Updated on Apr 23 • 7 minute read
An internship may be a mandatory part of your degree, or perhaps you’re simply craving a little real-world experience after all the theory of the classroom training. At any rate, there are several excellent options for a placement abroad, especially in any one of Germany’s many diverse cities.
There are several things to consider when opting for an internship, including what kind, for how long and where — not to mention the cost of living that you might want to compare to choose the best city to live in Germany. So, let’s jump right in and learn exactly why you should do an internship abroad, and why Germany could be the perfect home-from-home during this transformative adventure that so many post grads embark on.Why look for an internship in Germany?
At this moment in time, over 300,000 students are living abroad in Germany, and a good portion has already started an internship or will be sticking around for one after their current semester ends. The reason is simple: Germany is a hugely rewarding place to live!
Germany is working hard on making itself a more and more attractive haven for international students, expats and international interns like you! We’ve gone in depth about why Germany is great for internationals before, so here’s the rundown:
Cost of living - When compared with the United States, the rent alone in Germany is 31.6% lower. In Berlin, the capital city, total monthly expenses can average around €850, especially if you’ve learned how to effectively budget during your stay abroad. So, as far as European countries are concerned, Germany is pretty affordable!
Language - Germany is becoming more and more friendly for internationals. First of all, German children learn English in school, so most young people speak English to some degree. In recent years, German educational institutions are offering more and more courses in English. That said, Germans really appreciate it if you at least put some effort in learning the local language and, if you ask me, learning a new language is one of the major perks of going abroad! So, make use of the cheap, or even free, language courses your new employer may offer to overcome language barriers in Germany.
Safety - If safety is a concern for you, know that major German cities appear in the top 10 of safest cities in the world! Munich tops the list at #4, while even the capital Berlin is the #7 safest city for internationals. So, if you’re moving abroad and living alone for the first time, Germany is one of the places where it’s unlikely that you’ll run into any serious incidents!
The location - As an international, you probably don’t have easy access to your own car. You could invest in your own bicycle, but if you really want to get around in Germany, its high quality public transport is the way to go! It will get you where you need to go in your city, but also across the country or even help you make use of your time in Germany to explore some of the other nearby European countries like Belgium, the Netherlands and France!
As you begin to learn more about internships, you’ll discover that there are some differences, ranging from the length to the companies with which you’ll be involved. Internships can be paid or unpaid, and they can run for just the length of the summer or may last for over a year, sometimes resulting in permanent employment.
We all know the classic stereotypes for internships: you either spend your time doing coffee runs or are expected to know and do as much as other employees for little to no money. Thankfully, Germany has a very different approach to internships. Companies, large and small, all know the value of internships; it’s an excellent way to secure talent early on and help them grow into their full potential … and career that benefits that company! Even though unpaid internships do exist, most companies will pay a living wage to their interns. In fact, if your internship meets certain criteria, they are obliged by law to pay at least the minimum wage (€9.35 since Jan 2020). These criteria are:
- The internship is not a mandatory part of your studies.
- The internship is longer than 3 months.
So, even if you have a mandatory internship of 3 months for your studies, you could still try to score an internship that is longer than that, so you would be able to gain more experience, tackle bigger projects all while getting paid (past those 3 months).
How much would I earn as an intern in Germany?
How much will I earn as an intern in Germany?
A full-time intern for a non-mandatory internship which lasts at least 3 months, earns the German Federal minimum wage of €9.35 an hour or €1.620 a month! That’s a lot better than internships in other countries, where you either earn nothing, only get your travel expenses paid for or where you earn only a fraction of what you earn in Germany. Of course, not all internships are created equal, so let’s take a look at what your options are.What type of internship do I want?
Which type of internship is best for me?
Internships are all about experience. Figure out what kind of job you want, study its requirements and start developing those skills! If you know where you want to go, it will be easier to shape your internships. Besides, companies love it when you have clear ambitions. Now all you need to think about is what type of company can give you the experience you need.
Larger corporations are very popular among international students! They’re often quite internationalised and are always on the hunt for new talent. An internship with these bigger companies means options in many different departments as well as more data to work with. These companies are often also a lot more generous with their pay for interns, but landing a position here can get quite competitive. That said, it will look great on your resume and could land you a nice position out of the gate.
Top companies in Germany include:
Zalando - with its headquarters in Berlin, if you have an interest in fashion or logistics, this industry leader has a variety of internships available. Many interns decide to continue to grow with Zalando, as they can opt for a student job.
McKinsey & Company - This company has spread over 65 countries and offers internships for undergraduate degrees and also to MBA candidates. Are you an advanced professional degree student? They also have internships suited to you. You can explore nine offices in Germany, including Berlin, Munich and Frankfurt, and even set your sights on graduate engineering jobs down the line.
