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How to Find an Internship in Europe: The Complete Guide

Do you want to gain experience in a new and exciting environment? Are you looking to intern in Europe but don’t know where to start? This guide provides you with all the information you need to find an internship in Europe. We cover everything from the different types of programs available to what countries have the best opportunities and what requirements you’ll need to meet in order to apply. So whether you’re a recent graduate or simply looking for a career change, read on for all the details on how to embark on your very own European internship adventure!

Types of Internship Programs in Europe

There are a few different types of internship programs available for foreigners in Europe:

  • Short-Term Internships: These typically last a few weeks to three months and are usually unpaid. They’re a great option if you’re looking for some quick international experience to add to your resume.
  • Long-Term Internships: These internships are typically full-time positions lasting from six months to a year (or longer). They usually provide participants with a more in-depth look at their chosen field and often include some stipend or salary.
  • Work & Travel Programs: These are generally longer-term internships, up to one year. They usually involve a cultural exchange component and allow participants to travel and work in multiple European countries.
  • Graduate Internships: These internships are geared toward students who are close to finishing their studies and usually involve working on specific projects or tasks within a company. They’re usually paid positions and often lead to full-time job offers upon completion. These programs can be found in various industries, from business to engineering.
  • Volunteer Programs: Volunteer positions are typically unpaid and are a great way to gain experience working with the community. Many different volunteer opportunities are available throughout Europe, so you’re sure to find one that’s a good fit for your skills and interests.

Paid vs. Unpaid Internship in Europe

One of the common questions we get is about paid vs. unpaid internships in Europe. It depends on the country and the company you intern for, but most European countries have a minimum wage.

Even though there are a few exceptions. For example, unpaid internships are more common in Spain and Portugal. So, don’t count on interning in Europe as a way to make money.

If you’re not sure about whether or not you’ll receive a payment, check the salary requirements before applying for an internship.

European Countries that Offer Internship Abroad Opportunities

There are internship programs available in almost every European country, so the sky is the limit when choosing a location! Some of the most popular countries for interning abroad include:

Internships in Germany

Germany is an excellent option for those looking to intern in Europe, thanks to its large economy and many internship opportunities. Berlin, in particular, is a hot spot for aspiring interns, with a large number of start-ups and tech companies based in the city.

Find an Internship in France

Thanks to its strong economy and abundance of internship opportunities, France is another popular choice for interns. Paris is home to many major corporations, museums, and fashion houses, making it the perfect place to gain experience in your chosen field. Additionally, many French companies offer internships in English, so you don’t need to be fluent in French to apply.

Internship Opportunities in The United Kingdom (UK)

The UK is a top destination for interning abroad, with London being a major hub for business and finance. London is an excellent city for interning, as it’s home to many of the world’s largest companies and organizations. Many internship opportunities are also available in other parts of the country, such as Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Manchester.

Internships in Spain

Spain is a top destination for those looking for an internship abroad due to its sunny climate and relaxed lifestyle. Madrid and Barcelona are both major business hubs, while the latter is also home to many world-renowned restaurants and its vibrant start-up scene.

Internship for College Students in Italy

Italy is a popular choice for interns seeking an international experience, thanks to its rich culture and internship opportunities. Rome and Milan are two of the best cities to intern in, as they’re home to many large businesses and organizations.

There are many other great countries to intern in throughout Europe, so be sure to do your research before making your final decision. Once you’ve chosen a country (or two), it’s time to search for specific programs.

Choosing the Right Country for Your Internship in Europe

When it comes to choosing the right country for your internship, there are a few factors you’ll need to take into account:

Internship in Europe - Front of the Brandenburg Gate

Language skills:

Unless you are fluent in more than one language, it’s important to choose a country where you feel comfortable communicating in the local language. This will make your internship experience much more enjoyable (and productive!). If you’re not fluent in the local language, look for internship programs that offer language courses or support.


Consider your travel preferences and budget when choosing a country. Do you want to be in a major city, or are you looking for a more rural experience? If you’re looking to explore different parts of Europe, look for countries that are centrally located or have good transportation links to other areas.

