As a foreign student you should make the most of your opportunities! How about an internship in Germany?
If you want to improve your chances on the international job market, you need experience. You can gain this experience through an internship, for example during the semester break, during a holiday semester or in combination with your studies.
This overview helps you to find an interesting company. Maybe one of the tips will help you find an internship.
How to find an internship in Germany as a foreign student
In the middle of your studies, you are attracted by the idea of taking a break and gaining experience. You may even want to put some money in your account to finance your studies abroad. With an internship in Germany you have a good chance to earn some money as well as some experience. If your goal is an international career, this internship experience can help you very well.
Of course, you can often find a job right after your studies without ever doing an internship, but then you have a very weak profile. It is better if you have already gained experience during your studies!
The trend seems to be increasing internationally: before, during and after studies, internships are being sought. Many students want to try at least one job before they start, and some even want to try two jobs to find out where they want to work later. This has the great advantage that they will then have an idea of their future activities and will later focus their search on finding the absolute perfect job.
Find an internship in Germany
– using your university’s network –
Finding an internship in Germany is not difficult. There are numerous providers of internships. Many companies are looking for interns at all levels and in all functional areas. Some companies even look specifically for interns from abroad.
Close nearby: Search using your university’s network
If you are already a student at a German university, your first point of contact is your university. You can obtain information and receive advice from various contact persons:
- Internship office or career center: In the Career Center of your university there is always a contact person who has information for you. There you will often find a “Favourites list” of top employers.
- Examinations Office of your faculty: Examinations offices often have a lot of information for students. They sometimes maintain a kind of link to industry or know from experience where students at their own university have already completed very interesting internships. Use these contacts of the Examination Office especially if you are looking for an internship with a close topical proximity to your studies.
- Black-board at a department: Each faculty has several chairs that are advertising for themselves. In many cases, professorships also advertise their industrial connections. These contacts are the very ones you’re looking for. So take the chance and search for a notice about cooperation partners or current internship opportunities at the respective, preferably interesting chair.
Set priorities and find your desired internship by choosing the right context
Focus on development: Searching with the help of industry magazines and journals
If you have a precise idea of the industry in which you want to work, it is really worthwhile to get various magazines and publications on research and development.
Use the trade magazines to find interesting companies for an internship!
You can find these magazines
- at the University Library
- via Google’s PDF search
- at the magazine shop
For example, in a magazine on environment and energy efficiency, you can find many articles by companies that actively research, develop and bring their technologies to market and promote future trends. Especially through expert articles in these magazines you will quickly find companies with great potential. Often such companies are also very interested in expanding, opening up new distribution channels or simply finding talented employees.
In most magazines you will also find advertisements from companies that want to develop and sell new products.
Here you will often find the names of relevant companies:
- Magazines for IT (technology, networks, databases, etc.)
- Magazines for medical equipment
- Magazines for automation technology
- Journals on culture and art
- Journals on social issues
By searching for the names of medium-sized companies in your own private research on industry magazines, you can find a suitable answer for your motives to apply. If you get the job you would like get in this company, especially if you try to apply on your own initiative, there is a very good chance of finding a perfect internship. But the prerequisite is that you apply on the basis of your own curiosity and not because you simply need “just one” job.
The effort is not that big and the task is simple! Most of the time, you will find what you are looking for in the university library or at your favourite chair, looking for expert journals.
Using the Internet to find a job
Suche über Portale im Internet
The easiest way to search for a job is via the Internet. You will definitely find an internship position. Whether you’ll get it or not is the crux of the matter. A very large number of students are looking for internships via the Internet. So while you may very often find an internship via your own search and a spontaneous application, you are competing for the same position via the Internet with a very large number of competitors.
You can also use the Internet to search for jobs far away from the usual platforms: local directories and local job boards. If you are looking specifically for local websites in the respective regions where you want to live, you will come across some very successful companies whose names might not even have crossed your mind as an employer. Most of the time these are so-called hidden champions.
Here is one example of a local job board: Arbeitsagentur (external link)
If you are looking via large portals instead, you often have to be prepared for very big competition, because these portals have great popularity. Unfortunately, a very large number of students only use this way to search for jobs. In return, companies often can afford to have some kind of Tinder principle for applications via such portals.