Internship at GU

Are you a student at a university abroad and interested in (mandatory) internships at one of the departments of Goethe University or at the University Hospital?

Here you will find all the necessary information about the requirements, application and other interesting topics.

In general, applicants must meet the following requirements: 

  • Enrolled as a full time student (Bachelor, Master or PhD)
  • at a recognized higher education institution abroad

No inter-institutional agreement between Goethe University and your home university is required for an internship at Goethe University. A nomination by your home university is also not required. 

The Global Office of Goethe University cannot arrange internships for you. If you are interested in an internship at Goethe University, please contact the respective department directly.

If you have been accepted as an intern in one of the departments of Goethe University, you can be enrolled as a Freemover guest student by the Global Office during your internship.

Interns at Department 16 - Medicine or at the University Hospital can find all necessary information here. Please note that for a clinical internship German language skills on a B2 level are required, C1 level is recommended.

Please also refer to the information sheet of the Human Resources Department, which will soon be updated to include the topic of interns from abroad, for the requirements and necessary documents. 

As a citizen of one of the 27 EU member states or an EEA state (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway) or Switzerland, you do not need to obtain a work permit or the consent of the Federal Employment Agency. The same rules apply as for German applicants.

As a third country national, you usually have to apply for a work permit at the Federal Employment Agency in order to be allowed to complete an internship. However, there are some exceptions for internships related to studies.

Please note that Goethe University only hires interns for whom such an exception applies. Accordingly, you can only complete an internship at Goethe University, if it is not classified as an employment relationship. There are two practicable ways to do this:  

  1. Mandatory internship
    The internship is compulsory (i.e. an internship - whether in your home country or abroad - is required by the study regulations). In order to complete an internship without a work permit, you mus meet the following conditions: You are applying for a compulsory internship prescribed in the curriculum, are at least in your fourth semester of study, in a course clearly related to the internship. Please note the information on the agreement of the Federal Employment Agency in the tab "Application".
  2. Freemover
  3. Your internship will be classified as a study stay (i.e. you will be registered as a visiting student/freemover at Goethe University for your internship.) You will then have to apply for a visa based on a study stay in Germany. For this visa you do not need an approval by the Federal Employment Agency.

Please discuss the procedure with your contact person at Goethe University before applying for the visa.

Step 1: InformationFirst, take a close look at the website of the faculty/department that you are interested in and identify research projects or faculty members that are of interest to you.

Step 2:
If you are interested in a particular research area or project, contact the Goethe University faculty member directly. The faculty will let you know if there is capacity for an internship or not.

AcceptanceIdeally, you will have received an acceptance letter from the department and will now have to take care of visa, work permit, insurances, housing, etc. We will be happy to offer you some guidance with these matters. Please contact the Global Office if you have any questions.

Application as FreemoverInterns can be registered as freemover guest students during their internship. This formally gives you student status, which means that you do not have to comply with employment law requirements. Please note the respective enrollment deadlines and requirements, which can be found in the tab below.
If you decide not to enroll as a freemover guest student, you will have to discuss the employment law requirements with your faculty advisor.

Step 3: 
If you are a third country national, you usually need a visa to complete an internship in Germany. Important! The internship strongly depends on the visa.  If you do not get a visa, you cannot complete an internship at Goethe University. We have summarized all information about the visa in the tab below.

Step 4: 
Work permit
As a citizen of an EU member state, the EEA (Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein) or Switzerland, you do not need a work permit or the consent of the Federal Employment Agency.
Third country national usually have to apply for a work permit at the Federal Employment Agency in order to complete an internship. However, there are some exceptions for internships related to studies (see tab below).
If you are enrolled as a Freemover guest student, you can apply for a student visa and do not need a work permit from the Federal Employment Agency.

Step 5:
After applying for the visa, it is important to think about the following topics:
  • Accommodation during the internship
  • Taking out insurances (health, accident or liability insurance)
  • Financing of the internship, e.g. by scholarship programs

Step 6: 
Arrival in Frankfurt
After you have arrived in Frankfurt, you have to register (for stay longer than 3 months) at the Citizens Registration Office (= Bürgeramt) Frankfurt. We have compiled all the information you need on registration here.

As a third country national, you can only complete an internship at Goethe University if it is not classified as gainful employment. An internship is not classified as gainful employment if, among other things, it is recognized as part of the education. 

To be recognized as part of your education, it must be a mandatory internship. You must also be in at least your fourth semester of a course of study that is  clearly related to the internship. If these requirements are met, the consent of the Federal Employment Agency (BA) is sufficient (as opposed to a work permit, which is much more difficult to obtain). 

The purpose of the consent is ultimately to check whether the above-mentioned requirements are actually met. As a rule, the work/internship employer applies for the consent. Therefore, the following documents must also be submitted in the course of obtaining the agreement: The employer must fill out the registration form for a specialized internship according to § 15 No. 5 Employment Ordinance and submit it together with the certificate of enrollment (on the template of the Federal Employment Agency (BA)) (of your home university), a copy of your passport, an internship schedule and the anabin printout.

Please discuss the process of applying for the agreement with your contact person at Goethe University well in advance!

Alternative: Obtain Freemover status, see below.

If you have been accepted as an intern, you may be enrolled as a freemover guest student during your internship.

The following periods for enrollment are standard and cannot be adjusted: 

  • It is only possible to enroll for the complete semester period (= October to March / April to September)
  • It is not possible to be enrolled for only part of the semester
  • In order to be enrolled as a guest student, you have to apply in advance. Direct enrollment without a previous application is not possible.

Please send us the letter of invitation by email by May 15 (application for the winter semester) // November 15 (application for the summer semester) at the latest so that we can send you the online application link.

