Go Abroad

What is an Erasmus+ traineeship?

Erasmus+ traineeships provide funding for you to work or train in Europe during or immediately after your degree.

Traineeships are defined as spending a period of time in an enterprise or organisation in another country, with a view to:

  • acquire specific competences that are required by the labour market
  • carry out work experience, and
  • improve the understanding of the economic and social culture of that country

Traineeships can be either credit bearing (compulsory) or non-credit bearing (optional). 

Should my traineeship be related to my degree?

This depends on whether you are undertaking the placement as part of your degree or as a voluntary placement outside of term time.

If your traineeship is undertaken as part of your degree, your School must approve your traineeship programme.

If the placement is voluntary, it doesn’t have to be directly related to your field of study. 

Whether you plan to work for a private company, volunteering or undertaking research abroad, your application should demonstrate a clear understanding of the skills you expect to develop, and how they may benefit your degree or future career.

How long can I go for?

Placements must last for a minimum of 2 months and a maximum of 12 months.  For graduate placements,  the maximum duration of an Erasmus traineeship is 6 months. 

If you’ve already been on an Erasmus-funded study placement or traineeship, you can only receive a maximum of 12 months of Erasmus funding within the same study cycle. 

If you are in first or second year of study and are planning to spend a full year abroad in Europe in your 3rd year, we recommend you don’t claim more than 2 months’ Erasmus Traineeship funding as you will need to retain enough Erasmus funding to cover your 3rd year exchange.  

You can apply for funding for more than one traineeship over the maximum 12 month period, but you must submit a separate application for each traineeship.

Please also remember than we can’t fund traineeships that have already started, nor fund traineeships for a partial period only.

Who can apply?

Erasmus+ grants for traineeships can be paid to students:

  •  enrolled on a graduating programme at the University of Edinburgh, or
  •  who have been registered at the University of Edinburgh, within one year after graduation 

Students undertaking traineeships may be in any year of study. 

Graduate students can receive funding for a traineeship for a maximum duration of 3 months, and must complete the traineeship within 12 months of graduation. Graduate students must apply for funding before completing their degree programme. Applications received after notification of graduation will not be considered.

What types of placement are eligible?

There are three different types of traineeship:

  1. Compulsory traineeships undertaken as part of your degree programme (during term time)
  2. Voluntary traineeships, not obligatory for your degree (during term time for research students, or during vacation time for taught programmes)
  3. Traineeships for recent graduates (undertaken after the end of your degree programme and completed within 12 months of graduation)

Traineeships can be full-time or part-time (12hrs/week minimum). Funding is available to students undertaking both paid and unpaid traineeships.

Supervised research periods at a Higher Education Institution or a private research institute are also eligible for funding under the Erasmus + traineeship scheme. However, you cannot receive Erasmus+ Traineeship funding to study courses abroad. 

Where can I go?

Eligible host countries include all EU member states plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Turkey and Croatia. Erasmus+ funding is not available for traineeships in the UK, even if you are a non-UK student.

Please note that Switzerland is currently not an Erasmus programme country.

What kind of organisation can I go to?

The receiving organisation can be:

  • Any public or private organisation active in the labour market or in the fields of education, training and youth - for example, the organisation could be:
    • A public or private, a small, medium or large enterprise (including social enterprises)
    • A public body at local, regional or national level
    • A social partner or other representative of working life, including chambers of commerce, craft/professional associations and trade unions
    • A research institute
    • A foundation
    • A school/institute/educational centre (at any level, from pre-school to upper secondary education, and including vocational education and adult education)
  • A non-profit organisation, association, or NGO
  • A body providing career guidance, professional counselling and information services
  • A Programme Country Higher Education Institution with an Erasmus Charter
  • Embassies

The following types of organisations are not eligible as host organisations:

  • Organisations managing EU programmes (such as National Agencies) in order to avoid possible conflict of interests and/or double funding
  • EU bodies including specialised agencies

    • For a full list of these, please visit the following page on the Europa website:

Full list of EU bodies

Summer schools, independent study placements, conferences and language courses are NOT eligible for traineeship funding.

Do I need language skills?

This depends on your host organisation. You should check the relevant job description or contact your prospective employer to find out if the job you’re applying for requires language skills.

If you don’t have any foreign language skills, don’t worry!

You can still find many traineeship offers in Europe where the working language is English. Some organisations will also be looking for fluent English speakers, in communication or teaching jobs for example, and doing a traineeship abroad is a great opportunity to start learning a new language, even if the main language of work in English.

Erasmus participants can receive a free online course in the following languages: French, German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Czech, Danish, Greek, Portuguese, Swedish, Bulgarian, Croatian, Hungarian, Romanian, Slovak and Finnish.