Émigré Memorial German Internship Program

The Émigré Memorial German Internship Program–German State Parliaments (EMGIP) is a fellowship program that provides U.S. and Canadian students with internships at a German state parliament (Landtag).

A limited number of applicants are selected every year to participate in this program, which was established to pay tribute to German émigrés who found refuge from a totalitarian regime. EMGIP has helped build lasting ties between the United States and Germany, especially since many program alumni have pursued careers that they first experienced through EMGIP.

Internships afford students an excellent opportunity to gain government work experience, improve their advanced German language skills, and learn about German culture firsthand.

This professional opportunity overseas is ideal for students planning on pursuing careers at a regional level of government in the United States or Canada, or who have an interest in a specific policy issue such as the environment, education, or healthcare.

EMGIP runs three times a year—fall, spring, and early summer—for one to three months, depending on elections, holiday schedules and state offices’ preferences.

What’s Included

 

  • Application process assistance including help drafting a Lebenslauf (German resume)
  • One- to three-month internship placement in a German Landtag in target internship field
  • Pre-departure information mailing
  • Monthly stipends via the Cultural Vistas Scholarship Fund and/or the Landtag to ensure a total monthly salary of EUR 670 for U.S. citizens (or EUR 400 if free housing is provided)
  • Health insurance (at an additional cost of $55 per month)
  • Work authorization services
  • Housing assistance
  • Support throughout the program in Germany and the United States
  • Re-entry information about marketing work experience abroad in the United States

Eligibility

  • U.S. or Canadian citizen
  • Undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at accredited U.S. or Canadian colleges and universities before, during and after the program may apply.
  • 18–30 years of age
  • High-intermediate German skills (oral & written). Candidates must be able and willing to communicate in German and possess good command of professional vocabulary in field.
  • Minimum of two years of university level studies in a field related to one of the following: international relations, public administration, political science, law, economics, European studies with emphasis on Germany, German or German studies, with a minor in one of the fields listed
  • Some relevant work experience (e.g. internship, volunteer work, summer job). It is important that a candidate knows how to adjust to a professional environment and how to use theoretical skills in the workplace.

Costs

The program fee for EMGIP is $675, which includes a non-refundable $75 application fee. Applications are reviewed only after the application fee has been received.

Please note that monthly stipends for Canadian citizens are dependent upon the host Landtag and cannot be guaranteed.

For details regarding our refund policy, please see Frequently Asked Questions below.

Program Details

Placement Process

Once an applicant has been accepted to the program, Cultural Vistas will search for the right internship position for that individual with a German state parliament or a state ministry. While some placements are found quickly, the placement process may take a few months. German office culture typically includes more vacation time, more sick leave, and complicated hierarchies, and may lead to an extensive decision-making process. Participants can help by being proactive. They should update their materials as required, follow up with suggested contacts immediately, and always keep Cultural Vistas informed on everything internship-related.

Information

Participants will receive regular email updates on German issues, as well as updates on the internship placement process. It is crucial for the success of the placement process that participants check their email frequently and respond to emails as soon as possible. Participants must inform Cultural Vistas immediately of any changes in their contact information or travel dates.

Orientation

Several weeks prior to the start of the program, participants will receive a pre-departure orientation mailing covering details related to the program. Topics will include important program dates, what to bring, travel tips, an introduction to the German workplace and many other important topics related to the participant’s stay in Germany.

Internship Positions

Tasks for interns are as diverse as the placements and the participants. Some state offices expect interns to work independently, while others prefer to supervise their work closely. Though it will be the participant’s responsibility to negotiate their direct, everyday work conditions, Cultural Vistas will try to assist whenever possible. The participant’s Lebenslauf will be sent to several placement possibilities at various Landtage. Some may choose to contact the participant directly to conduct an interview, most likely in German, before offering that individual an internship position. Participants should always keep Cultural Vistas informed of all communication! We expect participants to be open-minded and consider every offer carefully, as they are competing with hundreds of native Germans for these prestigious internship opportunities. Besides gaining professional experience and learning about the government from the inside out, the participants will also experience German culture, and dramatically improve their language skills.

Start Date and Duration

EMGIP is an individualized program. The start date and duration of the program will depend on the office preferences, the participant’s schedule, and the session periods of the state parliaments, which differ slightly from state to state. Internships will range from one to three months.

Compensation

Each American participant will receive a stipend to ensure a total salary of EUR 670 per month (provided by the Cultural Vistas Scholarship Fund and/or the Landtag) to help offset the cost of living during the internship. This will cover basic expenses such as housing, local transportation, and food. In some cases free housing is provided, in which case the participant will receive up to EUR 400/month. Canadian participants may receive stipends and/ or housing from the Landtag where they intern, though this cannot be guaranteed. The participant should be able to provide additional funds for travel expenses, emergencies, and incidentals.

