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 apprenticeships 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 channels. Alongside searching for internships and jobs, it’s crucial to keep your CV updated. Read more about working in Finland, as the same information applies to finding jobs and internships. Please note that in group education programs, the internships and employers may be pre-defined according to the study plan. Always ensure practical arrangements from your school contact person.
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 send an application to a company directly. Many companies have open vacancies for internships or even straightforward traineeship programs that aim at finding future employees for the company’s needs.
There are some online job portals primarily aimed at students looking for internships and jobs:
- Jobs in Finland:
- A collective website maintained by Business Finland; all the published job announcements target English-speaking job-seekers.
- Tampere University job portal: A trendy site for university students to look for internships and thesis projects in Finland and abroad.
- Y-makers: Internships and other jobs are mainly aimed at 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, they usually require you to have a working knowledge of the 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 some required language skills exist.
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.
Suppose you are a university student in another country but want to intern at a company in Finland. In that case, you can apply for a residence permit based on the training 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 training is included in an exchange program by a non-governmental organization.
- The internship must have 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 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.