Internships in Germany: Q & A

internship Enlarge image (© colourbox)

Internships in Germany

Internships can be a great way to learn more about the field you want to work in, and gain valuable professional experience. Here you can find information and advice on finding an internship in Germany.

Internships in Germany

Internships can be a great way to learn more about the field you want to work in, and gain valuable professional experience. Here you can find information and advice on finding an internship in Germany.

  • How do I find an internship?

    Dresden - Großer Garten Enlarge image (© dpa-picture alliance) There are lots of ways in which you can find out what internships are out there, and what might suit you.

    If you have a particular company in mind, then that company's website will often be the best place to start - there will often be a careers page outlining any internships they have available, and what the requirements are.

    If you aren't sure what you would like to do or where, several websites both showcase offers and function as a search engine for internships - so you can start with a wider search and then narrow it down. 

    Check out:

    berufsstart

    jobguide.de

    derpraktikant.eu

    If you are currently a student, your university should also be able to offer some guidance on interning abroad. Speak with the careers office about what is available to you and how to go about contacting the right places. If you know someone who is interning, or has interned before, ask them for advice - friends or fellow students can tell you about their experiences, how they came across their internship, and what the experience was like.

  • How long do internships typically last?

    City Hall Munich Enlarge image (© picture alliance / Arco Images G) Typically, most internships in Germany have a minimum duration of eight weeks and a maximum duration of twelve months. Like many factors, how long your internship will last depends on the company. Make sure you and the company are both clear from the beginning about the duration of your internship.

  • Will I get paid?

    The city of Frankfurt am Main Enlarge image The city of Frankfurt am Main (© AA) This depends on where you are doing your internship and in what field. While it appears to be common for corporate sectors to pay their interns, there are cases where interns are not paid. It is important that your employer is clear with you about any financial compensation - or lack thereof - so you know precisely where you stand. It is similarly important to make sure you have enough money to cover your living expenses in Germany - rent, insurance, food - for the duration of your internship.

  • Are there many internships available?

    Leipzig © Federal Foreign Office Enlarge image Leipzig Main Station (© Federal Foreign Office) A Praktikum - the German word for internship - is considered a mainstay of German education and as such, many opportunities exist for those wishing to undertake one. Of course, there are many students in the same boat as you, looking for the right internship to complement their studies and further their education, so be prepared for a level of competition. 

    Qualifications are important. 

    You will have greater success landing an internship if the field within which you are seeking matches the field you studied. Also, pay attention to any specific criteria an internship programme may require, and make sure you can meet them.

    A Praktikum - the German word for internship - is considered a mainstay of German education and as such, many opportunities exist for those wishing to undertake one. Of course, there are many students in the same boat as you, looking for the right internship to complement their studies and further their education, so be prepared for a level of competition. 

    Qualifications are important. 

    You will have greater success landing an internship if the field within which you are seeking matches the field you studied. Also, pay attention to any specific criteria an internship programme may require, and make sure you can meet them.

  • Is an internship likely to lead to full-time employment?

    Deutschlands größter Seehafen Enlarge image (© Bundesrat / marketing.hamburg.de) This really comes down to each individual case. An internship cannot necessarily guarantee full-time employment with the company you intern with, but it will give you the opportunity to learn more about your prospective professional field; it also gives you the chance to make an impression on 'the right people' and learn more about what they are looking for in an ideal employee. 

    To find out more about long-term careers in Germany generally, take a look at the German government website Make It In Germany:  

    http://www.make-it-in-germany.com/en/

  • Do I need to speak German?

    Fr�hlingsanfang Enlarge image (© picture alliance / dpa) Some understanding of German will certainly make living and working in Germany easier on an everyday basis, but whether it is a requirement depends on the company you're working for. Many international companies only require their employees to speak English; some German companies require a basic understanding of German as well. 

    Many companies are clear on their working language, and for some German companies this might well be English. 

    Keep in mind that employers may require proof of language proficiency in the form of a TOEFL or TestDaF.

  • Will I need a visa?

    Dom in der Landeshauptstadt Erfurt Enlarge image (© Bundesrat/Thüringer Tourismus GmbH / Bildarchiv | © Barbara Neumann) If you are an EU citizen, you don't need a work permit. Find out more about the requirements for EU citizens looking to work in Germany, click here.

    If you are a non-EU citizen, you do. If you are studying and living outside Germany and applying for an internship in Germany, you will need to organize a work permit before you are allowed to undertake an internship. You will also need health insurance, which is compulsory for anyone working in Germany, and necessary for getting a work permit. To find about more about the requirements for non-EU citzens looking to work in Germany. 

    Job Searcher Visa

    Working Visa
    If you are a non-EU student already studying in Germany with a student visa, things are a little easier; you are allowed to work 90 full days a year, or 180 half-days. However, be sure to check what your student visa allows you if you are planning on doing an internship on a student visa.