For some study programs an internship (often called “Vorpraktikum”) belongs to the application requirements. This is especially the case for technical subjects and programs at universities of applied sciences, like social work.
This internship has two purposes:
- The applicants should get an impression of the practical part of a profession related to the studies. It should help you find out if this practical experience fits your expectations and is right for you.
- Universities want their future students to learn some practical basics to better understand and learn the theoretical part.
How long and where do I do the internship?
The kind of required internship will usually vary from university to university and it should be described on their homepages. In general, you will be asked to complete between 6 and 13 weeks, which may in some cases be done at different companies. It can be at a company you found or from a list provided by the university. Some universities will ask you to complete the internship before the start of the studies. In other cases you may finish it after the start of your studies. If you are unsure about this, check the websites and ask.
If you already did an internship, worked or did a vocational training in the field of the study program that you want to apply for, this experience may well be accepted as an internship. Ask at the university, to be sure.
How can I find a place for an internship?
In general, the universities are not organizing this for you. You have to look and apply for one on your own. You can find internship places by
- checking internship online offers like my stipendium,
- finding a company or organization that interests you and contact them,
- asking at the Career Center of the university for references to companies.
How can I finance my internship?
If the internship is a compulsory requirement for your uni application, you might get BaföG during the time of the internship. Some companies also pay their interns.