Students, Study Programmes, Internship Requirements
To achieve Bachelor’s or Master’s Degrees, which are gradually replacing the traditional German university degrees like “Diplom”, “Magister”, and “Staatsexamen” (that still exist), students at the University of Bremen choose from a diverse range of subjects and programmes which are taught by the following schools, which can of course also be offering Ph.D. programmes:Faculty
- 01: Physics/Electrical EngineeringFaculty
- 02: Biology/ChemistryFaculty
- 03: Mathematics/Computer ScienceFaculty
- 04: Production Engineering - Mechanical Engineering & Process EngineeringFaculty
- 05: GeosciencesFaculty
- 06: LawFaculty
- 07: Business Studies and EconomicsFaculty
- 08: Social SciencesFaculty
- 09: Cultural StudiesFaculty
- 10: Languages and Literary StudiesFaculty
- 11: Human and Health SciencesFaculty
- 12: Pedagogy and Educational Sciences
As mentioned before, practical and professional aspects have always played a significant role in Bremen’s study programmes and students have traditionally been encouraged to integrate practical training phases into their courses of study. With the introduction of the new degree structure in Germany, i.e. Bachelor and Master, this tendency has been further reinforced. In a number of study fields, for instance in technical subjects, social sciences, and in human and health sciences, internships in relevant professional companies or organisations are mandatory elements of the syllabus. Usually, these internships should be arranged after roughly the first half of the study programmes or at least the first academic year has been concluded, or towards the final term. Varying from course to course, the time frame allocated to these practical training periods can range from a few weeks to one academic term, i.e. about six months.
In many cases students are free to choose the “right point in time” and are somewhat flexible to adjust to the necessities of potential employers; other course models and study plans prescribe certain time slots to be used for internship activities. For mandatory internships, which are generally supposed to be full-time, there will always be a clearly defined length of the training period, which the students need to observe in order to obtain their school’s recognition of the task accomplished. Voluntary internships, which are as highly recommended and regarded as equally valuable as the prescribed ones, are usually more open to the students’ and the employers’ individual planning. