Improve your German and build your CV
with work experience in Berlin
If you are at least 18yrs of age, an EU citizen and already have good German language skills, why not hone those skills and take a work placement in Berlin with CESA this year. There are an amazing array of opportunities available to anyone who is interested in this exciting work placement programme.
Work experience in Germany (unpaid)
Prerequisite is your participation in a German language course (Standard, Intensive or Combined Courses) of at least 4 weeks duration – longer, if you need more time to reach level B1 ) required by German host companies in Berlin (see CEF language level chart for further information on level requested.
• 4 week German course + 6, 8 or 12 weeks internship in Berlin
• Start: any Monday all year round (except Christmas period)
Previous work experience arranged in the German parliament, the Literaturfestival Berlin, with Berlin lawyers and architects. On average the school organises 80 – 100 work experience places every year.
The work placement starts AFTER you finished your German course, working hours usually full day
Professional work experience fields offered to date:
• Culture and cultural institutions
• Event Management
• Graphic & Design
• IT & Communication Technologies
• Law – legal internships
• Political Organizations (NGOs)
• PR Public Relations
• Real Estate
• Social Work
Please note: these are samples – the German language school in Berlin guarantee an internship in the professional field you indicate, not in a specific company. As host companies insist on a personal interview, you will receive the definite address and acceptance from the selected company once you are in Berlin, not prior to your arrival in Germany.
Work Experience Programme Requirements
- knowledge of German on level B1 by the time you start the internship
- participation in a German language course of min. 4 weeks – longer if you need more time to get to level B1
- minimum age 18
- hold an European Union passport
- finished secondary education
- time budget of min. 10 weeks (course + internship)
German Course Programme Fees
1/ Work Experience placement fee
2/ German language course fee
3/ Accommodation fee
All of which can be found on the CESA Course Finder (German / Berlin search).
If in doubt please contact the CESA office for advise.
At the end of the Work Experience programme you will receive 2 certificates
One from the German language school and one from the host company about your internship in Berlin. The school certifies your language skills; the host company issues a statement commenting your performance as an intern.
German Work Experience Course Application
Please apply for an internship in Berlin ideally 8 to 12 weeks prior to course start date) and absolutely no later than 4 weeks prior to course start date (in the summer months late enrolment won’t be feasible, as course / placement /accommodation options will be in high demand), accompanied by:
• CV in German. Don´t worry about minor mistakes you may make: If necessary we will correct linguistic mistakes before sending it out to companies. We are also ready to work on your CV with you once you are here, but we need at least a first draft from you, however imperfect, when you enroll.
• letter of intent in German – describing your language skills, previous professional experiences and expectations regarding the internship in Berlin – sample letter of motivation
• your CESA course enrolment
Coaching session with German school staff
One free coaching workshop (90 minutes duration) at the school in Berlin : Held after class in the afternoon, and usually shortly before students have their interview or their first day at their Berlin host company. Sometimes there is only one intern coming to the workshop, sometimes 2 or 3, usually from different countries and different backgrounds. A one-to-one session ensure plenty of personal attention, however where there are a few students together they are able to talk to each other about their concerns and expectations. They can also hear what other interns say about their professional backgrounds and realize that they have to ask a lot of questions in order to fully understand what each intern does – exactly as a German boss would need to, when they are not familiar with your background. Through the coaching sessions students learn that an internship is a challenge for both parties, the intern and the boss. Attendants come from different countries and different professional backgrounds. Ages vary, too – some interns have oly just finished high school, but other participants can be 40 years of age or older and are using the internship to refocus themselves professionally.
The coaching session is a very practical affair but there are theoretical guidelines as well – new students learn that it is neccesary courtesy to their host company to research the business/organisation on line and gather information on it. But the main focus is on the practical issues. For example a number of questions will be posed that a German boss or a German colleague is bound to ask the work experience student:
1/ What have you done to date professionally?
2/ What do you know about us? Why are we of interest to you?
3/ What can you offer us, in terms of skills?
4/ What do you want to do later in life?
These questions are presented in German in the coaching session and students are asked to prepare their answers in German. Students are not expected to learn their answers by heart, but will be asked to repeat them several times, so that they can leave the session able to answer with competence if not fluency, in German.
Intercultural issues are also addressed, in practical terms. Some students are keen to discuss the job requirements in their home country and ask if customs are the same in Germany. In France for example it seems to be ok for a boss to ask candidates if they have negative characteristics or vices. In Germany a boss is not supposed to do that, so these are the types of questions we discuss, to reassure the students. The most frequent question, however, is that about appearances: how best to dress? The answer is that in Berlin dress is quite casual, so there is no need to dress up.
Does the German work experience programme interest you?
Please discuss the course with CESA staff by email, or enrol on line or by phone: 01209 211800