Health Insurance

To ensure that all participants are covered throughout the duration of their internship, Cultural Vistas requires that all participants purchase our HTH Insurance policy (currently $55 per month). Students who are required to purchase equivalent international health insurance from their university will be exempt, but must provide proof of insurance enrollment and a letter from the university confirming coverage.

University of Michigan students are exempt from this requirement as they will need to enroll in HTH insurance through the university.

Housing

Many participants know where they will be staying before the program starts. Please note, however, 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 Landtage will help if you tell them that you need assistance. If the Landtag 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 that you might need to confirm housing arrangements personally or sign a contract. Cultural Vistas and/or its partner organization cannot be responsible for housing arrangements that fall through due to a participant’s failure to follow through.

Travel

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.

Other Costs

Participants are responsible for all costs incurred in-country, including costs related to securing housing, taxes, and residency permit fees, which vary by city.

How to Apply

Applications for summer 2017 are due December 1, 2017.

Request an application

Application Checklist

We encourage you to submit all of your application materials online. However, should you encounter any difficulties in uploading your application materials, please feel free to send them in hard copy to the address indicated below or via email to usabroad@culturalvistas.org. The complete application must be submitted by 12:00 am (Eastern Time Zone) on the day of the application deadline, including any letters of recommendation, transcripts, etc. mailed separately.

Application materials to be submitted

Please click the link above to request a password to the online application. Requesting a password does not mean that you have completed the online application process. After you have requested an application you will receive a username and password to access, complete, and submit an application. You may preview and edit your application at any time until you have clicked on the “Submit” button. We encourage you to print a copy of your completed application before submitting it. Please note that once an application has been submitted it is considered final.

  1. Professional Photo (example)
    Your photo should be the same size and format as a passport photo, taken from the shoulder up in front of a monochromatic background. You should wear business attire. The picture can be taken with a digital camera but should be good quality.
  2. Copies of official college/university transcripts, diplomas, or professional certificates
  3. If your internship is mandatory, please include a letter verifying this
  4. Current resume in English
  5. Letter of recommendation from a current or former employer
  6. Letter of recommendation from a professor in your field
  7. Recommendation form to be completed by a German professor or instructorRecommenders can email the PDF directly to us at usabroad@culturalvistas.org or they can mail a hard copy of the document to our New York office. Please use only this form.
  8. Copy of the picture page of your passport
  9. Verpflichtungserklärung (Formal Obligation) (example)This document verifies support by a third party, typically a parent or guardian. The form is a necessary step for acquiring your work authorization and must be submitted even if you support yourself financially. Please use only the form linked to on this website.
  10. Completed Certificate of EnrollmentThis document must be signed and stamped by the registrar at your university. We are unable to accept forms printed on university letterhead. Please use only the form linked to on this website.
  11. Lebenslauf (example)This is the German equivalent of a resume. Please see our example for more details. Your German resume should reflect the same skills and experience as your English resume.
  12. Language TestYou will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to submit the language test as part of your online application. Please type your answers directly into the language test and save it as a .pdf file before uploading it in the Document section of the online application. If you experience problems filling out the test electronically, please complete it by hand, scan, and email it to usabroad@culturalvistas.org
  13. Personal statement in German titled “Was ich von dem ‘EMGIP – German State Parliaments Program’ erwarte.” The statement should not exceed one typewritten page (1.5 spacing, 12 point font) and should address the following topics:
    • Why you want to participate in the program
    • What your career goals are and how this internship will help you achieve those goals
    • What your expectations are regarding the type of internship you would like to have
    • What you have to offer as an intern
  14. $75 application feeYou can mail a check to our New York office made out to “Cultural Vistas.” Alternatively, once you have submitted the online application, we can send you an invoice if you prefer to pay online with a credit or debit card. Please email usabroad@culturalvistas.org to request an invoice.Please note: The Cultural Vistas application fee of $75 is due at the time of application; the program fee of $600 will be due upon acceptance to the program. Applications will not be processed until the application fee has been paid.

Please mail your payment and any hard copies of your application materials to:

Cultural Vistas
ATTN: EMGIP Fellowship
440 Park Avenue South, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10016

We encourage you to submit as much of your application online as possible.

Germany Visa Info


What is a visa?A visa is a document that allows one to enter and stay in a certain country and stay for a particular period of time for a specific purpose.

Do I need a visa?

