We know all too well how stress inducing preparing for an internship can be when its your first time encountering the process. With that in mind, in order to save you some time (and nerves) we decided to make a quick overview of the key steps in the process of obtaining an internship and some helpful advice to ease your journey.
1. Update your resume and CV
So you have just decided to embark on a journey of world and self-discovery. Awesome! But what now? Well, the first step is preparing yourself to be the best internship candidate you can be. Your resume and CV will be the first impression your potential employer will have of you, and what that impression is like is completely up to you. Make it short but substantial, let them know who you are, what you’ve achieved so far and most importantly what you hope to achieve through working for their company.
2. The right internship for the right reasons
You’ve already defined what you want to achieve through this internship and what your work goals are, now its time to think long and hard on where.
First you have to pick a country and there are a lot of parameters you should consider. If there is already a foreign language and culture you’re familiar with that might be an easy choice, but if you prefer experiencing something completely new and unknown the cost of living, industry, lifestyle, safety and even weather might be some aspects you would want to contemplate.
3. The endless world of paperwork
Now that you’ve decided on the when and where its time to dive into the process of how. This involves getting approved for an Erasmus internship, getting approved for a grant and setting up a contract between you, your university and your internship provider. Make sure to start working on this step early, because there is a lot of mandatory processes and paperwork to go through and it might take some time.
This process varies greatly depending on what country you’re from, but you can usually find all the needed information on your university website or by contacting your university Erasmus coordinator.
4. Your new home
Finding an appropriate housing remotely is a hard task to do and can be very tricky. The safest way to go about it is to schedule a few housing tours before flying to your destinations and book a hotel or hostel for the first few days of your stay, giving yourself enough time to visit your favorite picks and choose the best one for you.
Another option is to find an internship placement program where accommodation is offered as a part of their package so you don’t have to worry about a thing! We at Erasplus+ provide packages just like that, so just tell us your preferences and let us handle everything else.
5. What documents do you need with you?
Before going to the destination of your choosing you have to figure out not only what documents you need to get there but also what documents you need on your first day of work. Things like a passport and visa are a no-brainer, but other documents like a social security number, insurance details, bank account details or work contract might be vital.
If you are staying for a longer period of time some countries also require you to get registered in the country upon arrival or in the first few months there, make sure you look into that and don’t miss the open window of time.
6. In case of emergency
It always helps to be prepared for all the worst-case scenarios upfront. Make sure to put aside some money you can use in case of an emergency and store it somewhere safe. Learn the emergency services numbers of your host country by heart, and store your emergency contact numbers in multiple places in case your phone gets stolen. Also get informed on where the embassy of your country is and how to get there in case the need for it arises.
And dont forget about international insurance! While this might seem like a needless expense at first, trust us, if you come need it you’ll be glad you don’t have to pay for it out of your own pocket. There are a lot of insurance providers out there so make sure you do your research and pick your best fit.
7. Research the country
And lastly, get as much information as you possibly can. Here are some questions you should answer before going to your new home town:
- What is the culture like where you’re going?
- Are there any customs or unwritten rules you should know in advance so you don’t inconvenience anyone?
- Is tap water safe to drink?
- What is the general cost of living?
- What are the prices in restaurants and cafes?
- Is it common to leave a tip?
- Are there any widespread diseases you should get vaccinated for?
- How safe is it? Are robberies a common occurrence?