... have an internship
An internship (work placement) will give you valuable work experience. It can also be a springboard to a job. Keep that in mind when you look for an internship.
If an internship is obligatory, check what your school requires before you start looking for one. Put your main objectives in writing: making contacts; getting work experience; developing your technical knowledge and skills; doing the internship with someone else; reaching a higher level; experience working abroad. Then find out in what way the internship can contribute to these objectives.
Make a plan, including preparations and follow up. Consider how long a fruitful internship will last, and what time periods are best for you, the work placement provider and your training programme. If you want to go abroad: check whether you need permits, and if so, how long the application procedure takes. Make a list of what you need to make it work: residence permit; a place to live; insurances.
Finding a work placement
Most schools and courses have good contacts and can help you find or contact a potential internship provider. Ask acquaintances, teachers and former apprentices as well. Make sure your CV is ready and write a good letter.
Letter of application for an internship
Try to make the internship provider curious so you will be invited for an interview. Start the letter with the reason and goal of the letter, introduce yourself and the school. The essence of the letter should be why you want and internship in that particular organisation, which objectives you would propose, what you and the school think is important in an internship and what you have to offer. End the letter by letting know what you expect of the follow up or when you will contact the organisation for a reaction.
Find out if the internship will cost money. Make a budget for income and expenditures. This will make clear what business matters you have to arrange. Does your student grant continue?
Does the internship provider pay an allowance or séjour? Will you have expenses for travelling, extra lessons, presentations or auditions? Will you still have time for your side job? Can you apply for grants or to funds?
The work placement contract
The rights and responsibilities of the three parties concerned are clearly described in the work placement contract. Compare a work placement contract with an employment contract. Some internship providers will actually offer you an employment contract. Then you might be covered by a CAO (collective labour agreement). What does that mean for you?