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How to Find the Best Internships in Europe

Written By
By Munira Maricar
Travel Writer
volunteer, teach, and intern in Europe

When considering internships in Europe, you’re not just looking at a job opportunity; you’re exploring a diverse world of enriching experiences that span across various fields, cultures, and vibrant landscapes. 

From IT internships in Europe’s burgeoning tech hubs to creatively stimulating roles in the arts and humanities, the continent offers a vast canvas for professional and personal growth. The spectrum also includes a plethora of internships in Europe, particularly in the dynamic cities of the European Union, where you can gain valuable work experience while earning. 

Whether you’re interested in a summer internship in Europe to make the most of the lively season or aiming for a longer traineeship that delves deeper into your chosen field, this guide is designed to help you navigate through the multitude of options. It aims to provide you with essential tips and insights for securing not just an internship but a stepping stone to a successful career in the global landscape. With this comprehensive approach, we will give you all the necessary tools and knowledge to make the most of your European internship experience, including finding those sought-after paid internships in Europe that can add substantial value to your resume and life experience.

Are Internships Paid in Europe? 

Internships in Europe offer a diverse range of experiences, varying widely in terms of payment, especially for foreign interns. Generally, a European Union Internship can range from short-term experiences lasting a few weeks to longer traineeships that may extend up to 12 months. Traineeships, typically paid and lasting up to a year, are designed for practical work experience in specific fields. Conversely, internships, especially shorter ones, are often unpaid, though some employers may offer compensation. Some programs label these as ‘Volunteer Opportunities’ instead of ‘Internships’ to bypass payment requirements. Despite this, the qualifications and educational levels required remain consistent, ensuring the experience adds value to your CV and future career prospects.

Here are a few important considerations:

  • Check Country-Specific Laws: It’s crucial to understand the regulations around internships in your chosen European country. Depending on your nationality, the ability to engage in paid internships might be restricted. For paid international internships, obtaining a relevant work visa is necessary to work legally and pay taxes in the host country. However, this process can be lengthy and challenging.
  • Assess Competitiveness: Paid internship positions are highly competitive, akin to job applications, attracting qualified candidates. This can make it difficult for those at an entry level to get their foot in the door.
  • Consider the Internship’s Design: Paid internships may not always prioritize your professional development, as they are often designed to meet the organization’s goals rather than the intern’s learning objectives.
  • Consider the Sector: The likelihood of finding paid internships varies by sector. For instance, IT internships in Europe are more likely to be paid compared to internships with NGOs.

  • Factor in Living Costs: Especially in major European cities, the cost of living should be a key consideration. For unpaid positions, ensuring you have adequate financial support is important.

  • Explore Remote Internships: These can offer greater flexibility regarding compensation and location, possibly providing a more accessible opportunity.

  • Understanding these aspects helps in making an informed decision about pursuing an internship in Europe, ensuring it aligns with both your career goals and practical considerations.


Do I Need a Visa to Intern in Europe?

When considering an internship in Europe, whether or not you need a visa largely depends on your nationality and the specific country where the internship will take place.

For instance, if you are an EU citizen, you do not need a visa for internships within the European Union, European Economic Area, or European Free Trade Area. This also applies to citizens of certain non-EU countries, including Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and Korea. 

Non-EU citizens generally need to obtain a visa for a European Union Internship. The type of visa required can vary based on the duration of the internship. For example, if your internship or training program is less than 3 months, you will need a Type C visa (Schengen visa). If the program lasts more than 3 months, a different type of visa may be required.

The Type C Schengen Visa offers a practical option for short-term internships (up to 90 days within a 180-day period) in the Schengen area, which includes most EU countries. However, this visa does not permit paid employment, so it’s important to check the specific conditions attached to the visa​.

Each country in Europe has its own set of rules and processes for internships and visas. It’s crucial to check the specific requirements of the country where you plan to intern. Be sure to start the visa application process well in advance of your intended start date, as processing times can vary and sometimes be lengthy.

