Are you interested in an internship, research internship, or grant using your German language skills, but have a lot of questions? Please read through our Frequently Asked Questions to get answers about the process, timeline, and requirements.
We have comprised a list of opportunities for a variety of interests, ranging from grants and internship programs to direct internship offers by select companies, research institutes and organizations. Please read carefully through all options and contact our Internship Coordinator if you have questions or need help with your application materials. Please check the programs’ websites to confirm application deadlines, as they are subject to change.
Grants are funded summer, semester or post-graduation programs aimed to further your research expertise or offer (graduate) study opportunities abroad. These programs typically provide financial, housing and visa support.
DAAD Study Scholarship (for Seniors)
Highly qualified final year undergraduate students or those who have received an undergraduate degree of all disciplines may apply for the DAAD Study Scholarship for a full Master’s degree program at a German university or for study at a German university as part of a postgraduate or Master’s degree program completed in the home country. The scholarship award covers a monthly stipend, subsidies on comprehensive insurance coverage, travel subsidies and more. Application deadline: mid September.
DAAD German Studies Research Grant (for Juniors and Seniors)
This specialized DAAD program offers German Studies Research Grants to highly-qualified undergraduate (Juniors or Seniors) and graduate students who are nominated by the professor supervising their research project. The grant may be used for short-term research (one to two months) in Germany. The program is designed to encourage research and promote the study of cultural, political, historical, economic and social aspects of modern and contemporary German affairs from an inter- and multidisciplinary perspective. Must be a German Studies major or minor. Application deadline: November 1st.
DAAD University Summer Course Grant (for Juniors and Seniors)
This program provides scholarships to attend a broad range of three- to four-week summer courses at German universities which focus mainly on German language and literary, cultural, political and economic aspects of modern and contemporary Germany. Extensive extracurricular programs complement and reinforce the core material.
A number of the University Summer Course Grants are made possible by the DAAD Alumni Association of the US, including one that is specially earmarked for an applicant in the fine arts. Application deadline: December 1st.
Fulbright U.S. Student Program – Germany (for Seniors)
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is the largest U.S. exchange program offering opportunities for students and young professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and primary and secondary school teaching worldwide. The program facilitates access to research and studies for two academic semesters at a German university or any other pertinent non-university institution, such as research labs or archives. The 10-month grant period usually starts mid-September. Depending on the candidate's academic level, full-time study or independent research under the supervision of a German advisor is possible. A formal matriculation with a German university is in any case usually required and arranged with the support of Fulbright Germany. The program currently awards approximately 1,900 grants annually in all fields of study and operates in more than 140 countries worldwide.
Grant Period: 10 months (beginning in August/September). BA/BS as a minimum at the start of the grant. Application deadline: mid October.
Fulbright Teaching Assistantship at German Schools (for Seniors)
The program helps to improve the teaching of the English language and American studies at all types of German schools. U.S. teaching assistants usually cooperate closely with a German teacher of English and take over certain responsibilities in the classroom, especially with regard to projects on the U.S. The duration of the award is one school year, beginning in early September and ending in late June. High proficiency in German is expected. This type of Fulbright is great for students who wish to bridge the gap between graduating from college and before enrolling in graduate school. Approximately 140 grants are available each year. Application deadline: mid October.
German Chancellor Fellowship (for Seniors)
Prospective leaders in politics, economics, the media, administration and culture spend a year in Germany working on a project of their own design. This fellowship provides a generous monthly stipend and mentoring support. On average, 25-30% of applicants receive fellowships. Deadline: mid October.
Gilman-DAAD Scholarship (for all years, Federal Pell Grant recipients only)
This scholarship supports a wider effort between the United States and Germany to increase and diversify international student mobility among German and American higher education institutions. DAAD Germany will provide 40 additional scholarships for U.S. undergraduate students per year to study and/or intern for academic credit in Germany through the Gilman Program. The award allows students from accredited U.S. higher education institutions to strengthen their skills and expand their educational experiences while living and learning in Germany. Application deadline: early October.
Want to become a DAAD Young Ambassador at Duke? Young Ambassadors are undergraduate students from North America who have recently studied in Germany and are interested in promoting study in Germany at their home universities and colleges. Young Ambassadors help inspire their fellow students to study in Germany by working at their universities’ study abroad offices, volunteering at study abroad fairs, answering questions from students, and organizing their own events on campus.
