Currently, we have 888 internships available in Berlin, offered by companies such as AkzoNobel, Atlas Copco, Baker & McKenzie, Abbott & ABB. Apply today to get important work experience, start building your professional network and find out what it's like to live in Germany's buzzing capital!
There are many different opportunities for an internship in Germany’s capital: the metropolis with its 3.5 million people is home to many international companies as much as quirky startups and political organizations. Berlin is Germany’s political power hub as you will be able to see as soon as you take the S-Bahn from the city’s central station to Friedrichstraße: the train ride will take you past the sprawling panorama of political Berlin, the parliamentary building (Reichstag) with its glass cupola and the chancellor’s offices (Kanzleramt) in full view. Needless to say that a lof of firms are seeking the vicinity to the place where the decisions are made that guide Europe’s biggest economy.
At the same time the city is always abuzz with new trends from all over the world - may it be fashion, music, art or the latest digital technology. Still, Berlin is not only a place of the future but also of the past. The city carries the marks of German and world history: from the grandeur of the Brandenburger Tor to the sadly haunting atmosphere of the Holocaust memorial only a few steps further, from Alexanderplatz as the former center of East Berlin to the remains of the Berlin Wall, a reminder of the city’s and Germany’s separation until 1989. Berlin is a place where history comes to life.
There are a lot of stereotypes about the German work ethics. While there is at least a grain of truth in most of them, there are still some caveats. Yes, Germans work a lot, but the country also enjoys one of the highest number of public holidays worldwide. Yes, Germans like their work to be efficient - for that matter, so is their way of communication (why be subtle when you can just tell it like it is?). Still, most of them will never refuse a friendly chat, a good laugh or an afterwork drink, and lunch hour is holy in most companies.
As an international intern, you should realize that while English may be a corporate language in many firms, most of the informal day-to-day-conduct is still in German - therefore, it helps to have some knowledge of the language. In their favor, one has to say that Germans are aware of how difficult their language is to learn and are eager to help you be understood, so don’t be shy about trying to speak. At the same time English speaking skills of Germans vary greatly: While you can find people who have lived abroad and are more or less fluent in English, this is usually restricted to certain environments, such as academia and the tourism sector. In everyday life, many Germans are not used to speaking English and find it rather a challenge, so some knowledge of German comes in handy when asking directions or dealing with the bureaucracy.
Regarding formalities, if you are a citizen of another EU country, an internship in Germany does not require much of an organizational effort. If you are not from the EU, special visa regulations may apply. Also, German law requires that interns are enrolled as students in a university somewhere, with the exception of when you are filling a gap between finishing your Bachelor and starting your Master studies. Furthermore, the law about when an internship falls under minimum-wage-regulations is quite complicated and still hotly debated, so be sure to gather some additional information that apply to your individual circumstances.
Tip 2: Be aware that the requirements for job applications in Berlin may be different from what you are used to. So spend some time finding out how a standard German CV looks and be prepared for some of the peculiarities of the German job market.
Even though Berlin’s inhabitants will never hesitate to complain about how expensive everything has become in recent years, it’s worth to note that the average price levels in the city are still quite low - it is far more affordable to live in Berlin than, say, London, Paris or Copenhagen. Room prices in shared apartments start at 200 Euros per month. The public transport system is very developed, so you can almost get anywhere within the city by S-train, metro or bus. Just remember that the city is very spread out, so getting from one place to another even within the Mitte-district can take a while, especially during rush hour.
With roughly 200.000 students at different schools and institutes, Berlin is a young and buzzing city with an international flair and reputation as a tourist magnet. People who have grown up in Berlin tend to frown at their city being invaded by tourists and international investors. Berlin natives have a reputation (even among the Germans) for having a bit of a rough charm. At the same time, they are humble and open to embracing different cultures - giving interns a great opportunity to make most of their international experience.