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How do curricular internships work in Italy?

Everything you need to know about finding and applying for an academic internship in Italy.

4 min read

There are a ton of great reasons to take on an internship while you’re studying. Internships let you try out a potential career, gain practical work experience, make valuable contacts, and more. But taking on a curricular internship—that is, an internship you complete as part of your university studies—can be different from an extracurricular internship. If you’re looking for a curricular internship in Italy, find out everything you need to know in our handy guide below.

Internship or training internship?

There are two main kinds of curricular internships—let’s look at the differences. 

  • Compulsory curricular internship—If you’re studying health, sports sciences, social sciences, education sciences, you’ll have to do this kind of internship to get your degree.
  • Non-compulsory curricular internship—These are non-mandatory, in-company internships for other study fields, such as the humanities, economics, linguistics, etc.

Generally speaking, a curricular internship isn’t an actual job—which means that you might not be paid for your work. The internships are aimed at students across majors, including those in masters or doctorate programs and specialized schools. The objective is to pair learning with on-the-job experience. Some internships can be done to earn credit (CFUs) while others are simply about gaining valuable training and knowledge. 

To get started with a curricular internship, there has to be an agreement between your university and the organization you want to work for. This can be a private company, professional studio, cooperative, or public institution. In addition, internships must follow a training plan and be monitored by two  advisors—one from the university and the other from the host organization. These advisors will support you during the internship and in the final certification process. 

If you’re not enrolled in university, you might be a good candidate for an extracurricular internship. These are aimed at recent graduates who have already completed their studies and are no longer affiliated with a university.

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How to find the right internship for you

There are several ways to find a curricular internship. For example:

  • Ask your academic advisor. Your advisor can direct you to the internship that best fits your interests, or provide you with extra information on the internship you’ve chosen. Also, check out your degree program’s website to see if there’s a contact person for internships. This is a great person to  reach out to with any questions you might have.
  • Consult your university’s internship offers or other dedicated websites. University internship offices often put out calls for internships in the public sector or affiliated companies, so check with them to see if there’s a good fit. You can also visit websites such as Almalaurea or EURES Target Mobility Scheme to get an overview of internship opportunities both in Italy and abroad.
  • Reach out to companies directly. If you already know that you’d like to work for a private company, check with them to see if there are currently any internships on offer. Alternatively, you could contact their human resources department to see if they accept unsolicited applications. 

If the internship you’ve chosen doesn’t take place at an institution affiliated with your university, you’ll need to contact the internship office or job placement center to start the internship recognition process. 

How to write an internship report

Already finished your internship? Congrats! So, what happens next? Once the internship is complete, you might be asked to draw up a report about your experience. This usually takes the form of a text explaining the context in which you carried out your duties and the results you achieved in terms of educational growth. 

Your report doesn’t necessarily have to be long, but it’s a good idea to follow a structure along these lines:

  • A brief introduction to explain the internship, the host institution, and the context in which it took place, including objectives, issues, and problems encountered.
  • An analysis of your experience and list of the main activities carried out, directly or as an assistant, as well as any courses or job training received from the host organization, and the area, group or department with which you collaborated. 
  • A description and analysis of a specific topic that you studied in depth during the internship period and what in particular sparked your interest. 
  • Personal takeaways, in which you offer your thoughts on the internship. How was the real experience compared to your expectations? What were your key learnings? Highlight the positive and negative points of the experience.

Keep the internship report and documents for future reference. A university internship on your CV makes a great impression at interviews!

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N26—the perfect companion to your curricular internship

Are you getting ready for your first internship? Then it’s time to get organized. Before signing the contract, check if there is any compensation for transport costs or meals. Prepare a budget for the internship period—and take into account expenses such as rent, food, and bills. Want to see all your monthly spending at a glance? Sign up for our free N26 Standard bank account—ideal for students on a tight budget. With N26 Standard, you’ll get three free withdrawals per month from any branch in Italy and in the Eurozone. Plus, you’ll get free payments abroad and a virtual Mastercard right on your smartphone. It’s the perfect companion for any intern.

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