You can pursue an internship either with the help of a program, or directly with an organization, research facility or company of choice.
Internship Programs are typically run by research organizations or universities and provide financial support for living expenses, housing and travel. Many internships offered through programs operate in English, so your German language skills need not be advanced.
Direct Internships are offered by research institutions, labs, companies and organizations without the larger framework of a distinct program. They vary in their degree of financial support and housing assistance and may require a higher level of German language proficiency.
Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (Study & Internship) (for all years)
The Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (CBYX) is funded by the German Bundestag and the U.S. Congress. It provides 75 American and 75 German young students and professionals the opportunity to spend one year in each other’s countries, studying, interning, and living with hosts on a cultural immersion program. The program is open to candidates in all career fields who are interested in a year of cultural exchange. It consists of intensive German language training, one semester of classes in one’s academic field, and a 3-5 month internship. Prior German language knowledge is not required but preferred. This program is fully funded, covering travel insurance and tuition costs and pays a stipend. Application deadline: November 1st.
Cultural Vistas – Internship Program in Germany (for all years)
Cultural Vistas is a fully funded fellowship program affording underrepresented U.S. university students the opportunity to intern for eight weeks with organizations in Germany. Prior knowledge of German and Spanish for placements in Berlin is required. Application deadline: mid December.
Deutsche Welle Traineeship Program (for Seniors)
Deutsche Welle, Germany´s international broadcaster, runs a traineeship program for young journalists from the United States. The program provides emerging journalists with hands-on training. Candidates should have some journalism experience or be passionate about switching to journalism from other fields, such as law, economics, the sciences or technology/IT. DW is looking for people with creative ideas from diverse disciplines. The program covers a broad range of skills (e.g. TV moderation, multimedia storytelling, data journalism, social media and virtual reality) in seminars, workshops, the DW editorial offices and DW’s correspondent bureaus in Washington and Brussels. DW trainees are involved in long-term innovative, international projects and have been honored in past years with the CNN Journalism Award and the Grimme Prize. After the traineeship, the trainees usually continue to work for DW. Application deadline is usually at the end of November for a traineeship beginning in January one year later. This opportunity is a perfect fit for candidates who wish to pursue short-term opportunities or travel after graduation before officially beginning their journalism career. Good knowledge of German is required.
EMGIP: Émigré Memorial German Internship Program (for Juniors)
The EMGIP is a fellowship program that provides students with internships at one of the German state parliaments (Landtag). The internships are two months long and positions are typically matched with the student’s interests and experiences. Interns will be placed within the Verwaltung, frequently with a Sekretariat working for their preferred Ausschuss. In addition to contributing to the respective offices, interns can study legislative and administrative procedures in the German parliament. This professional opportunity overseas is ideal for students planning on pursuing careers at a regional level of government in the United States or Canada, or who have an interest in a specific policy issue such as the environment, education, or healthcare. Application deadline: mid September.
German-American Chamber of Commerce (for all years)
The German-American Chamber of Commerce (Deutsch-Amerikanische Handelskammer) offers 3-months long internships relating to German-American trade in New York City. These internships are ideal for majors in economics, finance, political science, or related fields who wish to pursue a career in international trade in which they can utilize their German language skills. Must be fluent in English and highly proficient in German. Application deadline: rolling.
German Chancellor Fellowship (Bundeskanzlerstipendium) (for Seniors)
Prospective leaders in politics, economics, media, administration, and culture spend a year in Germany working on a project of their own design. The fellowship includes a generous monthly stipend and mentoring support. Application deadline: mid October.
GIZ: Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (for all years)
The GIZ provides a variety of internships for majors in economics, environmental science, pre-law, communication, computer science and any social science field. Find current openings in the following list by selecting “Internship” in the search engine. Internships may be part-time and application deadlines are indicated in the listings. Application deadline: rolling.
Max Planck School Matter of Life URO (for all years)
The Max Planck School Matter of Life offers Undergraduate Research Opportunities (URO) at various labs. Students can select a specific Fellow lab to complete a 10-week internship and will be working on a unique research topic in close collaboration with researchers. Students receive hands-on experience on some of the latest scientifical methods, work with renowned scientists while exchanging and expanding their knowledge in an interdisciplinary field. All motivated undergraduate students may apply during their Bachelor studies in an MtL related field (physics, chemistry, biology, informatics, materials science, or engineering, or a related sub-field, e.g. bioengineering). The application period opens in September and ends on December 1st. The internship will take place between June and November. Travel support to/from the student’s home country, accommodation, and an allowance are provided. All courses, workshops and events are held in English. Application deadline: December 1st.