If you are studying in one of the 27 EU member states or in Iceland, Northern Macedonia, Norway, Liechtenstein, Serbia or Turkey, you can apply for Erasmus+ funding for your internship at Goethe University. This allows you to receive financial support for your internship at Goethe University.

Please contact the International Office at your home university to apply.

Detailed information on Erasmus+ funding can be found on the EU website.

DurationInternships abroad with a minimum duration of two months and a maximum duration of twelve months

Target groupAll students in Bachelor, Master or PhD programs

Financial supportmonthly scholarship rate

Applicationvia home university

Students are allowed to reside, work and thus complete internships in germany without restriction if they are nationals of one of the following countries:

  • Of a member state of the European Union (EU),
  • a country of the European Economics Area (EEA, which additionally includes Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) or
  • Switzerland.

Countries that are not members or contracting parties of the EU are referred to as third countries. If you are a citizen of such a third country, you need a residence permit (in this case a visa) to enter Germany and to complete an internship at Goethe University.

The visa must be applied for before entering the country. This must be applied for at the German Embassy or Consulate abroad.

Further information can be found on the website of the German government.

Students only need to apply for a visa if they come from a third country, i.e. do not have citizenship of an EU or EEA member state or Switzerland.

In general, two types of visas are relevant for internships at Goethe University.

The Schengen visa (USV) can be issued for short-term stay of up to three months (90 days per 180 days). It can only be extended in exceptional cases. It can be applied for at the responsible German Embassy or Consulate abroad. As a rule, gainful employment is not permitted with a Schengen visa. Whether and to what extend gainful employment is permitted is stated in the visa.

The national visa is issued for longer stays of more than three months and a maximum of one year. With a national visa and a valid travel document, it is now possible to move freely in the Schengen area for up to three months in a six-month period. Whether and to what extent the national visa entitles the holder to gainful employment is stated in the visa.

Please check first whether you need a permit or the consent of the Federal Employment Agency. You must apply for this before the visa. Furthermore, you must already have an internship commitment.

For applicants from third countries, you must first make an appointment with a German embassy or consulate. There are usually special appointment booking systems for this purpose. Please note the sometimes long waiting period for an appointment.

At the same time, you should prepare the visa application. You will usually need the following documents:

  • Passport: note the validity of the passport
  • Application form: you can find the visa application form on the website of each embassy.
  • Biometric passport photos
  • Formal confirmation of internship
  • If applicable, work permit or agreement of the Federal Employment Agency
  • If necessary, further proofs with supporting documents. The exact documents can be found on the website of the German embassies and consulates. 

A fee is charged for the application. The processing time varies, but you should allow several weeks. 

If your visa is not issued for the entire duration of your stay, you will need to apply for a residence permit after your arrival. 

Further information from the German government can be found here.

Erasmus+ Traineeship

If you are enrolled at a university in the Erasmus+ area (program countries), you can apply for funding through Erasmus+ for your traineeship at Goethe University (see tab above).

Funding is available for internships abroad between two and twelve months per study cycle. The application is made through the home university.

Further information can be found on the EU website.

RISE Germany - Research Internships in Science and Engineering

The RISE Germany program allows Bachelor, Master and PhD students in science and engineering as well as in computer science from North American, British, and Irish universities to apply for funding for a research internship.

Information can be found here for Bachelor students and here for Master and PhD students.

For further funding opportunities for your internship at Goethe University, please contact the International Office at your home university

General insurance obligation: 

You are legally obliged to take out health insurance for the period of your stay in Germany and to provide proof of this.

Compulsory insurance as an EU citizen: 

As a citizen of an EU member state, you are usually also insured in Germany through your health insurance in your home country. Please check thoroughly whether and to what extend your health insurance is valid in Germany and take out additional insurance if necessary. 

Compulsory insurance as an Erasmus+ trainee: 

The Erasmus+ traineeship grant requires accident and liability insurance in addition to health insurance. In principle, you are covered by accident and liability insurance through Goethe University - but only if you are enrolled as a guest student during the period of your internship (see enrollment as a Freemover above) - and only to a limited extent. Thus, accidents at and on the way to/from workplace are covered, but not during your free time. We therefore recommend that you take out additional insurance.

You can find more information on insurance coverage here.

Unfortunately, the Global Office cannot provide you with dormitory rooms for the period of your stay in Frankfurt.

However, you can find an overview on the Goethe Welcome Center's website, where you will find numerous housing agencies as well as websites for private searches for apartments and shared apartments.

You can also find more information here.

If you have moved into your apartment in Frankfurt and intend to stay in Germany for longer than 3 months, you must register within two weeks of arrival in Frankfurt according to the Registration Act. The registration takes place in one of the Citizens Registration Offices (= Bürgerämter) of the city of Frankfurt, is free of charge and the following documents are necessary: 

  • Completed and signed housing provider confirmation (you can download the form on the website of the City of Frankfurt).
  • Proof of identity for all persons to be registered (identity card, passport).
  • Rental agreement or other written proof of current residence. 

An appointment can be made online at the following link.

At the Citizens' Office you will receive a certificate of registration, which you will need, among other things, to apply for your residence permit or, if applicable, to open a bank account.

Please note: If you change your residence during your stay, you must re-register at the Citizens' Office (= Bürgeramt) responsible for your new place of residence, i.e. register your new address. If you leave Germany, you must deregister at the Citizens' Office.

Disclaimer: Despite careful review of the content, we assume no liability for the content of external links. The operators of the linked pages are solely responsible for their content. 



Student Mobility Team - Incoming Students


Tel.: (069) 798-17191, -17254, -15080