Besides the many great benefits you are entitled to a Finnish university, all Master’s degree students also have the right to participate in exchange programs in other countries for up to 12 months. There are multiple exchange programs you can choose from, such as Nordplus, Erasmus, Erasmus Training, and ISEP. The majority of these offer grants for monthly living expenses.
Sounds amazing, right?
I was lucky enough to be admitted to both an Erasmus Training and an Erasmus Study exchange, which allow me to have a 3-months internship in Bulgaria and study for one semester at the University of Latvia. These are truly eye-opening experiences for me, as I can receive hands-on experience working in an NGO on European Union projects and also broaden my mind by studying abroad.
With Erasmus Training, you are responsible for finding a traineeship or internship in another country that lasts for a minimum of two months. Here is one of the most popular sites for seeking internships and it is where I actually found mine.
Depending on the organization, the application process typically involves rounds of Skype interviews and other practicalities. Once you are accepted by the organization and receive the acceptance letter, you can start applying for the Erasmus+ grant. Your traineeship period may vary, but it cannot last less than two months, while grants are awarded for a maximum of four months.
The application for the Erasmus traineeship grant is submitted online through the SoleMOVE system one month before the traineeship starts.
- Make sure you understand all the conditions offered for the traineeship. For instance, some organizations offer accommodation and financial compensation, while others do not
- It is worth signing a contract with the receiving institution, and agreeing on rules, details and possible changes concerning the traineeship
- Try to make friends with the locals, as they can help you to get familiar with the city, and to solve any problems
- Have a list of people and institutions you can contact in case of emergency. For example, the local municipality, the police, the Erasmus+ National Agency, etc.
- Sometimes you may encounter problems with the receiving institution. It is wise to contact your university’s international mobility coordinator for their advice
- Budget your period abroad in advance
- Be prepared for a culture shock in the beginning, and remember the golden rule: “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”
- Learn from every experience, whether it be good or bad.
My three-month traineeship is an experience that I will never forget. I got a chance to meet amazing people from all over the world, I experienced the breath-taking beauty of Bulgaria, and I went through many ups and downs that only made me stronger and wiser. So grab the opportunity when it comes, enjoy the journey and do not forget to share your own experience with us!
Learn more about studying in Finland
Finland University serves as a gateway to one of the finest Finnish multidisciplinary Universities on offer. If you are interested in studying in Finland and would like to find out more, the downloadable Finland University guide provides a quick starting package about how to apply for International Master’s Degree Programmes and Scholarships at the member universities of Finland University.
Interested? Download the guide and learn more!