MaxSIP: Max Planck Summer Internship Program (for Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors)
The MaxSIP offers highly motivated undergraduate students the opportunity to join the Max Planck Institute for Biological Intelligence (MPI-BI) and the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB). The internship is a full-time immersion project for up to ten weeks. It takes place between mid-June to end-September. Within this framework, the starting date and duration of the internship are determined by mutual agreement between the host lab and the student. Majors considered for this program typically come from biology, chemistry, computational biology, biophysics, neuroscience, and related fields. The MaxSIP is highly competitive. Last year, for example, the program accepted only 17 candidates out of more than 4000 applications. However, according to the program’s assessment test, as a Duke student with your instructional language being English, you have a significantly elevated chance, as long as your GPA is 3.7 or higher. This is a fully funded internship program. Successful applicants will have free student accommodation, a stipend of approximately 800 Euro per month, and reimbursement of travel costs to and from Martinsried, near Munich. Application deadline: mid February (with the application portal opening January 1st).
RISE: Research Internships in Science and Engineering (for all years, ideally Sophomores and Juniors)
RISE is a summer internship program sponsored by the DAAD for undergraduate students in the fields of biology, chemistry, physics, earth sciences and engineering, which last between 2 and 3 months during the summer. RISE interns are matched with doctoral students who serve as their mentors. German language proficiency is not required since the working language will be English. All scholarship holders receive stipends from the DAAD to help cover living expenses, while partner universities & research institutes provide housing assistance. Application deadline: mid December.
RWTH Aachen – UROP International (for all years, ideally Sophomores and Juniors)
RWTH (Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule) Aachen University offers a wide range of research internships. Open to students from all fields of study. UROP International consists of three components: a) a research project at one of RWTH Aachen's research institutes or labs, b) an intensive German course and workshops on intercultural learning, scientific methods, and research practice to prepare students for their respective research project, and c) participation in several leisure activities to learn about German history and culture and meet other students at RWTH. The students’ stay in Aachen will also include regular get-togethers, excursions in the region and institute visits. The program lasts 10 weeks. Application Deadline: early January.
UAS7 (German Universities of Applied Sciences) scholarships and internship opportunities (for all years)
UAS7 is a consortium of seven universities of applied sciences, which offer U.S. and Canadian undergraduates to experience the practice-oriented education at their member institutions. Some graduate student opportunities are also available. Students can choose to intern in seven university locations throughout Germany: Berlin, Bremen, Cologne, Hamburg, Munich, Münster or Osnabrück. Internship fields range from media projects, architecture, and design to materials design or even biophysics. Consult the detailed flyer for more information, and browse the following list for current internship opportunities. The application deadline: October 1st.
The following two listings are volunteering programs that provide students with the opportunity to explore possible career fields and pursue charitable work either during summer break or after graduation. These programs provide visa support and frequently also offer room and board either directly or via a stipend.
BFD: Bundesfreiwilligendienst (for Seniors or DiB participants)
The BFD is a voluntary service that works across age groups and genders. Men and women from the age of 16 become involved in the Federal Voluntary Service for 6-18 months in social, cultural, and ecological or other tasks concerned with public welfare. There is no upward age limit in this voluntary service. Volunteers are state-insured and are professionally accompanied. With the Federal Voluntary Service you will receive monthly pocket money, along with catering in some cases, otherwise an adequate allowance for meals, frequently an accommodation allowance, and a certificate and report for the accomplished voluntary service after completion. Application deadline: rolling.
IJGD Service Learning (for all years)
These so-called “workcamps” are short-term non-profit projects for young people between 16 and 26. Groups live together and work about 25 hours a week for three-week long projects, which take place in cooperation with cities, local authorities, independent associations, initiatives, and organizations. Groups work in environmental protection, construction, renovation, social and pedagogical fields, or on cultural projects. The primary language for these projects is English. Application deadline: rolling.
