Internships and Professional Practice Experience
as of May 2004
This is a country by country guide to how to get a job or to obtain work experience as a student or newly qualified professional. It is compiled by the Le Notre Professional Practice Committee and EFLA. This document is a beginning of that guide and covers so far Austria , Bulgaria , France , Germany , Hungary , Ireland Italy, Netherlands , Sweden , United Kingdom , with a brief note on the USA . The hope is that this guide might be placed in the public domain of landscape web sites and indeed we would suggest that IFLA could extend it as a world-wide guide. The guide has also been offered to ELASA.
Should you be able to send a note for your own country on how to find a job or get work experience to the editor Robert Holden on RobertHolden13@aol.com. A checklist of what to include is:
In addition to the professional bodies noted below, who have lists of landscape architecture offices, applicants should also refer to national telephone directories under their business pages (“yellow pages”). e.g. http://www.infobel.com/teldir/
Also do contact me if you have comments on the current guide or additional suggestions.
At the end of 2003 reports are that the best countries for employment opportunities are Portugal , Switzerland , Italy (a very recent development) and the United Kingdom . The situation in Germany is very difficult.
Robert Holden 14.1.03
Worthwhile Europe-wide web sites include http://europa.eu.int/eures/ where there is quite a lot of interesting stuff generally about working abroad within the EU. For instance the "Living & working" section which has information related on living and working in the different European countries. e.g. for France , about how to apply for a job there, how the social security systems work, etc.
"CV-Online" is helpful for people searching for a job in a foreign country. Interesting is the link to the European CV: http://www.cedefop.eu.int/transparency/cv.asp and this gives you a format for a curriculum vita. Of course it is only useful if the site is known to potential employers. Within the "Find a job" section I found two job offers for landscape
architects (I did a keyword search for "landscape"): one in Ireland (Environmental Resources Mana) and one in the NL (West 8).
Mathias Voell 10.1.2004
In Austria the only organisation where you can study Landscape Design and Planning is the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences in Vienna ( Universitat für Bodenkultur, Institut für Landschaftsplanung und Ingenieurbiologie www.boku.ac.at/lap/ ) . The curriculum includes no compulsory internship. However, practical experience is recommended practice during the programme and many students try to obtain work in offices and government institutions. Contacts and jobs can be found on several homepages, unfortunately most of them not in English. Students should expect to have a working knowledge of German.
Names and addresses of landscape offices are on the homepages of the two professional societies in Austria : ForumL – Forum für Landschaftsplanung und Landschaftsökologie (http://www.foruml.at/ also in English) and ÖGLA – Österreichische Gesellschaft für Landschaftsplanung und Landschaftsarchitektur (http://www.oegla.at/ đ click on "Mitglieder" to find a list of landscape planners of which some have posted their office address). On the homepage of the Bundesektion Ingenieurkonsulenten ( you can also find addresses of offices in Austria (http://www.bsing.at/bsing/sektion/acađ click on ‚members’ and choose "Landschafsplanung und Landschaftspflege" from the list).
Often landscape offices do not advertise internship for students. However, students have a realistic chance to get a job, when they are proactive and send a letter of application with a short curriculum vitae and some examples of work. Currently salary levels might be from €700-€1000 per month depending on the job and the student’s own experiences. The duration of the internship depends on the workload and projects of the individual office and on the student’s own interests and requirements.
Britta Fuchs July / August 2003
There are no overall lists of Landscape Architecture practices. However, there is a professional organization, which represents private practitioners:
The "Bulgarian Association of Landscape Architecture" (BALA)
Bulgarska Asiciacia Landshaftna Arxitektura ,
chairman Ivan Uzunov.
address: Sofia 1214,N.V. Gogol st 16A, Bulgaria
tel/fax 359 2 943 3374 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This is the main professional association, but they do not display job adverts positions or other particularly useful information for students.
Another very new organization is the "Euro-Bulgarian Union Landscape Architecture" (Bulgaro-Evropeisko sdrujenie landshaftna arxitektura)
chairman Dobromir Borislavov,
address: St "Rezbarska", bl. 18, vx. E, Sofia 1510, Bulgaria;
tel.359 888 268536, e-mail: email@example.com.
