Practical training and placements or how to successfully enter the labour market
According to Polish Statistical Office (GUS), students who work during their studies find employment faster upon graduation. It takes them on average 2-3 months to find a job, whereas a recent graduate without professional experience can look for work for nearly 2 years.
In Poland, placement offers can be found at university career bureaus or on the Internet, e.g. on websites Dlastudenta.pl and Pracaikariera.pl. Grasz o staż is the most popular Polish competition for future trainees.
Those who speak foreign languages can seek placement opportunities abroad, e.g. in EU institutions and agencies, such as the European Space Agency, NATO, and many others. A database of placement programmes abroad is posted on the European Eurodesk website along with information about deadlines for filing applications.
Several practical training and placement programmes operate across Europe. Among the most popular ones is Leonardo da Vinci EU programme, which offers grants and is dedicated to technical and vocational school students and staff, as well as HEI graduates and people in the labour market.
You should know that Erasmus, which is the most famous EU mobility programme, offers to students not only grants for studies, but also for placements. The application rules concerning placements are similar to those concerning studies. You have to apply through your home university.
AIESEC is the world's largest student network, which is present in 107 countries and has nearly 50,000 members. Its operations focus on providing young people with opportunities for developing five competencies: entrepreneurship, social responsibility, emotional integration, ability to work in global environment, and active learning. AIESEC offers opportunities for internships (also paid one) and for volunteering.
Other major student networks offering placements are IAESTE – the International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience, BEST – Board of European Students of Technology, ELSA – the European Law Students Association, and IFMSA – the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations.
Volunteering is also a form of combining learning (non-formal education) with gaining practical experience and developing skills and competences, especially these that are hard to acquire as part of formal, school or university education. A dedicated EU European Voluntary Service (EVS) programme supports volunteering. More information about EVS can be found in the tab devoted to volunteering. You can volunteer during school/academic year and during holiday.