There is no national legislation in Cyprus addressing student placements as yet. Placements are available and are organized by the universities, the professional body of architects and engineers, and other stakeholder associations. According to the Passport to Trade 2.0 survey on placements, only 9.5% of Cypriot respondents consider that the existing information on placements is adequate, while 38.1% considered them inadequate and 33% did not have an opinion. The internet and universities are considered the most important sources of information on placement opportunities. Students who are required to complete compulsory placements as part of their studies, which are eligible under the Erasmus programme, can receive support for travelling to other European member countries to complete work or study placements. This is especially beneficial to students, as companies often prefer to recruit employees who have previous work experience, although the lack of it won’t always be an obstacle.
For a number of professional degree programmes, placements are a compulsory part of the qualification. Graduates from technical programmes in architecture or engineering must have at least 12 months of practical experience in order to be officially qualified and legally able to work and sign documents, and this is regulated by legislation (the statutes) of the professional body of architects and engineers. Practical work placements are also compulsory for university students who are pursuing education studies, whereby students are placed in elementary or pre-elementary schools in Cyprus to teach for one semester.
In Erasmus student placements, monitoring is done by the University, although students have the freedom to arrange their own placements. The present curriculum currently offered by the University of Cyprus does not provide for any industrial training or vocational practice during term-time. So the vast majority of students use the 3-month summer break to complete placements, without conflicting with lessons or examinations. In the University of Cyprus, students are matched with placements by criteria set out by the individual departments, after students submit a ‘Form of Interest’ showing the available host organisations. The originating and host organisations are bound by the Training Agreement, along with the student. Therefore, the work program of the student is predefined and agreed between the three parties before the beginning of each placement. The Training Agreement for placements is equivalent to the Learning Agreement for studies and is an important document for the monitoring of each placement.
For summer placements, the Universities Careers Offices are responsible for promoting the program of summer placements both among employers and students. Promotional activity may include flyers, leaflets, a webpage and personal contacts. The implementation period is June to August with a minimum and maximum duration of 4 to 10 weeks, respectively.
Social security and European Health insurance card
Medical care provided by Government healthcare providers is free of charge in public hospitals and health centres, provided you present a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and form of identification. However, it is important to note that healthcare provided by any private healthcare providers will not be covered, unless you have additional private medical insurance specifically to cover the services required. Therefore, you should ensure that you are not referred to a private facility without having private insurance in place or the ability to pay the fees on arrival. In the main cities, there are doctors who speak English. Also, it is important to note that the EHIC is not valid in northern Cyprus and visitors will require private medical insurance.
Although Cyprus generally is considered a safe country, there is an underlying threat of terrorism. Millions of foreigners visit Cyprus every year and most visits are trouble-free. Cyprus has a strict policy regarding its tolerance towards drugs. Driving standards are considered poor; therefore, it is recommended that you drive with caution. Generally, it is advised that comprehensive travel and medical insurance should be taken before travelling, especially if travelling to northern Cyprus.
- The emergency telephone number is 112.
- The electric voltage in the country is 220 V; 50 Hz
- Tap water is safe to drink in most of the cities.
Do I need a visa?
Visas are not required for visitors to Cyprus from a list of 58 countries where mutual agreements are in place for up to a maximum stay of 90 days. Also, visas are not required for citizens of the European Union, although students who wish to study or work in Cyprus should acquire the relevant permit from the Civil Archive and Migration Department. Student visas are normally issued for a specific educational institution. Therefore, students who decide to change to another educational institution have to obtain a new residence permit.
Useful link: http://www.cyprusvisa.eu/
Internship and placement salary
Student placements may or may not be salaried, depending on the organisation that is sponsoring the placement. In the case of summer placements, students will normally receive a nominal payment, which will vary depending on the employer. The employer is also responsible for ensuring that any students are covered by the company’s liability insurance throughout the duration of the placement.
Internship and placement accommodation
For accommodation, there are many hotels ranging from large and luxurious to small and simple. There are also youth hostels and camping sites with all the necessary facilities. Foreign students, attending classes at the University of Cyprus, may apply for accommodation to the Housing Office of the University. Students are accommodated in single study bedrooms, either in student apartments near the campus or in student halls of residence. Priority is given to students registered for a full academic year and/or students who submit their housing applications early together with receipts proving deposit payments.