ASL strongly encourages students to pursue an internship in order to work on your professional skills and gain vital experience and insights into the working world. On this page, you will find information on how to get started with your preparations, finding an internship, securing additional funding, how to earn credits for your internship, and on the internship support at ASL.
Whether you are planning to do an internship in Germany or abroad as part of your studies, you should begin preparing as early as possible, since aspects like application deadlines, language acquisition and visa procedures for internships abroad, or securing additional funding, but also finding the right internship to begin with, can all take several months, depending on where you plan to do your internship.
Besides the information you can find here, a good place to start your journey towards an internship is Leipzig University’s Career Service, which offers a broad variety of internship-related information and assistance, such as guidelines and sources for finding the right internship, or workshops on internships, working abroad, and interview and application strategies. Similarly, Leipzig University’s International Office is a great place to find information and assistance specifically on funding and finding internships abroad.
For guidance towards and during your first steps, you can also contact our internship coordinator or visit one of our regularly offered internship workshops (please check the news section of the ASL-website for upcoming workshops).
In some cases, additional language skills and training might be required for an internship abroad or with certain organizations or companies. The Language Centre (Sprachenzentrum) and the Language Institute (Spracheninstitut) at Leipzig University are probably the best places to improve your skills in a language, both offering courses at reasonable rates and at all proficiency levels. Alternatively, you can also check Volkshochschule Leipzig for similar offers. Another great way to acquire language and cultural skills is the Tandem-system, where you team up with international students that speak the language you are interested in and who want to improve their German skills in return.
If you are planning to do an internship abroad outside the European Union or Schengen Area, you will likely require a visa for the time of your stay. Requirements for visas can vary a great deal from country to country and it usually takes some time before you get your visa, so we recommend looking into the visa application process several months before your internship starts. Similarly, you might require additional health insurance for the duration of your internship. While in some cases, companies and institutions offering internships might assist you in this process, it is usually your responsibility to get these arranged. To get you started the International Centre has information on both insurance and visas, which you can find under their “Downloads”-section on the right.
The Internship Coordinator at American Studies Leipzig manages general internship affairs, advertises select internship offers and holds workshops, and also provides guidance for students interested in internships.
Jessica Kersten is the current Internship Coordinator at American Studies Leipzig and you can contact her at asl-internship(at)uni-leipzig.de and/or see her during her consultation hours, offered online by appointment.
Whether you are planning to do an internship in Germany or abroad, finding the right one is an important, but also often difficult and time-consuming step. We recommend starting your search with one of the institutions below, which all host very helpful and extensive databases of organizations and programs that offer and facilitate internships in Germany and/or abroad.
- Leipzig University Career Service
- Leipzig University International Centre
Please also see their postings of international announcements and placements.
In addition to these, ASL regularly advertises select internship offers and also provides a list (currently under revision) of organizations and institutions offering internships and career opportunities in fields frequently chosen by students of American Studies, such as media and communication, international relations, and cultural exchange.
Besides searching databases, we also recommend contacting companies or institutions that are of interest to you directly and inquire for internship opportunities. Please also keep in mind that prestigious internship positions are highly sought after, so applying for several openings at the same time might be advisable.
Particularly if you are intend to do your internship abroad, you might be confronted with additional expenses before and during your stay, such as visa application fees, travel costs, housing, and overall higher living costs. Thus, securing additional funding for your internship abroad might be advisable, which can come from a variety of sources. Since many of these differ in target groups, level of financial support and application requirements and deadlines, we strongly recommend starting to look into these as early as possible, in order to find the right source of funding for your internship.
Erasmus+ (for Internships Abroad in Europe)
The Erasmus+ Internship program is open for all students who want to do their internship abroad in another European country and funds internship periods abroad lasting between two and twelve months. The application deadline is at least one month before your internship begins and chances to receive support are relatively high.
For more details on the application requirements and process, please see the International Centre’s Information on Erasmus+ Internships.
PROMOS (for Internships Abroad Worldwide)
The PROMOS scholarship is open for all students who want to do their internship abroad worldwide and funds internship periods abroad lasting between six weeks and six months. The scholarship has two fixed annual application periods, usually in spring and in the fall, for internships in the following six months after. The scholarship includes a travel allowance and monthly grant rates depending on the country of destination. You can also apply for PROMOS-funding for other endeavors abroad, such as study trips, language courses, summer schools, or writing your dissertation.
For more details on the application requirements and process, please see the International Centre’s Information on PROMOS Internships.
Leipzig University’s International Office also offers information and guidance towards a range of alternative scholarships for internships, which you can find here.
Another valuable source is the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), which offers a large variety of scholarships and grants, including one for internship periods lasting between forty days and three months.
Many of these funding opportunities can also be combined with International BAföG (AuslandsBAföG), which has higher grant rates and is granted more widely than regular BaföG. Alternatively, you can also apply for a student loan, offered at low interest rates, often with the help of government contributions.
Students have the option to get their internship in Germany or abroad recognized as a key qualification (Schlüsselqualifikation) via modules specifically created for this purpose in both the BA- (Schlüsselqualifikationsmodul (SQM) Praktikumsmodul (04-001-1013)) and MA-level (SQM Professional Internship (04-038-2014)), which can be done once per program level.
In order to receive full credit (10 LP) in these modules, students are required to hand in a proposal before the internship and write a Final Report and an Abstract on their internship experience afterwards, following these guidelines for either the BA- or MA-level.
To register for recognition of your internship and handing in your proposal for approval, please contact Prof. Olaf Stieglitz. Please send your finished report, along with all other required documents to Prof. Olaf Stieglitz for assessment.
Please note that such a recognition is mutually exclusive to that of a study abroad period as a key qualification within the same program level.