Student jobs and internships
Many students in Germany take on jobs during their spare time. For example, they work as research auxiliaries (or Hiwi for short) in universities, research institutes or the university library, or else as waiters or babysitters. Students from abroad are also allowed to work while they study. Students from the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland are allowed to work up to 20 hours a week during term time, like German students. During the holidays, they are entitled to earn an unlimited amount of money. Those who come from another country outside the EU are allowed to work 120 full or 240 half days during the year without the need for approval by the competent authority, the Federal Employment Agency. You will find out more about this on the Web site of the German National Association for Student Affairs (Deutsches Studentenwerk).
Jean-Marc from Ivory Coast
"I’ve been studying in Germany for a few semesters and at the same time I work as a student trainee with a company. As a foreign student, every two years I have to provide proof that I can support myself to be able to prolong my residence permit in Germany. So far, my older brother in Germany has always stood guarantee for me. But now he has left the country and I’m on my own. How was I going to be able to extend my residence permit? My tip: with my student job with a monthly salary of 700 euros and a valid work contract, I can stand guarantee for myself. It was the assistant at the foreign nationals' registration authority who brought this important information to my attention and secured my right to stay in Germany. The work contract doesn’t necessarily have to be an open-ended one. However, it does have to be valid for the whole period covered by the residence permit."
International students also have the possibility of doing an internship. This is a way of getting to know the world of work in Germany and of acquiring knowledge and building networks that could be of help later when looking for a job. If you have to do a compulsory internship as part of your course, you should get advice in plenty of time from experienced students, professors or the student committee of your department. They can give you tips on how to find an internship and which internships are useful for your field of study. The German Academic Exchange Service has compiled further information on this for you.
At German universities, there are any number of ways to make friends fast. For example, international student groups organise welcome parties, excursions and regular get-togethers. Moreover, many universities offer a wide range of sports activities. You can find out what your university has to offer in the office of the student representatives or the AStA students union. There are also plenty of further tips about recreational activities on the Web site of the study-in.de.
Do you practise a religion and want to continue practising in Germany? No need to worry. In Germany, the constitution ensures religious freedom. There are religious student groups in many university towns and cities. On their own initiative, they organise such things as meetings where people can pray and practise their faith together, as well as meetings for interreligious dialogue.