- Google - We don’t need to introduce these guys. Put your business and technology skills to the ultimate use! This global leader has offices in Berlin, Munich and Hamburg.
Rocket Internet - This company is known for branding startups, including Zalando. Its main headquarters are located in Berlin.
Amazon - Like Google, Amazon is yet another well-known name that offers internships throughout Germany. They have locations in Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt and Dusseldorf.
Adidas - The super-popular German sportswear manufacturer offers a wide range of internship opportunities. Its main headquarters are in Herzogenaurach.
SAP - This German software company is another excellent option for internships, especially those who have technological-related career paths. SAP has offices all over the world, but it is headquartered in Walldorf
Another good source of internships for internationals is the wealth of startups in Germany. Startup companies are usually small, with tight budgets but great opportunities. You’ll find quite a few startups that use English as their company language alongside the small communities that expats at these companies tend to form. While interning at a startup might not be as prestigious, it will offer you a wider range of activities and responsibilities. Small companies grow quickly and are considerably more agile than large corporations. If you can leverage your ingenuity, you can implement changes that have a direct impact on the success of the company, leading to opportunities to grow with the company after your internship. The only downside is that startups are often strapped for budgets, so don’t expect to earn more than the already impressive minimum wage.
Top German Startups in 2020:Here you’ll find some of the fastest growing startups in Germany right now! A growing startup is often an intern-hungry startup! They might not always be listing an internship, but if your skills meet their needs, even an unsolicited application could land you a position!
Vytal: This company is focused on providing the booming food delivery industry a sustainable, reusable packaging solution. No more disposable packaging for your fries!(Video) Benefits of Getting an Internship Abroad
Cloudeo: Cloudeo specialises in providing geospatial data through satellite imaging. They have solutions for anything from agriculture to infrastructure and forestry.
Rooom: Room is at the forefront of easy to use 3D imagery. Implement 3D modelling, 3D scanning. Augmented reality or Virtual Reality for a multitude of business purposes.
Userlane: Userlane is a so-called Digital Adoption Platform. Userlane enables companies to automate their software onboarding, training, and support efforts, allowing anyone to quickly use any kind of software.
If these companies aren’t looking for your particular set of skills right now, don’t give up! There are plenty of ways to find a spot for you. Here’s a list of resources to help you score that internship abroad:
XING: Essentially the DACH version of Linkedin. If there’s an internship in a German speaking country, it’s on XING. You need an account to view the opportunities, though. Are you in for an internship in Hamburg?
Linkedin: An obvious choice, but a powerful one! Pretty much every company ever is on Linkedin. And Berlin has more internships to offer!
Mein Praktikum: A german website dedicated solely to interns! Only available in German, but with some Deepl or Google translate magic, you should be fine!
Stepstone: Another German career website that offers numerous internships suitable for English speakers!
Germany is a pretty nice place to live in terms of affordability, safety and mobility. Social security is also up to par, with even interns having the right to a minimum wage! There are also plenty of great companies for you to kickstart your career with, as well as the opportunity to be a part of a budding company by working for one of its many startups. And with the resources we gathered for you, it’s time for you to start writing application letters. Now that you know why Germany’s going to be your destination, we hope we've been able to help you find the internship of your dreams!
If your internship or training programme is going to last less than 3 months, you need to apply for a type C visa (Schengen visa) and if your internship or training programme is going to last more than 3 months, then you should apply for a type D visa, known as the German National Visa.Why is an internship abroad important? ›
Since a large majority of students now complete internships during their degrees, having experience working abroad will help to set you apart from the rest of the competition. Interning in another country gives you skills in a foreign job market and this is something employers find highly impressive.What motivates students to do an internship abroad? ›
- Professional Experience. Like any positive internship experience, an internship abroad will help you enhance your professional skills and improve your resume. ...
- Confidence. ...
- Travel. ...
- Cultural Awareness. ...
- Adaptability. ...
- Independence. ...
- Trial Run a Career Field. ...
- Improve Language Skills.
Because there is no need to pay tax, social security during the mandatory internship. The net salary or stipend in small companies is approximately 300 to 500 euros per month. The net salary will be good in the big companies. It will be approximately 700 to 900 euros per month.Do interns get paid in Germany? ›
How much will I earn as an intern in Germany? A full-time intern for a non-mandatory internship which lasts at least 3 months, earns the German Federal minimum wage of €9.35 an hour or €1.620 a month!How many hours do interns work in Germany? ›
Full-time internships of up to 40 hours per week are common, but it is up to you to negotiate the specific number of hours with the employer. If you have to prove a certain number of hours for your studies, it is best to tell the employer this from the beginning so that they can adjust accordingly.Can international students intern in Germany? ›
Foreigners that do not need a visa
Still, they must apply for a residence permit as soon as they arrive in Germany, directly at the Immigration Office, in order to be able to legally do their internship or training. You too can find your internship while in your home country, or after settling in Germany.
