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Leave of Absence, Insurance, Contract, Visa

Remember to inform yourself about necessary formalities in time! Does your insurance cover your stay abroad? Do you need your internship contract to be signed? Who consults you regarding visa matters? Is a leave of absence required?

Below you find some information regarding this topics. For further information, have a look at the FAQ section on our German website.

Leave of absence

If you plan to do a longer internship abroad that exceeds the time of the semester break, you should check if you can request a leave of absence. The semester on leave of absence is not counted as a regular semester, so it will not be taken into account regarding the standard study period. For the request, you need a internship certificate from the internship company, which indicates the duration of the internship. Further information is provided by the Student Administration

Contracts for Internships abroad

Students, that do an internship, should sign a contract in any case- whether the internship is completed in Germany or abroad and whether it is a paid or an unpaid internship. In some countries there are legal regulations that require a contract between the internship company, the university and the intern. 

If your internship company requests such an agreement or hands you in a contract to sign, you should first approach the head of the Career Service. Some companies have own standard contracts, that require a confirmation from the university, which we are not able or allowed to give. Other companies will ask you to get a standard contract from your university. The Career Service can provide you a template for France and Spain in particular, as well as a general template in English. As there can occur complications regarding the completion of the agreement, take into account long processing times. 

After the completed contract has been signed by the internship company, please send it to careerservice@fu-berlin.de for the verification and signature on the part of the university. There is needed one exemplar for each party (the internship company, the university and the intern). 


For your planned stay abroad, you should ensure that you have a sufficient insurance cover. On one side, this protects you in case of illnesses, accidents or material damages. On the other side, some aid programs such as ERASMUS+ request those certificates of insurance for the application for student mobility grants.

Essential are...

  • a health insurance
  • an accident insurance
  • a liability insurance 

Get in touch with your respective insures in order to clearify whether and to what extend your insurances cover your stay abroad. Usually you need supplementary insurances. As the prices for insurances vary a lot, a comparison of the price-performance ratio can be useful.

We recommend the cheap combination of health, accident and liability insurance included in the DAAD group contract, which can be an option if you are doing a mandatory internship or if the DAAD or one of its partner organisation supports you or accepts you as an intern. 

Visa and work permit 

Within countries of the European Union, European citizens do not need a visa and a work permit. You can inform yourself about exceptions and special regulation on the information portal of the European Union. Regarding countries outside the European Union, there are different regulations. 

The respective regulations and requirements are country-specific. In order to receive detailed information, you should contact the respective embassies or consulates. You can also find the information concerning the visa regulations on the webpages of the foreign representations. 

You should inform yourself about the regulations in your country of destination at an early stage. In addition, you have to count with costs for the visa and a processing time which might last for several weeks or even months.