The European Partnership for Innovation in Distant Internships project (2021-2023), co-funded by the European Union's Erasmus+ program, focuses on university distance internships, with an emphasis on identifying best practices, general and more specific recommendations, as well as developing e-learning modules on how to conduct a successful distance internship for all targets involved: students, teachers, employers and university administrative staff.    

In most countries, the Covid-19 lockdown of 2020 has forced some students to conduct their internships remotely.   

 This change was sudden and unexpected and left most student interns distraught.      

Therefore, three partners of the EPICUR Alliance; the University of Strasbourg (project leader), Adam-Mickiewicz University, Poznań (Poland) and Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (Germany) came together to realize the EPIDI project.  

The distance learning internship format raises many challenges that need to be addressed by the targets involved. Overall, the questions concern the implementation of the necessary changes in the specific ways of working in a given workplace:    

  • How to organize daily work in terms of cooperation with the work team. 
  • How to solve the question of tutoring, follow-up etc.   
  • What administrative documents are required, etc.   

It is essential to determine how to work from home, which virtual and digital tools are most appropriate, how to adapt to the absence of informal interactions in the workplace, how to be acquainted with hardware and IT tools, and how to acquire and develop the necessary skills to work in remote and hybrid formats. And that's just to name the most immediate concerns. In addition, there are the legal and administrative requirements specific to this internship format.    

Currently, forecasts indicate that the number of remote internships will increase even more in the coming years. Therefore, more than ever, this specific format of distance learning internship needs to be framed and provided with guiding principles that can contribute to making it an enriching and rewarding experience for all involved.   

Based on the best practice recommendations of our four target groups, gathered through a European survey that collected more than 390 responses and the 45 individual interviews conducted between May and October 2021 for the first intellectual output of this project, namely the Best Practice Guide, e-learning modules will be developed by the three consortium members.  

The Best Practice Guide and the e-learning modules will be available in English as well as in French, German and Polish in April 2022 and March 2023 respectively in order to widen the scope of potential users in the three countries involved and beyond. In addition, the results of this cooperation will be disseminated at the European level, e.g. through the European University EPICUR, as well as at the national and regional level.  

Co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union

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