With an internship, you can gain initial professional experience during your studies and get to know potential fields of activity and employers. The acquired practical experience and the learned skills can facilitate professional orientation and often also the start of a career.
In the case of voluntary internships, the objectives, content and duration are determined in consultation with the respective provider of the internship. There are no special requirements by the university.
The same legal regulations apply to voluntary internships as to student part-time jobs. Those who are not from the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA) may work a total of 120 full days or 240 half days per year. The internship counts as regular work, even if it is unpaid. If the quantity of these mentioned days is exceeded, permission from the Foreigners' Registration Office and the Employment Agency is required for the internship. Compulsory internships are exempt from this rule.
Please inform yourself at an early stage at the local Foreigners' Registration Office and the Employment Agency.
In many degree programs, internships are mandatory during the course of study. Whether there is a compulsory internship in a degree program, and which criteria must be met for recognition, can be found in the corresponding examination/study regulations or the module handbook of the according degree program.
Compulsory internships (both paid and unpaid) that are a required part of the degree program do not require approval from the Foreigners' Registration Office or the Employment Agency. The same applies to the preparation of final theses in the company. The approval-free 120 full or 240 half working days are not affected by this and can be made use of in addition.
Note: Study-related internships of international students may last up to 12 months in Germany. These 12 months do not have to be completed in one go, but can be split and distributed over the entire duration of the studies.
- Dortmund at work: Internship information and positions (DE)
- UNICUM Karrierezentrum: Internship Exchange (DE)
- Federal Employment Agency: Internship Search (DE)
- Berufsstart: Job exchange for graduates and interns (DE)
- Jobware: Internship Search (DE)
- indeed: Internship Search (DE)
- Stepstone: Internship Search (DE)
- Jobs.de: Internship Search (DE)
- absolventa: Internship Search (DE)
Please note that this list of contact points is only an exemplary selection and does not claim to be complete.
Eleonora S. is a student at the Ruhr University Bochum and a research assistant at TU Dortmund University. In this article, she reports on her personal experience of completing a five-month internship on site during the Covid pandemic.
Where did you do your internship?
In a globally represented cultural institute, the Goethe-Institut, in Budapest, Hungary.
Why did you choose exactly this internship?
I voluntarily chose to do my compulsory internship abroad, extending the duration of the internship, so that I could develop professionally in the best possible way during this time. For five months I worked there, 40 hours a week. This work rhythm helped me to imagine how the working life could look like in the near future.
How did you find the internship? Did you prepare yourself in some special way for the application?
I registered with stellenwerk Dortmund for an application document check. There I not only had the chance to have my application documents reviewed, but I also received a lot of practical tips and information from the responsible contact person. The input from stellenwerk Dortmund made my decision easier and more goal-oriented, and I applied to the cultural institute well prepared.
How did the pandemic affect your internship? Were there any restrictions?
My internship started last fall. Initially, I worked on site at the institute, but as the Covid situation worsened, I increasingly worked from home. However, with the help of various weekly online meetings, it was possible to maintain good contact and a pleasant working atmosphere.
What do you take away from your internship?
I learned how important it is to be able to exchange ideas with our fellow human beings and interact with each other. After about a year and a half of working from home, I noticed not only in myself but also in my colleagues at the institute that meetings in presence were more valued. For me, the initial work on site in the office was a great motivation and refreshment.
But the most important insight is that nowadays it is possible to work well together, get to know each other and even make friends via digital channels and online meetings. Digital work also makes it possible - professionally and privately - to grow, develop and learn from colleagues.
Would you recommend an internship in times of Covid?
Definitely yes! Since Covid is present worldwide, we have to learn how to deal with this situation. Unfortunately, the risk of disease is everywhere and if you follow the safety measures reasonably, you can also work abroad with a good conscience.
In my opinion, it is extremely important to be flexible in times of Covid, as the pandemic situation can always change. Depending on the field of work, you should also be prepared to work from home. If you only wish or can imagine an internship on site, then I recommend to do an internship in summer.
Thank you very much, Eleonora!
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Location & approach
The campus of TU Dortmund University is located close to interstate junction Dortmund West, where the Sauerlandlinie A 45 (Frankfurt-Dortmund) crosses the Ruhrschnellweg B 1 / A 40. The best interstate exit to take from A 45 is "Dortmund-Eichlinghofen" (closer to Campus Süd), and from B 1 / A 40 "Dortmund-Dorstfeld" (closer to Campus Nord). Signs for the university are located at both exits. Also, there is a new exit before you pass over the B 1-bridge leading into Dortmund.
To get from Campus Nord to Campus Süd by car, there is the connection via Vogelpothsweg/Baroper Straße. We recommend you leave your car on one of the parking lots at Campus Nord and use the H-Bahn (suspended monorail system), which conveniently connects the two campuses.
TU Dortmund University has its own train station ("Dortmund Universität"). From there, suburban trains (S-Bahn) leave for Dortmund main station ("Dortmund Hauptbahnhof") and Düsseldorf main station via the "Düsseldorf Airport Train Station" (take S-Bahn number 1, which leaves every 20 or 30 minutes). The university is easily reached from Bochum, Essen, Mülheim an der Ruhr and Duisburg.
You can also take the bus or subway train from Dortmund city to the university: From Dortmund main station, you can take any train bound for the Station "Stadtgarten", usually lines U41, U45, U 47 and U49. At "Stadtgarten" you switch trains and get on line U42 towards "Hombruch". Look out for the Station "An der Palmweide". From the bus stop just across the road, busses bound for TU Dortmund University leave every ten minutes (445, 447 and 462). Another option is to take the subway routes U41, U45, U47 and U49 from Dortmund main station to the stop "Dortmund Kampstraße". From there, take U43 or U44 to the stop "Dortmund Wittener Straße". Switch to bus line 447 and get off at "Dortmund Universität S".
The H-Bahn is one of the hallmarks of TU Dortmund University. There are two stations on Campus Nord. One ("Dortmund Universität S") is directly located at the suburban train stop, which connects the university directly with the city of Dortmund and the rest of the Ruhr Area. Also from this station, there are connections to the "Technologiepark" and (via Campus Süd) Eichlinghofen. The other station is located at the dining hall at Campus Nord and offers a direct connection to Campus Süd every five minutes.
The AirportExpress is a fast and convenient means of transport from Dortmund Airport (DTM) to Dortmund Central Station, taking you there in little more than 20 minutes. From Dortmund Central Station, you can continue to the university campus by interurban railway (S-Bahn). A larger range of international flight connections is offered at Düsseldorf Airport (DUS), which is about 60 kilometres away and can be directly reached by S-Bahn from the university station.
The facilities of TU Dortmund University are spread over two campuses, the larger Campus North and the smaller Campus South. Additionally, some areas of the university are located in the adjacent "Technologiepark".Zum Lageplan