Experience at a company abroad
Most companies - even small and mid-size businesses - like to recruit new hires who have intercultural competence and personal (work) experience in a foreign country. The best way to gain this kind of experience is to complete an internship abroad. An internship abroad is a good alternative to studying abroad.
Practical degree phase abroad
You can complete any practical portion of your degree course abroad, i.e. the first internship at the beginning of the course, the second internship towards the end and/or your thesis project. Depending on a student's degree subject, internships last anywhere from 8 to 24 weeks. The longer you are available to work at a particular company, the more likely your chances of getting an internship there.
In addition to the compulsory internships you can also complete a voluntary internship abroad, such as during the summer breaks.
It would be a good idea to complete an internship abroad when you are in the second half of your programme. Internships are also available during the summer breaks.
Financing an internship
Besides looking for a company where you can do your internship you should also consider financing. A scholarship may be quite helpful in this case. In some cases applications for scholarships can be submitted to the International Office BEFORE receiving written confirmation of a particular internship. To find out more make an appointment with Stefanie Müller-Eibich at the International Office (Giessen: Thurs. 12:30 - 2:30 p.m., A13.0.1 ; Friedberg: Mondays and Wednesdays 12:30 - 2:30 p.m., Room A3.0.09).
If you're considering an internship abroad, you should plan three to four months for the application process for scholarships in Europe and nine to twelve months for scholarships for overseas internships. Generally speaking financial aid programmes can be divided according to certain regions in the world. (you can find the most common organizations awarding scholarships on our website under the heading "Scholarships".)
Internships in Europe
- Financial aid is available almost exclusively via the ERASMUS+ programme (for students and postgraduates). Since Eastern Europe is a special focus of many aid programmes in Europe, there are also scholarships that are available from various foundations (e.g. the Haniel Foundation or German Academic Scholarship Foundation). It may be worth your while to consider completing an internship in Warsaw, Prague or Budapest.
Internships outside of Europe
- For internships outside of Europe the PROMOS Scholarship Programme has made scholarships available since the autumn semester of 2010-11. Aid is provided for internships related to a student's degree subject and lasting between six weeks and six months.
- Other programmes are available depending on the region you wish to go to, your degree subject and the relevant time period. We would highly recommend that you search the DAAD Scholarship Database to find a programme that suits your individual needs. Please remember that there are only one or two application deadlines per year for most programmes and you should plan nine to twelve months in advance for internships abroad (e.g. to apply for a visa).
All internships you complete, both at home and abroad, must be closely coordinated with your department even in the planning phase, either with the internship coordinator or a relevant professor in the department. This is particularly important if the internship must meet certain requirements in terms of type and content, and you want the credits to be counted towards your degree (stipulated in your course guidelines and/or examination procedures).