Study Abroad and Intern in Germany
Germany is a beautiful and diverse country with significant internship opportunities across a number of fields. EPA provides students challenging professional experience along with the opportunity to improve their German language skills and experience German culture first-hand. For all students, the program begins with an orientation in Bonn, where the administrative office of EPA is located. Students then either remain in Bonn/Cologne or move to Berlin, depending on the internship they select.
Bonn and Cologne
Bonn was the capital of West Germany from 1949 to 1990 and the official seat of government for the Federal Republic of Germany until 1999. When the Federal Government and the Bundestag moved to Berlin, Bonn continued as a center of politics and administration, with roughly half of all government jobs remaining there. Bonn is also home to 16 United Nations organizations. Culturally, Bonn is best known as the birthplace of Ludwig van Beethoven and for its prestigious university. Located just south of Cologne on the river Rhine, Bonn remains a popular choice for large-scale exhibitions and conferences. Internship possibilities abound in politics, government, business, health, the arts, and international media as well.
Cologne is Germany's fourth-largest city with about 1 million inhabitants. It is one of the oldest cities in Germany, having been founded by the Romans in 38 BC, and it is also home to one of Europe's oldest universities. Cologne is a major center for business, the arts and media, and a wide range of internships are available to EPA students in these fields.
An outstanding introduction to the rich theatrical history and traditions of the region … it was an extraordinary journey.
— Erik Abbott, Hamline University, Cologne
After a fifty-year interval, Berlin is back — back as the capital of a reunified Germany and back as one of Europe's greatest cities. After World War II it lost its capital status of the West German Government. Today, the Cold War and the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 are becoming distant memories and all the talk in Berlin is of the future. Government bodies have moved back to Berlin, and there is renewed investment from many other parts of the country and from all over Europe. Coupled with this wave of new construction is a city laden with historical charm. Visitors come to savor the intoxicating mix of old and new. Big business is booming as well with key industries such as electronics, manufacturing and information technology reflecting the hopes for a brighter future for Berlin.
EPA is one of the very few programs allowed to place students as interns in the Bundestag. Our students in Berlin therefore enjoy privileged work placements in politics that add distinction to their resumes.
My life was forever changed, as the challenges I met showed me new directions for the future.
— Jennifer McVey, St Mary's College of Maryland, Bundestag Internship, Berlin
The EPA Internships in Europe programs in Germany require at least two years of college-level German or the equivalent. Students take classes in German and are placed in professional work environments where they are required to speak, read, and write in the language.
The main orientation for all students takes place in Bonn during the first two weeks of the program. During this time students are housed together in the orientation hotel in central Bonn. Orientation includes informational, cultural, and social activities to acquaint students with each other and with German life. All aspects of the program are covered in detail during these meetings. There is also a non-credit German course combined with the orientation. The course has a practical approach and is designed to help students become effective quickly in their internships and in their new environment. In addition, the German Politics course, which all students take, begins during the first week of orientation.
The program in Germany is the only one of EPA's programs where the classes are not held at a local university. Participants cannot be directly enrolled at the local universities due to the fact that the academic calendar at German universities does not match that of the American semester system. However, all of the professors teaching the EPA courses hold teaching or research posts at German universities or equivalent institutions
Classes in Bonn/Cologne
Classes are held at the Academy for International Education (AIB) in Bonn, now the official German campus of Texas A&M University. The class on Arts and Culture runs throughout the program and includes a number of field trips. The class on German Politics begins during the orientation program and is concluded during the nine-day visit to Berlin, in which all Bonn/Cologne students meet up again with the students in Berlin.
Classes in Berlin
Classes in Berlin are held in rented classrooms at one of the local universities. Students also take a European Politics class that runs throughout their stay in Berlin.
During the summer session, students participate in a short orientation and then work 5 days per week at their internships. Students do not take any classes during the summer session.
Most students in Bonn live with host families, although short-term apartments and student dormitories are sometimes available. The program has a long-standing relationship with a number of families who enjoy having American students live with them and seek to maximize the students' cross-cultural experience. In Berlin, students live in apartments. In both cities, the accomodation for the students is always pre-arranged before their arrival.
Contact with Local Students
All three locations, Bonn, Cologne and Berlin are major German university cities. EPA students are able to make use of the campus facilities at all locations. In addition, they can get to know their German peers by participating in the many student societies and clubs. The EPA on-site director assists students in gaining contact with the local university population.
The Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD), or German Academic Exchange Service, offers several scholarships and grants for US college students studying abroad in Germany.
To learn about DAAD scholarships please Click here.