ERASMUS+ traineeships in program countries
What is an Erasmus+ traineeship in what are referred to as program countries?
International academic mobility is becoming increasingly important. For 30 years, the Erasmus+ program from the European Commission has been offering effective funding for individuals studying or completing traineeships in countries throughout Europe. An Erasmus+ traineeship is a good way to gain practical experience abroad. Recipients are paid a monthly subsidy and have a contract ensuring that the traineeship is recognized as counting towards their degree program. Students who are interested in taking part in the program do have to find their trainee position themselves (research placements at institutes of higher education also count), but funding is generally always approved providing the requirements of the program are met and sufficient funds are available.
Before applying you should consider which career path you intend to take in the future and to what extent the traineeship could be useful for this, as well as thinking about which foreign or working language you want to use during the traineeship. Attend the various information events on offer and browse through the first-hand reports available on our website.
Details on Erasmus+ traineeships (program countries)
Unlike studying abroad with Erasmus, spending time abroad on a traineeship (internship at a company, carrying out practical research for your final thesis, research placement, practical year, clinical practice, working as an assistant teacher) is eligible for funding from the first semester onwards. We would recommend, however, studying at least one academic year at FAU before commencing a traineeship abroad. You should be sufficiently proficient in the working language and/or the language of the country you intend visiting.
Students may be granted Erasmus+ funding (for program countries and partner countries) more than once as detailed below:
- Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree, doctoral degree/PhD: a total of 12 months in each period of study can be spent studying and/or taking part in a traineeship abroad. This corresponds to a maximum of 3 x 12 = 36 months.
- Teaching degree, state examination: 24 months for either studying or taking part in a traineeship abroad before completing the first degree. A further 12 months are possible when studying for a doctoral degree, in other words a maximum total of 24 + 12 = 36 months.
You are entitled to funding if you are enrolled at FAU for a degree program with the aim of obtaining a university degree (including a doctoral degree) and are planning a traineeship relevant or applicable to your degree program in another country within Europe (see list of possible host countries below). There are no restrictions as to nationality. Funding is only available for full-time traineeships according to the laws of the host country.
Recent graduates can also apply for funding for a traineeship abroad provided the following requirements are met:
- The application for funding is submitted during the final year of study
- The traineeship is to be started and completed within one year of completing the respective period of study
- The maximum period for Erasmus+ funding (see above) has not already been completed in the previous period of study
Due to the limited financial resources, funding traineeships for graduates takes a lower priority.
Funding is provided for traineeships in companies, organizations, universities/institutions of higher education, research institutions, hospitals, educational institutions, pharmacies, law practices, embassies, etc. of member states of the European Union including the overseas regions of the Netherlands and France as well as Greenland (Denmark). Funding is also provided for traineeships in Iceland, Lichtenstein, Macedonia, Norway, Serbia and Turkey.
United Kingdom: funding can only be provided for a traineeship abroad in the United Kingdom via scholarships for stays in program countries until 31 March 2022 (date of the end of the traineeship). Funding is unfortunately no longer available for traineeships scheduled to end after this date. As an alternative, you can check which faculties provide funding for traineeships in the UK via DAAD Promos
Further information is available on the DAAD website about Brexit,which is updated regularly.
Traineeships can be carried out in any institution based in one of the program countries acting either in the employment market or in areas relating to general and vocational education or youth work. These must, however, have their place of jurisdiction in the host country. If you intend doing your traineeship at an institute of higher education, it must hold a valid Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (ECHE).
Research placements at institutes of higher education are also possible. However, students should note that they must not be enrolled at the respective institute of higher education.
If a traineeship or practical dissertation or thesis work is done at institutes of higher education in Switzerland, there is the option of applying directly to the respective university for funding under the Swiss-European Mobility Programme. Please contact the host university.
Funding is not available for traineeships at:
- EU institutions and other EU facilities including specialized agencies
- Institutions administering EU programs (e.g. national Erasmus+ agencies)
The traineeship must last at least a total of 60 funding days. Funding is only available for full-time traineeships according to the laws of the host country.
A funding month is not equivalent to a calendar month.
Funding is provided, for example, from October 2 to December 1 or from March 15 to May 14. No other funding is available. Information for students of medicine: half rotations as part of the year of practical training (PJ) usually only last 56 days, which means they are too short.
If you complete your traineeship in less than 2 months, you are obliged to pay back the entire grant. An extension is possible, but must be applied for at least 4 weeks before the traineeship is planned to end.
