Before the start of an internship

You could believe that the next section is useless. Well, maybe in the future you will be an Erasmus supervisor and you will understand why it is not. Unfortunately.

When you apply for a position, you have to have some details in mind:

  • if you apply for an open position, remember to send your CV. If you did not send your CV in your first email, you cannot expect a clear answer. Also you have to write the key information the company needs for the evaluation of your position, like the dates you are able to start and finish the internship.
  • if you just ask for the possibility of a vacancy, you have to write a kind of motivation letter where the supervisor can understand what to offer to you.
  • if you just ask for the possibility of a vacancy, you have to write a kind of motivation letter where the supervisor can understand what to offer to you.

The start of an internship is a special situation for you, but maybe it is not for your supervisor. Maybe the supervisor is too busy or he just forgot about you. If something happens, you will be the one who will not be able to do the internship, but the supervisor will maybe find another intern

  • You have to be the one who  is concerned about the situation, all the time.
  • Each time you receive an email, send a confirmation message. Be professional.• Have a skype conversation before the start of the process (we don´t take seriously an intern if the intern has no time for a skype call), you are the one who is traveling maybe half of Europe for a job, better to know what you are going to do before the start.
  • Confirm or decline with an email after the call. Also tell your supervisor which are the milestones of the internship process with your university (the key dates the supervisor needs to know).
  • Update the information to your supervisor each time you have news (make it simple and short). Your supervisor does not need to know everything about the process with your university or life.
  • If you decide not to do the internship, don´t be selfish and send an email about your new situation, maybe because of you another intern will have the possibility of finding an internship.
  • If you need an answer from your  supervisor and you do not get it, wait a few days (2-3) and ask again.

If you need to arrange an appointment (call or the arrival time of the airplane) use the time zone of the country of the internship. In order to avoid misunderstanding, in 24h format.

Make the work easy to your supervisor, when you are sending an email, send it with clear information (in English or in the language of the country).

Your supervisor is there to help you in the process, not to do your work. Your supervisor cannot know what you really need, each university has specific requirements. Each time you ask something to your supervisor, like the creation of an Acceptance Letter or the creation of the Learning Agreement, you must follow the following steps:

  • Before sending the Acceptance Letter or a Learning Agreement, write all your personal information and the information about your university.
  • The key information must be written by you in order to avoid misunderstandings, like the start and finish date or the language of the internship (if you are a language teacher and you need to do an internship in some foreign language).
  • Do not write information about the supervisor or company. You can do it, but you may do it wrong for reasons you don´t know about.
  • Send the documentation by email. Any other format will make it more complicated or impossible to download again if is it necessary.
  • The supervisor will write the supervisor and company information and after printing and signing he will give it back to you
  • Remember to send a copy signed by you and your university back to the supervisor.
  • If your Erasmus supervisor at the university asks for the signature of the supervisor in an empty Learning agreement or document, ask if he understands how to do his/her job. Never sign a paper without reading all the information on it.

The documentation is always signed with real dates. If you need a new version of the documentation, remember, that new version will have new dates, the real dates of the signing.

The Learning agreement has 3 sections:

  • Before the mobility: Once the internship starts, you don´t make changes.
  • During the mobility: If you need to do changes in the documentation, instead changing the Before the mobility section, we can use the During the mobility, that is what it is for.
  • After the mobility: Can be used as Certificate of Attendance. I will not be signing this part till the last day of the internship with real information (such as: quality of work, creativity, responsibility, interaction with others and punctuality).

Give detailed information about your arrival to your supervisor: Transport you use, arrival time, the name of the station, the departure city.

Write the number of your supervisor in your phone before you start the trip, just in case. Remember, you are traveling to another country with other different language.

If somebody is going to take you from the Airport, Bus or Train station, wait at your arrival gate. If your transport arrives before or later, the person picking you up from the station may not be able to find you.

Follow the recommendations about how to find a room or ask other current or former interns (if you have access to them).

If you did not find a room before you arrive or you want to search for one after your arrival, make a reservation in an hostel/hotel.

Never pay in advance if is not a trustworthy or verified person.

Remember, if you take public transport, always pay it, and Do not accept gifts that come from unknown people.

Based on true stories.