Cultural Vistas

Foreign-Language Internships

One of the most effective ways for students to immerse themselves in another culture — arguably the best — is for them to work there. Internships provide real training, contacts, impressive lines for resumes, and sometimes even a foot in the door to a full-time job. Interns enjoy maximal contact with native speakers, abundant opportunities to practice languages, learn new skills, and hone the skills they have been taught on campus through practical use.

The German Department offers its students help in finding internships in German-speaking countries. We attempt to find jobs that match students' abilities, interests, and career choices, ranging from auto companies to biotech firms to museums and nature reserves.

GDS is very proud of its internship program, which was featured in the Fall 2003 issue of LSA Magazine. Click here to read the article (PDF).

The University's German Department is home to the Midwest Office of the internship organization, Cultural Vistas. Our representative is Peggy Wunderwald-Jensen, pwjensen@umich.edu, who also teaches German at the University of Michigan, and has an office on the third floor of the Modern Languages Building (MLB 3416).

Study Abroad Courses

German 308, Preparatory Course for Academic Year in Freiburg: This course is offered in the Winter semester only. This course is especially designed for students who intend to participate in the University of Michigan's Academic Year in Freiburg (AYF) program. Class hours will be devoted to presentations by faculty members and former AYF students on all aspects of German university life, travel in Germany, German politics, geography, history, food, holidays, social customs, medical care, linguistic and cultural diversity, and LSA requirements related to study abroad. The language of instruction will be mostly German; and activities to enhance the students’ verbal skills will be integrated into the course.
Requirements include regular attendance, active participation, and an oral presentation in German on some aspects of Freiburg. Grades will be based on preparation and participation.

In Winter 2010, the course will be taught as a CIC course in conjunction with students from the University of Wisconsin, who will also study in Freiburg.

German 310, Max-Kade House Course on Studies in German Culture: This course is offered in the Fall semester only. Students must be a resident of the Max Kade German House; others by permission of instructor. Students living in the Max-Kade House are required to take a one-credit class that focuses on the cultural history, artistic highlights, and dialectal peculiarities of a city in a German-speaking country that will be visited over Spring Break. Students are encouraged to contribute to the planning of the schedule of this trip. Guest lectures of faculty members about this city will offer insights into the diversity of German culture.

German 312, Max-Kade House Study-Abroad Tour: Max Kade residents meet regularly during the Winter Semester in preparation for a study tour organized by the Department to a major city in a German-speaking country over Spring break. During the tour students keep a journal and upon their return, complete a paper based on their observations. Usually taught in Winter semester.

German 349, Working in Germany: This course is designed for students planning to go on a summer internship in Germany. Students will become familiar with cultural differences between Germany and the U.S., both in everyday life and in a work environment. We will hear from other students about their experiences. We also will talk about practical issues, such as finding housing, buying a train ticket, and opening a bank account. Usually taught in Winter semester.

German 351, Practice in Business German: This course will give credit to a student for the completion of an internship in a German-speaking country. Usually taught in Fall semester.
Requirements for receiving credit are as follows:

  1. The student will complete an eight-week (minimum) internship in a German-speaking country before registering for these three credits.
  2. The student will then complete a report/paper of at least 20 typed pages in German on this experience.
  3. During the registered term, the student will also make a ten-minute presentation in German about the internship experience to Business German students and potential interns.

Study Abroad [OIP]

The Department and the Office of International Programs offer three study abroad programs for students of German:

For more information, contact:

Kalli Federhofer, Undergraduate Concentration Advisor, German
kallimz@umich.edu

Internships Through Cultural Vistas

U-M's German Department is home to The Midwest Office of the prestigious internship organization Cultural Vistas International. The Cultural Vistas Midwest Representative is Peggy Wunderwald-Jensen, pwjensen@umich.edu, who also teaches German for GDS, and has an office on the third floor of the Modern Languages Building (MLB 3416).

We strongly encourage students seeking German-language internships to work with Cultural Vistas through the Midwest Office.

