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10 tips for finding an internship in Germany

finding an internship in germany

To be sure of getting an internship in Germany, plan ahead, make sure that your application file is complete (diplomas , correspondence in German, internship certificates and training) and suitable for the company in which you are applying, and thus multiply the chances of getting a job interview. 

When trying to get an internship in Germany, also think about reimbursement of maintenance costsremuneration, scholarships, finding accommodation as well as opening a German bank account. Here are our 10 tips to make your internship a success and a real springboard to employment.

1. To obtain an internship, you have to do it in advance

The duration of an internship in Germany varies from 3 to 6 months, rarely 2 months, which sometimes makes the search difficult. German companies plan to hire an intern for at least 6 months at the advance.

2. Make a complete application file

It is important to submit a complete application file, if possible a German-language CV, even if applications from engineers are increasingly circulating in English.

Sending a German CV will prove your ability to integrate into a German working environment. If possible, have it corrected by native German speakers to get multiple opinions, and don’t forget to add a photo.

3. Get your degrees and diplomas translated into German

Even if you are European, you have to get your degree translated Despite the European reforms of recent years, it is not always easy to obtain a match with the German diplomas.

If you are not European, you simply have to make it easier for companies to evaluate your diplomas by having a translation.


4. Attach all certificates during the electronic application

Remember to scan your previous internship certificates, your baccalaureate diploma and other training courses completed since. In Germany, it is necessary to include the certificates ( Zeugnisse ) in your electronic application.

5. Learn about the company and individualize your application

In order to make your German application unique, base yourself on the objectives and duration of the proposed internship, and explicitly state your motivations in relation to the company.

6. Prepare for the job interview with a German company

You have to prepare for the interview. Just get comfortable with the basic questions you might end up being asked. Below are tThe 10 most frequent questions during the interview in German:

1. Tell us about yourself.Erzählen Sie etwas über sich.
2. Can you tell us the most important stages in your journey?Würden Sie bitte Ihren Lebenslauf mit den wichtigsten Stationen zusammenfassen?
3. What are your strengths?Wo liegen Ihre Stärken?
4. What are your weak points?Wo liegen Ihre Schwächen?
5. Why do you want to change companies? (if you have interned somewhere else)Warum wollen Sie Ihre derzeitige Firma verlassen / den Arbeitsplatz wechseln?
6. How are you the right candidate for the position in question?Warum sind Sie der / die Richtige für die angebotene Stelle?
7. How do you want to evolve in 5 or even 10 years?Wo sehen Sie sich in 5 oder gar 10 Jahren?
8. What do you know about our company?Was wissen Sie über unser Unternehmen?
9. Why did you apply to us?Warum haben Sie sich gerade bei uns beworben?
10. How did you relate to your boss and your colleagues?Wie sind Sie mit Ihren ehemaligen Kollegen und Vorgesetzten klargekommen?

Also interesting, knowing how to dress during an interview in Germany.

7. Estimate the cost of interviewing with the company

There are precise rules in Germany regarding the assumption of travel costs by a potential employer. During your interview and whether you were hired or not, travel expenses were incurred. Is the German company obliged to reimburse travel expenses?

The legal principle: There is a “tacit” contract to cover the application costs by the company. According to § 670 BGB, the company (Auftraggeber) must bear all the necessary costs arising from the maintenance.

Exception: The company can exclude this right to reimbursement. It must first expressly state that the costs incurred will not be covered. (vgl ArbG Kempten 12.4.94, DB 94, 1504). An advertisement in a newspaper or an advertisement with the Agentur für Arbeit does not constitute a basis for this right to reimbursement.

8. Get an idea of what the internship allowances will be

After the abuses observed in recent years and the debates in Germany as in France about the Precarious Generation, the French legislator and German judges intervened to prevent the abuses of fictitious hiring.

As an example, internships in France of at least 2 months must be remunerated at least 600.60 euros per month. The remuneration of the internship varies between 700 and 1400 euros in Germany, it depends on several criteria, in particular the sector of activity.

