be an apprenticeship, or work in a school, a company or a start-up company, or a charity or non-profit organisation – it really is quite flexible. In terms of how long you can be away for, it can be anywhere between 2 and 12 months.
Can I Apply For An Erasmus Internship?
You can apply if you’re a student at a higher education institution which has an Erasmus Charter for Higher Education, or if you’re in a vocational training school, or if you’ve recently graduated (within a year) and you applied for the role while you were still a student.
How To Find An Erasmus Internship, Work Placement Or Traineeship
If you’re a student in full time higher education, looking for Erasmus jobs is a straightforward task! With a little bit of hard work, you should be able to find a suitable Erasmus traineeship which ticks all your boxes and is viable for grant funding. The search is long, but at the end of it you’ll find a great new experience.
How To Find An Erasmus Work Placement ?
So, how can you find an Erasmus traineeship? A great place to start would be to talk to the Year Abroad officer or Erasmus coordinator at your school or university. Or, you can look on your online student forum or careers page where you might find job listings which have been sent to your university, or which the Year Abroad department have reached out for. You can also use your own contacts or look online. There will be loads of positions on the major job sites like indeed and glassdoor, or you can try to apply directly to a company you already know to see if they have any openings available. If you have a dream internship in mind – go and look for it! The worst anyone will say is no, so it’s always worth applying on the off chance you might get a great placement.
We also offer Erasmus internships! If you’d like to read about them, click here.
Once you’ve found a listing for an internship or traineeship that you like the look of, you’ll need to send off an application.
How To Prepare An Application For An Erasmus Internship
Companies and institutions who offer placements for Erasmus students will often receive quite a few applications, so you need to make sure you have a strong application.
The application process is usually as simple as writing a CV and a cover letter, but these two documents are all the employer will have to judge you on, so they need to be well written and well thought out.
Writing A Cover Letter For Your Internship Abroad
One of the most important things to bear in mind when you’re writing a cover letter is that it’s not really about you. The employer wants to read how your professional or educational history and your skills will benefit them. At the end of the day, they’re looking for someone who will be a useful and valuable addition to their company. It should not just be your CV rewritten out in longer sentences – that’s what your CV is there for!
However, since all the various companies offering Erasmus internships will be slightly different, it’s best to adapt your cover letter to each application you send. This should be more than just switching out the name of the company. If you want to stand out above the other Erasmus students who have applied, you should tailor the cover letter to the company’s needs. An investment bank will have very different goals to a charity. Working in a school as a teaching assistant with young children requires very different skills to working in a corporate office. Don’t send the same thing off to everyone! And on a simpler level, make sure the tone of your cover letter is more formal than conversational, and that your spelling and grammar is decent. This is very important.
Writing Your Cv
Now, what about writing your CV?
You can look up hundreds of CV templates online, but we’ll just give you some tips as people who both recruit and have been recruited for an Erasmus internship.
The most important thing is that you show that you have some relevant work experience history. As an Erasmus student, you’re probably young and you probably don’t have years and years of professional experience. This is perfectly normal! Just write down work experience placements, part time jobs, or other internships and briefly outline underneath the title of your role what you did and what relevant skills you learned.
So, for example, if you worked behind a bar in a busy pub, it’s not much use to your future employer knowing that you can pull a pint, but you can write that you worked effectively in a team, followed the direction of your managers, and worked efficiently in a busy environment. And bingo – there’s a bit of relevant experience on your CV!
Naturally, it’s a bit easier to explain useful skills if you’ve had experience in an office environment or something more professional. Briefly explain what your role was, what you did for the company, and what skills you learned. If you have any sort of experience in an office, or an environment similar to the one of the company you’re applying to, write it down.
It’s good practice to include a bullet point list of languages and skills that you have at the bottom of your CV. It’s not usually relevant to write about hobbies; the company probably won’t care that you’re an “avid skier”, but do include things which might demonstrate strength or a good work ethic, like being the captain of a sports team, or the editor for a student magazine (if you want, something like that could even go in your work experience). Include your technical skills, too, such as being proficient in Microsoft Excel or knowing how to edit videos with Premier Pro – things like that are far more useful than saying you enjoy long walks on the beach. If you speak multiple languages, which, as an Erasmus student, you probably do, then write them down and include what CEFR level you’re at (from A1-C2 – you can assess yourself or do an online test).
If you can, try to fit your CV onto one page. It doesn’t matter if it ends up being two but bear in mind that the person reading it will probably skim read it, and for that reason it’s better to be succinct, to the point, and to simply put the important info and headings in bold.
You don’t have to put a photo on your CV. If you do, then make sure it is fairly professional or, specifically, a headshot. Avoid full body pictures, selfies and pictures where you’re wearing sunglasses.
So that’s it!
That’s our best advice for understanding and finding an Erasmus internship, and putting together the best application that you can.
If you’re interested in doing your Erasmus in France, we offer Erasmus internships too!
Erasmus Internship Offers At Babylangues Paris – Le Marais
Our Head Office in Paris has four different internship offers and we recruit all year round. We have been taking interns from abroad for a number of years! Here’s a brief outline of the four offers:
Communications & Marketing Internship
- Join our Communications and Marketing team – the task is simple: let the world know about Babylangues! Organise parties and events, write articles for the monthly newsletter, create and give presentations, create social media content, learn about Google SEO, and be part of our little team in the office!
Commercial & Client Relations Internship
- Join our “Match” team! Your primary goal is to maintain client relationships by providing solutions and services. Be a liaison between our instructors and our clients, act as a client liaison, work on problem solving, and respond to enquiries from client families – be a part of one of the most important teams in the Paris office!
Human Resources Internship
- Join our HR team! Be part of the most organised team in the office and help with drafting, editing and terminating contracts, monitoring and managing the administrative follow ups for employees, help manage monthly pay & compile feedback from the instructors!
- Join our Recruitment team and be part of the selection process for the people who keep our company running! Sort out online applications and invite people for interview, conduct interviews both online and in person, organise the administrative checks for successful applicants and help instructors settle into life in France!
If you would like to read more about our offers, our requirements, and how to apply, then please click here!