  • US citizens do not need visas to enter and intern in Germany; they are able to enter and stay in Germany for up to three months with a valid US passport. In order to complete an internship, all participants will require a work authorization. As a participant in an internship program in Germany, Cultural Vistas will secure your work authorization on your behalf. We will also provide you with detailed information to guide you through the bureaucratic steps you will need to take once you arrive in Germany. Participants who will remain in the Schengen Zone for more than three months will need to apply for a residence permit at the local Ausländerbehörde (participants will receive more information regarding these steps after acceptance into the program).
  • Non-US citizens are responsible for obtaining their own visa as required by the German authorities. To determine whether you will require a visa to enter Germany, please visit the website of the Federal Foreign Ministry of Germany (in German or English). In order to obtain a visa, you will have to make an appointment to visit the German consulate responsible for your region of the United States.

Step One: Schedule an Appointment

Once you know which consulate you will need to visit, you can typically schedule an appointment on the consulate’s website (see links below). Most consulates in the United States have two visa appointment categories: tourist and employment. Although you will be in Germany as an intern, you will make an appointment for a tourist visa, not an employment visa. By the time you visit the consulate, we will have already secured your work authorization (Arbeitsmarktzulassung) from the German government allowing you to live and work in Germany for the duration of your internship; you will simply need the visa for permission to enter the country. An employment visa is designed for those entering Germany to work at a full-time position for an extended period of time, not an internship. The procedure for the tourist visa most closely matches your purpose for entering Germany.

As available appointment times fill up rather quickly, it is important that you schedule the appointment as soon as you have paid your program fee. Visa processing time is usually one week, and we recommend making an appointment for two weeks prior to your departure to Germany.

Please keep in mind that you will need to have your work authorization with you at your appointment. Because work authorization is issued for specific internships, we cannot provide you with your work authorization until you have received your internship placement. Therefore, if you book an appointment that is too early, we will be unable to provide you with the necessary documents. An appointment more than four weeks before you depart for Germany may not allow enough time for your work authorization to arrive.

Step Two: Gather the Necessary Documents

In addition to the documents required by the consulate, you will need the following documents from Cultural Vistas with you at your appointment:
  • A scan of your work authorization (Arbeitsmarktzulassung)
  • A support letter describing our organization, the program, and your purpose in Germany
  • A copy of your Certificate of Enrollment
  • A copy of your Verpflichtungserklärung
Once you have made your appointment, it is your responsibility to contact the Internships Abroad team at Cultural Vista to inform us of your appointment date and time and to request to have these documents sent to you.

Step Three: Visiting the Consulate

When you visit the consulate, please have all required materials together in a folder or envelope. Be sure that they are neat and organized. We also recommend having two high-quality copies of each document in a separate folder or envelope. (For the passport, this means the photo page containing all of your data.)

Please contact us with any questions or concerns at any time while acquiring your visa. We are here to help!

German Consulates outside the United States

If you are an international student who will travel outside the United States before going to Germany, you may wish to make your visa appointment in another country. Please be advised that various consulates may have different policies and procedures. Please contact these consulates directly for any questions you may have. Cultural Vistas cannot provide information on processing times and procedures for appointments made at consulates outside of the United States.

Links

German Consulates General in the United States Federal Foreign Ministry of Germany US Department of State

Frequently Asked Questions

What is involved in the application process?

Complete our online application by clicking on the “Apply Now” button. Once you have submitted some basic information about yourself, we will email you a password granting access to our online application system. After you submit a completed application and all supporting documents, Cultural Vistas will contact you to schedule a telephone interview. During this telephone interview, we assess your abilities, language skills, political knowledge, and career goals and will answer any questions you may have. After a successful interview, you will be formally accepted into the program and we will begin the search for an appropriate internship at a Landtag.

Do I need to speak German?

The Émigré Memorial German Internship Program–German State Parliaments is a competitive program, and high-intermediate German skills (oral and written) are required. Candidates must be able and willing to communicate in German and possess a good command of professional vocabulary in their field. A recommendation from a person qualified to comment on the candidate’s German is required. Language skills will also be evaluated during the interview.

How much is the program fee and what does it cover? What additional costs can I expect?

The program fee of $675 ($75 application fee + $600 program fee upon acceptance) includes internship placement with a German Landtag, a pre-departure orientation mailing, work authorization and assistance with other bureaucratic matters, support throughout the program in Germany and in the U.S., and a reentry mailing upon completion of the program. Participants are also required to purchase international HTH insurance coverage through Cultural Vistas (currently $55 per month), unless proof of enrollment in equivalent international insurance required by your university is provided.

The Émigré Memorial German Internship Program–German State Parliaments is a fellowship program; each American participant will receive a stipend to ensure a total salary of EUR 670 per month (or EUR 400 if free housing is provided)—from the Cultural Vistas Scholarship Fund and/or the Landtag—to help offset the cost of living during the internship. Canadian participants may receive a stipend from their respective Landtage, though this cannot be guaranteed. The participant is responsible for airfare, housing, meals, and transportation in the host country.

