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Living in Germany
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Tips on Internships in Germany

First, make your college studies or previous work experience and you internship focus consistent. Germans understand and approve of consistency because their own system doesn’t allow much maneuvering.

The easiest internship placements are in engineering. Your German skills can be almost nonexistent—although it’s recommended that you have some. If you majored in business, social sciences, or humanities, a speaking level of German will be crucial to landing a good internship.

Scarcely any Americans intern in Germany outside the summer months or for longer periods of time such as six months or a year. Americans are allowed up to 18 months of interning in the country. I found most Germans and German companies to be quite open and excited about having an American intern for the intercultural exchange and learning that takes place. (This contrasts to my work experience in London, where having an American accent was almost a negative factor in landing a job.) Germans appreciate and at times seek out American interns.

Don’t let the low internship pay deter you. The cost of living in Germany can be kept to a minimum in ways not possible in the U.S. You won’t need a car, and decent accommodations can readily be found for around €200 to €300. You will never be denied a residence permit or work permit once you have found an internship.

If you want to find an internship on your own, good websites to check out are www.jobpilot.de and www.unicum.de. For internship placement or/and work permit assistance contact CDS International in New York City (www.cdsintl.org, info@cdsintl.org) or Internationale Weiterbildung und Entwicklung in Cologne (www.inwent.org).

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