EC traineeship programme – how did I learn about it?


How did I learn about the EC traineeship programme? Accidentally. A friend of my parents called me one night to talk me into it. I have lots of loathing for speaking on the phone in general and he went on and on for over an hour. Of course, I was being polite, but still could not get rid of my proverbial reluctance and mulishness.


“I don’t want to do an unpaid internship. I just don’t have money to live for a few months in Brussels. I don’t even like Brussels.” (Yes, I had visited Brussels before and had kept few pleasant memories of the place.)

“The internship at the Commission is paid. I’ll send you an e-mail with the details so you can convince yourself.”


To keep it polite and short, I did look on the details, but banished the thought from my mind for a few months. One day though, I suddenly decided to check again the information on the EC traineeship programme and realized the deadline was getting very close. I spent one night filling in my online application and especially writing the motivations. That is serious business and can bring you some good points during evaluation. Next day I printed everything, signed, made copies and dashed to the post office. Mission accomplished!


Coming back to the “paid” topic, the traineeship at the European Commission is indeed paid, a bit over €1,000 a month. For some of you that might be nothing, but compared to most traineeships/internships in other organisations, which are usually not paid (think, for example, of the UN), this amount is good enough to cover your rent, subsistence expenses and even the price of a beer or waffle every now and then. In fact, if I remember correctly, the right term to define all this is monthly living allowance. Once you get here, you will discover there is much more than just a waffle and a beer. Trainees have a rich social life, it is not all about being locked in an office and doing hard work.


The official website of the EC traineeship programme looks fairly rudimentary, but it is the information that counts. Make sure you read it carefully!


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