Please inform us in good time of any changes to the duration of your stay, we need written confirmation from the organization hosting your traineeship. We will then re-calculate your grant.
Any differences are then settled with the final installment, depending on the funds we have available. There is no guarantee that we will be able to extend your grant.
You are free to choose the starting and finishing date of your traineeship yourself.
Funding is granted as long as sufficient financing is available. Funds are allocated according to the order in which applications are received. Incomplete applications are moved to the end of the queue when allocating funds.
Funding for the Erasmus+ traineeship is paid in two installments. 70 percent of the total is paid out before the traineeship, the outstanding 30 percent are then paid by bank transfer once you have completed your traineeship and your report and traineeship certificate have been received. You are still eligible for Erasmus+ funding even if during the traineeship you receive funding from a private or public foundation, a BAföG international grant or remuneration from the institution where you are doing the traineeship. You are not, however, entitled to other funding from the EU at the same time.
You receive a partial scholarship, in other words a contribution towards the cost of living, with the amount of funding determined according to the respective group of countries (1 funding month = 30 calendar days, irrespective of whether the calendar month has 28, 29 or 31 days).
Country groups and funding amounts for traineeships that end before March 31, 2022 (2019 funding period)
- Country group 1: funding period 2019: 555 euros/funding monthDenmark, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
- Country group 2: funding period 2019: 495 euros/funding monthAustria, Belgium, Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Spain, The Netherlands
- Country group 3: funding period 2019: 435 euros/funding monthBulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Republic of North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey
Country groups and funding amounts for traineeships that end before May 31, 2023 (2020 funding period)
- Country group 1: funding period 2020: 555 euros/funding monthDenmark, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden
- Country group 2: funding period 2020: 495 euros/funding monthAustria, Belgium, Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Spain, The Netherlands
- Country group 3: funding period 2020: 435 euros/funding monthBulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Republic of North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey
- Additional funding for people with disabilities (classified as 50% or over) and those with chronic illnesses (special application required)
- Free participation in preparatory intercultural training at FAU, if applicable
Please note: At FAU, we will use up funds remaining from projects 2020 and 2021 first before using funds from project 2022, which has different terms and conditions and higher rates of funding.
As there are only a limited number of places available, we recommend that you apply early. All application documents must be submitted at the latest six weeks before the traineeship starts. Please submit only complete applications (see list below including internship contract or template). Applications received later cannot be considered.
- For a successful application, please transfer the following data to email@example.com with the subject line: “Pre-registration Erasmus-SMP, SURNAME, first name”.
- First name, last name
- Date of birth
- E-mail address
- Student registration no.
- Degree program at FAU
- Exact date of planned stay (to the day)
- Exact name of host institution, including country
- Your traineeship contract or confirmation of traineeship (or alternatively our template for the confirmation of traineeship) indicating that it is a full-time position of at least 35 hours per week.
- You will then receive an e-mail with a link for an online application and further information about the process.
- Applications can be handed in to the Office at any time, but can only be processed once the trainee position has been confirmed (employment/traineeship contract or confirmation of traineeship) and all application documents have been submitted.
- Applications for Erasmus+ funding are processed according to the date on which they are received. When allocating funding, attention is paid to when the documents were submitted and whether they are complete and consistent. Please inform us in your application if you are classed as having a disability or suffer from a chronic illness.
An application cannot be made retrospectively or after the traineeship has started.
Places are allocated in a fair and transparent manner by the Central Office for International Affairs (RIA). The selection criteria are divided into qualitative and formal criteria.
The formal criteria are:
- Documents must be complete
- Information given must be correct
- Information must be plausible
- Deadlines must be met, any other agreements complied with and applicants must have the required language skills.
The qualitative criteria are:
- The applicant must be motivated to do the traineeship for reasons relating to their subject and their career
- The traineeship must be incorporated into the applicant’s course of studies.
Language learning - Online Linguistic Support (OLS)
- Online language tests and language courses are available for the following working languages: BG, CS, DA, DE, EL, EN, ES, ET, FI, FR, GA, HR, HU, IT, LT, LV, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, SV
- These are compulsory for all students/graduates after selecting / before starting their mobility as well as after completing their stay abroad. They cannot be replaced by other tests.
- The online test is not a deciding factor when deciding on funding for the Erasmus+ program and does not apply to native speakers of the language spoken in the host country. An online language test is not required for working languages for which no online test is available.
- As the test is only meant to be taken in the working language, there is no need to take a language test in the language spoken in the host country if the working language during the traineeship is German.