An internship abroad is a wonderful adventure that gives you a broader perspective on the world, teaches you to be adaptable to new situations, and sets you apart from your peers to give you a leg up in your career path.What do you think the biggest challenges will be as an intern abroad? ›
- Not having enough to do.
- You didn't manage your expectations.
- Lack of communication.
- Juggling a new job and living in a new country.
You will gain new skills
Not only will you learn new office skills, but also the cultural intricacies that come with working in a new country. For example, you will learn how to communicate and work with people from different cultural backgrounds.
You want to be intentional with your internship.
- Soak it all in. Learn. ...
- Utilize all of your resources. ...
- Spend time with your new coworkers, mingling with them and local people. ...
- Understand the differences in work culture. ...
- Enjoy your new life abroad.
A great internship provides the knowledge and skills you'll need to become successful in a specific career field. The best internship experiences are those that prepare students for the work they hope to do after graduating from college.What salary is good in Germany? ›
60.000 euros a year in Germany is considered a good gross salary as it is well above the average salary of 47.700 euros a year for the whole country. Most Germans who earn 60.000 euros or more are very happy with their salary.Do interns pay tax in Germany? ›
As a Werkstudent:
you will have to pay income tax if your earning exceeds 9,744 €/year (2021). However, if the total amount of income you earn a year is less than 9,744 euros, then you can get a tax refund after submitting your tax declaration (Steuererklärung).
The average management trainee gross salary in Germany is 41.879 € or an equivalent hourly rate of 20 €. In addition, they earn an average bonus of 1.495 €. Salary estimates based on salary survey data collected directly from employers and anonymous employees in Germany.What is the highest paid job in Germany? ›
- Pilots. ...
- College professors. ...
- Researchers in Biotechnology and Neuroscience. ...
- Surgeons and doctors. ...
- Judges. ...
- Bank managers. ...
- Director of Finance. ...
- Tourism and hospitality professionals.
A visa or residence permit to complete an academic internship shall be issued for the duration of the internship and for a maximum of six months. You may not obtain employment during this time.How much students earn in Germany? ›
The classic among the part-time jobs is the minijob. You may earn up to 450 euros per month. With a minimum wage of 9.50 euros per hour (as of Jan. 2021), you have to work a maximum of around eleven hours per week or around 47 hours per month for this amount.Do students pay tax in Germany? ›
Tax returns for working students
For 2021, the tax-free allowance for annual income is €9,744, and in 2022 it's €9,984. If you're a working student earning €450 a month, your annual salary will fall below this allowance, meaning you won't need to pay any taxes.
- Internship. ...
- Student work in a company. ...
- Writing thesis in a company. ...
- Scholarship. ...
- University jobs. ...
- Bartender/ waiter. ...
- Babysitter, and other jobs from private persons. ...
- Street performance.
Minimum and maximum working time
The maximum daily amount of working time must not exceed ten hours. However, the law stipulates that the working hours on business days (Monday until Saturday) must not exceed an average of eight working hours per day, ie 48 hours per week, over a period of six months or 24 weeks.
Because the job market in Germany is widely open for international students, especially those who graduated with master's degrees, they have golden opportunities as the country has a desirable job market for qualified workers due to its highly competitive companies.Do interns get paid in Berlin? ›
The average salary for Intern is €1,682 per month in the Berlin, Germany Area. The average additional cash compensation for a Intern in the Berlin, Germany Area is €976, with a range from €676 - €1,276.How much do interns get paid in Munich? ›
The average salary for Intern is €1,685 per month in the Munich, Bavaria. The average additional cash compensation for a Intern in the Munich, Bavaria is €3,985, with a range from €467 - €14,000.Which country is easy to get internship? ›
Australia is one of the most diverse countries offering an internship in almost every industry from software to marketing, arts, business, conservation, tourism, arts and lot more. You don't have the pressure to learn a different language as English is the primary language.What are 2 disadvantages of an internship? ›
- Free Work. Many internships do not pay, from unpaid software internships to unpaid nursing internships. ...
- Stressful Competition. Organizations often receive far more applications than there are internships. ...
- Internship Requirements. ...
- Conflicts of Interest. ...
- High Expectations. ...
- Menial Work.
While an entry-level job pays the bills, it is not always the best position to move you up your career ladder. On the other hand, an internship can prove to be a valuable experience that can bring on amazing opportunities later down the road. The only problem is that many internships are not paid.What do students gain from internships? ›
Internships benefit both the student and the employee. On-the-job learning reinforces what you see in the classroom and teaches invaluable skills like time management, communication, working with others, problem-solving, and, most importantly, the willingness to learn.Is internship good for resume? ›
Internships are a way to boost your student resume before you graduate. Also, internships are great opportunities for you to test a job. Let's say you have your heart set on working in a particular industry. An internship is a great way to put that desire to the test.What are the major strength of intern? ›
- Communication. You'll likely communicate regularly with employees, other interns and supervisors during your internship, so the ability to write and speak in a professional manner is helpful. ...
