Internships and Research Stays Abroad

  Markus Höppner Copyright: © Martin Braun  

Thanks to my stay abroad, I have become even more open-minded and now have friends all over Europe. The borders of Germany are now not necessarily the borders that restrain me in my life.

Markus Höppner



Saskia Semaan

Internationale Praktika, Erasmus+ Praktikum


+49 241 80-90862



Target Group: Outgoings

  • Bachelor students
  • Master students
  • Graduates
  • Doctoral candidates

What are the advantages of an internship or research stay abroad?

Do you want to gain your first experience in the international job market, expand your professional skills, and increase your employability? Then an internship or research stay abroad is suitable for you and brings many advantages!

  • Gain intercultural experience
  • Acquire and master new language skills
  • Get to know new working environments and develop new professional networks
  • Put theoretical knowledge into practice
  • Acquire international qualifications and increase your employability
  • Promote independence and personal growth

How do I organize an internship or research stay abroad?

When and where can I go abroad? How do I finance my stay? Are my language skills sufficient?

You should already have found an answer to these questions so that you can then start specifically planning your stay.

The next step towards a stay abroad is accepting an internship or research position. The following points can be helpful in your research:

  1. Search for suitable universities or companies. Use common search engines and check, for example, experience reports and rankings; look for partner universities or ask fellow researchers in your department for their opinion.

    The RWTH Career Center will also support you with application tips and individual application checks.
  2. Find a potential supervisor for your stay, for example by asking for and using contacts in your department. It is often also worthwhile to ask fellow students who have already been abroad.

    Or search one of these internship databases for a suitable placement:
    AIESEC Internship Database
    IAESTE Internship Database
    DAAD Internship Database
    Erasmus Internship Database
    RWTH Internship Database
    KOPRA - Coordination center for internships in Asia

    Further websites with useful tips and job offers can be found at the bottom of the page under "External Links."
  3. Apply for an advertised internship position or send a speculative application to a company. The usual way is to send an email with a cover letter, mentioning the motivation and the time window for your stay. The attachment should include your resume, transcript of records, letters of recommendation, and additional qualifications if applicable.
  4. Once you have received a letter of acceptance, you can find out about suitable funding opportunities, for example, visit our group advising sessions. Be aware of relevant application requirements and deadlines.

Depending on your desired destination country, please also consider applying for a visa and necessary insurance.

RWTH Aachen University offers internship programs with or without funding and pure funding programs.


Which programs and funding opportunities are available at RWTH?

Various different funding opportunities and programs are available depending on your desired destination country and the type of internship or research stay.


Self-organized internships and research stays

Free Mover


Participate and win

Internship abroad, study or research abroad as a free mover or organized by the faculty?



Who can I contact if I have a question about the content of the stay in relation to my subject?

The departmental coordinators of your faculty organize the subject-related aspect of your stay.

Can I have a voluntary internship or research stay recorded as an additional achievement on my degree certificate?

Yes. RWTH students can have optional internships abroad in industry and research lasting two months or more recorded on their degree certificate.

To do so, you must

The certificate must be fully completed and submitted to the ZPA no later than one week after the result of the last assessment has been announced so that the internship can be taken into account on the degree certificate.

The host company or university asks for an internship contract. Where can I get an internship contract?

Some foreign employers require German students to sign an internship contract that clarifies, among other things, insurance issues.

The template for such a contract, also called convention de stage, can be found below in the download area.

Who is authorized to sign?

Please have your contract signed by your subject coordinator.

What other funding options are available?

BAföG abroad

Students who receive BAföG funding in Germany can, under certain conditions, receive BAföG funding abroad for their internship abroad. Special municipal offices designated by the federal states are responsible for this. Further information can be obtained from the Studierendenwerk or the responsible BAföG Office.

Educational loan

To participate in an internship in Germany or abroad – also outside Europe – students in advanced study phases can apply for a time-limited, low-interest loan, the so-called education loan. The educational loan does not replace BAföG funding and can even be used in addition to BAföG. However, there is no legal entitlement to the education loan because, unlike BAföG, it is a program with a predefined budget. If the annual sum is exceeded, the date of receipt of the application by the Federal Office of Administration is decisive.

Interest-free loans for study stays abroad

The Darlehenskasse der Studierendenwerke e. V., Daka for short, grants interest-free loans for study stays abroad.

Where can I get a certificate of the funding amount for the BAföG Office?

You can obtain a certificate for submission to the Office for Educational Funding from the International Office. You can find the contact details in the infobox at the top of this page.

Can I go on leave for my stay abroad?

Yes, you can go on leave for a stay abroad. You can find information on the website of the Registrar's Office. The semester fee must first be paid in full.

Please note that reimbursement of the semester ticket fee is possible if students go on a study-related stay abroad for more than four months in a semester. The application must be submitted to the Social Committee by 11:59 pm on November 1 for the winter semester or 11:59 pm on May 1 for the summer semester. There is no entitlement to a refund of the semester ticket fee.

Further information about the refund of the mobility fee can be found on the AStA website.