Internship Agreement: Concept and main characteristics

12 May 2021

Do you know what an internship agreement is? In today’s post, we’ll tell you about its main characteristics, how it differs from an internship contract and what types of external internships exist.

University-company internship agreement

The internship agreement is the training action carried out by students and supervised by the university with the aim of applying and complementing the knowledge acquired in their academic training, bringing students closer to the reality of the professional environment in which they will work once they have graduated and developing the skills that will help them enter the labour market.

Differences between an internship agreement and an internship contract

Internship contracts for graduates should not be confused with internship agreements for students. The main difference is that the internship contract, as its name suggests, is an employment contract that can be formalised when the student has completed their official studies. The internship agreement, on the other hand, is aimed at students who have not yet completed their studies and it does not establish an employment contract.

As for the regulations governing remuneration, it should be noted that it depends on the national legal framework where the internship is carried out. In the case of the internship agreement in Spain, companies are not obliged to offer remuneration to trainees. On the contrary, when signing an internship contract, the worker’s salary will be the one fixed in the collective agreement for interns and, under no circumstances, can it be lower than the minimum interprofessional wage.

Types of internships

University students, as part of their training, can carry out external internships in companies in the following two modalities:

Curricular internships

External curricular internships are those that are part of the study programme and that are compulsory. During the internship agreement, students have an academic tutor and a tutor in the company or institution where they carry out the internship. In most cases, in order to pass the course, students must write an internship report and both the academic tutor and the tutor at the company must write an evaluation report.

At Elisava, we include curricular internships as an optional subject in most of the courses that make up our training offer, as we believe that experience in real companies is an important part of the training process. We have collaboration agreements with design studios specialising in the different areas of study of the Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, as well as with communication and advertising agencies, architecture studios, production companies, companies with design or engineering departments, public social innovation companies…

Extracurricular internships

In the case of external extracurricular internships, although they must be related to the subject studied, they do not form part of the syllabus and therefore they do not earn credits. They are also a very good option to consider as a complement to the curricular internships.


In the case of curricular internships, it is necessary to pass the corresponding subject in order to obtain the degree, whether it is the Degree in Design and Innovation or the Degree in Industrial Design Engineering.

Professional internships, a step away from the world of work

Whether they are curricular or extracurricular, professional internships represent an excellent opportunity to enter the professional environment and consolidate the concepts acquired during the training experience. In addition, they are often the first step towards a professional contract. For this reason, we encourage all our students to do them.