This page contains detailed information on Cultural Vistas' Independent Work Abroad Program in Germany addressing important topics such as housing, compensation, and health insurance. Make sure to read the program overview, eligibility requirements, and fees section first.
Your internship can be 3 to 12 months long. Most participants and companies prefer an internship of 6 to 12 months. You will negotiate the duration of your program with your host company.
It is your responsibility to negotiate the compensation with your host company. For a modest student lifestyle, you will need approximately EUR 400–800 per month. Participants are responsible for all taxes. Tax deductions from your gross income may amount to approximately 30%, depending on the amount of compensation. Participants may be eligible for a partial refund of taxes paid.
You must have health insurance during the program and may either keep your U.S. insurance (if you will be covered while abroad), or purchase insurance coverage through a travel agent or Cultural Vistas (currently $50/month).
Many participants know where they will be staying before the program starts. Please note, that it is ultimately your responsibility to secure housing during your internship. Finding housing in a foreign country is certainly a challenge; however, we consider it an important part of the internship experience. Most companies will help if you tell them that you need assistance. If the company is unable to assist you, please contact Cultural Vistas immediately. We will try to help you whenever possible. Remember: if you don’t tell us that you are experiencing problems with finding housing, we cannot do anything for you! Please note, however, that a participant might need to confirm housing arrangements personally or sign a contract. Cultural Vistas cannot be responsible for housing arrangements that fall through due to a participant’s failure to follow up.
Participants must bear all travel costs. All travel arrangements and expenses within Germany are the responsibility of the participant. While we understand that you want to see as much as possible during your time in Europe, please note that this is not a work/ travel program. Participants are expected to spend the entire duration of their program completing their internship. Weekend trips to learn more about Germany and the German culture are of course encouraged.
Obtaining Work Authorization and a Residence Permit in Germany
Participants will receive work authorization for up to 12 months through the program. This document will be obtained by Cultural Vistas and mailed to the participants host company.
All participants receive their residence permits from the local authorities in their German host community. The residence permit is tied to the work authorization and will be issued upon personal application. Detailed information will be provided to you prior to your departure in the pre-departure information package.
Participants are responsible for all costs incurred in-country, including costs related to securing housing, taxes, residence permit fees (vary depending on city), etc. Non-U.S. citizens are also responsible for any visa fees incurred in the United States.
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