This was established in 2003 by a group of students who attended the ELASA annual meeting in Bulgaria . EBULA aims to promote connections with the private Landscape Architecture firms, with the BALA and to organize meeting for students in the fields of ecology and Landscape Architecture.
Students working during their studies earn €6-9 per day (the average living wage in Bulgaria for non professional work). Graduates tend to earn €100-150 per month which is why a lot of Bulgarian students tend to set up their own practices.
Gergana Marinova 19.10.2003
The Fédération Française du Paysage represents about a third of France ’s landscape architects, and has a web-site at http://www.f-f-p.org/. Here you can find a list of members, with their contact details (follow the link to les associations régionales, and the details of the six recognised French schools of landscape (via the page les formations d’architecte paysagiste)
There is no central display point for job adverts. Many vacancies pass through the associations of ex-students linked to the individual schools of landscape architecture, or are displayed on notice boards in the school premises.
Many landscape architects do find work by ringing around, and sending CV’s, using addresses found using the F.F.P. member list, the directories of ex-students published by the schools (known as annuaires), or telephone yellow pages, etc. Avoid wasting time and money, when using the lists, by checking the status of the landscape architect concerned- because many of the names listed will be employees (salariés). In the telephone directories landscape architects are listed as paysagistes DPLG, which distinguishes them from contractors. DPLG means diplom é par le gouvernement.
The most effective method of job finding in France is by networking, so if you do have any contacts, however tenuous, in the French world of landscape or in one of its linked professions, use them!
Internships are known as stages and are seldom advertised; most are found by a direct approach to a landscape office. A stage can be for varying periods, usually around one to eight months, and is not always paid. When paid, this is usually at a maximum of around one third of the French minimum wage, so a normal salary for a stage is around 300 euros a month.
Mathias Voell, 18.3.2004
Currently all curricula of the German landscape architecture schools include compulsory internships. Most schools define semesters within the curriculum as practical phases. The universities of applied sciences require a minimum of three months of practical experience before enrolment. Generally speaking there are two types:
1.some universities include two internships (around 20 weeks each), the first is related to experience in landscape construction, the second is related to office or administrative experience. Students who have already finished a professional training in landscape construction often skip the first practical semester. (i.e.: Kassel , Nürtingen, Weihenstephan)
2. other universities require only one internship within the curricula and it must be related to office/administrative experience. These universities usually require practical experience in landscape construction before enrolment. (i.e.: TU-Hannover, HTW-Dresden, TU-Berlin).
The intensive integration of professional practise may be a characteristic of German curricula. The philosophy behind aims at intensifying the mutual influence of practice and theory. Almost all faculties insist on practical experience in landscape construction additionally to the office experience. Due to this interweavement it is very difficult to transform these curricula into a 3+2 Bachelor/Master structure.
Most universities have particular staff responsible for student internships. They manage databases with addresses and information concerning offices (national and international) which facilitates placements. Nevertheless, the students themselves send applications directly to the offices. As the internship is regarded as an integral part of the curriculum, the students are usually not well paid ( €300 – 600). Therefore, the offices are much more bound to provide an educational role. Some schools even require the office to define a responsible person for the student. Most universities require a written report about the student’s office experience and a written comment of the office itself, which is somehow a means to avoid “exploitation of cheap labour”. In Kassel the internships are called Berufspraktische Studien (freely translated: studies on professional practice) which underlines its educational character. In Nürtingen students give short presentations of their internship projects to their study colleagues.
For many students the internship contact becomes the first step into the professional world after finishing the studies.
Two universities provide online information about internships:
University of Kassel : http://www.uni-kassel.de/fb6/studium/bps_referat.htm
University of Berlin : http://www.tu-berlin.de/fb7/praktikantenamt
Lists of most German landscape architecture offices are provided by the professional association BDLA (http://www.bdla.de/). Vacancies are also announced on the following websites:
Ellen Fetzer, 16.04.03
In Hungary the only university where you can study landscape architecture is the BUESPA, Budapest University of Economic Sciences and Public Administration, Faculty of Landscape architecture, Protection and Development.
Address: H-1118 Budapest , Villŕnyi ůt 35-43 Hungary , tel.: 0036 1 372 6291,
(http://www.kee.hu/ or directly the English version: http://www.kee.hu/tajkar/eng/index.htm)
If you would like to search for internship, it’s a good basis. But it’s better if you are a Hungarian student to also use the contact of the responsible department.
