AAU Career

Project oriented course

Having worked together with a company, e.g. by interning there for a semester, is really good on your CV. A project-oriented course is an integrated part of many of the programmes at AAU, and it can give you a taste of life with a full time job and the job search process.

"Project-oriented course" is the formal term for an internship in which you spend an entire semester at a workplace - typically on the 9th semester. On this page, we refer to it as internships.

Planning to stay and work in Denmark after graduation? Then we highly recommend you to do an internship in Denmark!

➡ Here, we have gathered some hands-on advice for you on the entire process: Finding and applying for an internship, practicalities such as insurance, and last but not least what you can do to benefit as much as possible from your internship.

Project-oriented course (9th semester internship)

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    What do I gain from a project-oriented course?

    When you are doing a project-oriented course, you will be working at a company full time for one semester, typically during your 9th semester. This course is often called an internship.

    During a project-oriented course, you will be working at the company, together with the other employees and having your own assignments, based on your programme and your internship semester project.

    3-5 months is the typical duration of the course. And is not unusual that it can lead to a collaboration on the master’s thesis and maybe even a job later.

    You can see what requirements your programme has to a project-oriented course in your study curriculum.

     

    You can get:

    • Strengthen your professional self-confidence and self-understanding
    • Experience that you can later rely on for your job search
    • A network, that can come in handy later
    • Insights into a lingo, a work culture, and other business know-how

     

    You will learn more about:

    • What you would like to work with
    • Or perhaps, what you would not like to work with

    No matter what you will learn a lot and test yourself and your knowledge in practice.

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    How do I find an internship?

    • Search for internship suggestions in AAU Jobbank
    • Find inspiration in the posts on AAU Jobbank to make an unsolicited application and contact the company you wish to work with
    • Attend career fairs and other events, where you can meet companies who are interested in cooperating with students
    • AAU also have many startups, where it is possible to do a project-oriented course.

     

    Can I do a project-oriented course in my own startup?

    You have the opportunity to develop your own start-up idea through a project-oriented course at AAU Student Entrepreneurship named Startup i Praksis. You will also receive ECTS points for this course.

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    How do I apply for a project-oriented course?

    The application process itself can have different designs, but often there will be similarities to the process of finding a job.

    It often takes:

    Make it as easy as possible for those you are in dialogue with to say, "Yes please!" to your offer. I.e. make it clear to them what you can do for them - whether it is:

    • Unsolicited where you have to define a large part of your tasks yourself and show them that they need you
    • Answering a job ad where they (think) they know what they are need.

    Be specific and clear, and make sure that what you say is also something they understand.

    It takes research to speak right into the heart - or brain - of an organisation. So spend some time working on "business language and logic". It pays off.

    It will also serve as good practice for when you graduate and have to look for a ”real” job!

     

    We are here to help you in your internship search!

    You could, for example:

    • Attend our seminar on how to find a project-oriented course
    • Book a career counselling session, where you can get guidance on the process and get a fresh pair of eyes on your cv and application
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    What about insurance and salary during my internship?

    internship Salary not allowed

    As a student, you are not allowed to receive a salary during your project-oriented course, since the course is part of your programme, and not an employment. We understand that having an unpaid internship can be difficult for you as it is very necessary to have a student job in order to support yourself or keep your SU.

    However, it is allowed that you receive an allowance to cover your expenses, for instance transportation or rent. Remember to check if you’ll need to pay taxes of the allowance.

    You are also allowed to receive a “gratuity” of up to 3000 DKK per month before taxes. This must be an acknowledgement – a thank you for your hard work – and can therefore not be a pre-determined, pre-agreed salary payment.

    The company can also employ you as a student worker for 10 hours per week - however, the tasks cannot be the same as in the internship. This employment is between the company and yourself - the university does not have anything to do with it.

     

    Insurance during your internship

    If you are not covered by the company’s insurance during working hours, the company is obliged to inform you, and then it is your own responsibility to make sure that you have the proper insurances to cover you both during working hours and in your spare time.

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    I'm a non-EU citizen - what about permit and my student job?

    Do I need a permit to do my internship in Denmark?

    When you were granted your study permission for studying at AAU, your received an individual study permit letter for staying in Denmark.

    In this, you will find all the information about which rules you need to follow and what you have been granted from the Danish state when you applied.

    Does your study permission contain an internship permit?

    • Yes:
      If it already states in your individual study permit letter that you are allowed to do an internship in Denmark as part of your studies (this will be stated in case you applied for it together with your study permit and was granted it), you do not need to do anything further. You are allowed to do a full time internship in Denmark and keep working up to 20 hours a week in a student job.
       
