Internships in Berlin - FAQ
Which career fields are available?
We arrange internships in fields such as Marketing, Insurance, Travel and Tourism, Graphics and Design, Social Services, Political Organisations and Communication Technologies. Other fields are possible on request. Please note: we grant a placement in a professional field, not in a specific company.
Will I earn money?
No, your internship is unpaid. Some of the host companies or institutions may offer to pay you a little amount afterwards, if they were very happy with the work you did, but in general internships are unpaid in Germany. In exchange for your work, your host company grants you insight in the professional field that you are interested in. And you will profit as well by training social skills in a cultural context, different from the one you are coming from.
How do you find host companies?
For one, we have been placing foreign interns in Berlin companies for a couple of years by now, so there are contacts coming from there. Secondly, GLS does inhouse language training for lots of companies and institutions in Berlin, which means that we know their Human Resources departments quite well. And a third source for company contacts is GLS memberships in associations like Marketing Club Berlin or Wirtschaftsjunioren.
When and how should I apply - and what about requirements?
- age: 18 or older
- knowledge of German on intermediate level
- completed secondary education
- flexibility and adaptability
- time budget: minimum 10 weeks
Those requirements are the basic ones, but of course potential host companies are happy if you bring more than that, professional experience for example or some university studies. In some companies this even is a prerequisite: If you are interested in Radio or TV for example, the institutions we work with demand that you already finished two years of university studies.
Ideally you apply at least 2 months prior to arrival in Berlin. Please apply by filling out this online booking form, indicating which German language course you selected and then filling in the field below re work experience.
Your application including your CV and letter of motivation - both in German - have to be handed in 4 weeks prior to the date, that you´d like your work experience to begin. If your documents are handed in later, a placement in time cannot be guaranteed
Will I have a selection of companies to choose from?
Not in the sense, that you have several interviews at several companies and then select the one you liked best. The way it works is this:
Prior to your arrival we preselect potential host companies for you, that match both your requirements re professional field and the background you have. Once you are here and we had a chance to talk to you, we focus on one host company or institution, which emerges as the best possible match. We then will arrange an interview with that company for you, and if the company agrees to take you in as an intern, you are expected to accept that placement. If you reject a placement done by GLS without good reason, the placement fee will not be refunded.
If I finish my internship sooner than agreed upon - will I get a refund then?
No fees are refunded in case of a premature dropping out: Once you accepted a placement, you have a commitment towards your host company and can´t drop out inbetween: host companies expect reliability in your attendance as well as social skills.
Can I do my German courses in the morning, and the work experience in the afternoon?
Host companies expect interns to be available all day and to adapt to their work schedule, so you will have to finish your German course first before starting the work experience. That way you have a chance to explore Berlin by coming along on the after-class activities and excursions we offer.
Can I do an internship, if I don´t speak German, but know English well?
No, unfortunately not: even though in bigger companies staff use English a lot, the common working language in Berlin still is German. And neither companies nor institutions will accept you as an intern, if you don´t speak German on an intermediate level at least. To give you an idea: if you start with 0 knowledge of German and want to reach intermediate level, you need between 5 or 6 months of German with 20 lessons per week.
Do I have to take the German course, even if my German is already quite good?
Yes, you do: We consider the German course necessary to prepare you for your work experience, as you won´t only train your German, but also learn a lot about German culture and mentality. Plus that way we have a chance to talk to you personally and to get to know more about your professional background - very helpful in order to secure the best match possible.
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