Doing a placement abroad

Laurea offers many internationalization-at-home opportunities. Many study units include some form of international co-operation and every year Laurea organizes the international week with lectures by professors from abroad. 

But why not take a step further and become international? Doing a placement abroad will teach you not just the practical skills related to your field, but it will also improve your language skills and knowledge of different cultures.  Also, when you study abroad you can see how certain industries work, a chance which you won’t have in Finland.

Maybe you are already planning to have an exchange semester abroad? Why not lenghten your stay and do your placement in the same country? I am going to do exactly that, because then I will already be familiar with the culture and also know the language.

My placement in Germany

I am a Business Management student from Otaniemi and this is already my second semester in Technische Hochschule Nürnberg, Germany. I want to continue accumulating international experience, so I am going to do my placement here too. I can recommend Technische Hochschule Nürnberg for everyone, they have a wide variety of interesting courses (also in English) and competent professors.

Southern Germany offers very good possibilities for a placement. I am pretty sure you have heard about companies like BMW, Adidas, Stabilo, Puma and Audi. All these companies have their headquarters in Bavaria. The automotive industry has a strong presence in Germany and along with the car manufacturers the major automotive part developers and manufacturers are from Germany. Of course Germany not only has the large international corporations, there are also lot’s of medium- and small-sized companies which are looking for interns.

Writing applications in German is not easy, but I am lucky to have a friend who can help me. If you need to write the application in the local language, you can ask  your fellow students or your language teacher to help you. If you want to work in an international company, you can also send your application in English. The applications vary a little in different countries and for example here in Germany you should have an application photo taken by a professional and the application should include your latest certificates and a transcript of records.

The Career Service of my exchange university has been a big help. They organize lectures about applying and working in Germany and also host the website for placement and job offers. When looking for a placement abroad, you should take the initiative. Search for information about local industries and opportunities. If you don’t know the local language, it might be better to stay in the bigger cities – there people usually speak more English. On the other hand I am sure your language skills will improve significantly, if you don’t have chance to speak in English!

The article was written by Laurea student Heini Pystynen as an assignment on Organizational Communication course.

Modified 8/3/2015 12:22 PM