Practical training during studies is a great opportunity for students to apply their theoretical knowledge in practice, improve their professional skills, narrow down their career choices, and make direct contact with potential employers. Having work experience in your own discipline, no matter how brief the period of employment, gives you an advantage over others in the job market. Think very carefully about where you apply for practical training because the workplace and work tasks you choose are relevant to your future career.
Read more on: Student guidelines on the practices of supported practical training
Practical training supported by the university
The faculties can reserve money for supporting their students’ practical training financially. The financial support for practical training is meant for students who study general academic subjects. The goal is to support the students in finding a place to do their practical training in their own discipline. Practical training helps students get an understanding about the situation in the labour market and the job seeking process before they graduate. The best time to do practical training is during the third or fourth year of studies because by then the student will have acquired the capacity needed to put their skills and knowledge into practice. This will also enable working on a master’s thesis while doing practical training. The university does not, however, offer financial support for practical training after graduation, so leaving it last is not recommended. Please note that you can receive financial support for practical training only once during your degree studies!
The practices relating to practical training vary between the units (department or school). Each unit has its designated contact person for practical training who will
- check whether the place of practical training meets the goals set in the curriculum
- guide in the practical arrangements related to practical training, such as concluding a practical training contract
- acts as the point of contact for the employer
NOTE at the time of agreeing on your pay for the practical training the employer is not entitled to financial support for practical training even if it has been granted to you if your practical training is
- unpaid; or
- done for a monthly salary (gross) that is lower than the minimum wage confirmed by KELA annually for the accumulation of working time (EUR 1,189.00/month in 2018; further information is available on the KELA website: What is the work requirement?; or
- part of a project funded by the EU
If you will be doing unpaid practical training, read about insurance coverage for students.
Practical training abroad
All students of all disciplines are entitled to financial support for practical training done abroad. The financial support for practical training granted by the faculty can be paid as a grant. The eligibility criteria for the grant include not receiving any other financial support (e.g. Erasmus, CIMO, etc.) and not having done practical training supported by the university before. A placement agreement is concluded with the place of practical training, to be signed on behalf of the University of Eastern Finland by the head of the department and the contact person for international relations. Read more about doing practical training abroad on the international studies web pages.
Read more on International traineeship.
Finding and applying for a placement
As a rule, students should find a place for practical training and apply for it themselves so as to get a sense of how the application process works in the labour market after graduation. Practical training can take place in a company, government agency, local authority, or an association. The places for doing practical training offered to the university are posted in the Career Services’ website, Aarresaari, which includes advertisements for regular jobs, internships and thesis work. The university’s units may also have practical training positions that students can apply for.
The work tasks must correspond with the objectives for the practical training stated in the curriculum. The place of practical training must be approved by the participating student’s contact person for practical training or person in charge of practical training at the unit. The details of the practical training should be agreed with the employer and an employment contract concluded before the practical training starts.
Applying for financial support for practical training
Applications for financial support for practical training must be submitted in accordance with the instructions applicable to your academic subject. Students are urged to find out the application practices and criteria concerning financial support that apply to their academic subject.
Applicable agreements in 2019
At the university level, general information on practical training is provided by Outi Suorsa Coordinator at Career Services (outi.suorsa(at)uef.fi). When you need more information about practical training, you should first contact the person in charge of practical training for your academic subject. She/he knows the practices for granting financial support for practical training and approving the place of practical training the best. If you have questions concerning practical training abroad, you can turn to International Student Services.