Expertise through Practical Training
Practical training is an essential part of studies at a Finnish University of Applied Sciences. All the study programmes offered at Kajaani University of Applied Sciences involve a period of practical training which is designed to provide students with the opportunity to put theory into practice. The aim of practical training is to help students develop skills and abilities that support professional studies and prepare them for work later on.
Employers also benefit as the students bring the latest know-how from each respective field of learning with them. For the student the practical training provides an opportunity to learn important skills which will help in becoming a professional of the future.
Practical Training Abroad
Students may also complete their practical training abroad. Practical training abroad should be arranged well in advance, at least six months beforehand. Students should think carefully what they want to do and learn during their practical training, where they want to complete it and for what reason. Students are responsible for finding their own practical training places, including placements abroad. However, the UAS offers contacts and advice.
Duration of Practical Training
The practical training is worth 30 credits, which means 800 hours of students' work. In practice it means that the length of the practical training period depends on the amount of working hours per week and it lasts a minimum of 20 weeks. Working days are defined in legislation and the relevant collective labour agreements at each workplace. Weekly working hours being from 37,5 to 40 hours, the length of the practical training period is 100 working days. If the weekly working hours are less or the practical training period includes holidays, practical training should include a minimum of 750 working hours.
The five months of practical training is actual working time and does not include holidays.
Please note that summer months can also be used for practical training. Try to arrange the timing of the practical training so that you will not miss half study periods because it's not possible to come back in the middle of a course.
Towards the end of the period students are able to work more independently. After integration into the work environment the students may also be in a position to make suggestions concerning the development of workplace activities.
Applying for a Practical Training Place
Students should look for practical training places themselves. It is important to contact potential employers well in advance. Practical training places offered by companies are advertised in the Jobstep.net internet recruitment service. Information about practical training places can also be sent via e-mail.
Please note that after finding a place, you should contact the practical training coordinator to confirm that the place is acceptable as practical training place. The practical training contract needs to be signed by the student, by the practical training place and the practical training coordinator/UAS.
The student agrees on the salary together with the employer. If the student is paid a wage the student must then enter into a work contract with the employer. In such cases the employer takes care of accident insurance, etc.
Please note that foreign students must also pay taxes from their salary. Foreign students need to apply for a tax card before starting their practical training and to be able to obtain it they will need a Finnish personal ID-number (sosiaaliturvatunnus). Contact the local tax office to obtain information on how to proceed.
Student Financial Aid from KELA
If conditions for the payment of student financial aid (KELA, opintotuki) are fulfilled the student may receive a student grant for a maximum of five months during the completion of the practical training period. More information on student financial aid: www.kela.fi and the Academic Year Guide.
Employers cannot pay benefits directly to students in the form of scholarships for final year projects or practical training.
Students involved in practical training often undertake projects and development work as their theses in their practical trainng place. Examples of students’ thesis may be found in the UAS Library’s database THESEUS.