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Civil Servant Exchange Programmes

Civil servant exchange programmes support the internationalisation and the development of government employees through short-term work in a foreign country within their own administrative field. The applicant is required to find the host organisation by using their personal network or the connections of their employer.

The exchanges enhance the expertise of the participants in their respective fields and expand their international network. The knowledge, skills, collaborations and fresh perspectives gained through the exchanges benefit their employers as well.

How do the programmes work in practice?

A central government employee who is in an employment or public service relationship may

  • apply for an exchange abroad from one month up to six months within the same administrative branch
  • participate in an exchange if their employer supports the plan and has granted a paid leave of absence
  • submit an application for the programmes throughout the year 

The exchange programmes are managed by the Finnish National Agency for Education.

The participant will work either in a specific post or on a specific project of value to the receiving department. They will be as fully integrated as possible into the work of the host organisation and their position should closely match their requirements and work experience.

During the exchange the government official will continue to be paid by their own department. Allowances and travelling expenses between the two countries will come from that department as well. The costs of work trips related to the work at the host organisation will be paid by the host.