Finding an internship in Italy

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Updated 2023-04-23 12:32

In most European countries, internships play an essential role in shaping education and giving young people valuable work experience. By moving to Italy, you will have the opportunity to develop your global skills in a country renowned for its arts, fashion, gastronomy, automobiles and technology.

However, it is important to note that internships in Italy do not always lead directly to employment. Recent statistics show that only one in ten internships in Italy leads to full-time employment. Indeed, it is common for young professionals to complete several internships, or even fixed-term assignments known as "a progetto", before finding a stable job.

Good to know:

Profiles with a good knowledge of English and other languages, such as Chinese, Japanese, German or French, are particularly appreciated, especially by large multinationals. As for Italian, a good command of it is essential unless otherwise indicated.

Types of internship in Italy

The most common types of internship in Italy are the "Tirocinio Curriculare". It is part of the study program and contributes to a student's final grade by granting training credits. The "Tirocinio Extracurriculare", at the end of the study program, aims to improve a student's academic skills in a sector of their choice by confronting them with the Italian labor market. There are also work placements for unemployed or disabled people.

Requirements for internships in Italy

To find an internship in Italy, it is necessary to have an agreement between an "ente promotore" (university, employment agency, training center, etc.) and a "soggetto ospitante", a host such as a company, a professional studio, a public body, etc. For example, an "ente promotore" other than a university can be Sportello Stage, which provides training, guidance and professional (re)integration services and helps you to find an internship. Depending on your region, you can also use the Centro per l'Impiego of the Ministry of Employment.

In summary, to access an internship in Italy, you must be a student, unemployed or at risk of unemployment, employed but aspiring to another job, disabled, or on income support.

As trainees are not regular employees, they must be permanently supervised by a mentor, who will look after the candidate throughout the traineeship in accordance with the 'progetto formativo', the training pathway.

The traineeship cannot legally last longer than six months, and some regions have imposed minimum trainee requirements. In Liguria, for example, traineeships cannot last less than two months.

Good to know:

Italy imposes strict rules on the number of trainees allowed at any time in the same organization. For example, a company with between 6 and 19 employees is allowed two trainees, while above 20 employees, the company can have 10% trainees. However, there are some differences according to the regions and the CCNL (Contratto Collettivo Nazionale di Lavoro), the collective labor agreement, in force for the employment sectors. In Lombardy, for example, it is possible to take on more trainees if some of them are hired as employees at the end of the traineeship.

Wages and taxes during internships in Italy

As in most countries, internships in Italy are usually unpaid or poorly paid. For example, in the case of an "extracurricular" internship, interns receive an amount that varies from a minimum of €300 to €800 per month, depending on regional standards. In contrast, the remuneration for a curricular internship is left to the discretion of the company or organization hosting the intern.

There is no specific legislation on taxation fo interns in Italy. It is treated as an employer-employee relationship, and as long as the remuneration does not exceed €8,174 gross, the internship is considered a "no tax area".

How to find an internship in Italy?

Most internship offers in Italy are published online. Online versions of newspapers and periodicals such as Repubblica degli StagistiLa Stampa, Corriere della sera and local.it publish internship advertisements, so it is advisable to check regularly for updates.

You can also use an agency specializing in placing interns, such as Job FarmFourStarsEurope Internships, or IESAbroad, which offers internships in Rome and Milan. Global Experiences offers internships in Milan, while Istituto Europeo offers internships in Florence.

Large multinationals such as EYIntelJPMorgan and Bosch also regularly offer internships in major Italian cities for young foreigners.

Other institutions, such as Il Centro per l'Impiego and Clic Lavoro, two initiatives of the Ministry of Employment, can also help you find an internship in Italy.

Erasmus offers work experience and volunteering opportunities of 3 to 12 months to undergraduate and postgraduate students.

If you are interested in gaining work experience in a particular field or sector, why not contact companies directly? For example, if you want to work in journalism, contact regional and online media directly and introduce yourself. Although competition between candidates is fierce, all associations and private and public institutions are legally entitled to offer internships, so companies may consider you an asset.

Formalities for doing an internship in Italy

To do an internship in Italy, non-EU citizens must:

  • Present a valid passport;
  • Obtain a student visa before departure;
  • Apply for and obtain a Codice Fiscale (tax registration code). To do this, you must register with the nearest Agenzia dell'Entrate by filling in the appropriate form (model AA4/8) or ask the Consulate before leaving;
  • Apply for and obtain a permesso di soggiorno (residence permit), including
  1. Proof of sufficient financial means for the duration of the stay
  2. All documentation related to the internship, such as an agreement between the intern and the company
  3. A valid residential address for the duration of the stay;

EU citizens wishing to do an internship in Italy need only present their identity card or passport and their Codice Fiscale.

Useful links :

Internships Italy

Repubblica Stagisti

La Stampa

Corriere della Sera

thelocal.it

Job Farm

FourStars

IESAbroad

Global Experiences

Istituto Europeo

Erasmus

Centro per l'impiego

Cliclavoro

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.