More and more students are moving to Germany to start their career. The adventure of working in Germany for a few months will not only allow you to gain some work experience and some extra money, it will also help you to learn one of the languages most in demand by European companies.
The reality is that Germany is a land where employment opportunities for students thrive. Today I’ll tell you about the most common options and give you a couple of tips to help you embark on your own adventure in the Germany.
1. Find Employment as a University Student
If you are an EU citizen studying at a university you can work in Germany with the same privileges as a German student. “Working student jobs” (Werkstudenten Jobs) and summer jobs (Ferialarbeit) are my preferred choice if you are looking for a job during the holidays and your command of German is fairly good (B1+).
Normally, you will do unskilled jobs that are physically demanding: production lines, hotels and restaurants…. But it is worth the effort: wages in Germany are far higher than in Southern or Eastern Europe, especially if you find a large company with an international presence. Look at classifieds sites like Locanto to find the right job opportunities for you.
Best of all? Students enjoy tax exemptions in Germany! If your total earnings do not exceed a certain annual amount, your salary will be tax-free.
My experience: During my studies, I spent the summers working for a major cultural festival. The experience not only allowed me to improve my CV, it also “saved my life” when it came to paying for my university tuition and living expenses.
2. Au pair stay
The classic among the classics. I won’t stop to explain what it means to be an au pair, I’m sure you know that. However, I will tell you more about the particularities of being one in Germany. On the one hand, the formalities are minimal if you come from the EU: you only need a valid identity card and the signed au pair contract.
The salary of an au pair in Germany is fixed: 260 euros per month but the family will offer you free food and accommodation. It will also take care of your health insurance and should support you if you want to take language courses.
My advice: It’s the best choice if your German is not good but you want to experience total cultural and linguistic immersion – you will learn a lot in just six months!
But be cautious: you will live with a family you don’t know and appearances can be deceiving. Go beyond the typical previous video calls, ask for references about the family from previous au pairs. If you can, use an intermediary agency. That way you’ll be backed up if something doesn’t work out the way you’d hoped.
An internship in Germany is a good way to gain experience in your professional field. The level of German required depends on the company and the type of work… and in many cases they will only ask you to speak English!
Internships in Germany offer a small remuneration and include compulsory health insurance. However, with your Praktikant salary it will be difficult for you to afford a place to live and pay your living expenses.
My advice: I would therefore recommend that you contact your university or organisations such as the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) to find out about the internships you are eligible for. In addition, many international companies based in Germany offer paid internship programs for foreign students that already include room and board.
Volunteering in Germany will be a life-changing experience… and your resume! The best thing is that, normally, a medium-low level of German will suffice.
My advice: Write down the name of this German government program because it is very popular with young people: Freiwilliges Soziales Jahr (Year of Social Volunteering in Germany). You can also take a look at the financial support from the European Voluntary Service.
As part of these programs, you will perform support tasks in schools, sports clubs, museums, nursing homes, hospitals. It is feasible because you will receive a small monthly payment (150-300 €) and, at the same time, you will enjoy free medical insurance, food and accommodation.
If you found this article interesting, you might also want to read about “A number of career opportunities in the IT sector to grab” or how “D Pharma Course Can Open Various Paths for You”.