As an international student in Finland, you are allowed and encouraged to do internships during your studies. This can be done through different organizations or independently. Both Erasmus+ (for EU programs) and student organizations assist students in finding internships. When you’re in Finland with a student visa you can do an unlimited number of internships, as long as they are part of your study program. The internships can be paid or unpaid. If you’re planning to do an internship as a part of your study program, you can start by looking for job advertisements through recruitment agencies and on your host university’s own channels. Alongside searching for internships and/or jobs, it’s crucial to always keep your CV updated. Read more about working in Finland, as the same information applies to finding jobs as well as internships.
It is also possible to do an internship in Finland even if you’re not a student at a Finnish university. If you’re already a student in another country but are craving to experience the unique Finnish lifestyle, you can always do an internship in a Finnish company. Internships usually last for 3-6 months, but you can get an internship based residence permit for up to 18 months. An internship is also a great gateway to the Finnish labor market, and a lot of students in Finland get their first proper job through an internship. Below you can read more about finding an internship in Finland from abroad.
You can apply for an internship through an international exchange program, or directly by sending an application to a company. Many companies have open vacancies for internships, or even straight-forward traineeship programs that aim at finding future employees for the company’s needs.
There are some online job portals especially aimed for students looking for internships and jobs:
- Jobs in Finland: A collective website maintained by Business Finland; all the published job announcements are targeted towards English-speaking job-seekers.
- Tampere University job portal: A very popular site for university students to look for internships and thesis projects in Finland and abroad.
- Y-makers: Internships and other jobs mostly aimed for students from universities of applied sciences.
- Glassdoor has some big, international companies that operate in Finland and are looking for interns or trainees from many different fields.
Note that if the job or internship announcement is in Finnish, then usually they require you to have a working knowledge of Finnish language. However, if the job announcement is in English, it is often suitable for English-speaking job-seekers. There is always a mention in the job announcement if there are some required language skills.
As an international student in Finland, you can complete an internship that accumulates study credits, i.e. is a part of your degree program. If you do such an internship, you don’t need to change your student’s residence permit status.
If you are a university student in another country but want to do an internship in a company in Finland, you can apply for a residence permit based on the internship if you set the following requirements:
- You’re 18-30 years old.
- You study at a university abroad and the internship is in your study field OR the internship is included in an exchange program by a non-governmental organization.
- The internship must have a monetary compensation. An internship-based residence permit is not granted for unpaid internships.
The residence permit for an internship is always for a fixed-term, and it can be granted for a maximum of 18 months. If you get a job at the company or find other work after the internship, you can apply for an employment-based residence permit. This can be granted either for fixed-term (B-permit) or as a continuous residence permit (A-permit). The A-permit is always required before a person can apply for permanent residency.