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.

The Erasmus+ Traineeship scheme is a programme funded by the European Commission, providing monthly grants worth 400-450€/month for students to work, train or volunteer abroad in Europe. Erasmus+ grants are available for both paid and unpaid placements.

In order to be eligible for funding, your placement must:

  • Have a duration of two to twelve months
  • Take place in Europe in an EU or EEA country
    • Gov.uk - List of counties in the EU and EEA
  • Demonstrate a clear learning opportunity (i.e. the activity must be relevant to your degree or your future career)

There are three types of placement, which are all eligible for the same level of funding:

  • Compulsory placements (undertaken as part of your degree programme)
  • Voluntary placements (not compulsory for your degree programme)
  • Graduate placements (starting after graduation)

When do placements take place and where can I go?

If your placement is compulsory for your degree, it will most likely take place during term time. A voluntary placement alternatively can also take place outside of term time including the summer break. Graduate placements should start after your graduation.

We currently have funding available for the following countries:

Austria France Lithuania Serbia
Belgium Germany Luxembourg Slovakia
Bulgaria Greece Macedonia Slovenia
Croatia Hungary Malta Spain
Cyprus Iceland Netherlands Sweden
 Czech Republic Ireland Norway Turkey
Denmark Italy Poland  
Estonia Latvia Portugal  
Finland Liechtenstein Romania  

Erasmus+ funding is not available for traineeships in the UK, even if you are a non-UK student.

What activities can I do?

Whether you plan to work for a private company, volunteer or do research abroad, your placement should help you learn new skills to develop your academic and professional prospects. You should also be supervised by at least one mentor, to ensure that you receive appropriate training and regular feedback throughout your placement.

Eligible Not Eligible
  • Work placements
  • Volunteering
  • Internships
  • Supervised research
  • Training and work combined
  • Working at a public or private organisation
  • Any kind of valuable work experience, relevant to your degree or career project
  • Some EU institutions and other EU bodies - visit the European Union website for a list of institutions and bodies​​​​​
  •  Conferences and symposiums
  • Summer schools or training courses in attendance only
  • Unsupervised projects
  • Jobs with no proven gain of academic/professional skills
  • Conflict of interest (e.g. if you work for an organisation that you co-own or co-created, or is run by your relatives)

Erasmus+ Traineeship placements can be part-time or full-time.

How do I know if I’m eligible for funding?

All University of Edinburgh students currently enrolled on a degree at the University can apply for Erasmus+ Traineeship funding, including part-time and distance learners.

You can be in any school and at any study level.

Graduate traineeships

If you’re planning to apply for Erasmus for a placement starting after your degree, additional rules apply:

  • You must apply or register for funding before your graduation
  • If you’ve already secured a placement before the point of graduation, you can apply for funding straight away
  • If you haven’t yet secured a placement, remember to register your interest while you are still a current student
  • Your placement must start after graduation
  • If you are required by your employer to start your placement before, you should email workplacements@ed.ac.uk a letter from your University of Edinburgh school stating that you have completed all your degree requirements and are expected to graduate successfully
  • You must finish your placement within twelve months of your graduation

PhD Students

If you’re studying for a PhD, the Erasmus+ Traineeship offers a fantastic opportunity to develop your research skills, grow your academic connections and put your expertise into practise. For instance, you can apply for funding towards:

  • A supervised research placement at another university, an institute or with an expert in your field of specialisation
  • Field work for data collecting or to test your research findings
  • Hands-on experience in a laboratory or specialised organisation
  • Using your expertise as a specialist within a work organisation

If you’re planning to go abroad during term time, we recommend that you ask your school for a Leave of Absence before committing to the placement.

How likely am I to receive Erasmus+ funding?

We aim to fund all work placements that meet the eligibility criteria for Erasmus funding, as long as they are submitted in full at least four weeks before the start date. Last year, we approved over 95% of applications for Erasmus+ Traineeship funding.

We can only approve your application once you have secured a placement and submitted an online application. If you’d like to know in advance if your project will be eligible for funding, email workplacements@ed.ac.uk with a summary of the placement you are planning to do (expected start and end date, outline of your position and responsibilities).

How do I apply for funding?

  1. Secure a work, research or volunteering placement abroad

  2. Read our Application process page carefully
  3. Submit an online application for funding online at least four weeks before your start date
  4. Submit your Erasmus + documents in due time once your application has been approved

You can receive a maximum of twelve months’ total Erasmus funding within the same study cycle. You can apply for funding more than once, but you should submit a separate application for each placement.

We cannot fund traineeships that have already started, or fund traineeships for a partial period only.