Purpose ' This paper seeks to report the outcomes of a survey of LIS students undertaken in Slovenia and Australia on their experience of work placements and the benefits this can bring for enhancing their personal portfolios. Design/methodology/approach ' Students were asked to complete a survey prior to undertaking their placement which sought to determine their expectations as to the usefulness and relevance of the placement in enhancing their portfolios and subsequent career prospects. After undertaking their placement, students completed a second survey as to how well the experience fitted with their expectations and its benefits for their portfolios and professional ambitions. Findings ' This research confirmed what has generally been reported elsewhere ' that placements provide a highly relevant educational experience that is appreciated by students and that generally lives up to their expectations. The fact that there are few substantial differences between the two student cohorts suggests that the findings from this research are an accurate picture of the situation for LIS students more generally. The positive view of the placement and the belief in its role in LIS education is further strengthened by this study. Originality/value ' The outcomes from this research will help to inform the nature of the work placement experience ' where it fits with expectations and where it does not ' and how useful the activity is in giving breadth and depth to a student's portfolio in order to increase its value as a tool when seeking employment. The research has also an important comparative dimension, comparing two geographically distant countries with similar approaches to LIS education, and their experience in using e-portfolios in placements as the part of preparation of students for their future professional careers.