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FAQ about internships

These are some of the frequently asked questions from students interested in doing an internship. Please read through the list before contacting us! Remember to always give us your full name, personal number, phone number and what programme you are studying when you contact us – that makes it easier for us to get in contact with you and help you.

1. What is the purpose of doing an internship?

The purpose is to give you the opportunity to implement the knowledge you have acquired in your main field of study, and to give you experience in working practically within that field of study at different levels in society, with tasks such as the dissemination of information, training, planning and reporting. There has to be a clear connection between the internship and your main field of study and the work you take part in should constitute a substantial part of the work of the organization, company or authority. An internship gives you a good opportunity to gain deeper insights into working life, as well as valuable contacts.

2. Who can do an internship?

As a programme student at the Department of Global Political Studies you can do an internship during your elective semester. Some programmes have more than one elective semester. Make sure to check your options by looking a the programme syllabus.

3. Where can I do an internship?

You can do an internship in Sweden or abroad. You cannot travel to a country that the Swedish Department of Foreign Affairs (UD) advices against travelling to, please check UD:s reserekommendationer. We make no exeptions, and we are sometimes stricter than UD in our individual assessments of countries of internship, always for security reasons. The Department of Foreign Affairs normally advises against visits to countries or areas where there is war, a war-like situation or other disturbances, and in some cases, terrorist attacks and natural disasters. Also consider the fact that it can be challenging to work as an intern in a developing country where the conditions are difficult. If you choose to interrupt your internship earlier because it is too difficult, you cannot get any credits for it. If you are not an experienced traveller we recommend doing your internship in Sweden or in Europe. (Also see "UD:s råd inför utlandsresan" for travel advice in Swedish.)

4. What types of internships are approved?

Keep in mind that the activities of your place of internship should be clearly linked to your main field of study, and should be within the framework of your future labour market. The internship must take place at an established workplace and the internship period cannot be divided between several different workplaces. There needs to be a supervisor available at the workplace. Examples of approved work tasks include drafting of reports, participation in meetings, organization of conferences, project management.

5. What semester within my programme is suitable for an internship?

As a programme student at the Department of Global Political Studies you can do an internship during your elective semester. Some programmes have more than one elective semester. Make sure to check your options by looking at the programme syllabus.

6. I am a Master’s student, can I do an internship?

Yes, if you fulfill the entry requirements for the freestanding course Globala politiska studier, Praktikkurs (requires knowing Swedish), or if you are a student at the IMER two-year Master's programme at GPS (during your third semester).

7. Can I do an internship even if I am not a programme student? 

No, you have to be a programme student at GPS in order to do an internship.

8. Does the internship give me higher education credits?

Yes, the course runs full-time during one semester and gives you 30 credits once finished, including an examination report.

9. What is the requirement for the internship course?

Use the links to read about the entry requirements.

If you are studying a programme in English:

Course GP412L

If you are studying a programme in Swedish:

Course GP412S or Course ST401S


10. What does it take to pass the course?

In addition to working full-time at your place of internship during the agreed time period, you must write a report and submit a certificate from your place of internship. Detailed instructions on how to write the report will be sent out as the semester starts. The internship certificate needs to be signed by your supervisor or a director or chief of staff, and state the dates of your internship period.

11. How do I find a place of internship?

You need to find and apply for places of internship independently. Once you have an offer of a place it needs to be approved by the internship coordinator. Before you start your internship an agreement must be signed between Malmö University and the place of internship.

12. How many applications should I send?

We recommend sending at least 15–20 applications for internships.

13. Can I do the internship at two different workplaces?

No, you need to spend the full period in one workplace. You can work at several different departments during your internship period, but must have one supervisor only.

14. What are your requirements on the place of internship?

The internship must take place in an established workplace. There needs to be a supervisor available at the workplace. The activities of the place of internship need to be clearly connected to your main field of study. Your tasks should be within the framework of your future labour market, and should be the type of tasks that require an academic degree. Examples of approved work tasks include drafting of reports, participation in meetings, organization of conferences, project management. The internship period must be between 18 and 20 weeks long; you work full-time during that period and the work must be unpaid.

15. Can I create my own project? 

No, the internship must take place in an established workplace that can offer you a supervisor to guide you in your work. You cannot work on your own or start up new projects or enterprises.

16. Can I work as a volunteer?

No, typical volunteer work without qualified work tasks will not be approved. Examples such as teaching English and helping out in orphanages are typical examples of tasks that we will not approve for an internship, since they are not clearly connected to your main field of study and do not require your academic skills.

