Working, interning or studying abroad

Interested in working, interning or studying abroad? First, you should map out your skills and the employment situation of your field in the possible destination countries.

Are you planning on working abroad? Before you begin applying for work abroad, evaluate your language skills, expertise, and the employment situation of your field in your destination country.

Working in EU and EEA member states and Switzerland  

As a Finnish citizen, you have the same work-related rights and responsibilities in EU and EEA member states and Switzerland as their own citizens. 

If you want to work in one of these countries and find information about job vacancies, training, and the labour market in the country, you should check out the EURES online service. 

More information

Working in a country outside the EU and EEA region and Switzerland  

As a rule, you need a work permit issued by the immigration authority of the destination country to work in countries outside the EU and EEA countries and Switzerland. As a job seeker, you will be personally required to find out the necessary prerequisites and procedures related to the work permits. For more information, contact, for example, the embassies of the countries that you are interested in.  

Interning abroad  

An internship abroad supports your professional development, language skills, and readiness to work internationally.  

If you are studying in a vocational institution, you can apply for a workplace learning spot through your educational institution. 

If you are a higher education student, traineeships from abroad can be provided to you by, for example, your own educational institution, in case of EDUFI internships, through the Finnish National Agency for Education, which is responsible for international mobility and collaboration as well as international student organisations. 

Job interview or application trips within the EU and EEA region and Switzerland  

Going on a job seeking trip on an unemployment benefit 

As an unemployed job seeker, you are allowed to go to another EU or EEA member state or Switzerland for three months to look for work and still retain the right to an unemployment benefit that is paid in Finland. During your job seeking trip, you will only be able to receive earnings-related unemployment allowance and basic unemployment allowance. You cannot receive labour market subsidy during the trip. 

To be able to receive unemployment benefits while you are abroad, your unemployment before your trip must have lasted for at least four weeks. The expert at the TE Office or the local government pilot can reduce this period at its discretion and for a special reason, for example, if you have already agreed on a job interview. Your unemployment period can also be calculated to include the time that you have participated in a service that promotes employment. 

Report the travel date to the TE Office or the local government pilot well in advance of your departure. It will inform the payer of the unemployment benefit that you will be leaving to look for work in another EU or EEA member state or Switzerland. 

Remember to order a U2 form from Kela or your unemployment fund well in advance of your departure, as you will need to take this to the labour office of your destination country. Kela or your unemployment fund will determine whether the prerequisites for transferring the unemployment benefit that falls within their domain are met. 

After you have arrived at your country of destination, remember to register as a job seeker at the local labour office within seven days. This will allow you to receive your unemployment benefit for the duration of your trip. If you register later, you will only receive money starting from your registration date.  

During the job seeking process, you are required to comply with the obligations and supervision methods that have been mandated by the labour officials of your destination country. 

Your unemployment allowance is paid by Kela or your unemployment fund. During your job seeking trip, you can apply for unemployment benefits as usual online, or you can post your unemployment period notice to the payer.  

Reimbursement of travel costs

Your TE Office or local government pilot can reimburse you for any travel and accommodation costs for a return job interview journey to another EU or EEA country if the work you applied for will last for at least two weeks and your working hours will be at least 18 hours per week on average. Reimbursement of travel and accommodation costs cannot be granted for job search trips to Switzerland.

Register as an unemployed job seeker after your trip  

When you return to Finland, register immediately as a job seeker. Your unemployment security may change if you do not return to Finland and you do not register as a job seeker at the latest on the return date mentioned in the U2 form. This will prevent you from receiving any unemployment benefit before you have been employed or have participated in labour market training in Finland for four weeks. You may be entitled to a labour market subsidy. 

For more detailed instructions, contact your TE Office, local government pilot, Kela, or unemployment fund.  

If you are not a citizen of an EU or EEA member state or Switzerland, contact the TE Office or local government pilot and the payer of your unemployment benefit. 

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This website is part of the European Commission's Your Europe portal. Did you find what you were looking for? Give feedback! (europa.eu)

 

Studying abroad allows you to develop your language skills and gain valuable experience which is sure to benefit you in the future.

Studying abroad

You can study abroad at different stages of your life. The study period can be anything from a few weeks to several years.

If you are studying in Finland, you can apply to a student exchange programme. While abroad, you can complete part of the studies for your degree in Finland. Contact your own place of education for more information on student exchange.

You can also complete an entire degree abroad. In this case, the studies will take several years depending on the scope of the degree.

Interning abroad

If your studies include an internship, you can do this abroad. This opportunity is primarily open to students and recent graduates. An internship supports

  • professional development,
  • language skills, and
  • international connections for you and your employer.

If you are in vocational education, you can apply for an internship abroad through your own institution.

If you are in higher education, you can use, for example, the following means to find internships abroad:

  • the contacts of your own place of education,
  • the Finnish National Agency for Education (EDUFI traineeships),
  • international student organisations, or
  • contacting employers directly on your own.

Check with your own educational institution whether you can apply for an internship subsidy. You may be eligible for an Erasmus+ grant if you intern in a member state of the European Union, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, North Macedonia, or Turkey. You can search for available internship positions via the EURES portal, for example.

Newly graduated or unemployed young persons can apply for

  • an internship abroad via various programmes and initiatives, or
  • preparation for working life abroad.

If you are between the ages of 18 and 35 and have recently graduated from upper secondary vocational education, you can apply for an Erasmus+-supported internship abroad through the Allianssi Youth Exchange Ready for Life project.

If you are currently attending higher education or have graduated with a higher education degree no more than a year ago, you can apply for an EDUFI traineeship through the Finnish National Agency for Education. The EDUFI traineeship supports your studies and helps to expand your competence. The Finnish National Agency for Education will also grant you a subsidy for the duration of your traineeship.

You can find more information on different international experiences on the Maailmalle.net website maintained by the Finnish National Agency for Education or their advisory services.

More information

Workcamps and other voluntary work

International workcamps are a great way to get to know the culture of the target country while doing voluntary work in a multicultural group to benefit a local non-profit organisation.

The camps usually last two to three weeks. They are organised all over the world, primarily in the summer. Most attendees are between the ages of 18 and 30, but there is no maximum age. You are not paid for the work, but food and accommodation are provided as compensation. If you are interested in an international workcamp, you can apply through organisations such as Kansainvälinen Vapaaehtoistyö ry.

If you are taking a gap year, longer-term voluntary work could be a good option for you. A period of voluntary work often incurs some expenses that you have to pay on your own. However, the European Voluntary Service does offer young Europeans aged 17 to 30 years an opportunity to volunteer for a longer time with financial support from the EU.

This website is part of the European Commission's Your Europe portal. Did you find what you were looking for? Give feedback! (europa.eu)