Atypical Trainees


Atypical trainees” is an atypical phrase in itself (most probably a rough translation of the French “stagiaires atypiques“). Well, although it sounds weird to me, just to be very clear, atypical trainees have nothing to do with Blue Book trainees. (Except for sometimes attending events and parties together.)


If you want to become an atypical trainee at the European Commission, you don’t have to meet any of the criteria that Blue Book trainees have to meet. For example, you don’t need your BA. You may still be a student and still qualify to apply for an atypical traineeship. In fact, all you need to do is send your CV with a letter of motivation to the HR unit of any DG you want. That doesn’t mean you’ll get a traineeship right away.


Although sending your CV and letter of motivation may be easy enough for you, things are not as simply as they seem in the HR unit. There will be probably a selection of CVs as you’ll not be the only one applying. There will be also a problem of budget (provide you an office, a phone, a computer, etc.). How long will be needed the atypical trainee? In practice, not more than 3 months. Can’t think of other pertinent questions now, though I’m sure there’s more.


Contrary to Blue Book trainees, the biggest constraint that atypical trainees have to face is the lack of a monthly grant. As an atypical trainee you will be unpaid, therefore you will have to provide for yourself or most likely your parents will have to. If you ever get a contract as an atypical trainee, make sure you have enough money for your stay in Brussels (rent, food, travel, etc.).


Another issue would be that there are few atypical traineeships granted at the level of the entire EC. Each DG has its own way to deal with atypical traineeships. Unfortunately, I have no stats or numbers or details about it.


On the bright side though, there is no specific time frame to start or end the traineeship (it can be at any time), there’s less paper work (only CV and motivation letter) and probably less time to wait.


Yet, no guarantee!


2 Responses to “Atypical Trainees”

  • Manuela:

    hey, i am following the atypical internship at the commission. I dont find it to be a learning experience and I would like to quit. Do you know if there is a specific procedure I need to follow?

    • adminchiara:

      I don’t quite know the procedure for atypical traineeships, but it shouldn’t be much different from the Blue Book traineeship, for example. All you have to do is talk to your “conseiller de stage” and then write an e-mail saying you would like to end your stage, giving a specific date and a reason.

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