To do an internship abroad can be a very rewarding experience and the Greater Region offers countless opportunities to realize this. However, the Greater Region consists of no less than four countries. Therefore the question is: should you do your internship in Luxembourg, France, Germany or Belgium? We'll show you the differences between the internships in the different countries of the Greater Region, so you can make your own choice.
What are the different types of internships in the Greater Region?
In both Germany and Luxembourg, a distinction is made between voluntary and mandatory internships; mandatory internships have to be part of your school curriculum. In France, an internship can only be carried out as part of your studies, with an agreement signed between the employer, the school, and the student. Finally, in Belgium, any student can do an internship.
What is the duration of the different types of internships?
In Germany, a mandatory internship normally lasts between 2 and 6 months, however this always depends on your school curriculum. Voluntary internships normally last between 2 and 3 months (although it is possible to extend their duration to up to 12 months).
In both Belgium and Luxembourg, there is no official limit regarding the duration of the internship. While in Belgium an internship lasts generally between 1 and 4 months, in Luxembourg the period must be "reasonable"...
In France, internships cannot exceed 6 months per year in one company.
What rights do the interns have?
In Germany, interns may not work more than 40 hours a week and 8 hours a day. If you are doing voluntary internships, you have the right to get leave days (24 days per year, i.e. 2 days per month), which can be taken after 6 months of your internship. Interns doing mandatory internships do not have the right for leave days.
In Belgium, interns are allowed to work a maximum of 8 hours a day and 40 hours a week. They must have two successive days off, including Sunday, and their break time is regulated. Interns do not have the right to demand paid leave days.
In France, interns may not work more than 35 hours a week and 10 hours a day. Trainees are not entitled to get paid leave days but they have the right to be given the same benefits as other employees in the company, such as vouchers for lunch break and a reimbursement of transport costs.
In Luxembourg, maximum working hours are 8 hours a day and 40 hours a week. Interns doing a voluntary internship are entitled to at least 26 leave days per year.
Are these paid internships?
In Germany, mandatory internships are unpaid. Remuneration for voluntary internships is compulsory and depends on the sector of activity and the legal minimum wage.
In Belgium, the companies are not obligated to pay interns who do the internship as part of their school curriculum. Voluntary internships carried out outside the school program must be paid (the renumeration depends on the age of the intern and the minimum monthly wage).
In France, trainees are paid a minimum of 15% of the hourly social security limit (equivalent to €4.05 per hour in 2023).
In Luxembourg, mandatory and voluntary internships do not have to be paid ones if the internship lasts less than four weeks. For internships lasting more than one month, remuneration must be at least equal to 30% of the legal minimum wage for unskilled workers.
For further information on this and other subjects about the Greater Region, visit the Frontaliers Grand Est.
Find your next internship in Luxembourg at the Unicareers fair.