In Germany, there is no minimum wage obligation. In practice, the pay scale is between 300 to 800 € and more. It all depends on the type of internship (see paragraph below) as well as the location. Indeed, German cities like Munich, Frankfurt or Stuttgart generally have higher allowances than Berlin. In the particular case of the public sector and associations, remuneration is rarer.

Comparison of remuneration for an internship in Germany by sector

SectorAverage remuneration
Management consultancy1.420,31 Euro
IT, Internet & Telecommunications1,262.37 Euro
Banks, Finance & Insurance1.240,78 Euro
Consumer goods1.233,48 Euro
Health & Pharmaceuticals1,109.64 Euro
Media & Marketing1.087.13 Euro
Chemistry1.066.67 Euro
Research & Science1.003.67 Euro
Aeronautics & Aerospace1,000.00 Euro
Construction and public works996.92 Euro
Education & training983,00 Euro
Automotive911,47 Euro
Logistic transport872.98 Euro
Electrical engineering, Precision mechanics & Optics861.15 Euro
Mechanical Engineering843.48 Euro
Personnel services836.61 Euro
Energy, building materials & raw materials809.35 Euro

9. Apply for a grant for the internship in Germany

Living on an internship allowance in Germany is very tough. So the earlier you apply for a grant, the better.

There are a number of scholarships that can meet your overseas internship project. We have listed the internship grants offered by various Franco-German organizations (such as the OFAJ ), even German foundations which in particular cases grant financial aid.

10. Find an apartment or a shared flat in Germany

As soon as you know the destination of your internship, start your search for an apartment or shared apartment ( WG = Wohngemeinschaft ) in Germany as soon as possible. 

Also think about your registration with the town hall ( Anmeldung ) as well as the opening of a bank account.

Recap on finding an internship in Germany

How to find an in-company internship position:

  • Contact the career counseling service:
    Most training companies ask the employment agency to suggest suitable applicants. So get in touch with your career counseling or your job center; this can increase your chances of getting an apprenticeship position.
  • Use the AzubiWelt app to search for training positions online:
    The AzubiWelt app can be downloaded free of charge from the Google Playstore and the Apple Store.
  • Find out about the situation on the apprenticeship market :
    In the apprenticeship market radar, you can find out how many apprenticeships in a particular occupation are for how many applicants.
  • Be flexible if there are no apprenticeship positions in your region:
    If you cannot find what you are looking for in your region, then look elsewhere. You may have to move for an apprenticeship in your dream job. Talk to your parents so they can help you with this. It does not have to fail because of the costs; under certain conditions you will receive a financial grant (vocational training grant) . In many regions there are youth residences where you can rent a room.
  • Start your search early on:
    Larger companies often advertise their training positions a year and a half before the start of the training year. Even with authorities and administrations there are usually long lead times. The career counseling service can give you information about dates and deadlines.
  • Look for apprenticeships in your alternative
    professions: Certain apprenticeships are very popular. Think about alternatives in good time if you cannot find what you are looking for in your dream job.
  • Apply on your own initiative :
    Have you already done an internship at a company? Then you can ask if she also offers apprenticeships. Such an unsolicited application can also lead to an apprenticeship position.
  • Use other sources for your searchFind out more
    on other sites, such as the apprenticeship exchanges of the chambers of industry and commerce and the chambers of crafts. You can also find jobs in newspapers, at training fairs or on company websites.

How to find a school-based internship position:

  • Use the “Vocational Training” world of discovery to find school-based training positions.
  • If you have to move for your apprenticeship, you can  rent a room in a youth hostel .
  • Find out early! For many school-based training programs, you have to apply at least one year before you start your professional training. Often an internship has to be completed beforehand. Sometimes certain school grades are also required.
  • Some training courses are very popular. Therefore, consider alternatives if you cannot find an apprenticeship position in your dream job.



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