Cost of Living:

The cost of living can vary significantly from country to country, so it’s essential to do your research before making your final decision. For example, living in Paris will be more expensive than living in a smaller city like Prague. Make sure you can afford your living expenses, as well as any travel costs associated with getting to and from your internship.


Each country has its strengths and weaknesses when it comes to industries. Do some research on which countries are leaders in the field you’re interested in interning and narrow down your options based on that. For example, Paris would be a great choice if you’re interested in fashion. Now, if you’re interested in finance, London would be a better option.

Program Type:

There are many different types of internship programs available, so it’s important to choose the one that’s the right fit for you. Are you looking for a structured program with housing and support, or are you more interested in an independent arrangement? Consider your needs and goals before making your final decision.

Internship Industries in Europe

There are many different industries you can intern in Europe. These are the top ones:

  • Business and finance: Intern in London, Frankfurt, or Zurich
  • Technology: Intern in Berlin, Amsterdam, or Barcelona
  • Engineering: Intern in Berlin, Munich, or Paris
  • Hospitality: Intern in Madrid, Lisbon, or Prague
  • Journalism: Intern in Paris, Berlin, or Dublin
  • Marketing: Intern in London, Barcelona, or Berlin
  • Architecture: Intern in Paris, Barcelona, or Madrid
  • Art and design: Intern in Paris, Berlin, or Amsterdam
  • Fashion: Intern in Paris, Milan, or London
  • Education: Intern in Madrid, Barcelona, or Rome
  • Politics: Intern in Brussels, Geneva, or Berlin
  • Law: Intern in London, Paris, or Berlin
  • NGOs: Intern in Geneva, Brussels, or Vienna
  • Public relations: Intern in London, Paris, or Berlin
  • Sports: Intern in Madrid, Barcelona, or Munich

Work Culture in Europe

Every country has its unique work culture, so do your research before interning in a new place. Keep in mind the following things:

  • In general, Europeans take their work seriously and value their time. This means that you can expect a good work/life balance during your internship.
  • The business dress code varies from country to country. In general, it’s best to err on the side of caution and dress more formally for your internship.
  • Punctuality is essential in most European countries. If you’re running late, you must call or send an email ahead of time to let your employer know.
  • Meetings and other business interactions can be formal affairs. Be sure to mind your manners and body language, and avoid using slang or informal language.
  • Greetings vary from country to country. In some places, a handshake is the standard greeting, while in others, you may be expected to kiss on both cheeks.
  • Email is often the preferred method of communication for most businesses in Europe.
  • Office hours can vary from country to country. In some places, like Spain, it’s common to take a long lunch break and start work later in the day. In others, like Germany, office hours are more traditional (starting around nine and ending around five).
  • Vacation time is typically generous in Europe. In most countries, you’ll be entitled to at least four weeks of vacation time per year.
  • When interning in Europe, you’ll be working with people from all over the world. Be prepared for some cultural differences and try to be understanding and open-minded.

How to Find Internship Opportunities in Europe

There are different ways that you can go about finding internship opportunities in Europe:

– Check with your university. Many universities have partnerships with companies and organizations based in Europe, which means they may be able to help you secure an internship placement. Be sure to check with your school’s career center or international office for more information.

– Attend career fairs focused on internships and international opportunities. These are often held at universities and are a great way to meet potential employers and learn more about available positions.

– Search online. A quick search will reveal a wealth of internships available throughout Europe. Be sure to use specific keywords (like “internship Germany” or “Spain internship”) to narrow down your results. A number of websites list internships in Europe, such as EuroPlacement, Gooverseas, and Go Abroad.

– Contact a placement agency. Many agencies specialize in placing interns in Europe. This is a great option if you have trouble finding internships on your own, but be aware that there may be fees involved.

– Apply directly to companies. If you have a specific company or organization in mind that you’d like to intern with, you can always apply directly. This is often the best route for those with specific career goals.