Are the internships paid?

Compensation varies from Landtag to Landtag. Each American participant will receive a stipend to ensure a total salary of EUR 670 per month—provided by the Cultural Vistas Scholarship Fund and/or the Landtag—to help offset the cost of living during the internship.

This will cover basic expenses such as housing, local transportation, and food. In some cases free housing is provided, in which case the participant will receive up to EUR 400 per month. Canadian participants may receive stipends and/or housing from the Landtag where they intern, though this cannot be guaranteed.

How does the placement process work?

After formal acceptance to the program, we will start looking for a suitable position at a German Landtag. Location preferences will be considered; however, priorities lie in securing the best possible internship, regardless of location. Contact between Cultural Vistas and our participants is maintained throughout the search until a position is found. This process can take anywhere from two weeks to several months after acceptance into the program. Your personal resume and previous experience coupled with each Landtag’s respective schedule often dictates how quickly a position can be found.

Am I involved in the internship search?

Cultural Vistas has an established network at the German Landtage and will conduct the internship search on your behalf. When a position is found, we will put you in contact with the potential host Landtag. Some Landtage may choose to contact the participant directly to conduct an interview, most likely in German, before offering that individual an internship position. Participants should always keep Cultural Vistas informed of all communication. We expect you to be open-minded and consider every offer carefully, as you are competing with hundreds of native Germans for these prestigious internship opportunities. Besides gaining professional experience and learning about the government from the inside out, the participants will also experience German culture and dramatically improve their language skills.

Will I receive a refund if I am not offered an internship?

Yes. All fees paid (less the $75 non-refundable application fee) will be refunded if you are accepted into the program and an internship is not found for you. Almost all applicants accepted to this program are placed in an internship.

What kind of tasks can I expect to be doing at a Landtag?

Tasks for interns are as diverse as the placements and the participants. Oftentimes, our fellows rotate between different departments at the Landtag, conducting research, translating documents, attending various meetings and discussions, and getting to know the different parties. Some state offices expect interns to work independently, while others prefer to supervise their work closely. Though it will be the participant’s responsibility to negotiate their direct, everyday work conditions, Cultural Vistas will try to assist whenever possible.

Do I need a visa?

U.S. citizens are able to enter and stay in Germany for up to three months with their U.S. passport. If participants remain in the country for more than three months or complete a paid internship, they need to apply for a residence permit at the local Ausländerbehörde once in Germany. More information on required bureaucratic procedures in Germany is provided in our pre-departure mailing.

Non-U.S. citizens are responsible for any visa required by the German government. Cultural Vistas will provide non-U.S. citizens who need a visa for Germany with supporting documents verifying their participation in the program.

Do I need insurance coverage?

To ensure that all participants are covered throughout the duration of their internship, Cultural Vistas requires that all participants purchase our HTH Insurance policy (currently $55 per month). Students who are required to purchase equivalent international health insurance from their university will be exempt, but must provide proof of insurance enrollment and a letter from the university confirming coverage.

What is the duration of the program? Can I extend my internship?

The duration of the Émigré Memorial German Internship Program–German State Parliaments ranges between one and three months, depending on the schedules and preferences of both the Landtag and the participant. The program runs in the spring, early summer, and fall. It is possible to extend the internship in accordance with your host Landtag, though this cannot be guaranteed. Stipends provided through the Cultural Vistas Scholarship Fund are limited to a total of three months.

Where will I live during the program?

It is your responsibility to secure your own living arrangement. Finding housing in a foreign country is certainly a challenge; however, it is an important part of the internship experience. Many Landtage will help if you tell them that you need assistance. If the Landtag is unable to assist you, please contact Cultural Vistas. We will try to help you whenever possible. Popular housing options include shared apartments with other students or interns. You will receive a list of popular websites offering housing opportunities and shared leases from Cultural Vistas.

Will I have an opportunity to travel while interning abroad?

Cultural Vistas encourages you to explore as much as possible during your time abroad; however, please keep in mind that you are an employee at a company. Therefore, you are expected to attend work according to the expectations of your employer.

Will I receive school credit for my internship?

Credit is given at the discretion of each respective college or university. Be sure to speak with a coordinator at your school before beginning the internship to arrange proper credit. Cultural Vistas is able to provide a letter certifying participation in the program should the university request it. Contact your program officer for assistance.

Will I need to pay taxes in Germany or the United States?

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. Unfortunately, due to legal issues, Cultural Vistas cannot offer tax assistance to its participants.