- The language test is intended for candidates who have had Erasmus+ funding approved, in order to document their proficiency in the language. It should be taken both before and after the stay abroad in order to be able to compare results and, if applicable, demonstrate the progress the participants have made.
- All applicants will be informed when exactly the online language test is to be taken after registering in the online application portal.
- The idea behind the compulsory language tests at the beginning and end of the time abroad is for the European Commission to be able to track changes in the language proficiency of the scholarship holders.
- Depending on the level of the language and availability of language course licenses, you are given the opportunity to take an online language course free of charge before and during your traineeship.
Please note that the result of the language test has no bearing on funding.
Questions about accreditation
Please contact the supervisor at your institute or faculty if you have any questions about having your traineeship accredited towards your degree program. The Central Office for International Affairs (RIA) arranges for your stay abroad to be included automatically in your diploma supplement.
Students doing a traineeship abroad must ensure that they have adequate insurance cover. The DAAD, for example, offers various insurance options especially for doing a traineeship either within Europe or elsewhere in the world. Detailed information and additional links can be found on the DAAD websites.
The European health insurance card is all that is needed for traineeships within the EU. Germany has also concluded social insurance agreements with various countries outside the EU. In these cases, students have to obtain an entitlement document (‘Anspruchsbescheinigung’) from their German health insurance company.
Please note that the existing insurance cover may not be sufficient, particularly if return transport or particular medical intervention is required. It may be worthwhile taking out private health insurance to cover these eventualities. Students have to take out private health insurance for traineeships outside the EU and in countries with which there is no social security agreement (e.g. Turkey).
Those students who have private health insurance should check with their insurance company whether the stay abroad is covered and take out private health insurance to cover the time spent abroad if necessary.
Accident and liability insurance
Two types of insurance are particularly worthwhile for the duration of the traineeship:
- accident insurance to cover damage suffered at your place of work
- liability insurance to cover damage you cause at your place of work
6 steps to Erasmus+ traineeships
Step 1: Preparation
Check first of all with someone responsible at your institute or your faculty which specific requirements have to be met when working on your final thesis or ensuring that the traineeship counts towards your degree.
Step 2: Finding a traineeship
You are not allocated a traineeship place as part of the scholarship. It is up to you to organize a traineeship place abroad before applying.
Step 3: Applying for a grant
Once you have been offered a place, you should apply to the Central Office for International Affairs (RIA) and register online. You need to upload certain documents to the portal (confirmation of enrollment, traineeship contract or confirmation of traineeship with host institution etc.). Your data is recorded and afterwards you will receive a personalized EU Learning/Mobility Agreement for Traineeships via the online portal. In addition, you will also receive an e-mail from the EU instructing you to register for one of the compulsory OLS language tests (see section called ‘Language learning’ above).
Step 4: Submit traineeship agreement
Take the required language test and upload the result which you receive as a PDF to the application portal. Complete the Learning/Mobility Agreement for Traineeships in consultation with the institution where you are to do the traineeship and the person responsible for accrediting the traineeship at your institute or faculty. Please note that all parties involved have to sign before the traineeship starts.
Upload a high resolution PDF scan of the Learning/Mobility Agreement signed by all parties at the latest one month before the traineeship is due to start.
Step 5: Sign grant agreement and go abroad
Once all documents are complete, you can access your grant agreement via the online portal, as well as an official certificate of confirmation and any documents you may require to apply for a visa to the host country. Please print off one copy of the Grant Agreement, sign it and send it back by post to the Central Office for International Affairs (RIA). We can only accept originals, not scans. The RIA signs and uploads the signed Grant Agreement to the application portal. 70 percent of the agreed grant is then transferred to you in advance. Now you can go abroad and start your traineeship as planned.
Shortly before the traineeship is due to end, you will be provided with a template for the required Traineeship Certificate via the application portal. This must be issued and signed by the institution where you are doing your traineeship and you must then upload it.
At the end of your stay abroad you will be asked to take a final OLS language test. There is no requirement to take a final language test if you are a native speaker of the language and were not required to take an initial language test or if you are not a native speaker but achieved level C2 in the initial language test. Everyone else receives an email from the OLS system with a PDF document, which then has to be uploaded to the online portal of the Central Office of International Affairs.
The same applies to the EU Survey. After submitting the survey, you receive a PDF by email from the EU Commission. Please also upload this into the online portal. RIA then checks the data and the grant is adjusted if necessary. You are provided with a final confirmation via the application portal and the second installment or final payment is transferred or you are asked to make a repayment, as the case may be.