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At NUI Galway, we believe that the best learning takes place when you apply what you learn in a real world context. That's why many of our courses include work placements or community projects.
Erasmus Placements (traineeships) in companies/enterprises/organisations abroad
Erasmus offers students the opportunity to obtain a period of work experience abroad in the overall framework of their degree programme. Formerly known as Erasmus Placements, these periods abroad are now called Erasmus Traineeships.
Eligibility, deadlines and documentation for Erasmus Traineeships
If you will be doing a work placement/internship of at least 2 months’ duration that is an integral and compulsory part of your programme of study here at NUI Galway, and if you are going to be based with a company or organisation in an EU Member State (or in Croatia, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Turkey), then you may be eligible for an Erasmus grant. The placement must be based entirely around work experience, and if it takes place in a university, then you must be working there (e.g. in an office or laboratory, or teaching English) and not attending classes. Work placements approved for Erasmus funding will be termed Erasmus traineeships under the new programme Erasmus+ .
To ensure that you can be considered for a grant, you must apply in time to the International Affairs Office using the Erasmus Traineeship Application Form. A link to this online form will be provided by the International Office when the relevant Placement Officer or academic coordinator approves your work placement and passes your details on to us.
Deadlines are as follows:
- For traineeships commencing in the period 1st September – 31st December: the preceding 15th July
- For traineeships commencing between 1st January and 1st August: the preceding 15th November
We understand that it is not always possible to plan so far in advance for placements that will start during semester 2, and so we may consider later applications. However, please be aware that funding is limited and it may run out in the course of the year as more students avail of traineeship grants. We cannot guarantee an Erasmus grant to every student who applies after the above deadlines. To improve your chances of being awarded an Erasmus grant, you are strongly advised to get your traineeship grant application to us without delay once your host organisation has confirmed that they will accept you.
If you are an undergraduate doing your PEP Placement in Europe, you should also consult the Placement Office website.
What other procedures must be completed before the mobility?
Please be sure to read our Handbook for Erasmus Traineeships!
In brief: What forms will I need to complete?
(Please note that merely reading the information below is not a substitute for reading the Handbook!)
(i) Grant Agreement
When you have sent us details of your insurance (see next section), we will issue you with a Grant Agreement. This document should not be confused with the Learning Agreement. The Grant Agreement is your "contract" with NUI Galway, setting out the terms and conditions of your traineeship and your Erasmus grant. It's a four-page document that requires your signature alongside that of the institutional Erasmus coordinator. It is provided in hard copy only. It is vital that you return this document to the International Office BEFORE you begin your traineeship abroad.
(ii) Learning Agreement
You will be required to complete a Learning Agreement for Traineeships showing all the details of the traineeship, including the programme of activities and the expected outcomes. The various sections of this document will require input from you, from your departmental coordinator at NUI Galway and from your coordinator/mentor at the host organisation abroad. So in order to complete it, you will have to work with your NUI Galway coordinator and with your mentor/supervisor abroad. You should ensure that the section headed "Proposed Mobility Programme" is filled out in full before finally presenting it to the host organisation for signature. This is a very important section and on no account should the host organisation sign the document without reading and approving it.
Please keep in mind that the details of your traineeship (choice of host organisation, content, recognition, etc) are a matter for you and your NUI Galway academic coordinator or programme director, and that the International Office has no role in organising it. The onus is on you and/or your sending discipline at NUI Galway to find a suitable host organisation and draw up a Learning Agreement for Traineeships. All three parties to this learning agreement should hold a copy of that document.
LANGUAGE COMPETENCE: If you are a native English speaker and you will be working through English, then your level of language competence is not A1 (beginner level) but rather C2 (proficient).
A copy of the entire first section of your Learning Agreement for Traineeships (i.e. the pages relating to "Before the Mobility Period" down as far as the "commitment of the three parties") should be submitted to the International Affairs Office, but only after it has been completed in full by all parties.
Will I need insurance?
Yes. An Erasmus Traineeship cannot be approved by NUI Galway until the student has provided evidence that s/he is properly insured for a number of contingencies. Please read carefully the pages in the Handbook relating to this subject (Section 2.3, pages 8 to 11). You could also look at the general information about insurance for your Erasmus visit. If you plan to avail of multi-trip travel insurance, check whether the policy has any stipulation about the maximum duration of any one trip - for instance, some of these policies will not cover a single uninterrupted stay abroad of more than 60 days; in this case, you might have to purchase additional or alternative cover.
Proof of your insurance must be submitted to the International Affairs Office absolutely no less than 21 days before your traineeship is due to commence. It is advisable to do this much sooner, so that there are no delays with your paperwork and grant payment.
You should also make sure that you hold a European Health Insurance Card. You can apply for the card, or renew your existing one, by going online. Please ensure that your EHIC will be valid for the entire duration of your mobility period abroad.
Online Linguistic Support
If you will be using French, German, Italian or Spanish as the main language of your traineeship activities (in other words, if you are undertaking the traineeship as part of your current studies in one of these languages, even if you will be teaching English), you will be required to take an online language assessment before you go on Erasmus, unless you are a native speaker of the relevant continental language.
An invitation will be sent to you by e-mail from @erasmusplusols.eu so please make sure you don’t overlook it or that it doesn’t get lost in your junk mail. Please check the deadline for taking the test and make sure you adhere to it. You will receive a grade according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. The result cannot be used to prevent you taking part in Erasmus, but if you do not do well, it might be an indication that you need to work on your language skills to bring them up to the required level. Having completed the assessment, you may be given access to a free online language course. It is highly recommended that you follow this course as a linguistic preparation for your studies abroad. You will be required to take a further linguistic assessment at the end of your studies. See the OLS website.
Please remember that if you are required to take the language assessment, your grant agreement cannot be issued unless you have completed it. In other words, the language assessment is a prerequisite for the award of the Erasmus grant in the cases mentioned above.
How will I know that my traineeship has been approved for an Erasmus grant?
If your traineeship is approved for Erasmus funding, you will receive documentation in the post from the International Office, including 2 copies of the Grant Agreement for Erasmus+ Traineeships. This shows the financial conditions of your Erasmus Traineeship and the details of your grant.
You will need to sign both copies of the Grant Agreement, and return one to the International Affairs Office while keeping the other for your own records. If we don't receive the signed copy from you before you leave Ireland, you will not receive the Erasmus grant.
What else will I need to do?
- When you receive your Erasmus grant, please be sure to complete the Traineeships Grant Acknowledgement Form and return it to the International Affairs Office. Please ensure that you enter the correct grant amount on the form, and check your bank account if you are unsure. Please use this form only if you are a student on a work placement/internship! If you are studying at a university abroad, then you should go to the Latest News page (see menu on left), where you will find the grant acknowledgement form for students on study visits.
- At the end of your traineeship, make sure that you get your host organisation/employer to fill in the Traineeship Certificate that forms the last part of your learning agreement. You will not receive your final grant instalment unless this form has been submitted to the International Affairs Office. Please note that the fields provided can be expanded and should be completed with as much detail as possible. The traineeship certificate should be filled in by your employer, not by you, and the final section, "evaluation of the trainee", is for their assessment of your performance while working with them.
- Also at the end of your traineeship, you will receive a request by e-mail for an online report, the EU survey. You should make sure to complete this, otherwise you cannot receive the final grant instalment.
- If you were required to take an initial OLS language assessment, then you will have to take a second assessment at the end of the Erasmus traineeship. The purpose of this assessment is to measure the improvement in your language skills. Your final grant instalment cannot be paid unless you have taken this follow-on assessment.
If we do not receive one of the above documents, we will not be able to pay your last grant instalment.