European Studies

Internship as part of the European Studies MA

Before you decide that you want to go on a work placement

  • Be aware that you can also spend your 3rd semester on the ES MA attending some of the profile or optional subjects offered across Arts or other faculties at AU, or studying at a foreign university. Please consult your academic regulations .
  • Please register for the work placement on your stads-self service on time.

Travel grant

  • You can apply for ‘Travel Grants’ to cover travel and accommodation expenses. You can do this even before you have found an work placement position.

    The deadline is usually  1 March.  The application form with instructions is available here.

Finding a Work placement position

  • You have to find and apply for a position yourself. If you are in doubt as to what kind of work placement position meets the requirements in European studies seek advice from the student counsellor. Generally, positions at European embassies, EU institutions, EU oriented NGO’s or Government agencies dealing with Europe or some aspect of European affairs are accepted.
  • The application and acceptance procedures are specific to each individual work placement place. You will need to figure out those relevant to you yourself.
  • You need to find an work placement before 15th August, which is the deadline for handing in the work placement agreement.
  • The work placement period lasts from the 1st of August until the 31st of January. The work placement must be completed before the end of the semester to ensure that the Master’s thesis semester can commence on time.
  • You cannot apply for a prolonging of the thesis period due to the work placement period.

Find an Academic Supervisor and get an approval

  • Once the host institution/organization/company of your work placement has accepted you, you need to find an academic supervisor and apply to have the work placement accepted as a valid European studies MA work placement.
  • Send the person you would like to be your supervisor a short email describing the work placement place, length and content. If they accept to be your supervisor, fill out the form “Work placement Agreement”, which you find at this website and ask the supervisor for a signature.
  • If you need help about some of the boxes ask the student counsellor or the supervisor.
  • When the agreement is signed by your academic supervisor and your host organization/company you have to scan and upload it as described on the form.

Writing an internship report

Requirements, Contents and structure

Regarding the work placement the Study regulation indicates that the purpose is to require skills in applying academic knowledge, theories, and methodologies in solving specific tasks for a public or private organisation and to further develop and put a perspective on the academic skills in working with specific, practical tasks.
Therefore the rapport is evaluated in relation to the extent to which the student is able to apply the knowledge, skills and competencies that he / she has acquired during the training in European studies in the analysis of a topic that is relevant both for the study of European Studies and the host organisation, and as part of this demonstrates ability to select, engage and discuss relevant theory in the analysis. But also in relation to what extent the student is able to reflect on how he/she has applied the knowledge, skills and competencies that he/she has acquired during the training in European Studies in a practical labour context.

This mean that there is basically three things you need to do in the rapport; the first is descriptive, the second analytical and the third reflexive. This remains the same no matter which length of rapport you are writing.

1) Report where you have been and what you have done

  1. Describe the work placement place; what kind of organization/institution/company is it, how big is it, what is the internal structure, which functions or sorts of activity does it do.
  2. Describe you position as an intern; where in the organization/institution/company were you placed (department/sub-section/office) and (perhaps most importantly of all) what where your assignments – what did your job basically consist of.
  3. Already in a) and b) above you should be careful to mention those element of you intern place and position which has a European dimension; which makes it relevant as a European studies work placement

2) Write an analysis of a topic which is both relevant to the work placement place and European studies.

  1. You have to choose a topic which you on the one hand came into contact with as an intern, but which on the other hand is something which would be interesting with in the field of European studies. Both are required; it is all about the combination of practical experiences and academic competences.
  2. You should from the very beginning of your work placement be on the lookout for a suitable topic. If you are an intern in a country neighboring the EU, you might be assigned to deal with visa applications to the EU or to gather information about some aspect of the country’s relationship to the EU. These kinds of practical experiences (which are therefore ‘relevant to the host organization’ i.e. the work placement place) could both be the subject of a wider analysis of European external borders or relations with the specific country. This analysis should then draw on theories and literature you know from classes attended or assignments written as part of your European Studies MA (and which in this way is shown to be ‘relevant to European Studies’). Remember that this has to be a proper academic analysis, with proper use of theory/academic literature, proper references etc. etc.
  3. As soon as you, during your work placement, find a potential topic for the analysis, contact your supervisor for advice and approval. Generally you should have an approved idea for a topic when you return. If you only start thinking about a topic after returning you will also have missed the opportunity to gather relevant material at you work placement place.

3) Reflect on why this Work placement has been an integral and conductive part of your ES master

  1. Reflect on how you used ES academic skills in you work placement; which part of your knowledge from ES was an advantage and in which contexts or assignments did you use it.
  2. Reflect on how this experience has enhanced your ES skills, for example in relation to relevant job markets; what new skills or insights have you acquired and how do these enhance your ES masters education
  3. You may consider both positive and negative aspects of your work placement experience.

As appendixes you have to attach a letter of recommendation from your work placement place which should mention the timespan and number of hours you have worked. You also have to attach a sample of your work, i.e. any document that you have worked on or produced as part of you work placement and which as such illustrate the kind of assignments that you have undertaken as an intern.

In terms of the internal structure of the rapport, the rule of thumb is that 2) should be at least half the rapport, i.e. the same length as 1) & 3) together.

Keep in mind that in essence your rapport is supposed to convince the reader that your work placement experience was not only fun, interesting or personally challenging for you, but that it added something to your ES master (and that you should therefore be given ECTS points for it as part of your master).

The rapport should be handed as a normal/formal exam-paper.

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