If you intend to complete an internship overseas, you should make the necessary preparations well in advance.
Make sure you consider the following:
- Finding an internship
- Financing the internship
- Credit transfer towards your degree
Many countries offer special visas with a work permit to allow young people to complete a paid internship in the particular country.
We would like to show you some examples below. Make sure that you contact the embassy of your guest country in Germany well in advance so that you don't experience any unpleasant surprises.
Visas and Applications for North America, Australia and New Zealand
The USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia continue to be attractive destinations for students who would like to complete an internship abroad.
To do an internship in the USA you must apply for what is called a "J-1 visa", which is neither a student visa nor a tourist visa. The J-1 visa is also required for unpaid work such as au pair work or an unpaid internships lasting less than three months. Go to https://de.usembassy.gov/visas/ to find out about the types of visas.
The J-1 visa MUST be applied for through placement organizations such as the College Council or the German American Chamber of Commerce. The fee charged for this service also includes health insurance (obligatory for the USA). Such organizations also offer other services for a fee, such as internship placements. A J-1 visa for an internship cannot be issued without going through one of these organizations. The costs involved typically amount to a minimum of 600 euros depending on the scope of the package booked. Students find internships in Australia and New Zealand the most often via contacts to German companies with foreign affiliates. What are referred to as "internships" in Germany are not as well known in many foreign countries and are thus not offered as much. Make use of the chambers of foreign trade and contacts to fellow students who have been to Australia or New Zealand. Taking the initiative yourself will be very important here. Visas for Australia can be applied for online, and compared to the US, you can get one with less time and effort. We would recommend that you apply for one of the "working holiday maker programme“ visas if you meet the requirements. You must apply for a visa for Canada well in advance since as early as April the quota for the entire year has often already been reached.
A list of organizations often used for placements in these regions is provided below. This list is for information purposes only. We cannot vouch for the information contained therein.
- Internships, studying and working in English-speaking countries abroad (College Council): www.college-council.de (fee is charged)
- Working as a student assistant in the USA & work permits for the USA for self organized internships including health insurance for which a fee is charged (Travel Works): www.travelworks.de
- Internships in the USA for students and career starters at American and multinational companies (German American Chamber of Commerce Inc.): www.gaccny.com
- Work & Study / Work & Travel/ Internship (STEP IN GmbH): www.stepin.de (fee is charged)
If you apply for an internship at foreign companies directly, ensure that you follow all rules when submitting your application. A brochure on this subject is available at the International Office at THM or you can receive a copy from the university team at the Employment Office. A great deal of information on country specific application procedures is available on the internet. Just enter "job application US" in your search engine.
In addition the International Office offers once every academic year a Training Workshop for applications for North America and Australia & New Zealand. The workshop is called "How to find a Job".
Visa for Taiwan
The "Working Holiday Visa" allows young people to travel to Taiwan and cover their costs by working at various jobs.
In this way German citizens between the ages of 18 and 30 can stay in Taiwan for up to a year and perform paid jobs during this time. The visa is valid for twelve months from the issue date, and multiple country departures and entries are permitted as long as the visa is valid. The visa also includes permission to work at short-term jobs. Currently a maximum of 200 visas can be issued for German citizens each year.
You can find detailed information on this visa, requirements and applications in the attached fact sheet or at the local Taipei representation website: www.taiwanembassy.org/de. Select here the department of consular affairs, entry requirements.