LEONARDO Office Thuringia is now called EU-Praktikum THURINGIA

The "LEONARDO Office Thuringia" located at the TU Ilmenau is now called "EU-Praktikum THURINGIA". The office supports students and graduates of all Thuringian universities in the preparation and implementation of internships in companies and research institutions throughout Europe.

Drei Frauen mit Erasmus Flagge ari

On the initiative of TU Ilmenau, the LEONARDO Office Thuringia, named after the predecessor programme of the European Union for the promotion of internships, started its work as early as 1992. Since then, the office at TU Ilmenau has been successfully attracting EU funding - around 350,000 euros per year. Over the years, more than 4,000 young men and women have been supported with this money - through counselling, concrete assistance in finding internships, in drawing up contracts and through financial support. Today, interns receive between 435 and 555 euros per month, depending on the cost of living in the host country. Sophia Siegfried, Head of the International Office at TU Ilmenau, is particularly proud of one thing:

In all these years, we haven't had to turn down a single application for an internship because of a lack of funds. I think this is a very special success because the money directly benefits Thuringian students.

Not only Thuringian students looking for an internship in Europe are supported, but students from abroad also find internships in Thuringian companies or research institutions through the Ilmenau office. For many of them, the internship abroad in Thuringia was the reason for deciding to pursue an academic career in Thuringia, and so over the years more and more foreign graduates have also accepted positions as research assistants at the TU Ilmenau and have stayed on.

Award-winning work

As a successful service provider for students, graduates and for the Thuringian universities, the Ilmenau office has received accolades throughout Germany and Europe. In 2006, an international selection jury presented it with the "European Quality in Mobility Award" in the "Students" category, a prize awarded by the Austrian National Agency throughout Europe for excellent results in the placement of EU interns and outstanding project management. And the German Academic Exchange Service, DAAD, a joint institution of German universities and student bodies for the cultivation of their international relations, awarded the office's work with the "ERASMUS Seal of Quality" for its outstanding project implementation.

Now the LEONARDO Office Thuringia has been renamed EU-Praktikum THURINGIA. Sophia Siegfried points out that the decision was taken unanimously by all nine Thuringian universities that belong to the association:

From the new name we promise ourselves that the outstanding offer of the Ilmenauer central office for the switching of practical courses in Europe opens itself to studying and graduates still more directly. In any case, my staff and I are motivated in our daily work by our enthusiasm for enabling young people to gain practical experience abroad in Europe.


Sophia Siegfried

Head of International Office