I am studying in an engineering co-op program where employers and students are matched after one interview, in a process set up by my university. This is outside of the United States, and unpaid internships are not common. I have completed a technical degree related to my field, as have most students in my institution, so there is a certain expectation in terms of remuneration.
I feel uneasy bringing up remuneration in a first interview with a business when the interviewer(s) do(es) not to it themselves, so my previous mentality has been to keep my head low and take opportunities that interest me.
However, I have had a negative experience with being significantly underpaid (according to public mean intern salary data provided by my university, and considering indirect remuneration and additional costs for me) in an internship that did not turn out as interesting as I expected. I don't think I would have accepted the match if I had known about the salary beforehand. Although I appreciate the learning opportunity, I feel disadvantaged when having to make a choice between multiple offers, and "at the mercy" of employers looking for "cheap labor", or who simply do not know the value of an intern in my position.
In the future, I am thinking of asking about what the business would offer in terms of remuneration, or bringing up the university's mean internship salary if I am asked my expectations, if I feel that the interview has gone well, but that this information could influence my decision. This would help me make my decision when faced with multiple matches, and I am not considering negotiating directly.
Would this be appropriate, and if so, how should it be framed in order to avoid making a poor impression?