Over the past century this cultural and industrial powerhouse of Central Europe has seen the darkest of nights, been forcibly divided between East and West, and survived to unite once again as a new-age leader of the European Union. And while parts of the Berlin Wall are sentimentally left intact as tribute to its tumultuous past, modern Berlin finds itself comfortably positioned to now positively impact the global future. Through its cutting edge multinational corporations, industrious mindset, and thriving underground counterculture, internships in Berlin lead individuals to discover firsthand the thriving national character behind this impressive success story.
Internships in Berlin
Berlin is home to many of the world’s premier scientific and industrial research institutions, as well as many successful local and international businesses. Engineering, Marketing, Communications, and Medicine are all popular internship placements where interns will find no shortage of professional networking opportunities. Berlin being such a large and multifaceted city, individuals more interested in Technology, Media, and Arts will have plenty of internship options to choose from as well
Internships in Berlin typically can last for up to six months, and summer is the most popular season for temporary employment (although many internships are made available year round). German is the language of business, so it would be ideal for interns in Berlin to be at least conversationally adept. However, there are plenty of internship programs designed for exclusive English speakers, and many programs will combine practical work experience with German language study as well.
Life in Berlin
Berlin offers a young, fun, lively environment which interns from just about every field can revel in. Berliners are of an interesting culture - very friendly, very hard working, and very much know how to party. The city’s club scene is infamous in its liberality and frequently attracts an emphatic young crowd from all over Europe. But if clubbing is not your cup of tea, fear not - you will find no shortage of cool restaurants, funky bars, and decorative street festivals to make your internship in Berlin all the more worthwhile.
Further on when night turns to day you will wake up to a city chock full of historical monuments, fascinating museums, public parks, world class sporting venues, and, of course, all you can eat wienerschnitzel. Interning in Berlin will place interns in a huge metropolis with a never ending stockpile of sites and cultural activities to indulge in.
Berlin’s expansive metro and railway system will also efficiently take interns just about anywhere they want to go within the city or outside to other destinations throughout Germany.
A point to take heed of - the cold, damp weather of Northern Europe. While summers in Berlin offer sunshine and balmy weather, winters can feel long and gray in relation. From October to April temperatures rarely exceed 50 degrees fahrenheit, and rain and snow can become fairly common. If you are not accustomed to the cold, then plan accordingly.
Salary & Costs
Though Germany’s economy is booming, Berlin remains modestly affordable in comparison to other major European cities. Since only half of the city was experiencing economic growth before the downfall of the Wall, prices have not yet soared to the equivalent of cities such as London or Paris. Do not expect third-world prices by any means - just know that you can probably lead a thriftier existence interning in Berlin than in most other Western European capitals.
Like elsewhere in the world, Berlin offers a large variety of both unpaid and paid internships. This will likely vary with factors such as internship duration, hours committed, and profitability of the field you are working in. Many internships in Berlin will also grant students academic credits for joint internship-study ventures. (Check out GoAbroad’s Scholarships Directory for information on how to obtain financial assistance to intern abroad in Berlin).
Accommodation & Visas
When deciding where to live during an internship in Berlin, consider the various parts of the city and where your internship will be located. A quarter century since the fall of the Berlin wall, the East and West sectors still maintain their own distinctive feel. West Berlin is generally more infrastructurally developed and has a vibrantly free feel about it, while East Berlin remains the hip (and cheap) rustic counterpart. Both have their benefits and drawbacks, so do some research and reflection before choosing. Many internships in Berlin will also offer to help prospective interns to organize a homestay or group style living arrangement.
If enrolling in a paid internship in Berlin or planning to stay for more than 90 days, then non-European nationals will typically need to obtain a temporary employment visa. Standard procedure and a fairly simple process that your internship program will likely help guide you through.
Benefits & Challenges
For centuries Berlin has been a cultural, political, and industrial center of Europe. Today it stands as one of the most influential cities in the state of global affairs, and a perfect place to begin your international career with an internship abroad. From its cutting edge research facilities to its vibrant nightlife to the preserved relics of its rich history, Berlin remains an infinitely deep city to be explored. So if you don’t know any German start practicing now, and apply for an internship in Berlin, one of Europe’s greatest cities and where “Eastern meets Western” in the beating heart of Central Europe.