Do I apply with or without a photo? Is the CV signed and are references included? When it comes to application documents, there are a lot of country-specific customs that you should observe.
The first step is usually to apply directly to the company. We have compiled the most important tips and information for a successful application on this page.
Once you have been accepted for an internship, you can apply for a scholarship or other types of funding.
As a general rule:
Above all, a successful application must answer one question: why are you the right applicant for this position? To do this, you need as concrete an idea as possible of your goals and expectations for the internship abroad and enough information about the company to which you are applying.
The cover letter does not differ significantly in form and structure from that for a German application. It is the first piece of correspondence that your potential employer will read. You should therefore clearly demonstrate that you are suited for the position you are applying for and highlight your skills and interests in the respective field of work. You should always mention when you want to start and how long you want to work there. You can also mention your expectations about your journey there as well as about remuneration and accommodation.
The cover letter should be no longer than one page and, if possible, addressed to a specific person in the company.
The CV should be tailored to the position in question and include the following information:
information on your studies and majors
work experience from previous employment and internships
other skills or relevant experience
depending on the country: a recent passport photo
The CV should have an international format, i.e. you start with what is most recent and then go backwards in time until your school education. A good guide is the Europass CV, which was developed as a standard by the EU. In addition to the standard information about your work experience and education and training, you should also provide detailed information about your soft skills, i.e. your special personal, social or organisational skills.
Especially in the case of longer internships, you can attach a separate letter of motivation to your application documents explaining your interest in this particular internship, the company and the country, and how your study focus and professional objectives are in line with it. Such a letter of motivation can also include, for example, your ideas for a scientific paper if you are doing an internship as part of a research project.
For some internships abroad, you have to provide proof of your language skills. Depending on the programme and employer, a language certificate or a certificate of attendance from the Language Centre may be sufficient, but an official certificate such as the TOEFL may also be required.
Your chances of finding an internship will be much better if you include suitable testimonials and references in your application. What kind of credentials you need depends on your workplace. A transcript of records of your previous academic achievements is recommended for subject-specific internships. References from your previous work placements or internships are even better. In some countries, such as the USA, letters of recommendation are expected, for example from one of your professors or a former employer.
As a rule, you have to have your employer’s reference translated; English as an international language is usually acceptable.
Clarify which language you will mainly speak during your internship abroad. In large companies this can be mainly English, and in that case, you can also write your application in English. In smaller companies, it is usually assumed that you can speak the local language to a certain level. Your application is the first opportunity to prove your linguistic competence.
Application via agencies and placement programmes
The required application documents vary greatly from programme to programme. You can find detailed information on the websites of the agencies or in the descriptions of the scholarship programmes.
Initial counselling on studying abroad and internships abroad