General information about internships
University degree programmes include a compulsory or optional internship, whose objectives are not only educational but strive to establish a dialogue between universities and working life.
The internship period is an essential part of a degree programme, because it provides students an opportunity to apply what they have learnt to working life. The compulsory nature and scope of the internship varies for every degree. The average length of an internship is three months. An internship is a great learning opportunity that prepares a student for working life in their own field before graduation. A successful internship motivates the student to study and reinforces their idea of their competence and development needs. A well-planned internship can benefit everyone: the student, the employer and the university.
Summer internships are very common, but the employer and the student might benefit from the internship more if the intern has the opportunity to work outside holiday seasons.
A partially or fully remote internship has its own challenges, but also interesting prospects. The employer should dedicate more time for orientation than usual and use creative solutions to introduce the intern to the work community. Check out our tips for remote work.
After securing the internship, the selected student makes an agreement on the employment relationship with the employer. A written agreement is recommended. The internship is a justified reason to make a fixed-term agreement. The employment relationship can either be a job contract or employment as a civil servant. The minimum salary for the internship must comply with Kela’s work requirement. Naturally, the salary can also be higher. The employer is responsible for the student under the Employment Contracts Act and other obligations of the employer.
Various employment contract templates are available online, e.g. on the websites of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and trade organisations.
The employer should consider the arrangement of orientation for the student even before the actual internship begins and plan and execute it carefully. This way the student gets a good start for their internship. It is recommended to assign the intern a supervisor, who will mentor the intern. The supervisor is a person whom the intern can turn to if they have any questions – even after the orientation.
Students can apply for an internship subsidy paid by their university. The objective of this is to provide students with the opportunity to find their first job in their own field. Read more about the internship subsidy.
Feedback on the internship
Feedback given by the employer helps the student understand their competence and furthers the student’s personal development. The feedback also benefits the student’s degree programme by developing it to better meet the requirements of working life. Some universities collect separate employer feedback on internships.