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Students usually have to do an internship in order to validate their academic training. What is the process of doing an internship in Belgium?

Advantages of an internship abroad

Inhabitants of one of the EU member states can come and work freely in any member state, without needing a visa. Therefore, Belgium is a country that welcomes many foreign students who chose to experience an internship abroad each year.

The different types of internships in Belgium

Nearly a dozen different types of internships are available in Belgium. Some are dedicated to students coming from academic or professional training, some are for students in alternate education. Students from higher education institutions, universities, job seekers, and volunteers can also ask to do an internship in Belgium.

Help available

Brussels Chamber of Commerce and Industry offers a lot of information. Its website called Mon Stage helps candidates search for an internship and find relevant information on how to be eligible to do so.

If you are a student in Belgium, most universities and schools have a service dedicated to internships. You can also find lots of information on the different internship offers online.

These following institutions are also helpful. They usually have a list of companies and partners hiring interns throughout the year.

  • Belgian professional federations and associations
  • The French Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • The administration for the three regions in Belgium
  • European institutions (European Parliament, EU Council, European Commission, Economic and Social Committee, Regions Committee.)
  • VDAB, the official employment agency in Flanders
  • Youth Centre Info: 15 centres across the country

Lastly, newspapers are great to stay updated on job and internship offers. Don’t forget to look into job sections in La Libre Belgique, Le Soir, Knack, and Le Vif.

If you apply in one of the regions that are not French-speaking, it is highly recommended that you speak German or Dutch.

Formalities to do an internship in Belgium

Inhabitants from third-countries (outside the EU) need to ask for a work permit B in order to do an internship in Belgium. Formalities related to it are detailed in our article on work permits in Belgium. Only advanced training organised by academic programs are accessible to foreign students. Other exemptions concern citizens from the Economic European Area, foreign students doing mandatory internships while studying in Belgium, and interns hired by Belgian public institutions or international organisms with public rights established in Belgium.

Internship Agreement

Foreign candidates need to prove that their internship in Belgium is for their academic training. They need an internship agreement.

The agreement is issued by the academic institution. The contract details the intern’s working conditions, tasks, and how they are supported during the internship.

Legal duration of internships in Belgium

No legal duration exists for postgraduate student internships. The internship can be of minimum one week and can extend to four months, or even three years. Usually, foreign interns are hired for a period that goes from three months to one year.

Salary

Unlike other countries, there’s no regulation on salary for interns in Belgium. Companies are not entitled to pay or compensate interns. Some programs, especially the ones within “l’Enseignement en Alternance”, pay interns monthly, from € 247 to € 428. Job seekers can ask for transitional internships, from 4 to 6 weeks. They benefit from a € 200 bonus monthly.

In some other cases, if the intern is to be paid, a legal document signed by both parties is issued, clearly mentioning the salary amount.

What about social protection for foreign interns in Belgium?

Any foreign student doing an internship in Belgium is covered by the insurance issued in their own country. In other words, no Belgian institution is to cover them during the internship. If interns are not covered by any social or additional insurance in their country of origin, they need to ask a third-party institution to cover them for the duration of the internship.

 Useful links:

Student Job
Actiris
Europa
Iagora
Europe Internship
European Commission - Traineeships Office
European Parliament
LinkedIn

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.