How to apply: Cultural Vistas has established a special section on its website solely for U-M students planning on doing a two- or three-month summer internship. All prospective interns should be sure to study the application guidelines there and to get in touch with Cultural Vistas Midwest Representative Peggy Wunderwald-Jensen, pwjensen@umich.edu, as soon as possible. She can provide further details about the programs and the current application forms. The deadline for receipt of completed applications is December 1, 2008 but please show a draft of your Cultural Vistas application to Peggy before you submit the application, so that she can help ensure completeness and the best possible presentation.

Dual Internship Option: Students majoring in business or engineering also have the option to complete a part-time internship in Michigan during the winter semester followed by an internship with the same company during the summer in Germany. Please note early application deadline is October 31, 2010.

Student Internship Reports from 2008: The following links are a few of the reports from the students in the summer internship program 2008.

MT-Energie | Deutsche Energie Agentur |  Germanwatch | Berlin Adler (Football Team) | Transport Clearing House Europe GmbH | Türkischer Bund of Berlin-Brandenburg | Europäische Akademie Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

Sample Placement List: Please note: This list includes some our past internship placements. It does not include ALL placements. Future placements are not restricted to these companies/organizations. Also please note that placements at these companies cannot be guaranteed. This list is meant to give you an idea of the wide variety of internship possibilities.

Engineering

Volkswagen AG, Salzgitter
BMW Group, München
Wilhelm Karmann GmbH, Osnabrück (Automobilindustrie)
Schaeffler KG, Herzogenaurach (Maschinenbau, Automobilindustrie)
IAV, Gifhorn (Automobilindustrie)
KuKa Roboter GmbH, Augsburg
Kuka Schweissanlagen GmbH, Augsburg
Wieland Werke AG, Ulm (Bauwesen, Automobil-, Elektroindustrie)
Borg Warner, Markdorf (Automobilindustrie)
Kayser-Threde GmbH, München (Automobil- und Flugzeugindustrie)
EX-CELL-O GmbH, Eislingen (Werkzeugmaschinen)
KHS, Dortmund (Verpackungsindustrie)
SAF Achsensfabrik, Bessenbach

Business/Economics

Deutsche Bank AG, Frankfurt
Stadtsparkasse, Dresden
Eddie Bauer GmbH & Co KG, München
TUI, Hannover (Reise- und Freizeitunternehmen)
Stuttgart Scorpions (Football-Mannschaft), Stuttgart
AFC Berlin Adler e.V., (Football-Mannschaft), Berlin
Klausmeier Marketing Consultants, Düsseldorf
Zoo, Leipzig
DIW — Deutsche Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Berlin
Invest in Germany, Berlin
BDI Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie, Berlin
Telepool GmbH, München

Biology/Nursing

Universitätsklinikum, Freiburg
Frauenklinik, Universitätsklinikum, Berlin
Bundesministerium für Gesundheit und Soziales, Bonn
Robert-Koch-Institut, Wernigerode (Biomedizinische Forschung)
Institut für Meereswissenschaften, Kiel
Umweltforschungszentrum, Leipzig
Naturpark Bayrischer Wald, Zwiesel
Krankenhaus Dresden-Friedrichstadt, InstitutfürKlinische Chemie u. Labormedizin, Dresden
Leibniz Universität Hannover, Institut für Pflanzengenetik, Hannover

Chemistry

Wacker Chemie, München
Bayer, Leverkusen
BASF AG, Ludwigshafen
Charité, Institut für Transfusionsmedizin, Berlin

Government/ Politics/ NGO's

Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Arbeit, Berlin
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Auswärtige Politik e.V. (DGAP), Berlin
IEP — Institut für Europäische Politik, Berlin
Deutsch-Amerikanisches Institut, Nürnberg oder Tübingen
Deutsche Welthungerhilfe, Bonn
Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), Berlin
German Marshall Fund (GMF), Berlin
Heinrich Böll Stiftung (Böll Foundation), Berlin
Europäische Akademie Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Waren (Müritz)