- Positivity. ...
- Adaptability. ...
- Introduce yourself.
- Identify your goal or purpose.
- Describe your relevant experience, ability to contribute, and uniqueness.
- Wrap it up.
- Engage the person with a question.
- Follow up.
- Practice, practice, practice...then practice some more.
The Stages of Internship focuses on five predictable stages students encounter during internships. These stages include: anticipation, disillusionment, confrontation, competence, and culmination.What is your motivation for this internship? ›
To gain experience.
You get to see and experience the different roles that people play in certain companies and see working life from different perspectives. This is good to take into the working world with you because at times, you will be asked to do various tasks involving different elements of the company.
- Analysing Company Profile and Internship Background.
- Internship: Education and Elementary School.
- Differences Between Original and Final Plan For an Internship.
- Training and Relevant Appointed Internship.
- Internship Experience and Activities.
Your future employers want to know that you will work well with a diverse team and that you have a sense of culture. Updating your resume after an internship abroad is a must. You don't want to hide any of those international experiences.What were the 3 most important items you learned from the internship experience? ›
- How to put my knowledge and skills into practice. ...
- The benefits of networking. ...
- Understanding workplace culture. ...
- Enthusiasm is invaluable. ...
- Keeping a journal is great for personal growth. ...
- How important good communication is.
Freshman- and sophomore-year internships can be used to explore career options. Interning after your sophomore year usually is more focused and productive because you will have a greater knowledge base and more defined goals. Summer or school year?How do you increase your chances of getting an internship? ›
- Leverage Your Existing Network. One of the most effective ways to get any position is to have a personal referral. ...
- Don't Be Afraid to Cold Call. ...
- Set Up Informational Interviews. ...
- Don't Give Up.
- Look the part.
- Be punctual.
- Stay approachable.
- Mind your P's and Q's.
- Learn the Ropes.
- Network with the best.
- Work Hard.
- It's all in a day's work.
Internships are useful, to be sure. But I've found that there's a sweet spot to how many you should have: no more than three.
We suggest making three brief points along the lines of: 1) your year of study and degree subject; 2) your career aim or what career you're interested in; 3) a hobby or interest that you pursue in your spare time.Which type of internship is best? ›
However, even before the pandemic, a virtual internship offered a lot of benefits. These include: The flexibility to choose when and where you worked. The opportunity of working with global companies without having to move across the world.
- Museums / Galleries. Communications. Education. Finance. Theatre. Government / Politics. Hospitality. Computer Science. Law / Legal. Marketing / PR. NGO / Nonprofit. Sports & Wellness.
- Spring 2023. Summer 2023. Fall 2023.
- AICTE Internship.
- NITI Aayog Internship Scheme.
- Google Summer Internship.
- UNESCO Internship for Graduate Students.
- United Nations Internship Opportunity.
- Internship at Paytm.
- Asian Development Bank.
An internship is for anyone of basically any age. You can be an intern from the age of 14 years old, but a lot of employers and companies will have their own age restrictions, meaning you may have to be 16 at most places. A lot of places decide to set the minimum age as 16, but some may say 18 or older.Which country is best for freshers? ›
- The United Kingdom.
- Hong Kong.
Quarterly Internship – A quarterly internship is an internship program lasting a full quarter-year in length (3 months). Remote Internship – See virtual internship. Semester Internship – A semester internship is an internship program lasting and corresponding with a full college semester.What is the highest paying internship? ›
- Roblox. Median monthly pay: US$9,667. Roblox is not just an online platform where users go to play games. ...
- Uber. Median monthly pay: US$8,333. ...
- Salesforce. Median monthly pay: US$8,167. ...
- Capital One. Median monthly pay: US$8,333.
“ A successful and qualified intern needs to have a willingness to learn. Internships are introductions to career fields that have the capacity to teach really valuable lessons for an interns future career path. Teaching them to be great listeners who know how to take direction and handle constructive criticism.”How internships improve future? ›
An internship helps you develop an understanding of the world of work and an awareness of your own skills and abilities. Getting a good degree is vital but being able to demonstrate to an employer that you have a wide variety of other skills will improve your employment prospects.
What is the highest salary for a Intern in India? Highest salary that a Intern can earn is ₹7.5 Lakhs per year (₹62.5k per month).What should I do for my first internship? ›
- Meet your coworkers. Introduce yourself to everyone in your department. ...
- Set goals. ...
- Watch and learn. ...
- Be professional. ...
- Keep busy. ...
- Stay organized. ...
- Manage your time wisely. ...
- Keep track of your projects.