Which internships should first-year students do

Studying at a university or college usually consists of imparting knowledge. Of course, this is not sufficient for practical implementation in later professional life. Therefore, various internships are part of every degree. During these internships, the students gain practical experience in the respective profession. In addition, students have the opportunity to apply their theoretical knowledge in practice. Internships can also influence your later professional career. Not only because the interns can make important contacts during their time at the company. The work of the interns in the various departments of a company can also influence their professional goals. Under certain circumstances, an internship can even lead students to switch subjects. This can be the case if students discover during the internship that the work there does not match their interests.

In order to be sure which subjects should be the main focus, it is recommended that prospective students do internships before starting their studies. An internship before studying is generally recommended - not just as an orientation. For some subjects, proof of an internship is even considered an admission requirement for a degree. Especially universities of applied sciences with practice-related courses often require a pre-study internship. The insight into practice gained in advance makes it easier for both first-year students and teachers to begin their studies.

But a pre-study internship is often not only mandatory at universities of applied sciences. Some courses at universities also require a pre-study internship. A pre-study internship is required of applicants, especially for courses in the medical, social or technical fields.

The duration of a compulsory internship before studying can vary. There are differences depending on the course and university. As a rule, the duration of compulsory internships before studying is between six weeks and three months. For degree programs in the social or medical field, it can even be six months to a year.

Regardless of the type and duration of an internship, school leavers should submit their application for an internship as early as possible. Applicants who do not take care of them in good time may not be able to start their studies until one or two semesters later. School leavers should apply for a place no later than three months before the start of their internship. An early application for an internship also makes sense for another reason. Above all, internships in large, "important" companies are in great demand and therefore scarce.

When looking for a suitable internship, some applicants can turn to their future university. Even if the universities can rarely help with job placement, prospective students should find their way there. There, students can inquire about the criteria for their compulsory internship. For example, internships for technical professions must be completed in a master craftsman's company.

An internship (voluntary or compulsory) is always considered to be normal employment. This means that the interns are entitled to vacation. The provisions of a normal employment relationship also apply otherwise. If it is a compulsory paid internship, the interns are also entitled to continued payment of wages in the event of illness. However, compulsory paid internships prior to studying are subject to social security contributions. This means that if the intern receives more than 360 euros in internship remuneration per month, he must pay the usual social security contributions (health insurance, pension insurance, unemployment insurance, long-term care insurance). If the internship remuneration is below this limit, the company must pay the contributions alone. The intern also has the option of remaining insured with family insurance (health insurance) free of charge.

If interns are paid for their compulsory internship, this counts as income. This can then be offset against housing benefit, ALG II, income tax or BAföG, among other things. Students with paid internship prior to their studies should therefore also find out about the applicable income limits.

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