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Department's website: http://www.kee.hu/kerttechnika
E-mail: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
E-mail:mailto:email@example.com , http://freemail.hu/fm/send_form?sid=2eVJQQ8ymh5jn6oJtXITVbtJU.f44Fs4N0ZJ-bml0Wmj1Jml5pYT-Efu-R6QX-bG9dZUk1wuxXD4_firstname.lastname@example.org
Depertment's server: http://www.gis.kee.hu/
Hungarian students are obliged to go and spend at least nine weeks work experience in an office and in local authority office, after the third. and fourth years. But although contacts and jobs can be found at several sources, unfortunately most of them are not in English. The official language of the professional offices is Hungarian, but it’s no problem to communicate in English or German. However, the problem is that it’s hard to find a place for a Hungarian student, because most of the offices are too small, sometimes only one landscape architecture in an architecture bureau.
But if you are an intern, you’re expected to know AutoCad and have a good plants knowledge (in a garden design office) and Mapinfo and PhotoShop (in a landscape office).
Most of the time the students are not paid for this work, but in some case it’s possible. It depends on the office, and on the project. If it’s paid, you can get 120-200 euro / month, which is almost enough to live from, for a month.
You should develop your room by yourselves. But you can ask for it in the university dormitory. Address: 1118 Budapest, Szüret utca 2-18, Tel.: 0036-1 209 1648, or 0036-1 209 1582.
How to present yourself?
To develop your work, please send a short CV to the office, by mail, or fax, perhaps with some references about you previous works. Explain why you want to go there, to that office, or to Hungary, and for how long time, and so on. It’s always better if you can address it personally to someone, so try to search on internet for the data.
A selection of offices in Budapest:
1016 Budapest, Gellérthegy u. 30-32. Tel.: 0036-1 224 31 00, Fax: 0036-1 224 31 05
e-mail: email@example.com, web-site: http://www.vati.hu/
1052 Budapest, Vŕroshŕz utca 9-11. Tel.: 0036-1 317 53 18, Fax: 0036-1 317 32 96
TAGSZEM: (e-mail) firstname.lastname@example.org
MKTSZ (Hungarian Association of Landscape Architectures):
Villanyi ut 35
H 1118 Budapest
tel/: 0036-1 201 15 82
Contact: Andras Perjés – email@example.com
MKTSZ-IT (HALA Youth Section):
Secretary: Flora Môcsényi – firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact: Tomas Dömötör – email@example.com
and in any case you can as well ask me:
Bernadett Jobbagy, firstname.lastname@example.org
29 April 2004
The Irish Landscape Institute web page is the best source of contact details for names and addresses of employers – http://www.irishlandscapeinstitute.com/
Jobs advertisements are placed - on the ILI website page and in National Papers (eg the Irish Times, Irish Independent). Employers have a preference for 12 months over 6 months. Indications from students at University College Dublin is that employers pay € 350.00 per week. For Northern Ireland also refer to the United Kingdom section for opportunities.
Karen Foley, September 2003
In Italy organisation of internships is changing because of the reformation of University education three years ago. Faculties of architecture are now structured in various study courses: architecture, planning, landscape architecture, and building
conservation, organised in Bachelor and Masters degrees (of 3+2 years). Students have to pass a Professional Practice Exam to be enrolled in the professional body – the Ordine degli Architetti, Pianificatori, Paesaggisti, Conservatori, (National Council of architects, planners, landscape planners, & building conservationists) includes architects, planners, landscape architects, and building conservationists in section A (Master- 3+2 ) and in section B (Bachelor- 3). This state registration body requires an internship as a condition of admittance to the Professional Practice Exam and is reorganizing the legal and practical aspects of internships. The Department of Education and Scientific Research of the National Council of architects, planners, landscape planners, building restorers (president: Renata Bizzotto, email@example.com) is responsible for setting new rules for internships.
Currently these are:
- Bachelor levelinternship individual universities organise these in different ways, and students can have experience, in landscape construction, government bodies, and professional offices. At the University of Genova Bachelor’s degree, the internships are regulated by agreements between the university and the employers that have to be approved by the Council of the study course. A group of teachers is responsible for offering to students opportunities for professional practice, and they discuss and to check the work of the students with the employers. At present students are not paid, the university requires a written report, drawings, an evaluation of the work experience and a comment by the employer. Duration is about six to eight weeks in September/October.
