Tips for a successful career start
A successful career start should be prepared carefully. Try to plan your career as early as possible - preferably from the start of your studies - in order to acquire the required skills and knowledge.
Here you can find basic information to issues you should consider from the beginning so your career entry will become more easily.
You can also find useful information on Make it in Germany.
For international students that want to enter the German job market, the residence regulations are specified in the Residence Act (Aufenthaltsgesetz / AufenthG) and the Employment Regulation (Beschäftigungsverodnung / BeschV).
These regulations do not apply to students that come from the EU states or the European Economic Area (EAA). These students are allowed to stay for an unlimited period of time.
The following regulations apply to international students (not from the EU or EAA):
During your studies:
While studying, you may work 120 full days or 240 half days (more than 4 hours = full day) per calendar year.
If your work as a Student assistant or a Research assistant, this Regulation does not apply to you; nevertherless your studies should be in the Focus of your stay.
Please also note the hints regarding internships. (Verlinkung)
If you are a student of the DSH German intensive course, you have the right to work only during holidays.
After your Studies:
After graduation from a German University, you fulfill the best requirements in order to find a Job in this Country; You can get a residence Permit that allows you to search for a appropriate Job for a period of 18 months. During this time you may work any Kind of work in order to make a living. Please ask at the Foreigners Registration Office about which documents are required for this residence Permit.
Once you've left Germany and go back to your home Country, you can return to Germany and get a residence Permit for Job search for a Duration of 6 months. Though, during this time, you are not allowed to work and you have to prove that your living is ensured.
For getting a residence permit for an employment after graduation you have to find a job that corresponds to your qualification that you've gained during your studies. There are different kinds of residence permits which all differ regarding their requirements and rights:
§ 18 para. 4 of the AufenthG "Employment"
After having found a concrete job offer that corresponds to your qualification you can make a request of a residence permit for employment. (This must not be a independent work.) Please ask at the Foreigner Registration Office about what documents to bring for the request.
After 2 years, you can aply for a permanent residence permit.
§ 19a of the AufenthG "EU Blue Card"
If you have a concrete Job offer that corresponds to your qualification and that grants you a certain minimum of salary it often makes sense to apply for a EU Blue Card. This card simplifies travelling and moving within Europe. After 33 months (or even after 21 months if you have German language knowledge at Level B1 or better), you can apply for a premanent residence permit.
In any case, the Foreigner Registration Office (Ausländerbehörde) is the place where you get Information about the requirements for each residence permit.
Many employers attach great importance to at least basic knowledge of German language of their potential employees. Even if you wouldn't have to communicate a lot in your job, you need at least to understand work instructions and safety instructions. In some cases you might have colleagues who do not speak English very well.
So, think of working on your German skills from the beginning of your studies.
Good German language knowledge will also help you with feeling better in the Region as well as in your company. You will get to know people and their culture more easily.
The Language Center offers German courses for each level. For students you plan their career, you can even find technical language courses.
Make also use of each situation and opportunity that offers you to get in touch with the language. Join activities where you will meet Germans and can make friends ("Stammtische" (regular meetings), clubs, sports, music...).
It might even happen that employers offer a job to their interns after their graduation:
Sometimes, an internship is a compulsory part of the study program. But in any case, you have the possibility to make an internship - as long as your residence permit is not endangered. Please note: If you make an internship voluntarily, these days have to be counted to the 120 full or 240 half days you are allowed to work per year as an international student. This regulation applies even if the internship is unpaid!!
In case of doubts, please contact the Foreigner Registration Office (Ausländebehörde).
Search for an internship:
There are many possibilities to find internships, such as:
- Internet (though, all pages are in German): www.meinpraktikum.de, www.absolventa.de , www.praktika.de, www.praktikum.info , www.praktikumsstellen.de, www.praktikuss.de (offers for internships in fields of social work), www.kopra.org (related to (East) Asia)
- Fairs (e.g. W&I-Tag, Uni Siegen)
- Notice boards of institutes / department of your studies
- Homepage of companies ("career")
- Ask your professors for ideas / contacts
- Ask your fellow students/ friends for contacts
- Take part in excursions / talks / "Stammtische" (regular Meetings) for new contacts (e.g. VDI – Verein deutscher Ingenieure (association of German engineers))
A good alternative to an internship might also be a student job at the company you want to get to know.
Try to establish contacts from the start of your studies. Sometimes during a random conversation, you might surprisingly hear about a job offer or a company that might interest you. Of course, you shouldn't behave too offensively - stay self-confident, but not noo demanding.
Make use of professional groups of your study programs, but also of clubs, associations, job fairs or personal contacts where you can expand your network easily. Please also join the offers of the project SieguVer.
In addition, integration also enables you to find a good work life balance. You have ideas how to spend your spare time as you have friends to meet and talk with, to exchange ideas or just to relax. Make use of the big range of acitivities the University and the town of Siegen offers you.
You can find help and examples in the internet, but it's even better to get personal advice and join training. SieguVer offers you different kinds of support.
After your studies
After your successful graduation, you get 18 months of residence permit in order to search for an appropriate job. During this time, you are allowed to work in order to gain your life and also to make internships if you haven't found a job immediately. Make contacts, visit companies and ask for advice - this all hopefully leads you to a job in the end.
If you have graduated and you search for the right employer or field of work, you can profit of the program Gap Year for Young Professionals of the Agency Südwestfalen: Within a period of 12 months, you make 3 internships in 3 different companies of the region. Besides, there are different offers for training and getting to know people. The application deadline for the Gap Year for Young Preofessionals is the 1st of October 2018.