The opportunities for direct internships listed below are offered by highly prestigious international research institutions located in Germany and Austria:
International Max Planck Research School for Cell, Developmental and Systems Biology (for Sophomores and Juniors)
The research facility offers internships for motivated students lasting 2-3 months. The internships conclude with a written report and an oral presentation. The precise dates will be agreed upon individually with the hosting group. Successful candidates will receive a monthly allowance of 800 Euros to support travel, housing, and living costs. Guidance in arranging travel, housing and visa will be provided. Students will work on a scientific research question, with support and advice provided by both young and experienced researchers in the host group. The student research internships are open to matriculated university students in the fields of Life Science, Chemistry, Computer Science, Physics, Applied Mathematics or Engineering. To be considered, students should have an excellent academic performance record. Bachelor students must have completed at least 4 semesters of their studies before starting the internship. High proficiency in English is mandatory. Application deadline: January 31st (applications open mid October).
MPIA: Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) (for Juniors)
The MPIA offers up to six positions for internships every year to students who desire to acquire hands-on experience in research and instrument development in the field of astronomy. Students work full-time for two to three months on various research projects. Travel costs are supported, and a salary is offered (about 1000€/month, or 820€/month net with full social benefits), as necessary. The internship typically takes place during the summer (between May and September). Assistance will be provided to seek accommodations as close as possible to the institute or the city center. Application deadline: mid January.
Max Planck Institute for Cognition and Neuroscience (for Juniors and Seniors)
For students majoring in neuroscience, psychology, linguistics, pre-med, biology, physics and related fields, this research internship offers positions with specific labs. The working language is English, though good German communication skills are a plus. Internships last between 8-12 weeks and a monthly stipend is provided. Application deadline: rolling.
ISTA Summer Internships (Austria) (for Juniors)
The ISTernship (“IST-” + “(int)ernship“) is a summer internship program for students who are looking to expand their scientific research experience. Every summer since 2013, roughly 30-40 students join the ISTernship program and work closely with ISTA’s faculty or a lab member on a short research project. As part of the application, prospective interns choose a group to work in, and successful applicants agree on a research project with the group leader. The program culminates with a research symposium, where ISTerns present their work to peers, faculty and lab mentors. Internships are full-time, take 2-3 months between May and September and will be conducted exclusively in English. Interns receive a monthly stipend and living (campus housing), travel and visa assistance. Applications open in December.
Direct internships with companies and business, government or aid organizations
Direct internships with companies and business, government or aid organizations offer a more individually tailored experience, but require more planning by the student intern. While many of these types of internships offer generous compensation, you will likely be responsible to acquire the necessary visa, organize housing and travel, though support may be offered by the company/organization. The Internship Coordinator is also available to help with questions and planning. The ideal candidate for this type of internship will be a Junior (though earlier semesters are welcome to apply) and will have completed German 203 before starting the internship. Application deadlines are specific to each company/organization.
Though the list below is not complete, the companies and organizations named here have been selected for their global reach and international appeal.
Listed in alphabetical order:
- Aldi Süd, ideal for students interested in marketing, sales, management
- Amerikahaus Hamburg, ideal for students in the humanities
- Audi, for students interested in engineering, finance, IT, marketing
- BMW, for students interested in engineering, finance, IT, marketing
- Boehringer Ingelheim, for students interested in bio-medical research
- Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge (BAMF), for students interested in issues related to migration and refugee policies
- Deutsche Bank Internship Program, for students interested in a career in finance
- Fraunhofer Institut, for students interested in engineering and related fields. Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is the leading organization for applied sciences in Europe.
- Fresenius, global health care group
- Goethe Institut, for students interested in German/foreign language teaching
- Goethe Institut Atlanta, for students interested in German language and culture
- Greenpeace, for students interested in environmental science and activism
- Hugo Boss, select “Experience: Internships” in the search module
- Human Rights Matter, for students interested in activism and human rights
- Institut für Klimaschutz (IKEM), for students interested in environmental science
- Mercedes Benz Group, for students interested in engineering, finance, IT, marketing
- Porsche, for students interested in engineering, finance, IT, marketing
- Procter & Gamble Germany Internship Program, for students interested in biomedical research
- SAP, enter “Internship” into Keywords to view current listings
- United Nations Climate Change, for students interested in environmental science
- United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification
- UNHCR, The UN Refugee Agency
- United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security
- US Department of State, U.S. Foreign Service Internship Program, for students interested in foreign diplomacy