Berlin is quickly becoming a commercial and cultural hub of central Europe, and young, dynamic individuals are in high demand. A number of internship opportunities are available for those students with greater German proficiency and an interest in augmenting their academic work with practical professional experience. Some positions exist for students with limited German exposure, but in good academic standing and with the permission of the program administration.
These are non-academic internships. The program administration plays a strictly facilitative role. Students wishing to explore earning academic credit are solely responsible for seeking their department's approval and organizing an individual faculty advisor to develop an independent study upon their return to create the academic component necessary to generate credit for the internship.
Internships are primarily an option during the semester program from January through July; early application and consultations are important to assist students in the process. Students should consult the internship coordinator in the Duke German Department for more details.
In past semesters students have accepted positions with the following organizations:
American Academy in Berlin
The Academy provides a unique bridge between the US and Germany through the scholarship and creativity of distinguished transatlanticists. The Academy requires that interns work full-time for a minimum of three months.
Berlin's House of Representatives
Abgeordnetenhaus von Berlin
In the German Federal System, states retain significant political and administrative competencies. Berlin's House of Representatives serves as the State Parliament of Berlin, electing the mayor, overseeing the city's senate, and acting as the primary municipal lawmaker.
Deutsche Bank Group
Deutsche Bank is a leading international investment bank with a substantial private clients franchise. Since its founding in 1870, the bank has become a global financial force, employing nearly 75,000 employees in 75 countries.
Distributed Campus supports international students preparing to study abroad at the Freie Universität Berlin by offering a multimedia online portal. This internship is ideal for students studying in Berlin during the spring semester who will have the chance to experience the FU first hand.
German Green Party
Bündnis 90/Die Grünen
In the last two and a half decades, the German Greens have shed their status as a protest party and have entered the political mainstream. The Party politicized and popularized topics such as environmental conservation, sustainable development, and gender equality. Although the party is not currently a member of the ruling coalition, it remains confident that die Zukunft ist Grün.
German Historical Museum
Deutsches Historisches Museum
Housed in the heart of Berlin, the Museum contains an exhaustive exhibition of German history from the 9th Century to the Present. Through its compelling display historical documents and models, the Museum's curators hope to both “enlighten” and “communicate” with visitors as they wander through the 10,000 square meters of exhibition space.
German Institute for Economic Research
Deutsches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (DIW)
An independent, non-profit academic institution involved in economic research and policy advice. The DIW has an outstanding reputation amongst international economists and policy makers.
German Marshall Fund
A nonpartisan American public policy and grant-writing institution dedicated to promoting greater cooperation and understanding between the United States and Europe.
The German Bundestag stands at the centre of the country's political life and is its supreme democratic organ. Internships are available in the Bundestag administration as well as with individual parties or representatives (see below).
German Resistance Memorial Center
Gedenkstätte Deutscher Widerstand
The German Resistance Memorial Center serves as both a site of remembrance and a center of historical research. The Center displays and documents the work of groups and individuals who took action against the National Socialist Dictatorship.
House of the Wannsee Conference
Haus der Wannsee-Konferenz
High-ranking civil servants of the National Socialist Dictatorship met at this villa in 1942 to organize and implement the “Final Solution” to the “Jewish Question.” The House now serves as a memorial for the victims of the Third Reich and an educational center for citizens.
Lufthansa offers a range of internship opportunities to students at all stages of their studies. Lufthansa Cargo–one of the many corporate divisions that accepts interns–delivers nearly 2 million tons of freight and mail to over 500 destinations worldwide.
With headquarters in Berlin and Munich, Siemens is one of the world's largest electrical engineering and electronics companies. Founded more than 150 years ago, the company specializes in the fields of Information and Communications, Automation and Control, Power, Transportation, Medical, and Lighting.
Social Democratic Party
Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (SPD)
One of the two major Volksparteien , the SPD is Germany's oldest and (in terms of membership) largest political party. Though the party contains a diversity of political views, it is often classified as center-left. Although it lost control of the Chancellery in the 2005 election, it remains the junior partner in Germany's governing Grand Coalition.
State Parliament of Thuringia
The state parliament is the political center of Thuringia, which in turn is located in the geographical center of present day Germany.
For students interested in service learning, a number of volunteer opportunities are available with local non-profit and educational organizations. In past years, students have volunteered at a local Gymnasium , the Robert-Koch-Oberschule, to assist in English lessons and mentor students.
NOTE: Many of the internships listed above are unpaid and, thus, technically volunteer.
Please do not feel limited by this list; internship opportunities exist in nearly every sector of Berlin's economy. We encourage you to explore alternatives and are always willing to assist in finding and arranging an appropriate internship. The program is proud of its 100% placement record for students participating in the Berlin spring semester program; every student that has wanted an internship has been placed in one.
Students interested in an internship will need to begin planning (translating and sending resumes, conducting phone interviews, etc.) before their departure.