Top Companies for Internships in Germany


Updated on Apr 23 • 4 minute read

When your time at university begins to draw to a close, it’s a good idea to start thinking about internships. An internship may be a mandatory part of your degree, or perhaps you’re simply craving a little real-world experience after all the theory of the classroom training. At any rate, there are several excellent options for a placement abroad, especially in any one of Germany’s many diverse cities.

There are several things to consider when opting for an internship, including what kind, for how long and where — not to mention the cost of living. So, let’s jump right in and learn exactly why you should do an internship abroad, and why Germany could be the perfect home-from-home during this transformative adventure that so many post grads embark on.

Why look for an internship in Germany?

At this moment in time, over 300,000 students are living abroad in Germany, and a good portion has already started an internship or will be sticking around for one after their current semester ends. The reason is simple: Germany is a hugely rewarding place to live!

The Netherlands has often been heralded as a country that’s perfect for internationals. Yet, even with more than 122,000 students enrolled in their universities, the Netherlands doesn’t hold a candle to the number of international enrolments that Germany is boasting these days. Additionally, Germany is packed to the brim with a variety of other benefits, including:

  • Cost of living - When compared with the United States, the rent alone in Germany is 31.6% lower. In Berlin, the capital city, total monthly expenses can average around €850, especially if you’ve learned how to effectively budget during your stay abroad. Plus, you’re going to love some of the eclectic, alternative neighborhoods in Berlin.

  • Language - It is estimated that about 95 million people speak German as their primary language. Therefore, it’s a very popular language to pick up. Of course, many people in the larger student cities will also speak English. This can make things easier while you’re learning a few German phrases.

  • Safety - Three German cities are listed in our top 25 safest cities for internationals. Munich comes in at number four, with Berlin not far behind at number seven, and Hamburg ranking at 22. Safety is always a priority, but when you are living abroad in unfamiliar surroundings, it can be a big decision-maker.

  • The location - If you’re hoping to explore surrounding countries during your placement abroad, Germany is neighbored by Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria and more.

Choose the type of Internship

As you begin to learn more about internships, you’ll discover that there are some differences, ranging from the length to the companies with which you’ll be involved. Internships can be paid or unpaid, and they can run for just the length of the summer or may last for over a year, sometimes resulting in permanent employment.

As you begin to look at companies in Germany offering internships, two distinct strands of organizations will stand out.

Corporate companies

These companies are well-known names, boasting thousands of employees and will normally pay a little higher to their interns. Perfect if you’re after some kudos on your CV. The competition will be fierce, but you can expect to learn specialized skills that will be very important in the workplace.

Startup companies

These companies are typically not much more than a year old and will have an innovative culture, typically with employees working remotely all across the globe. You may not have such high competition in the application process, but you will more than likely learn a wide range of skills, with a variety of experiences to offer to a potential employer.

Finding a German Internship

The good news is that Munich ranks number one on our list of top places to find a job for 2019, meaning that it’s also an ideal spot to look for internships. Berlin follows closely at number six, with Frankfurt also at number seven. Needless to say, internship opportunities abound in Germany!

A lot of students work with their university or take to social media to find leads on internships when moving to Germany. Yes, you should expect some stiff competition for the best placements, but more and more large companies offer open spots for student internships. So before you begin your search, take a look at seven companies in Germany which offer fulfilling internships to kickstart your career.

  1. Zalando - With its headquarters in Berlin, if you have an interest in fashion or logistics, this industry leader has a variety of internships available. Many interns decide to continue to grow with Zalando, as they can opt for a student job.

  1. McKinsey & Company - This company has spread over 65 countries and offers internships for undergraduate degrees and also to MBA candidates. Are you an advanced professional degree student? They also have internships suited to you. You can explore nine offices in Germany, including Berlin, Munich and Frankfurt, and even set your sights on graduate engineering jobs down the line.

  1. Google - We don’t need to introduce these guys. Put your business and technology skills to the ultimate use! This global leader has offices in Berlin, Munich and Hamburg.

  1. Rocket Internet - This company is known for branding startups, including Zalando. Its main headquarters are located in Berlin.

  1. Amazon - Like Google, Amazon is yet another well-known name that offers internships throughout Germany. They have locations in Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt and Dusseldorf.

  1. Adidas - The super-popular German sportswear manufacturer offers a wide range of internship opportunities. Its main headquarters are in Herzogenaurach.

  1. SAP - This German software company is another excellent option for internships, especially those who have technological-related career paths. SAP has offices all over the world, but it is headquartered in Walldorf

Now that you’re ready to apply to one or more of the best internships in Germany, you’ll want to begin the process as soon as possible. While you’re learning life-changing skills that can truly impact your selected career path, moving to a city like Berlin and acclimatising to an entirely new culture can prepare you to be a global player in a way that a classroom can’t. And what better destination for your placement abroad than Germany?

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