-Masters levelinternship This kind of internship will be regulated by the norm established by the professional body - the Ordine degli Architetti, Pianificatori, Paesaggisti, Conservatori. The internship consists of experience in professional offices, and the duration proposed is nine or ten months. The Department of Education and Scientific Research of the National Council of architects, planners, landscape planners, and building conservationists is discussing the draft of the mandatory internships with the universities, the Ministry of Higher Education and other public institutions. On the website of the professional body will be published lists of practices and other bodies interested in offering places to students. Another source of work opportunities are the announcements on the website of AIAPP- the Associazione Italiana di Architettura del Paesaggio.
CNAPPC - Consiglio Nazionale degli Architetti, Pianificatori e Conservatori
Via S. Maria dell’Anima 10
tel. +39 06 6889901
fax +39 06 6879520
AIAPP - Associazione Italiana di Architettura del Paesaggio
Via Sommo Picenardi 7
00122 Ostia (ROMA)
tel./fax +39 06 5682248
Francesca Mazzino 8 September 2003
This note is based on practice at the Department Of Landscape Architecture, University of Professional Education Larenstein in Velp near Arnhem which is one of the main landscape architecture programmes in The Netherlands. Here, the internship is seen as a crucial phase in the curriculum of Landscape Architecture, Engineering and Management. Two internships of three months (50 working days) each at different offices are compulsory in the third year of the programme. In exeptional case one internship of six months is permitted.
The learning aims of the internship are:
The student has to take the initiative to apply for an internship. The student formulates, within the frame of general aims, his/her own learning aims. The school keeps a list of professional landscape architecture offices and councils, but students are encouraged and supported to amke their own arrangments, whether nationally and internationally. The internship has to be approved by the school internship coordinator. It usually takes more time to arrange an internship abroad.
The school requires the office to provide a ’mentor’, that is a person responsible for the student. The internship school tutor visits the office to discuss process and progress with the student and the mentor. The internship being part of the study and students normally being paid their living wage, dutch offices will pay only compensation of costs.
The student presents a written and illustrated report containing a description and evaluation of the student’s office experience: projects and the office organisation.
Most offices prefer to receive a postal application with a covering letter, a short curriculum vitae and some A4 photocopies of drawing work. Try to address the letter personally to an individual. Do research work on the office practice before going for an interview. And don’t always expect an acknowledgement.
European Union citizens do not need a visa or work licence. Citizens of other European countries need to obtain a work permit.
Lists of Dutch landscape architecture offices are on the national association web site: www.nvtl.nl/bureaus/
20-06-2005 Marianne van Lidth de Jeude
Length of Internship and skills expected
In the UK landscape architecture students typically undertake a three year undergraduate degree, work for one year and then take a graduate entry final degree. There are also two graduate entry programmes (usually at Masters level) for students from other disciplines but these do not have an extensive work experience period during the degree. The “year out” of professional practice experience (internship is US usage) lasts usually from summer to summer for nine to twelve months. The academic year varies, but is usually from mid to late September until end of May or early June. This contrasts with the shorter semester length internships common in many continental European countries and so students from other countries should expect to work for at least nine months or a year. Periods of professional practice experience are usually found by the students themselves rather than being industrial placements by the university, therefore UK landscape architects expect to receive direct applications from students. However, some universities do organise such placements, this applies particularly to the postgraduate conversion programmes and some universities organise visits to offices as part of the studies. Employers expect reasonable graphic and working drawing skills and CAD/digital design ability typically on AutoCad, Vector Works or Minicad. Apple Mac skills are used by a minority of architecture and landscape architecture practices, but are also useful.
The good news is that almost invariably students are paid a living wage during the year out, currently (2003) this might be a salary from Ł10,000 to Ł14,000 or more per annum depending on location and the student’s own experience. Citizens of European Union countries of course have the right to work, students of non EU countries who are enrolled in a UK degree course also have the right to work for the year out in Britain under a student permit given the year out is part of their professional training (though there can be problems in getting the authorities to realize this). Students of non EU countries who are enrolled in overseas schools may have problems with work permits.
