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Erasmus Mundus
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Lifelong Learning Programme
A Student's Guide to Work Placements
Vicki Mcallister - A Case Study on a Nursing Work Placement
Amy Ashken - work placement in France in advertising
Dean Starr - Work placement with Johnson& Johnson in Belgium
Jennifer Murray - Teaching Assistant in Spain
Siobhan Gilliam - Occupational Therapy Placement in Sweden
Work Placements

Doing a work placement is a great way to impress future employers and gives you excellent first-hand experience of the working world. It will need to be approved by your home institution and an agreement made between you, your institution and your employer. Increasing number of Erasmus students throughout Europe are taking advantage of this opportunity as it provides such a good preparation for future employment. Sometimes employers will give you a basic income which can be added to your grant. As with academic study, the work placement should be given credits and recognition by your home institution.

Subject to agreement with your home and host institutions, you could combine a study period with a work placement. The placement must take place under the supervision of the host HEI where you carry out your study and the two activities must take place in consecutive periods.

Students in their first year of study are eligible for work placements. The minimum period allowed for a placements is three months, or one academic term, up to a maximum of 12 months. However, for students on short term higher vocational education courses, the minimum duration is two months.

Doing a work placement is a huge boost to your self-confidence and your CV. For more practical advice on doing a work placement, download our student guide to work placements

Olivia Scheller, from Bournemouth University, was required to do a placement as part of her degree course in International Marketing and spent six months working in Spain at an Internet Marketing company under the Erasmus programme.

"This was a great experience all in all and I enjoyed the international feel of the town. During my time in Spain I got to know the real Spanish lifestyle but I also met people from all over the world who had all come to Salamanca to improve their Spanish skills. This made my whole experience very international and I enjoyed getting to know people from such a variety of backgrounds. My work in the Internet Marketing industry has helped me to get an insight into this fast moving business and I feel it has been a very valuable experience for my future career. I was also able to greatly improve my Spanish language skills and it was a valuable insight into the practical world of marketing, allowing me to apply all I had learnt in theory to real life situations.I can only encourage students to spend some time of their degree abroad on a work placement. The experience is unforgettable and will undoubtedly add much value to anyone’s life and curriculum."

Employers

If you would like to benefit from having an Erasmus student undertake a work placement in your business, find out more here

Language Assistants

Language assistantships in other EU, EEA member states or Turkey are now considered as work placements under Erasmus. Undergraduates participating in the official Language Assistants programme, administered by the British Council, are eligible for Erasmus status, subject to eligibility criteria being met.

Becoming a Language Assistant is an experience that will stay with you for life. As well as improving your language skills and exploring a community, you'll build your sense of independence and gain the satisfaction of firing young imaginations. Who knows, you may spark a long-term passion for teaching. What's certain is that you'll return with skills and experiences that will make any recruiter sit up and take note.

You can find out more here about the Language Assistants programme, or contact your institution’s Erasmus co-ordinator or Year Abroad tutor.

Comenius Assistants

Comenius, one of the other LifeLong Learning programmes that the British Council administers, also offers opportunities to become an assistant. Assistants are intending and trainee teachers who enhance the European and cultural dimension across the curriculum, and offer classes in English. An assistantship may help you decide if teaching is the career for you, find out more here.

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