Psst. Hey, you! Yeah, you! Are you interested in internships? Or better yet, are you planning on doing one during your Masters in Germany? Then look no more – you have found the right place to find out all about a Praktikum in Deutschland!
Now, if you’ve never really shown any particular interest during your Bachelor, the idea of the internship is to provide practical experience within a certain area or field. Or to put it simply – learning how to apply theory to practice! And with that being said, internships can be very different: either paid or unpaid, short-term or long-term, sometimes useful or, unfortunately, completely useless.
The situation in Germany, however, and the process of becoming an intern, are both actually pretty simple. For starters, the "land of ideas" is home to more than a dozen highly-developed industries and sectors – Bosch, BMW, Lufthansa, Siemens. On the other hand, it is no secret that German universities have a very strong relationship with the national and international business. And last but not least, some Masters in Germany even have mandatory weeks or even months within a company or industry included as a requirement for graduation.
Did you know that German universities are experts in offering Masters courses based on the cooperative studies system? The same one offering students a unique opportunity to work while studying!
In general, the standard duration of an internship in Germany is between 2-3 weeks and a full year. And even though there is a chance that it is entirely based on the experience, there are other possibilities that can include financial income as well – somewhere in the area of €250-€500 per month. But above all, the outcome of most internships in Germany is either a full-time contract at the given company or even better, substantially increased career opportunities!
Indeed, there are some. However, most of them depend entirely on your nationality and/or your current status. In the worst case scenario, if you are coming from a third country outside the EU/EEA or Switzerland, you would have to consider the following:
For all other cases, or if you are simply admitted at a German university, you would only have to worry about specific work hour restrictions. EU/EEA or Swiss students basically have full freedom aside from some insurance and tax limitations while internationals can devote as much as 120 full days each year.
And perhaps the biggest barrier of all – the language. Now, there is no doubt that English is the lingua franca of the world but this is Germany, right? Evaluate your level of proficiency in German and consider acquiring recognized certification. TestDaF and the Goethe-Institut Zertifikat are among your best options.
And finally, the moment that you have been waiting for…
Among the biggest organisations that offers a wide range of internships in Germany is the DAAD, or the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst. The EMGIP-Bundestag Internship is among the best opportunities for Canadian and U.S. students offering placements within the Bundestag itself! RISE Professional can also your interest if you are coming from North America with a strong background in Science and Engineering.
Then there are dozens of internships available through AIESEC with more recent project involving young people from Brazil, Egypt, Greece, Indonesia and Mexico! Additionally, you can check out IAESTE Deutschland and get involved in work experience opportunities offered since 1950 in over 80 countries worldwide. The European Law Students’ Association - Germany is also there for students keen on experience-related programmes in this field.
But don’t limit yourself with these. As a student in Germany, you can easily take advantage of your university’s industry partners and further expand your internship possibilities. Furthermore, there are career centers that can provide you with information on the latest work exchanges and placements.
Lastly, check out your dream German company’s official website for any regular intern opportunities that might show up. Keeping track of job fairs is also recommended while monitoring local and regional work agencies can result in finding a nice offer for an internship. Wait a minute, didn’t your best friend just mention something about landing a job spot in Hamburg? Go ahead, ask for info!