Working at a German Company: Your Internship Abroad

The internship is the centerpiece of the EUROTECH Program, and quality work experience is vital to its success. Several steps will be taken by the directors of the program to insure that the internship will be appropriate for seniors in an engineering program (e.g., site visitation, written description of student’s responsibilities; student interview; company questionnaire).

Appropriate professional, linguistic, and cultural preparation is critical for a successful internship experience. Only students who are sufficiently advanced in their engineering studies, foreign language skills and interpersonal workplace skills will be allowed to intern abroad. The staff will evaluate whether or not you are sufficiently advanced in your engineering major, your German studies and will also consider the reports from the summer supervisors as to your social skills during your summer internships.

We urge you to inform us of your plans to do the internship at least six months before your planned departure date. This will allow us to direct you to an appropriate employer, give you advice on where to get additional language training, and what courses you might want to take if you include study abroad in your plans. With enough time we will also be able to give you a variety of practical tips from work related logistics to cultural differences.

Since you will earn up to six credits in German for the internship, each student will be required to do a variety of assignments to demonstrate his/her development of linguistic and cultural growth. At the beginning of the internship, students will be given a list of required writing activities that must be completed before credit will be granted.

These include:

  • An initial report in which you indicate what you hope to achieve during your stay in Germany, what you think you might gain from this experience, and what you anticipate to be some of the problems you might encounter. This report should address aspects of living in a foreign culture in a more general sense as well as specific aspects of your work and studies. (4-5 pages)

  • A report at about the midway point of your stay in Germany. This report should build on the initial report and address the same points, e.g. how your expectations have been met/disappointed, what you have already achieved, what you still want to do, how problems have been resolved (if not, how you plan to go about resolving them), and cultural differences you encountered on the job as well as in everyday life. (4-5 pages)

  • A final report in which you write on what you did, on your achievements, on new skills you acquired (relating both to your job and to your language skills), and on things you wished you had done but didn’t do. This report should also address how well the program prepared you for this internship, what might be done to improve the preparation of future interns, and what you would like to tell future students in this program about your experiences. (4-5 pages)

In order for you to receive the full number of credits, you will have to write these reports with particular attention to accurate, appropriate and idiomatic usage of written German. The German professors in the program will give you feedback on your reports so you will know what is expected of you. If necessary we will ask you to submit revised versions of these reports before credit is given.

Upon your return from Germany, you will share what you have learned in a forum of EUROTECH participants and visit lower level classes to answer the other students’ questions. A shorter version of your internship report will be included into the newsletter and we ask you to provide us with pictures to make it more interesting. We will also set you up with underclass students as whose peer mentor you will serve for the rest of your time at UConn.

Your internship experience will be useful in carrying out the required senior project in engineering, emphasizing teamwork and practical application.