Many students do internships in a different country to get international experience and learn an extra language. The meaning of an internship can be different around the globe.
At Spanish universities it is not common to do an internship during the education period. The real working experiment for them starts when they are done with their study. However, Spanish companies are getting more used to having students doing an internship at their company nowadays. Mostly these are international students from other European countries. Spain is a popular country for students to go to for a short period of time to do an internship. A lot of times students want to learn Spanish, and this is a perfect opportunity for them to do so. Another reason to go to Spain for an internship could be the opportunity to increase their cultural awareness or to experience working in an international setting. Students found that it is hard to get in contact with most Spanish Businesses. The best way to find a good company to work at will be with the help of a placement organization. Internships in Spain are almost never paid. This because companies have to put time and effort in training the student, and it will always only be for a short period of time.
UK, Canada and Australia
In these countries they have split the types of internship in unpaid or paid. The unpaid internship are mostly the ones that are chosen by students who are either still in school and doing an internship as part of the requirements of school or who have just left school. The purpose of this internships are to get understanding about how work is conducted in the English-speaking world and to improve one’s English. Another plus is to learn about work ethic and to experience cultural diversity. The paid internship is mostly for people that want to come to these countries to improve their English. The job for them is not something that they are specialized in, but see it as something that will give them enough money to support their living in these countries.
In Germany there are different kinds of internships as well. As in most other countries, most students take their internship during the third or fourth year of their degree. One of the biggest difference to other countries is that most internships are paid. The average pay is 400€ a month. In some fields of study it is common to write the final thesis in a company. Another type of internship has emerged, the post graduation internship. The high unemployment in Germany during the last years, has made it hard for people to find the right job, especially for people that have just graduated and lack work experience. Because of this, many offer to do an internship in their favorite company and earn very little, in the hope of scoring a good contract in the future.
At the French universities it is also most common to do an internship, in France called stage, during the third or fourth year of your studies. The duration of the internships varies from 2 to 6 months, but very seldom longer than that. In France it is also becoming more popular to do an internship after one is finished studying. Mostly for student that did not get the chance to do an internship during their study career, and try to gain some working experience this way. Most times with the thought of getting hired after the internship period. An internship in France is also popular for international students. The number one reason to do an internship in France is to learn the language. A lot of French companies seem to be open to students from different countries. It is a big plus for companies to have employees who speak multiple languages.
In the Netherlands it is also common to do an internship during college. Just like in France it is called stage. Students will go intern for approximately 5 months. Companies are not obligated to pay the student, so sometimes small companies won’t pay anything. The normal stage compensation rate is €200.
It is not seen as appropriate to work without pay unless it is done as part of a work-trial were a person is tested by the authorities as part of plan to get the individual back into the workspace. The company is then compensated and the intern gets welfare during this period normally lasting about three months. The Trade Unions monitor this area very thorough so an intern cannot result in the lost of a paid job.
High school students can choose to participate in a one day working experience called “Operation Dagsvaerk” (Day’s Work) started 1985 where they work for free for a firm, for welfare organizations or as babysitters or stay in school and receive normal education. The pay then goes to a – sometime controversial – chosen project in a third world country. It is only a minor fraction of Danish students which are participating in this event because it is not accepted to support third world countries because most people see this as something the population has already paid for over the taxes. Most students stay in school. Due to a recent agreement with the Danish ministry of education the student are no longer considered to be truant during this day.
A new system for qualifying for higher education imposed by the department of education do punish those students who takes a period off to work for charity.