Addresses of landscape consultancies can be found on the Landscape Institute’s web site ( www.l-i.org.uk/), this is organised by region. Adverts for firms are to be found in the monthly Landscape and its sister periodical Landlines, which are available for sale at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in Portland Place, London and published by the Landscape Institute. Otherwise these magazines are available by subscription. Another publisher, the Landscape Design Trust, has a web site (www.landscape.co.uk/) with current vacancies. The subscription newspaper Building Design also publishes job adverts and also has useful adverts from recruitment agencies most of whom also deal with landscape architects (eg. RIBA Recruitment, Hamiltons, etc., a specialist landscape agency is Locri) and it may be worth registering with such agencies, Building Design can also be bought at the RIBA Bookshop. Landscape Review is another commercial magazine which appears ten time per annum (ref www.heyreg.co.uk/landscapereview); it also has a weekly email bulletin and to register go to http://www.heyreg.co.uk/landscapereviewbulltetin.
It may also be worthwhile checking on some of the Landscape Institute’s own branches’ web sites because some also have lists of firms advertising or have pages where you could advertise yourself (eg the South East branch). Typically firms wishing to employ students write to schools of landscape architecture in the spring (for instance, at my own university, the University of Greenwich, we have a notice board with twenty or so such letters at Easter and forty of so by May, so if in the UK you could contact and visit local schools (the Landscape Institute web site has a list).
How to apply
As an employer one prefers to receive a postal application, with a covering letter, a short two page curriculum vita and A4 photocopies of drawing work (say six) as it takes time to download attachments, or look at CD’s and to look at cv’s. Do address letters personally to an individual in a practice and if going for interview research the practice as much as you can. Do not expect an acknowledgement to applications, most offices in the UK may have one or two students write in each week. That said currently in the UK there is a good supply of positions and good opportunities. It is usual to interview students so you would have to visit the country. Don’t expect to find short term, semester-long exchanges, or for employment after just one year of a university programme and do not be disappointed if you are sometimes employed as a “CAD donkey”; if an office is paying you they will want to cover their costs.
The university year is from September until June so most graduating students apply in May and June. A good time to apply if you are coming from elsewhere is in September or October (August tends to be quiet) or at the beginning of a year from January until April when graduating students do not apply.
Robert Holden/ Maggie Roe 28.4.2003/ updated 30.5.2004
The Swedish Landscape Association is a division of the architectural professional body Sveriges Arkitekter
Wirwachs malmgĺrd, Ansgarigatan 5,
PO Box 9225, S-102 73 Stockholm, Sweden.
Tel. +46-8 5055 77 00
Fax. +46-8 5055 77 05
They publish an email list of landscape architects as part of a widerlisting of architects, interior designers, planners and landscape architects on www.arkitekt.nu/registret/ then click on 'landscape architecture (23) and alla län (all counties, whole country) and you can link into more detailed presentations of the respective offices. It is only in Swedish, of course. Sveriges Arkitekter also publish on their website announcements of vacancies, but that is in the private, members' area. However, there is a service open to all students to apply without cost for trainee posts at Praktiktorget (Trainee Market) on www.arkitekt.se/praktik . There employers can also announce traineeships, currently a service operating only in Swedish.
10.7.2003 Lars Nyberg
In the USA internships tend to be more organised than in some countries in Europe, for example the EDAW and SWA internships, but many other firms also run internships. At EDAW ( http://www.edaw.com/) and SWA (http://www.swagroup.com/) they run short, two week student programmes (aka in US as programs) which are effectively education courses run by the firm and usually involve live or realistic projects. Subsequently students are then offered places in the firm’s offices which may be worldwide, e.g. EDAW have offices in Sydney and London. Check the ASLA (American Society of Landscape Architects) web site for details of other US firms, which also run such internships ( http://www.asla.org/ ).
For graduates the salary prospects are quite good (if you can obtain a work permit). The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) 2003 Graduating Student Survey reveals that salaries rose to an average of $35,000 in 2003, compared to $33,000 in 2002, for all who found positions. For graduates of graduate degree programmes (MLA’s) the 2003 starting salary averaged $41,000 compared to $38,000 in 2002. The survey is posted online at http://www.asla/whatsnew.html
Contact your US embassy to find out about student visa and visitor permit details. International students studying in the ISA with a J-I visa may work in the USA upto 18 months after they receive a degree from their American university without a work permit.
Robert Holden 16.4.2003