Germans have their first short placement experience during school as most complete a 2 to 4 week period of work which is obligatory between the 7th and 10th grade. However, especially when studying, placements are used to learn about practice. Depending on where and what you study, placements can be a compulsory part of your study course. Even though some students go abroad for internships, the majority do their placement in Germany. It is not uncommon to complete more than one placement.
To get a placement in Germany the process is similar to applying for a normal job, which means you need to have a CV and a letter of application. Today, most applications can be completed using the internet (website or e-mail). One aspect you should mention within your application is if you will still be an enrolled student during your internship. This is important for tax and social charges.
The two most common ways for finding placement possibilities are private connections and internet websites. Larger companies in particular advertise their placement opportunities on their own sites or within placements portals (see links below). Your application should be handed in 3 to 5 months in advance if you are coming from a foreign country in order to still have time to arrange things like accommodation. In general you will get feedback on your application even if you don’t get the position.
Tips and Regulations for students who want to do an internship in Germany can be found on the following sites:
- http://culturalvistas.org/programs-for-students-and-professionals/internships-abroad/internship-program-in-germany [en]
- http://www.livingabroad.de/deutschland.php [de]
- https://de.jobted.com/praktikum-jobs [de]
- http://www.planetpraktika.de/recht.php [de]
- http://www.auslandspraktikum-ratgeber.com/auslandspraktikum-deutschland/ [de]
Job exchanges for student internships in Germany can be found here:
- http://www.europe-internship.com/placements/internships-in-germany/ [en]
- http://www.goabroad.com/intern-abroad/search/germany/internships-abroad-1 [en]
- http://www.praktikums-boerse.de/html/praktikant/angebot.cfm [de]
- http://www.berufsstart.stepstone.de [de]
- http://www.praktikum.info/stellenangebote?pos=1 [de]
- http://www.studentenjobs24.de/ [de]
- http://www.studentenpilot.de/karriere/praktika/ [de]
- http://karriere.unicum.de/praktikum/ [de]
Internships and Placement advice
There are many practical issues related to international placements that need to be taken care of either by the trainee or the host company. It is important to reserve enough time for all the arrangements and the necessary formalities. The training organisations, educational institutes and home and host organisations are able to help with these formalities.
Social security and European health insurance
There are some insurances that you are advised to take out when staying in Germany. It is a good idea to find out before your arrival if you are in need of insurance. If you are coming from an EU/EEA country, you might not be required to get accident and health insurance but being insured is still highly recommended. As a foreign student relevant insurances to have are health, accident and travel insurances.
Germany is generally a very safe place with a low crime rate. You should feel safe when living here as well as when traveling around. However, street crime occurs, including pickpocketing and theft from unattended vehicles especially in larger cities. It is therefore important to be careful of your bag or backpack in crowded public places.
There is one standardized emergency number across Germany. It is free of charge and available 24 hours a day.
Emergency phone numbers:
- Police: 110
- Fire: 112
- Ambulance: 112
In an emergency you can also reach the police on this number. The police have a strong local presence in Germany and will arrive within minutes to provide assistance. The normal number used to call the police in Germany is 110 and it can be dialled free of charge from any public telephone.
Do I need a visa?
Depending on the country you are coming from, you might need to get a Visa before you can work in Germany. The following page lists all countries and shows if you need a visa or not: http://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/sid_B522007A6551BDD9DD8D7D3AC45E3176/DE/EinreiseUndAufenthalt/StaatenlisteVisumpflicht_node.html
Internships and placement salary
An internship may be paid or unpaid and there is no general wage that you can expect. It is common that in placements for students some amount is paid which covers your living costs. However, this is by no means the case in all areas. If no indications are made on the offer itself, you should enquire within your letter of application. Often the amount will not be written down, but there should at least be an indication whether or not the placement is paid.
Internships and placement accommodation
Most of the time, doing a placement in Germany means finding your own accommodation. You might be able to find furnished rooms but there is no general information we can provide here; this will depend on the city in which you do your internship. Rent is normally paid on a monthly basis and a bond needs to be paid at the beginning of the tenancy.