Liberal Arts/ Music

Staatliche Museen, Berlin
Stiftung Weimarer Klassik, Weimar
Schloss- und Gartenverwaltung, Coburg
Kindermuseum Berlin oder Frankfurt
Psychologisches Jugendberatungszentrum, Würzburg
Musikfestspiele Saar, Saarbrücken
Musikfestspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Schwerin
Freie Universität, Berlin
Humboldt Universität, Berlin
Charité, Institut für Tropenmedizin, Masters Program in International Health, Berlin
UniversitätKiel, Institut für Experimentelle und Angewandte Physik,Kiel
Landesministerium für Arbeit, Gesundheit und Familie, Land Brandenburg, Potsdam
TIO — Treff- und Informationsort für türkische Frauen, Berlin
TBB — Türkischer Bund in Berlin-Brandenburg, Berlin
Cornelsen Verlag, Berlin
Ethnologisches Museum (Staatliche Museen zu Berlin), Berlin
Senckenberg Forschungsinstitut und Naturmuseum
Carl Duisberg Centren, Radolfzell
Thüringisches Landesamt für Denkmalpflege und Archäologie, Erfurt

Other Internship Resources

Research Internships in Science and Engineering
www.daad.de/rise/en/1.html

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)—in cooperation with science organizations in North America and Germany—is pleased to invite undergraduate students from the US and Canada in the fields of biology, chemistry, physics, earth sciences, and engineering to apply for a summer research internship in Germany. RISE summer placements take place with research groups at universities and top research institutions across Germany. The RISE interns are matched with a doctoral student whom they assist and who will also serve as their mentor. The program is funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology as part of the European Recovery Program (ERP).

Summer Internships Through the International Cooperative Education Program (ICEP)
www.icemenlo.com

Can you speak German, Dutch, French, Spanish, or Chinese? If your answer is "Yes!" the International Cooperative Education Program (ICEP) can place you into a paid summer internship in Germany, China & Taiwan (requires Mandarin), Singapore, Belgium (requires French), South America (requires Spanish), Mongolia, Ethiopia (unpaid), Britain and Australia.

U.S. Teaching Assistantship Program in Austria
http://www.fulbright.at/us-teaching-assistantships/program-description.html

Since 1963, the U.S. English Language Teaching Assistantship Program in Austria has provided U.S. College and university graduates with opportunities to work at secondary schools throughout Austria as teaching assistants.

U.S. teaching assistants not only enhance the instruction of English as native speakers; they also are important resources for first hand information about the "American way of life" and the United States. The Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Culture finances this program, while the Austrian-American Educational Commission (Fulbright Commission) administers the program.

EPA Internships: Educational Programs Abroad
www.epa-internships.org/

EPA has been successfully placing students into internships in government offices, global organizations, and centers of European culture for over 25 years. EPA offers programs in Berlin and Bonn/Cologne and other locations.

Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation (Associate and Internship Program)
www.cgkfoundation.com

The Koch Associate Program (KAP) is a unique career opportunity in Washington, D.C., and it may be of interest to anyone who is interested in policy analysis. The Koch Associate Program is a year-long, paid program designed to develop promising leaders and entrepreneurs interested in liberty and the non-profit arena. Associates range from recent graduates to those with up to a decade of work experience. They come from diverse fields and academic majors; some have their bachelor's degrees, others are Ph.D. candidates.

Current Internships & Past Placements

Research Internships in Science and Engineering
www.daad.de/rise/en/1.html

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)—in cooperation with science organizations in North America and Germany—is pleased to invite undergraduate students from the US and Canada in the fields of biology, chemistry, physics, earth sciences, and engineering to apply for a summer research internship in Germany. RISE summer placements take place with research groups at universities and top research institutions across Germany. The RISE interns are matched with a doctoral student whom they assist and who will also serve as their mentor. The program is funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology as part of the European Recovery Program (ERP).

Summer Internships Through the International Cooperative Education Program (ICEP)
www.icemenlo.com

Can you speak German, Dutch, French, Spanish, or Chinese? If your answer is "Yes!" the International Cooperative Education Program (ICEP) can place you into a paid summer internship in Germany, China & Taiwan (requires Mandarin), Singapore, Belgium (requires French), South America (requires Spanish), Mongolia, Ethiopia (unpaid), Britain and Australia.

U.S. Teaching Assistantship Program in Austria
www.fulbright.at/us_citizens/teaching_intro.php

Since 1963, the U.S. English Language Teaching Assistantship Program in
Austria has provided U.S. College and university graduates with
opportunities to work at secondary schools throughout Austria as teaching
assistants.

