How to find a six month placement abroad

Hey! My name is Sajini and I’m a final year Law student. For my Professional Training Year, I worked for six months at Burke Niazi Solicitors and studied abroad in Stockholm, Sweden.

Sahini is smiling and standing in front of some water with boats on it, there are houses in the background
Me in Sweden!

If you are considering a split placement then you’ve found the right blog! Heads up though, this blog is mainly about how I found my work placement.

Ways to find a six month placement

Career Fairs. The university runs a lot of career fairs so take advantage of it! Something I noticed, which may not be true for all subjects, is that big companies do not offer six month placements.

As someone who wanted to work at Disney, this was really upsetting but it made sense because it takes about three months to get to grips with the work. Don’t waste time applying for a 12 month placements. 

Job sites like Target Jobs and Indeed are very good for finding shorter placements but the best place to search is Surrey Pathfinder. Pathfinder advertises a lot of placements – the offers I received were from places on Pathfinder.

Something I did, which I recommend, is to ask your departmental personal tutor or placement co-ordinator to speak to previous six month work placement students. It’s probably the easiest way to secure placement or at least get your foot in the door.

Resilience and determination are key to securing a placement

Resilience!!! Finding a six month placement is hard but not impossible. Putting aside all the emotional hurdles, the key is to be resilient. Just keep applying.

If there’s that one place you’ve been eyeing but can’t be bothered to apply, go do it now. Get that application over with and then reward yourself with something (mine was cookies but it didn’t work because I’d eat them all to give me strength to apply and then never apply…so be strict).

The more applications you put in, the better you will get at writing cover letters and the better you are, the more likely you will secure placement.

Be mentally resilient and you will eventually be rewarded for all your breakdowns and your ‘I don’t care I’m gonna send it’ applications!

Skills and qualities I developed on placement

The main thing I gained from my work placement is confidence and efficiency which is noticeable as a final year student. Alongside my academic understanding, I am able to pick up and apply information a lot quicker than before I did a placement. As with my study abroad, I guess it speaks for itself– nothing but the best time of my life.