Requirements to Apply for an Internship in Europe

In order to apply for an internship in Europe, you’ll need to meet a few basic requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Hold a passport from an eligible country.
  • Have a valid visa (if required).
  • Have completed at least one year of college/university (two years for graduate programs).
  • Be proficient in the language of the country you’re applying to
  • Proof of English proficiency: Most internships will require you to have a basic level of English to communicate effectively with your co-workers. You can demonstrate your English proficiency by taking a test such as the TOEFL or IELTS or by providing a letter from your university confirming that you took courses taught in English.
  • Proof of health insurance: Most internship programs will require you to have health insurance to participate. You may be able to purchase health insurance through your host country, or you may need to provide proof of coverage from your home country.
  • Proof of financial support: Many internship programs will require you to have some form of financial support to participate. This could come in the form of a scholarship, a grant, or simply having enough money saved up to cover your basic expenses for the duration of the program.
  • Meet any specific requirements set by the program you’re applying to (these will vary depending on the program)

Applying for an Internship in Europe

The process of applying for internships in Europe is similar to the process of applying for internships in the United States. However, there are a few differences to keep in mind.

In general, applications for summer internships open six to eight months in advance. Also, the application process is more competitive for internships in Europe than for internships in the United States. This means you must start your application as early as possible.

Once you’ve found a few internship opportunities that you’re interested in, it’s time to start the application process.

  • Make sure you meet the eligibility requirements.
  •  Start your application early. Many programs have rolling admissions, which means they’ll review and accept applications as they come in. The sooner you apply, the better your chances of being accepted.
  • Have all of your documents in order. When applying for an internship in Europe, you’ll likely need to submit a CV, cover letter, and transcripts. Make sure you have all of the required documents ready to go before starting your application.

Required Documents

Your CV or resume should be a maximum of two pages and should include your contact information, educational background, courses, work experience (if any), and skills. Your cover letter should be one page and introduce yourself and explain why you’re interested in the position.

After you’ve submitted your CV and cover letter, you may be asked to participate in a telephone, Zoom, or Skype interview. This is an opportunity for the employer to get to know you better and determine if you’re a good fit for the position. Be prepared to share your motivation for wanting to intern in Europe and your skills and experience.

If all goes well, you’ll be offered the position and will need to start working on your visa application. You may need to submit proof of your university enrollment, as well as a letter from your employer confirming your internship. Once you have all of the required documents, you can submit your application for a student visa.

And don’t forget to practice your interview skills. After you’ve submitted your application, you may be asked to participate in a telephone, Zoom, or Skype interview. This is your opportunity to make a good impression, so be sure to practice your interview skills in advance.

The Benefits of Interning in Europe

Interning in Europe offers a unique opportunity to gain experience in one of the world’s largest economies. In addition, you’ll have the chance to engage with an international network of professionals and build relationships that can last a lifetime.

Not only will you gain valuable work experience, but you’ll also get to experience European culture firsthand. From exploring ancient ruins to sampling new cuisine, there’s no shortage of things to do in Europe. And, you’ll have the opportunity to learn a new language or two.


I’m not a student. Can I still intern in Europe?

Yes, you can! While many internship programs are geared towards students, there are also opportunities for recent graduates and young professionals.

Do I need to speak a foreign language to intern in Europe?

No, you don’t! Many internship programs are available in English, and there are also many opportunities for those who want to learn a new language.

I don’t have any work experience. Can I still intern in Europe?

Yes, you can! Internships often target students and recent graduates who may not have a lot of work experience. It’s a great way to get your foot in the door and gain some experience in your field of interest.

When can I start an Internship in Europe?

Most internship programs run from May to September, but opportunities are also available throughout the year.

How long can I intern in Europe?

Internship programs in Europe typically last between three and six months.

What are the visa requirements for interning in Europe?

If you’re from the US, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand, you can apply for a student visa to intern in Europe. You’ll need to provide proof of your university enrollment, as well as a letter from your employer confirming your internship.

If you’re from another country, you’ll need to check the visa requirements for your specific situation.

Which country in Europe has the highest job opportunities?

There is no definitive answer to this question, as job opportunities vary depending on your field of interest. However, some countries that are generally known for having high job opportunities include Germany, France, and the Netherlands.

Now that you know everything about interning in Europe, it’s time to start planning your adventure! With a little research and preparation, you’re sure to find the perfect program for your needs. And who knows? Your internship may even lead you to a full-time job offer down the road. Either way, an internship in Europe is an experience you’ll never forget!

If you’re looking for further information on specific programs or countries, check out our other blog posts about internship programs abroad. Happy interning!