Other Requirements for Interning in Europe

  1. Academic and Work Experience: Internships often have specific academic requirements like a minimum GPA, and value candidates with prior work or internship experience. Educational qualifications can vary, so it’s important to check the specific needs of each internship.
  2. Language Proficiency: A good command of English is usually essential, and additional language skills can be a significant advantage, particularly in non-English speaking countries. However, a second language is not always required, especially in places where English is widely spoken.
  3. Cultural Adaptation and Work Ethics: It’s crucial to understand and adapt to the diverse work cultures in Europe, which include variations in business dress code, punctuality, communication styles, office hours, and vacation policies. Interns should also be prepared for a multicultural work environment.
  4. Legal Requirements and Personal Preparation: Internship applicants generally need to be at least 18 years old, have a valid passport from an eligible country, and, if necessary, a proper visa. Proficiency in the local or English language, along with sufficient health insurance and financial resources for the duration of the internship, are also important.

How to Get an Internship in Europe

Volunteer Forever - Volunteer and Intern in Italy

  • Decide When and Where: Consider the best time for your internship – summer internships in Europe are popular but also competitive.
  • Leverage University Resources: Many universities have partnerships or programs for internships in Europe.
  • Ensure You Meet the Requirements: Check if you have the necessary GPA, experience, and qualifications for your desired field, such as IT internships in Europe.
  • Application Process: Apply for internships with a well-crafted resume and cover letter. Be sure to tailor your application to the specific requirements of the internship, whether it’s a Europa internship or a traineeship in Europe.
  • Visa Application: For non-EU citizens, obtaining the right visa is essential, especially for paid internship jobs in Europe.
  • Travel Arrangements: Once your internship is confirmed, plan your journey to Europe, considering your accommodation and living arrangements.

Internships in Europe to Consider

A range of internship jobs in Europe are available. These opportunities can be sourced from various providers, offering a broad spectrum of professional experiences.

Intern Abroad HQ

volunteer abroad in Spain

Work with NGOs to advocate and support vulnerable communities in Spain.

Intern Abroad HQ, a branch of International Volunteer HQ, specializes in providing a wide array of internship opportunities globally. Offering over 250 positions in 23 countries across 24 career fields, including Europe, their programs are tailored to meet diverse professional and academic needs. The internships, ranging from 2 to 24 weeks, are available year-round, allowing for flexibility. Here is our in depth guidebook on Intern Abroad

Key features of Intern Abroad HQ include the provision of a fully hosted experience that covers accommodation, meals, and airport pick-up for certain programs. The organization emphasizes on creating impactful and educational internships, designed to enhance professional skills and learning outcomes. Additionally, they offer academic credit options and information on scholarship opportunities, ensuring their programs are both accessible and beneficial for academic and career progression. Their programs are conducted in English, or in the local language for those looking to improve their language skills in a professional setting.

  • IT Internship Europe in Prague, Czech Republic: Tailored for students and individuals interested in IT, these internships in Prague offer hands-on experience in programming, testing, UX/UI design, and other IT sectors. Intern with dynamic startups or large international firms and gain valuable insights into up-to-date systems and solutions, while enjoying the historic and vibrant city of Prague.
  • Hospitality & Hotel Management in Dublin, Ireland: Experience the world-renowned Irish hospitality sector in Dublin through internships in high-quality hotels, restaurants, and bars. Engage in customer service, operations, and marketing alongside seasoned professionals, while exploring the cultural richness of Dublin in your free time. Ideal for those with an undergraduate degree or current enrollment in hospitality or related fields.
  • Architecture & Design in Rome, Italy: Dive into the world of architecture and design in Rome, contributing to projects in studios, website agencies, and graphic design firms. Ideal for college students or recent graduates in architecture, interior design, or product design, this internship helps build your portfolio with professional work and immerse you in the unique architectural landscape of Italy.
  • NGO Support in Valencia, Spain: Work with NGOs to advocate and support vulnerable communities in areas of human rights and social justice. Suitable for those studying law, human rights, international development, or related fields, this internship offers hands-on experience with projects that champion the dignity and rights of diverse socioeconomic groups.

