Student Trainee Exchange Programme

Applications open now!

Do you want to do an international internship?

What is STEP?

ELSA offers a traineeship programme abroad called STEP – Student Trainee Exchange Programme. Students of law and also young lawyers have the opportunity to complete a legal internship abroad. This allows ELSA members to broaden their legal skills as well as to learn about new cultures and deepen their language skills.

What’s the procedure?

Internships abroad are mostly remunerated and can last from 2 weeks to 2 years. Your ELSA group will help you with your application and they also assist you in finding accommodation and during your stay abroad.

How can I apply?

The application phase takes place twice a year. For further informations please visit or contact the Vice President for STEP of the respective faculty group as well as ELSA

Collect international experience

ELSA offers you the unique opportunity

Hong Kong, New York, Sydney – we offer internships all over the world.


Improve your language skills

Directly in the respective country

Improve your language skills on site – English, Spanish, Chinese, there’s something for everyone.


Collect work experience

Expand your work experience

There is something for everyone at STEP – from Freshers to graduate students, the right international internship is definitely there for you.

Get to know new cultures and friends

Broaden your horizon

STEP internships allow you to get to know new friends and cultures. On site you will be supported by the ELSA board and a network of ELSA members and interns awaits you.


Who can complete a STEP internship abroad?

Students of law, graduates and young lawyers who are ELSA members. The ELSA membership is free of charge and without any obligations – get more information from the ELSA Group at your university!

Where do the internships take place?

You can only apply for internship positions abroad – an application for an Austrian internship is not possible! Twice a year, numerous internships are advertised, which take place in various cities in Europe and also on other continents.

What tasks can I expect during a STEP internship?

Tasks vary depending on which employer you work for. These can be law firms, companies, universities or even public authorities and institutions. The exact description of the activity can be found in the respective call for tenders.

When do the internships take place?

Every internship abroad is advertised according to the requirements of the employer – the period and duration of the internship can be found in the respective advertisement. This must be a minimum of 2 weeks and a maximum of 2 years. The internships can generally take place throughout the year and are not limited to the summer months.

Are the internships paid?

Most traineeships are remunerated either by providing a salary or by providing in-kind services such as accommodation or meals. However, some traineeships are unpaid because they are non-profit organisations.

Are there any costs associated with the application for the internship abroad?

No, there are no costs for the applicants! The application is completely free of charge and the support provided by the ELSA Group is also free of charge.

What requirements do I have to meet?

For each internship there are specific requirements relating to legal knowledge, language and academic progress. These requirements must be met in full in order for the application to be forwarded. It is not necessary to prove grades, as it is only necessary to pass the exam!

The requirements are different for each position, so that there is a suitable internship for everyone, even if you are still at the beginning of your studies!

Can I apply for England, for example, even though I do not know English law?

Yes, because it is not necessary to know the legal system of the country where you are doing the internship! Employers advertise the internship knowing that only foreign students can apply and that they therefore only know their national law.

What are the advantages of the STEP Internship Program?

You will be coached from the moment you apply so that you have the best chance of getting an internship. As an intern, the ELSA group of the internship location will be at your side and will support you in finding accommodation, on your first day at work and will look after you throughout your stay!

The internships are mostly paid and only take place in legal fields, which allows you to broaden your expertise. In addition, STEP allows you to get to know a new culture, improve your language skills and make many new contacts.

How can I apply?

The application is made on the international STEP homepage

You can apply for up to three internships by filling out the online form in English. Unfortunately, this cannot be cached, so prepare your CV and motivation letter already so that you only have to insert everything then.

It is best to contact your ELSA group beforehand so that they can help you with your application.

Do I have to attach certificates or other documents?

In principle, this is not necessary! No grades are required and no language certificates are required; the information provided in the online application form is sufficient! However, for some internships, special documents such as an extract from the criminal record may be required.

Can I withdraw my application?

During the application and selection process, you can withdraw your application by simply contacting ELSA. If you have been selected for the internship, you may cancel your participation by stating just reasons. Further information can be found in the general conditions at the end of the application form.

Basically it is recommended to apply only if participation in the internship is possible!

Is there an interview?

Basically this is not fixed because most employers decide based on the written online application. However some internships may require a Skype interview – you will be informed about this by the employer.

Who selects the interns?

Employers choose who will complete the internship. ELSA is not involved in this process, but simply passes on the applications.

How do I know if I’ve been taken?

You will be notified by mail whether you have been selected for the internship or not. Please do NOT contact the employer independently!

Is there an interview?

Basically this is not fixed because most employers decide based on the written online application. However some internships may require a Skype interview – you will be informed about this by the employer.

