Summer job in Germany for international students

happy young female waitress working summer

International students can work temporarily in Germany during their semester breaks in a summer job in Germany. For up to 90 days, even students with only limited knowledge of German. You may work in production, restaurants, cleaning, agriculture, or any other industry. In %%currentyear%%, international students will again have the opportunity to work and earn money in Germany during their semester breaks. Summer jobs are fixed-term positions in Germany providing a legal work opportunities for international students from all countries in the world.

Introduction to Summer Jobs in Germany

Every year, Germany opens its doors to foreign students, offering them the opportunity to gain practical experience and earn money during their summer break. These summer jobs are facilitated by a central agency that specializes in foreign and professional placements. The agency operates based on § 14 paragraph 2 of the Employment Regulation (BeschV), which provides the legal foundation for these placements.

The summer job opportunities are available to students and vocational students who are enrolled in educational institutions outside of Germany. The agency plays a crucial role in connecting these students with potential employers in Germany, providing them with a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the German work environment.

Students from member states of the European Union, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland, or Switzerland enjoy freedom of movement for workers and do not require any approval from the agency. However, students or vocational students with citizenship outside of these countries need a placement confirmation from the agency for a summer job in Germany. Only when they have this original confirmation can they take up the summer job.

Eligibility and Application Process for Summer Jobs in Germany

The opportunity to work a summer job in Germany is open to students and pupils who are enrolled in a university or vocational school outside of Germany. The duration of the work is limited to a maximum of 90 days within a period of twelve months during the official semester holidays in the home country.

a young student from abroad engaging in his Summer job in Germany
Taking a summer job in Germany can significantly enhance a foreign student’s career prospects in the country. It provides a firsthand experience of the German work culture and business practices, which can be invaluable for those considering a long-term career in Germany. Moreover, it can add a unique and valuable experience to their resume, making them more attractive to future employers.

The application process requires candidates to meet certain prerequisites. Good knowledge of German and some professional experience are advantageous. Candidates must be willing to work in Germany for at least two months. The chances of placement increase with the length of availability for employment and the acceptance of a wider range of tasks. Flexibility, mobility, and readiness to work anywhere in Germany are also important, as specific location preferences cannot be accommodated. It is also not possible to be placed with a specific employer.

If the application indicates possession of a driver’s license, candidates should have prior experience driving the respective vehicle (for example, tractor, car). In this case, a copy of the driver’s license should be included in the application documents.

The application process can be initiated through a partner agency of the German employment agency if one exists in the candidate’s country. If there is no partner agency in the candidate’s country, the application forms can be requested directly from the central agency or downloaded from the internet. The application process is designed to be straightforward and accessible, ensuring that interested candidates can easily apply for a summer job in Germany.

Job Offer and Acceptance for Summer Jobs in Germany

Upon receiving a job offer, it is crucial for candidates to provide feedback to the central agency, indicating whether they wish to accept the position or not. If a candidate chooses not to accept the offered summer job, they may receive another proposal.

Before traveling to Germany, it is highly recommended for candidates to establish contact with their future employer and clarify all questions regarding the job, payment, accommodation, meals, and arrival. Traveling to Germany without prior contact with the employer is strongly discouraged.

In the event that a candidate, after applying, finds that they cannot travel to Germany, they are advised to inform the central agency as early as possible. This allows other students or vocational students to have a chance at securing a job.

Immersing oneself in a German-speaking work environment is one of the most effective ways for foreign students to improve their German language skills. It allows them to practice their language skills in real-life situations, enhancing their fluency and confidence in the language. This can be particularly beneficial for those planning to pursue further studies or a career in Germany.

While the central agency strives to provide all students and vocational students with a summer job, there is no guarantee for placement. Candidates can expect a job offer at the earliest from April. It is also important to note that job offers are often reported at short notice. Therefore, candidates are requested to provide a current email address that they check regularly during the semester holidays.

The process of job offer and acceptance is designed to be flexible and considerate of the candidates’ circumstances, ensuring that they have the best chance of securing a summer job in Germany.

Finding an Employer for Summer Jobs in Germany

The German Arbeitsagentur (ZAV) plays a pivotal role in connecting students and vocational students with potential employers in Germany. However, if a candidate already knows an employer in Germany who is willing to offer them a summer job, they can bypass the agency’s placement process. In this case, the employer must submit a job description to the agency for approval. Once the job description is approved, the agency will issue a placement confirmation, which the candidate will need to apply for a visa (if required).

