Work Placements Abroad: Tackling Practicalities and Adminstration

The preparation time needed to tackle the administration and practicalities for a work placement abroad depends on the destination. Always be sure to check the FPS Foreign Affairs’ travel advice first. If the FPS has issued a negative travel advice, students cannot go abroad for a work placement at that destination. When in doubt, contact actueel@ugent.be.

Registration

  • Every student engaging in a work placement for credits, either in the French-speaking part of Belgium or abroad, must register the work placement in Oasis as an exchange, regardless of the duration of the work placement or scholarship. This means that registration is compulsory even if students only do a work placement once a week and just across the border. Look at the detailed information on the registration process via Oasis (in Dutch).

  • The so-called application for exchange must be approved by an FCI staff member and in case of work placements with financial support, also by the International Relations Office.  

  • Via Oasis, an academic coordinator signs the so-called learning agreement for traineeships (in Dutch). This document counts as training agreement and must therefore be signed by the host institution, Ghent University and the trainee. Among other things, it incluses an activity plan, expected learning outcomes, a follow-up plan and an assessment plan. Moreover, it is on the basis of the learning agreement for traineeships that the work placement is officially included in the student’s curriculum.

  • In case of host institutions outside of the Erasmus zone, with which you wish to establish a structural collaboration (i.e. host institutions receiving multiple students every year), a collaboration agreement must be drawn up: the Cooperation Agreement for Traineeship, which includes mutual agreements on topics such as the number of students, compensation, visa, insurance, etc... . Make sure to read the detailed information on the Cooperation Agreement for Traineeship.

  • If the work placement has been registered in Oasis as an application for exchange and if there is a signed learning agreement, the work placement need not be registered via the training agreement web application.

  • Some faculties also have their own (administrative) system for work placements, which runs parallel to Oasis. Please note that even in this case, work placements abroad must also be registered via Oasis to obtain a learning agreement for traineeships. 

Travel and Residence Documents 

  • If the work placement abroad has been approved by the faculty, the student must make sure to obtain a passport and the necessary residence documents, (if applicable). Upon arrival, students are also responsible to settle any remaining practicalities regarding their residence with the local authorities. 

  • Good to know: refer students to www.diplomatie.be. On this website they will find specific information with regards to visa for work placements. Any other questions? Please contact the International Relations Office.  

Types of Insurance

  • Ghent University students engaging in an international work placement in the context of their study programme are insured against a number of risks by Ghent University. Among those risks are industrial/workplace accidents and civil liability. In addition, Ghent University also provides travel insurance for international work placement.

  • Please note that students are required to consult their host institution on the necessity of taking out any additional insurance as laid down by local law, or by the host institution’s own regulations. If this is the case, students are required to take care of these additional insurances themselves.

  • Before travelling, students are required to contact their mutual insurance company to take out a health insurance policy of their own.

  • Students can decide for themselves whether or not to take out any other additional insurance policies, to cover e.g. (weekend) activities outside the context of their study or work placement. Please take a look at the following tips with regard to insurance policies during a stay abroad.  

     

Accommodation and Transportation

  • Finding accommodation abroad is the trainee’s responsibility, possibly in consultation with the workplace. The trainee should inquire beforehand whether the workplace can help to find accommodation: for example, which channels to use to look for accommodation or the average rent price. 

  • Arranging transportation to the workplace is also the trainee’s responsibility. 

Health and Safety

  • The trainee’s wellbeing remains a priority, also while staying abroad. In the case of a work placement abroad, the work placement’s risk analysis and working environment, and, if necessary, the work post sheet are part of the student’s administrative placement portfolio, even though the local regulations – within the EU as well – might differ from those in Belgium. 

  • The mandatory health monitoring covers specific medical demands such as vaccinations required to travel to certain areas. 

  • Students engaging in a work placement abroad should register with the federal government before their departure. This is important in the case of natural disaster, (political) crisis situations or pandemics. 

  • In case a student engaged in a work placement abroad is having problems, or knows a fellow student who is having problems they should be referred to actueel@ugent.be (during office hours) or to Ghent University’s Emergency Centre (in Dutch) (outside of office hours).

Work Placement Allowance

  • Belgian/Flemish law stimulates that trainees must not be paid a salary during their work placement. The regulations abroad may be different. In some cases, there is no specific regulation at all.

     

  • Sometimes, host institutions abroad are obliged to give their trainees a financial contribution. Usually, the local regulation which apply to the work placement provider are followed in this case. If there is no official regulation, the local customs are followed, as long as they are beneficial for the student. Under no circumstances can the student demand to receive a financial contribution. 

  • Sometimes, host institutions support the trainees in a different way by offering them, for example, public transportation tickets, company meals or other facilities. 

Last modified May 19, 2021, 1:56 p.m.