You can do an internship in a company or in a social institution to gain experience in a profession. You will get a specific task or will work on a project – depending on your previous work experience. If you have no experience it might happen that you will only observe how other colleagues work.

The aim of an internship is to make professional contacts and test if you like this job. An internship can be very important for entering the job market and increases your chances to get a job or an “Ausbildung” (vocational training).

If you have any questions about the internship, you can also get advice from a counseling center such as the general career counseling for people under 25 or the general career counseling for people over 25. Below you will find further advice centers that can help you with your internship.

  • How do I find an internship?

    For an internship you need to apply independently at a company. But there are websites where companies offer internships. You can also apply to an employer without an advertisement. This is then called “speculative application”.

  • What is a mandatory internship?

    Sometimes a student has to do an internship as part of courses at university or school . Therefore they are called mandatory internships. But also if you apply for a intertnship or a university studies, it might happen that you are requested to do an internship in the area of work. Companies and universities want to make sure that you like the job and will continue working in that field. Please check before an application, if you need to do an internship and if a internship certificate is required. Important: The requirements to start your studies are different from university to university. Each university can decide freely which applicants will be accepted.

  • Will I earn money during an internship?

    Earning money is normally not the aim of an internship. The aim is to get orientation in the job market. But if an internship is longer than 3 months, the company is normally required to pay money, a minimum of  9,19 Euro per hour. This is the minimum wage in Germany. If the minimum wage needs to be paid during an internship is very complicated to say.

  • How long does an internship last?

    How long an internship lasts is always different. A student internship often lasts only two weeks, while a study internship can last three months or longer. The duration of the internship also depends on the company where you want to do the internship. Discuss in advance with the employer how long the internship should last.

  • What is an internship certificate?

    If you have done an internship, you will receive an internship certificate or internship report from your employer. The certificate or report states what you have learned and done during your internship. An internship certificate is good if you want to apply for an apprenticeship or a job afterwards. So other employers can see what you have already done.

  • Does the job center have to approve an internship?

    Depending on the financial support you receive from the job center, the job center may have to agree to an internship. For unemployment benefit I or II, for example, you need approval from the job center. So if you are a client of the Job Center, you should ask your advisor whether you can do an internship.

  • Do I need an internship contract?

    It is not compulsory to sign a contract for an internship. However, it is better to conclude a contract: So all conditions of the internship are clear. An internship contract should then state…
    – who does the internship with which company
    – whether it is a voluntary internship or a mandatory internship
    – how long the internship lasts
    – how much the trainee should work per week
    – whether the internship is paid
    – what obligations there are on both sides
    – whether there is a notice period

  • Where can I get more information about internships?

    There are several websites that provide information about internships:

    If you have any questions about the internship, you can also get advice from an advice center such as WaBeQ.


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