It’s important to note that the agency does not have the capacity to accommodate specific location preferences. Candidates are encouraged to be flexible and open to working anywhere in Germany. This flexibility increases the chances of placement and allows candidates to experience different regions and work environments in Germany.

Important things to know

  1. How well do I need to speak German for a summer job in Germany?

    You may apply without any German skills. For some summer jobs in Germany (for example in production) you don’t need German language skills at all. For other student jobs (for example in a restaurant) you need some knowledge of German. If you speak German, you will be able to find your way around Germany better and you may get better paid jobs in sales, restaurants etc. You do not need to know German to communicate with – we also speak English and Russian. In each job posting, we also explain exactly what German language skills are required.

  2. How much can students earn during a summer job in Germany ?

    As a foreign student you may work for up to 90 days in Germany. Each day you may work up to 9 hours with a payment of over 10 Euros per hour. Before taxes students may earn several thousand Euros per year.

  3. Who can apply for a summer job in Germany?

    All persons over 18 and under 35 who are enrolled at a university in any country. You may apply for a visa to Germany after you have a confirmation to start your vacation job in Germany. If you are not enrolled at a university you may not participate if you are not a citizen of a EU country.

  4. How can a student get a job in Germany?

    Many German companies hire foreign students for the summer season to work in restaurants, on farms, in shops, and in production. As an international student you may apply directly at any company. You also may use services of specialized agencies who take care of all administrative steps, select suitable companies, and assist in case of any problems.

  5. Is it easy to find a summer job in Germany as a student?

    As a foreign student you may work for up to 90 days in Germany. Most student jobs for foreigners are available in the summer time. Here it is often really easy to find a job. However many German employers trust in the services of specialized agencies and prefer to hire foreign students for summer jobs this way.

  6. Can Germans also apply for a summer job in Germany?

    Of course. German students or foreign students who are enrolled at a German university can also apply here.

  7. Can I also apply for a summer job in Germany if I am not a student?

    Yes, if you are a German or EU citizen, you can also apply for a vacation job at any time.

A step by step guide

Here are the steps to follow in order to get a summer job in Germany for students from non-EU countries.

  1. Check visa requirements

    Check the visa requirements for working in Germany as a student from a non-EU country. Ensure you have the necessary work permits and documentation.

  2. Prepare your resume and cover letter

    Create a professional resume and cover letter tailored to the job you’re applying for. Highlight your relevant skills, experiences, and educational background.

  3. Search for job opportunities

    Look for job opportunities through online platforms, university career centers, job fairs, and local job portals. Consider both English and German-speaking positions.

  4. Network and attend job events

    Attend networking events, industry conferences, and career fairs to connect with potential employers and learn about job openings.

  5. Apply for jobs

    Submit your applications to the desired job positions. Make sure to follow the application instructions and submit all required documents.

  6. Prepare for interviews

    Research the company and the position you’re applying for. Practice common interview questions and prepare examples of your skills and experiences.

  7. Obtain health insurance

    Make sure you have health insurance coverage during your stay in Germany. Consider obtaining private health insurance if necessary.

  8. Arrive in Germany and start working

    Arrive in Germany before your job start date. Complete any necessary paperwork and orientation processes, and begin your summer job.

Types of Summer Jobs for Students

Summer jobs in Germany span a wide range of industries and roles, offering students and vocational students the opportunity to gain practical experience in a field that interests them. The majority of these jobs are in agriculture, particularly in harvesting and packing fruits and vegetables. Other sectors that commonly offer summer jobs include the hotel and catering industry, and industrial companies.

a young student from abroad doing a Summer job in Germany
A summer job in Germany can serve as a practical preparation for foreign students planning to undertake studies or dual training in the country. It provides them with a better understanding of the German work environment, helping them to adapt more quickly and effectively when they begin their studies or training. Additionally, the income from the summer job can help to finance their studies or training.

The working conditions for these jobs are regulated by German labor law. The working hours are usually between 8 and 10 hours per day, with one day off per week. The exact working hours and days off are determined by the employer and are subject to the operational requirements of the job.

It’s important for candidates to be aware that the work can be physically demanding, especially in the agricultural sector. However, these jobs offer a unique opportunity to gain practical experience, earn money, and immerse oneself in the German work environment.