17. Can I do my internship in the summer?

No, the internship is part of a course that runs during the semester and should take place during the semester, even if you do not need to adapt to any exact dates. The spring semester starts in the middle of January and runs until the beginning of June. The autumn semester starts in the beginning of September and ends in the middle of January.

18. What happens if I interrupt my internship?

If you choose to end your internship earlier than agreed you do not get any credits, since it is a requirement that you fulfill the internship period in order to get the 30 credits. But if anything serious should happen, such as a conflict in the country or a natural disaster, you should immediately interrupt your internship and contact Malmö University and the Swedish (or other) embassy for further advice and help. If you are subjected to threats or harassment at your place of internship you should immediately contact the internship coordinator at Malmö University. We will help you if you end up in a truly difficult situation.

19. When should I apply?

a) First you need to apply for a place of internship. For internships during the spring semester you should send out applications to places of interest latest in the beginning of October. For internships during the autumn semester you should send out applications latest in February/March.

b) As a programme student at Global Political Studies with an elective internship semester you apply for the course directly at the department, using an application form that you submit to the internship administrator. The application form is available to download at the page "Internship in Sweden or abroad". Submit the form once you have been offered a place that you are planning on accepting, however latest December 1st (for spring semester) and May 30th (for autumn semester).

20. What should I do when I have found a place of internship?

Once you have found a place of internship, send an email to the Internship Administrator, attaching the application form for the internship course and the following information in a separate file:

  • Name and address of the place of internship
  • Name and email address of the supervisor
  • Short description of the field of activity of the place of internship and the connection to your major subject area
  • Your expected work tasks
  • Exact dates for the internship period

Please do not send any links or ask us to look through websites!

21. How do I apply for the internship course?

In order for your credits to be registered you have to apply for an internship course. There are different courses depending on what programme you are studying. Make sure you apply for the right course.

  • As a programme student at GPS you apply for the internship course directly at the department, by submitting an application form. If you study in English you should apply for the course GP412L.  If you study in Swedish you should apply for one of the courses GP412S or ST401S. You do the internship course during your elective semester. Check your programme syllabus to find out when your elective semester is.

22.  I am doing the internship in my elective semester – why do I have to apply for a course?

You cannot get any credits for your internship unless you have applied and been admitted to the internship course. Programme students at GPS apply directly at the department by submitting an application form. 

23. How come my place of internship was approved if I do not fulfill the entry requirements for the course?

Before you apply for a place of internship you must make sure you fulfill the entry requirements for the internship course. An approved place of internship does NOT mean that you fulfill the entry requirements for the course. Assessment of qualifications and admission to the course is done at a later stage.

24. I have found a place of internship but I do not fulfill the entry requirements for the course, since I lack some credits from previous semesters. What can I do? 

If you do not fulfill the entry requirements for the course, and cannot take the relevant re-exams before applying, you cannot do an internship in your elective semester. 

25. I need to send a certificate to my place of internship, proving that the internship will be a part of my studies. How can I get the certificate? 

Contact the internship administrator.

26. Can you help me with my CV and application letter?

Please join one of our information sessions in the beginning of each semester. We will give you useful information about how to apply and you can ask questions.  Also, visit the Careers Service activities; CV and Cover Letter workshops etc., or book a personal meeting with a Career adviser. 
Find more information here 

27. How do I get insurance for my internship period?

You will be covered by an insurance through Malmö University. If you are going abroad you may have to add your own insurance coverage, depending on where you will travel. We will order a special student insurance that is valid in the country where you do your internship only, read more about it here.

28. Can I get help with applying for a visa?

No, you have to look into regulations and (if needed) apply for your visa on your own. We can provide you with a certificate proving that the internship is part of your studies. Contact the embassy of the country you are planning to go to well ahead, to ask about the possibilities of getting a visa. For some countries the process of obtaining a visa is time-consuming and costly. Please consider this before you accept a place of internship. The USA and Australia are examples of countries with strict and time-consuming visa processes.

29. Can I get student aid from CSN for my internship?

Yes, the internship course is approved by CSN and counts as a course running in Sweden. You need to apply for student aid for a course at Malmö University, and submit the official semester dates. You should not apply for ”studies abroad” even if you choose to do your internship abroad, nor for ”Internship” or ”Project work”.

30. Can I apply for scholarships?

Yes. The scholarships that are available through Malmö University are administered by the International Office. Please turn to them for questions. You can also try finding other scholarships that are suitable for your specific internship.

Last updated by Kristina Olsson