U.S. teaching assistants not only enhance the instruction of English as
native speakers; they also are important resources for first hand information about the "American way of life" and the United States. The Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Culture finances this program, while the Austrian-American Educational Commission (Fulbright Commission) administers the program.

EPA Internships: Educational Programs Abroad
www.epa-internships.org/

EPA has been successfully placing students into internships in government offices, global organizations, and centers of European culture for over 25 years. EPA offers programs in Berlin and Bonn/Cologne and other locations.

Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation (Associate and Internship Program)
www.cgkfoundation.com

The Koch Associate Program (KAP) is a unique career opportunity in Washington, D.C., and it may be of interest to anyone who is interested in policy analysis. The Koch Associate Program is a year-long, paid program designed to develop
promising leaders and entrepreneurs interested in liberty and the non-profit arena. Associates range from recent graduates to those with up to a decade of work experience. They come from diverse fields and academic majors; some have their bachelor's degrees, others are Ph.D. candidates.

Comments from previous Work Abroad students...

My internship at BorgWarner was my first work experience in industry. I gained a lot of knowledge related to my major. I also had a chance to see what everyday life of an engineer looks like. … I had a very interesting project, met many interesting people, traveled a lot and learned quite a bit of German. … I had an excellent experience in Germany! M. S., 2005


I have never grown so much in such a short period of time. Working full-time in a foreign country presents a lot of difficult challenges...I was extremely fortunate to be able to go and have this internship. It is an experience I will never forget and remain proud for pushing myself. S. H., 2004, German-American Cultural Center


"It was the best cultural immersion experience I have had thus far. Although I had lived in Germany and studied there for eight months before, I certainly feel like I understand the culture and the Germans much better than previously and I had increased my German proficiency. I feel that this experience will set me apart from other candidates in any field which I decide to work in." E. F., 2004, Ostsächsische Sparkasse (bank)


The big thing I realized was that there is an extremely large difference between working and studying in Germany. My German was no longer an extra skill I had, it was something that I simply needed to use on a regular basis or I would fail. I gained a tremendous amount out of this internship. I learned that I did not want to work in HR for my life. But that wasn't the most important thing for me. I learned so much about myself and what I wanted and needed to be successful in my life. It takes a certain type of person to live and work independently in a different country, but if you are that type of person, there is nothing, I mean nothing, that can make you grow as much in such a short period of time. J. T., 2004, KMC Consulting


"This experience had a significant positive impact on my future career … My internship provided me with much more clinical experience than I could have possibly obtained in the U.S." A. D., 2004, Hospital


The internship helped me focus my ideas about my own career and gave me a valuable launching pad.

My greatest experience was sitting in a German beer-garden with other twenty-somethings who are all up and coming leaders in the EU (from Syria, France, Egypt, Sweden, the Netherlands, Britain, Pakistan, etc.) and talking about how we party on Friday nights in our respective countries. It was great to see so many amazing people and find a commonality between us that we could all laugh about. A. C., 2005


The best experiences were getting to know my roommates and some work colleagues as well as I did, because I think it gave me a better understanding of other cultures and also the understanding that, no matter where you go, people really are basically the same. Also, I’m really glad that I saw how Wieland Werke operates on the production floor, because I relate what I saw to what I’m learning in all of my manufacturing classes, even able to bring it up in class discussions as an example. … I would recommend this program to a friend, because it is a great experience, and CDS was a big help. I would have been too intimidated to try getting a job abroad alone, and I know other people who feel the same way. L. M., 2005


Going abroad is so much fun and helps to understand the rest of the world as well as to help you see the U.S. from the perspectives of others.

Having exposure to the Deutsche Welthungerhilfe has significantly raised may awareness of the international world, with respect to the desperate situations of people in a number of countries and also the role of the international community in responding to their needs. By gaining an understanding of how this organization functions, I will be more prepared for my future career ambition to work in the humanitarian aid branch of an international organization such as the World Bank or perhaps the European Union. S. T., 2005


I learn a lot from books, but learning what engineers do in real life was more valuable than any book. I was able to work in several departments and see a variety of engineering applications, and choose which ones I liked best. … This summer was a great opportunity for me personally, professionally, and in terms of friendships. I will also stand out now in job and internship applications. P. R., 2005