The wide variety of summer jobs available in Germany ensures that there is something to suit every interest and skill set, providing a rewarding and enriching summer work experience.

Here are some examples of potential summer jobs in Germany along with their tasks, employers, and working conditions:

  1. Hotel Staff
    • Tasks: Cleaning and preparing rooms, assisting in the kitchen, serving meals, attending to guests’ needs.
    • Employer: Hotels, resorts, and guest houses.
    • Working Conditions: Shift work, including weekends and holidays, customer service skills required, accommodation often provided by the employer.
  2. Restaurant Server
    • Tasks: Taking orders, serving food and drinks, clearing tables, providing excellent customer service.
    • Employer: Restaurants, cafes, and bistros.
    • Working Conditions: Evening and weekend work, fast-paced environment, tips often supplement income.
  3. Tour Guide
    • Tasks: Leading tours, providing information about sites and landmarks, answering questions, ensuring the safety of the tour group.
    • Employer: Tour companies, museums, historical sites.
    • Working Conditions: Mostly outdoor work, requires good communication skills, variable hours.
  4. Fruit and Vegetable Harvester
    • Tasks: Picking fruits and vegetables, sorting and packing produce, maintaining cleanliness of the work area.
    • Employer: Farms and agricultural businesses.
    • Working Conditions: Outdoor work, physically demanding, early morning starts, accommodation often provided on the farm.
  5. Factory Worker
    • Tasks: Operating machinery, assembling products, packing goods for shipment, maintaining a clean work area.
    • Employer: Industrial companies and factories.
    • Working Conditions: Indoor work, physically demanding, shift work, safety training provided.
  6. Ice Cream Parlor Server
    • Tasks: Serving ice cream, preparing sundaes and other desserts, taking payments, maintaining cleanliness of the serving area.
    • Employer: Ice cream parlors and cafes.
    • Working Conditions: Indoor and potentially outdoor work, customer service skills required, often busy during summer months.
  7. Garden and Landscape Maintenance Worker
    • Tasks: Planting, pruning, mowing, watering, general maintenance of gardens and landscapes.
    • Employer: Landscaping companies, public parks departments, private estates.
    • Working Conditions: Outdoor work, physically demanding, knowledge of plants and gardening techniques can be beneficial.
  8. Canoe or Bicycle Rental Assistant
    • Tasks: Assisting customers with rentals, maintaining rental equipment, processing payments, providing safety instructions.
    • Employer: Canoe or bicycle rental companies, often located near tourist attractions or outdoor recreation areas.
    • Working Conditions: Mostly outdoor work, customer service skills required, may require some physical strength for handling canoes or bicycles.
  9. Gas Station or Kiosk Sales Assistant
    • Tasks: Operating the cash register, stocking shelves, assisting customers, maintaining cleanliness of the store.
    • Employer: Gas stations, kiosks, convenience stores.
    • Working Conditions: Indoor work, may require evening, weekend, or holiday shifts, customer service skills required.

Please note that these are just examples and the actual tasks, employers, and working conditions may vary. It’s also important to remember that the ability to speak German is often required for these jobs.

Preparation for the Journey to Germany

Before embarking on the journey to Germany for a summer job, there are several important considerations and preparations to be made.

Firstly, candidates should ensure that they have all the necessary travel documents. For students from countries outside the European Union, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland, or Switzerland, this includes a valid passport and a visa. The visa can be applied for at the German embassy or consulate in the candidate’s home country. The visa application should include the original placement confirmation from the central agency and proof of health insurance coverage in Germany.

Secondly, candidates should clarify all details regarding their job, accommodation, meals, and payment with their future employer. This includes understanding the exact location of the job, the type of accommodation provided, the provision of meals, and the method and frequency of payment.

Thirdly, candidates should consider the costs they will incur during their stay in Germany. This includes the cost of travel to and from Germany, the cost of accommodation and meals, and any other living expenses. Candidates should ensure that they have sufficient funds to cover these costs.

Finally, candidates should consider any health or safety precautions they need to take. This includes getting any necessary vaccinations, ensuring they have adequate health insurance coverage, and understanding the safety requirements of their job.

The preparation for the journey to Germany for a summer job is a crucial step in ensuring a successful and enjoyable work experience. By taking the time to prepare thoroughly, candidates can avoid any unexpected surprises and make the most of their summer job in Germany.

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