STEP experience reports

An ELSA STEP internship offers you the opportunity to gain foreign practical experience which will help you especially in personal and academical aspects and also the positive response future employers.
Florian Greinöcker

Bonn, Germany, 2019

The internship was an incredibly valuable experience. It is very exciting to learn about the work ethic and attitude of an internship provider from another country. STEP gives you the chance to gain various experiences. Due to this I can recommend it to everyone.
Lisa Leitner

Passau, Germany 2019

I thought that my STEP would be something ordinary. However, it turned out to be extraordinary. Professionalism from both, the employer and the ELSA Hosting Group – Friendly atmosphere – Practical implementation of my LL.M.’s theoretical knowledge and Contacts; this was the outcome of this traineeship. The process remains the same, but it’s always the people that change; and this made the difference. Arendts Anwälte was one of the most professional offices I have ever seen, always with a friendly and engaging work environment. I was not only a trainee but I became part of their “family“ at work. On the other hand, ELSA Munich was really taking care of me throughout the whole month and was trying to make me feel at home. I can only recommend such experience, since STEP is enhancing both, your professional and interpersonal skills, your future career and your international contacts!
Stefania-Despoina Efstathiou

Arendts Anwaelte, Munich, Germany, 1 month, September 2016

My one-month traineeship in Popov & Partners Law Office in Sofia was a great experience, as it taught me many things (researches, tasks, various fields of law etc). Most of all, my ELSA STEP experience gave me the chance to make a big “STEP“ forward and work with professionals, adapt in new working environments and obtain qualities as discipline, programming skills, quick decision-making and many more. I am fully satisfied!!!!
Apostolia Daskalou

Popov & Partners Law Office in Sofia, Bulgaria , 1 month, October 2016

Nothing broadens our minds more than travelling and meeting other people. There is nothing better when travelling can be combined with a working experience. ELSA STEP gives us young lawyers across the Europe both possibilities at one time! Great chance and a life lasting experience.
Patryk Kulig

PHH RECHTSANWAELTE GMBH in Vienna, Austria. , 1 month, August 2016

As a former ELSA STEP Trainee, I cannot stress out enough the confidence that this experience offered me. Not only am I now capable to say that I can survive in any foreign working place, but I can guarantee that I will be further pursuing such workplaces. The ELSA Organisation demonstrated once again the professionalism that is attributed to them and made me feel welcome and sure about my choice. As far as the skills I gained from this traineeship, I treasure specifically the social skills that came by while working in a foreign language office and having to communicate daily with people from a different culture on their own language. In addition to this, I experienced living in a beautiful city for one month and learnt how to transition fast and effectively. All of this could not have happened without the guidance of ELSA Austria and ELSA Graz representatives to whom I feel grateful about it.
Evangelia Nissioti

Magistrat Graz in Graz, Austria, 1 month, August 2016

I am really happy I got selected for the traineeship in Brno, Czech Republic. Not only was it the first time visiting this beautiful city, but also I feel like I learned a lot and got the feel how a foreign law office operates. I am of the opinion that you really get to know yourself when travelling alone. Living abroad is not just fun and games, you have to overcome many challenges along the way, face your fears and not to be afraid of failure. In the end, you come out stronger than ever. It really is a lesson for life. That is why I am grateful for this one-of-a-kind experience and would like to thank ELSA Brno again for being part of this journey, making it even more special and unforgettable.
Dominika Novina

Kyjovský, Blažek a kolegové in Brno, Czech Republic, 1 month, June 2016

Next stop: Schwaz I wake up from my day dreaming to a sharp, German speaking female voice and take my gaze away from the scenery outside the train. Although the voice has become familiar to me during the last four weeks when traveling between my new summer home and work place I can never get enough of the landscape flashing by the window: blue mountains glimmering in the morning dawn, frisky swallows playing in the air, traditional Tyrolian houses that looked like the witch’s hut in the children book Hansel and Gretel. Once again I remember how lucky I am to be selected for a traineeship in Tyrol, Austria. Before I started studying I spent most of my gap years abroad. My only fear with studying law was that it might be hard to travel as law is quite specific to each country. However, after studying law for just two years in Finland, I found myself participating in the traineeship programme STEP run by the European Law Students’ Association (ELSA) and working in a district commission (in German: Bezirkshauptmannschaft) in Schwaz, Austria. It was also beneficial to go abroad via ELSA: the local representative for the STEP programme has been in contact with me since I was selected. It made me feel comfortable to know someone was waiting for me in Austria. She also introduced me to my employer on the first day and would have organised the accommodation for me too. Luckily I had a good friend in Tyrol whose parents hosted me for a month. All in all, it was a great choice to participate in the traineeship programme via ELSA because I know whatever happens, I am not alone. And how do I spend my free time? I enjoy the mountains, of course. Hiking, climbing, paragliding… “Emmi, the world is so beautiful,” a father of a good friend of mine tended to say. “You’ve better go and explore it!” And that’s exactly what I am doing now.
Emmi Simonen

District authority Schwaz in Schwaz, Austria, 1 month, June-July 2016