You should start planning your internship abroad about a year in advance. As well as the formalities for OTH Regensburg there will be other questions to answer, such as:
"Which country do I want to visit? Will my existing foreign language skills be enough, or do I need to take a language course first? Which company or organisation should it be? Or would I be better off gaining experience working in the research lab of a foreign university? How do I apply? How will I finance my stay abroad? Are there deadlines for applying for funding? Will I need a visa? What insurance cover will I need? What about somewhere to live?"
One of the main questions is how to find a suitable internship. As well as scanning printed and online media for job offers, you can also try submitting unsolicited or ‘speculative’ applications.
There are lots of ways you can search for a position – here are some of them:
At the International Office, students of OTH Regensburg can view field reports written by other students about their experiences with internships spent abroad. They can also search for existing contacts to businesses/universities. Look out for times when the contact for internships abroad is available to give advice.
» Working and studying in a country in Africa, Asia, Latin America or South Eastern Europe (ASA-Program)
» Bavarian International Academic Centres
The following Bavarian International Academic Centres invite applications for internships and offer funding options for certain countries:
- Bavarian Academic Centre for China (BayCHINA) [only available in German and Chinese]
- Bavarian Academic Centre for Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe (BAYHOST)
- Bavarian-Indian Centre for Business and University Cooperation (BayIND)
- Bavarian Academic Centre for Latin America (BAYLAT) [only available in German, Spanish and Portuguese]
- Bavarian Academic Centre for France (BFHZ) [only available in German and French]
» Internships at German Chambers of Commerce (AHKs)
Many German Chambers of Commerce offer internships abroad, and some will also help students search for an internship. Their websites often provide information about companies in the particular country.
» Internships at Goethe-Instituts worldwide [only available in German]
» Internships at political foundations
In the foreign offices of political foundations there is often the possibilty to complete an internship.
- Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) [only available in German]
- Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung für die Freiheit (FNF)
- Hanns-Seidel Stiftung (HSS) [only available in German]
- Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung (hbs)
- Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS)
» Internships through GIZ in the field of development cooperation
» Internships in French-speaking countries
» Interships in international organisations / EU-Institutions
An internship can also be spent working in the European Commission, European Parliament or in an international organisation:
- Contact addresses of respective internship offices [only available in German]
- Carlo-Schmid-Programm [only available in German]
» Internships and job offers with an East Asian focus
The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) arranges and funds research internships (6 weeks to 3 months) for Bachelor degree students in engineering and earth sciences, most of which take place during the semester break in the summer.
» Internship programme with Russia ("Russland in der Praxis" (GoEast)) [only available in German]
Through this programme of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), German Bachelor or Master students can be sponsored for six-month internships in the Russian Federation and can apply for appropriate placements.
Networking is something that can be a major advantage at this early stage. Ask former employers or colleagues you know (from a previous apprenticeship, a temporary student job, a holiday job, etc.) about opportunities for internships in the company abroad and for a contact person. Or talk to professors and lecturers who you know have contacts abroad. Ask around among friends and family who work in companies with foreign links and locations. Or talk to other students who have already spent internships in other countries. Make your personal network work for you!
Multi-national businesses attend and exhibit at major fairs and exhibitions – an ideal environment for making initial contact and enquiring about possible internships. Visit the website of the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry for dates and locations. Yet another useful event is the annual company contact fair CONNECTA [only available in German] which is held at OTH Regensburg.
On the Internet, there are numerous internship and job exchanges, e.g. ErasmusIntern.org, Connecticum.de [only available in German] or Unicum.de [only available in German]. An overview of internship exchanges worldwide will be found at the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) [only available in German]. It's also worth taking a look at the Job and Internship Exchanges of OTH Regensburg [only available in German].
In addition to student organisations like AIESEC [only available in German] und IAESTE you will find numerous commercial agencies on the internet who offer their services for a fee. You should always remember to check on the quality of the internships offered and their price/performance ratio. Guidance can be found in the brochure „Wege ins Auslandspraktikum“ [only available in German].
Visit the career portal of potential employers on the internet.
Firms in general can be located using special search engines (e.g. EUROPAGES, IndustryStock, Kompass) or consult the Yellow Pages of your destination country. Some websites of German Chambers of Commerce (AHKs) provide lists of their members in the individual countries.