  • Aegean Marine Science & Island Conservation in Samos, Greece: Join a conservation institute focused on the biodiversity of the Aegean Sea. This internship is perfect for students in environmental sciences, biology, or conservation science, offering hands-on experience in marine and terrestrial conservation research. Engage in studies from a research vessel and collaborate with experienced marine scientists and conservationists.

Projects Abroad


Internships abroad in Romania with Projects Abroad offer a unique and immersive experience for those seeking professional development in various fields. These internships cater to a wide range of participants, from high school graduates to college students and recent graduates.

In Romania, Projects Abroad offers diverse internship opportunities:

  • Journalism Internships: These internships provide an immersive experience in the field of journalism. Interns get to work on practical assignments, conduct fieldwork, and contribute to an online magazine focusing on ancient Romanian traditions. This experience is enriched with cultural immersion, as interns live with host families in Brasov, getting a firsthand understanding of the local culture and customs. Additionally, the program includes opportunities for social media strategy implementation and running a journalism club.
  • Veterinary Medicine Internships: Aimed at offering practical experience in veterinary practices, these internships involve working alongside local vets in Brasov. Interns contribute to animal welfare and get a deeper insight into veterinary practices both in Romania and generally. The placements are typically at shelters for stray dogs or busy practices, providing interns with the chance to assist with a wide range of veterinary tasks.

Both programs emphasize gaining practical knowledge and skills that contribute to your professional development. Interns get the opportunity to work on real-world projects, hone vital skills like communication and organization, and gain global insight and international work experience. Projects Abroad also ensures safety and staff support throughout the internship and includes comprehensive services such as accommodation, meals, and local support.

Projects Abroad provides assistance with fundraising and grants to help cover costs. Interning abroad with Projects Abroad is an investment in your future career, offering valuable experiences for personal and professional growth.

Global Vision International (GVI)

Volunteer Forever | Summer Abroad Internships for Students

Gain practical experience in marine science and conservation with GVI!

Recognized for its structured programs by partners like SANParks and WWF, GVI has received several awards for its impactful contributions. GVI supports participants with scholarships and upholds a highly intentional Badge of Ethics symbolizing their commitment to empowerment and measurable impact.

Global Vision International (GVI) offers a Marine Biology Internship in the Canary Islands, Spain, providing participants with a unique opportunity to gain practical experience in marine science and conservation. Located in a key area for cetacean research due to its migratory routes and tourist appeal for marine mammal viewing, this internship involves vital tasks such as cetacean data collection, analyzing population trends, and employing dorsal fin photography for tracking. Interns engage in meaningful fieldwork, observing marine animals and conducting coastal surveys, which contributes to understanding the impact of human activities on marine ecosystems. Additionally, the program includes beach cleanups and offers professional development opportunities in technical research skills and marine conservation. Ideal for students and enthusiasts in related scientific fields, the internship also allows for cultural and recreational exploration of the Canary Islands.

This program is a comprehensive learning and professional development opportunity, suitable for those passionate about marine biology and conservation, and looking to gain international experience in these fields.

Gain invaluable work experience during your time in Europe!

Volunteer Forever | Summer Abroad Internships for Students

Embarking on an internship in Europe, including popular summer internships, necessitates meticulous planning and thorough preparation. The journey begins with meeting specific academic requirements and extends to navigating complex visa processes. Each step, whether it’s understanding the legalities of working in a foreign country or adapting to a new cultural environment, is crucial for a successful experience. Internships in Europe, be they traineeships or paid positions, offer a unique opportunity for significant professional and personal growth. These experiences not only enhance your resume but also expand your cultural horizons and professional network. Particularly, summer internships in Europe provide a vibrant period for learning and development, often in a more dynamic and diverse setting. Embracing this opportunity can lead to invaluable insights into different work cultures, a broader understanding of global business practices, and the development of lifelong professional relationships and skills.