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Visa and Status

Generally anyone who wants to gain practical experience in a country outside of the EU - and for foreign students in some cases even in the Schengen area - must apply for a visa.

Visas can only be issued by the consular office of the country in which you plan to carry out your internship. Since the conditions and formalities for these applications can change at any time, please treat only the information that comes from the representative body for your host country as valid. An overview with links to each website is available on the Federal Foreign Office's website.


Placement agencies like College Council can usually help you apply for the visa for particular countries (for a fee). This is especially helpful if there is not much time until the planned start date (from four to eight weeks).

Select Countries

Please note: The International Office does not offer visa advising. The information below can change at any time. Please refer to the respective consular offices for information about the visa application process. 

Interns must apply for the Temporary Worker-Government Authorised Exchange visa (T5). We suggest that you start the process very early, since the whole process can take up to three months.

There is no minimum required salary in the visa category T5 (GAE). However, students should be able to prove that they can afford the cost of living through scholarships and/or their salary and savings and will not apply for any public funds in the UK.

Possible Internships

Internships in healthcare, tourism or hospitality are not allowed. School teaching internships are only allowed if the intern is being overseen 100% of the time (no independent teaching).

Research internships under six months at a university in the UK may be considered studies, so that EU citizens may not need a visa. The host university can give more information about this possibility.

Step 1: Certificate of Sponsorship

In order to apply for the T5 visa you will need a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). The CoS includes a reference number, which coincides with information about the internship and the participant's personal information, and is valid for three months from issuance. It can take up to four weeks to receive a CoS, and you can apply in the following ways:

  • Your host institution may already work with an organization that is authorized to issue a CoS. Ask about this possibility during the application process through the host institution.
  • Your host institution may be prepared to apply for the CoS for you through an organization like ESPA. The host institution will need to engage with ESPA (eduespaukcom) to manage the CoS application and agree to pay the associated costs, less any contribution you are able to make, which you can handle directly with ESPA.
  • You may be able to apply for the CoS yourself directly through BUNAC or another organization (full list).  Please note the high program fees. 

Step 2: Visa Application

The visa application can be filled out online after you receive the reference number from the Certificate of Sponsorship and currently costs 244 British Pounds (citizens of some countries will receive a discount of 55 Pounds). The application process can take a further five weeks.

Health Insurance

Anyone with a visa will generally need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge and will gain access to NHS, the public health services (possibly not relevant for internships under six months). The fee for students is 470 British Pounds per year.

In order to apply for an "Academic Training J1" (internship) visa in the USA, you need a visa sponsor. Be prepared for the application process through the sponsor to take at least six to eight weeks. The following organizations are able to be visa sponsors:

Please note that this is not a complete, exhaustive list of organizations, and no one organization is recommended. Compare offers from several sponsors before you decide on one.

Foreign Students

Please note that you will need to inform the Ausländerbehörde in the city where you reside of any longer stay outside of Germany. Failure to report a stay abroad could lead to an annullment of your visa for Germany! Additionally it is very important that you remain registered at a residence in Germany.

You  may also have to apply for a residency permit for the host country, even in some Schengen states of the EU. Further information is available from the consulate of the respective country.


E-mail Inquiries

General inquiries: going-abroad
Erasmus+ study abroad: erasmus-outgoings

Office Hours

(Only) Erasmus+ Study Abroad:

Office hours via telephone/zoom Hella Koschinski: by prior arrangement
Tel.: 0231 755-6247

Office hours in presence: only with appointment
Tue 9:00-12:00

General Inquiries - Outgoings (Studies/Internships/Short Programs):

Office hours via telephone / Skype (laura-hope) / Zoom (please send a link when you are online):  without appointment, open
Mon-Tue 10:00-11:30 & 13:30-15:00 (No Advising 27.5.-3.6.)
Tel.: 0231 755-4728      

Office hours in presence:  only with appointment
New appointments will be released 14 days in advance. If no appointments are shown as available, this means that all appointments for this time period are already booked.