Frequently Asked Questions

 

Are the dates of the program fixed?

Internship Duration: May 11 - August 4, 2017

 

Yes, the program dates are set each year and take place from mid-May to mid-August. The start and end date are determined in collaboration with our partner universities and BridgehouseLaw each year. Interns are expected to complete the three-month internship in its entirety. If you are aware of any scheduling conflicts regarding your arrival in/departure from Germany, please notify AmCham Germany as soon as possible.



Are there mandatory events that students must attend?

Yes, the summer will include two mandatory events for interns, which are the 1) "Welcome Ceremony" in May, and the 2) "Berlin Get-Together" group visit to Berlin, later in the summer. Students are expected to arrive in Germany no later than the Welcome Ceremony. Should interns wish to arrive early in preparation for their stay abroad, they are welcome to. However, all students must be present at the Welcome Ceremony and prepared to start their internships shortly thereafter. Similarly, all students are required to attend the two-day event in Berlin. Specific travel itinerary, and further information will be provided to interns by AmCham Germany and participating firms closer to the event.



Will I have a say in my placement?

Students have the option to state on their applications in what general field they would prefer to work. However, we cannot ensure that all students will (a) receive a placement, and (b) receive a placement exactly where they wish. Partnering companies will review candidates’ profiles—including résumé, statement of purpose and application—and then invite candidates for interviews on a case-by-case basis. Students may decline an offer should they choose; however, it is not guaranteed that another placement will be available.



Will AmCham Germany cover my transportation costs?

Unfortunately, AmCham Germany is unable to cover transportation costs to and from Germany for interns. Students should plan to budget approximately $1,000-1,400 for roundtrip air travel to Germany. Fares will vary based upon the flight path, time the flight was booked, airline provider, etc.



Will my mentor help with my housing process?

Certain companies may provide interns with housing, or assist in finding housing. However, most interns should plan on locating housing on their own. Mentors may be able to provide suggestions regarding where best to find housing in your local area, but ultimately this is the intern’s responsibility. We recommend that interns remain in contact with their mentor during the housing search. The process can be difficult, and often stressful; however, all interns have found housing in previous years. Should you encounter any significant problems, speak with AmCham Germany and they will be able to assist you further.



Will I be expected to work full-time?

Yes, the internship is considered a full-time position. Daily and/or weekly schedules will be organized between you and your mentor, but you should plan on committing to a full-time (i.e. 40 hours per week) schedule.



Will I work with other interns?

Some companies have multiple interns from the US-German Internship Program, but it is not universal. In many cases, you will have the opportunity to work alongside other interns at your respective company who are unaffiliated with the Internship Program. This can be a great opportunity to get to know individuals in your community, as well as learn from other students.



Do I receive any vacation time?

Unfortunately, there is no legal claim to vacation days, therefore AmCham Germany cannot guarantee all interns will receive vacation time. Due to the German standards for internships, some firms do not offer vacation time due to the limited period in which interns work. Although it is not guaranteed, some students will be provided vacation time during their internship; however, the amount varies from company to company. Students may receive between 4-6 days of paid vacation if it fits within their company’s policy.



Are there any fees involved with the Program?

Every student is required to pay an initial application fee of $50. Once a student has been selected by a host company, the student also must pay an additional processing fee of $100. For more details, please get in touch with your university contact for the program.



Do I get a refund if I am not selected by a host company?

No: There is no placement guarantee, therefore, you will not be able to claim a refund.



Do I need a visa?

Due to the Schengen Agreement, citizens of the United States are permitted to stay in countries of the European Union for up to 90 days without a visa. The internship program runs formally within this 90 day period. However, should you choose to arrive early and/or stay later than the official dates of the internship program, you will need to evaluate your options for a visa. For non-US citizens studying in the United States, please consult the website of the German Federal Foreign Office (www.auswaertigesamt. de) to determine your visa eligibility for your stay in Germany. As a general notice for all applicants, AmCham Germany cannot assist with the visa acquisition process. Students who require a visa for a longer stay in Germany should remain in contact with the appropriate government offices in Germany. AmCham Germany does not have the ability to process visa requests.



Do I need a work permit?

Yes, in order to legally pursue an internship in Germany, you must have a valid work permit, or “Arbeitserlaubnis.” AmCham Germany will mail each intern their respective work permit prior to their departure from the US. Students must present their credentials at the airport’s Immigration and Customs upon arriving in Germany.



Will I receive a work contract?

Interns should make sure to address this topic with their employers prior to, or at the start of, their internships. AmCham Germany is not responsible for individual contracts between students and employers. Should you have questions regarding this before starting your internship, please contact your company mentor directly.



What do I need to do once I get to Germany?

Within the first or second week of your stay in Germany, all interns are required to register themselves (“anmelden”) at the Bürgeramt in their town. Interns should have their passport, work permit, and a copy of their rental agreement (when applicable) with them when they plan to register. Registering oneself will ensure that students have no problems upon leaving Germany, or returning in the future. Similarly, students must remember to deregister before their departure from Germany. This process is very similar to the initial registration process and should not require any additional documentation or paperwork. Finally, we recommend that all interns open a German bank account in order to be paid electronically by their employer(s). Opening an account is generally fairly simple and provides students with the flexibility of having a German bank card. Much like deregistering, students must remember to cancel their bank account before leaving Germany.