    • No:
      If a permit for doing an internship in Denmark as part of your studies does not state in your individual study permit letter, you need to apply for this. Apply for a work permit for internship here.

     

    Can I continue my student job during my internship?

    Once you have been given the permit for doing an internship in Denmark (see above), you are allowed to do both a full time internship in Denmark and keep working up to 20 hours a week in a student job at the same time.

    However, always consider whether you have the time and resources to handle the work load of both a full time internship and a student job at the same time. In case you find that you can, talk to both your student job employer and your future internship host about how flexible the specific times for working can be for you to juggle both.

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    Should I sign an internship agreement?

    Your supervisor needs to approve your project-oriented course in order to ensure that it is appropriate in relation to your programme.

    Depending on your study, it might be that you, your supervisor at AAU, and a representative from your internship organisation, must sign a formal agreement. It varies from programme to programme if this is a requirement or not. Ask your AAU supervisor if in doubt.

    If your study demands an agreement, they have an agreement that you have to use.

Project-oriented course abroad

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    How do I get started looking for an internship abroad?

    Where can I find vacant internship positions abroad?

     

    How do you apply in the country that I want to go to?

    You should always modify your CV and application to the precept of the country in question. It is very different from country to country what is perceived as best practice.

    We recommend, that you find a university in the given country, that has a career center, and read their recommendations for how to write an application and find a job. In some places, for instance, it is very important to be able to present your results in the form of course certificates or letters of recommendation.

     

    Where can I find help to look for an internship abroad?

    If you are looking for a project-oriented course abroad, it is extremely important, that you contact the International Office at AAU, since there are different contracts and funding, etc.

    International Office can also help you with your application, CV and other practical matters. Send them an e-mail.

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    What should I be aware of, when I go abroad?

    The practical stuff

    You are responsible for visa, work- and residence permits, insurance etc. Check if your internship organisation can help you with some of it.

    You might have to find accommodation yourself. If the internship organisation usually has interns, you might be able to inherit a place from a former intern – ask your internship organisation.

    Read about the practicalities when doing an internship abroad

     

    Can I apply for a grant when I go abroad for an internship?

    Yes! Remember to register for a project-oriented course on International Office’s application system. Here, you will automatically apply for a scholarship.

    Read about registration and deadlines on the International Office website

     

    Should I sign an agreement for my internship abroad?

    Find the agreement you need on the International Office website

Get the most out of your internship

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    Before: What can I do in advance?

    No matter how thoroughly you plan your course and think things through, all sorts of unforeseen thing always happen, and it is precisely these things that you will learn from.

    You learn to navigate a working everyday life. You will learn the clichés like "adaptability" and "keeping several balls in the air". You get insight into how an everyday life works in an organisation with many different people and professional competencies. Things that are beneficial to know when you need to describe yourself in a job application in the future.

     

    Something you can do in advance is:

    • Agree with your internship site and your supervisor which tasks should be the center of your internship. It does not have to be vey specific, but it is important that the academic content is in place as well.

    And remember: Everyone makes coffee! So there's nothing wrong with that. It just should not stand in the way of what you otherwise agree and what you should learn from the internship.

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    During: What can I do during my internship?

    Constantly remind yourself of the things that you risk forgetting.

    In a busy workplace like the one you are probably going to be part of, it can be difficult to hold on to the good thoughts you are thinking. Therefore, stop once in a while and write down your thoughts. It may be more or less concrete thoughts, but it just needs to be something that can remind yourself of situations where you used your skills, learned some new skills, lacked some skills or just wondered how things are done. It will be really valuable later on when you have to work with what you have experienced.

     
    During your internship, you can note e.g.:

    • Your tasks
    • The competencies they have used
    • The new skills you have gained
    • Skills you have been lacking
    • Things that make you wonder - e.g. workflows

    Your notes are valuable in relation to both your academic and personal considerations. Both are something you can use to set new learning goals, write your internship assignment and later on to find and apply for your first job.

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    Afterwards: What can I do when the internship is over?

    Hold on to your relations and expand the collaboration.

    Some companies greatly appreciate a longer collaboration. It may be that after the internship you make an agreement on thesis collaboration, which gives the opportunity to work further with or perhaps even implement some of the things you have worked on during your stay in the company.

    No matter how much you or the company plan to collaborate after the internship, it is a really good idea to keep in touch. LinkedIn is of course the obvious option, but also make sure you stay up to date on what is happening in the company. Keep an eye on their various platforms, so you are ready to offer your competencies when the opportunity arises - if you think that you would like to be part of the organisation again.

     
    you can maintain the network by e.g.:

    • Collaborate on your thesis
    • Connect on LinkedIn
    • Keep up to date on the company in relation to whether opportunities arise for you

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