There are many good reasons to do an internship abroad. You can improve your foreign language skills, gain insight into a foreign organization or company, and also enhance your professional skills. Hence, an internship in another country opens up professional prospects for your further career and increases your chances of getting an interesting job after finishing your studies.
Our German website offers a wealth of useful information about necessary preparations for your time abroad,recommandations regarding the application process for internships in countries like the UK and United States, and an overview of various aid and funding options, such as ERASMUS, PROMOS, and short-term DAAD scholarships.
If you are in search of an internship abroad, you can use our lists of links, which is divided in specific countries and regions, as a starting point. We have compiled information about specific countries, regional job and internship opportunities, and institutions and cultural institutes.
The information about internships abroad is in large part only available in German. The links below will lead you to the relevant section of our German website.
Finding an accurate internship in another country requires a great amount of self initiative and organizational skills. In case that your first application is already successful, the searching process can be completed very fast. Nevertheless, organizational matters generally take more time than applicants had expected. And applying for student mobility grants usually involves taking into account long processing times. Keeping this in mind, we advise you to start researching and gathering information about a year before your planned stay abroad.
On our German website, we have compiled an FAQ section that answers initial questions concerning internships abroad (in German).
Every country has its own conventions regarding the application process. For this reason, we regularly offer workshops and seminars on “Applying in English, French and Spanish” for the students at Freie Universität Berlin. You can enrol to the courses either through our open event program or within the ABV internship module. Additionally, you can visit our library for further literature and guidebooks on the topic.
On our German website, we have compiled the most important hints and tips for applying.
There are many funding programs that provide financial support for students who plan to complete an internship abroad. Some of the programs offer in addition to scholarships and grants also assistance regarding your internship placement. You will find an overview of the main programs on our German website (links below).
For further information, you should consult the current information about the programs on the respective website of the provider where you can find out more detailed information such as the requirements and conditions of application deadlines.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
- 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.
The report section on our German website assembles experiences that students of Freie Universität Berlin gained during their internships abroad. The reports show the wide range of international internship opportunities and the diversity of the students experiences.
If you need more information, you also have the possibility to come to one of our consultation hours concering internships abroad or you can also contact us via e-mail in order to get more information. Among other insider tips, we can search for internship reports and contacts of institutions that interests you in our database.
A lot of intership reports written by the students are not online, as we need a permission from the students and from their internship company or organization in order to be able to publish them. But we can promise you: There will be currently more reports available.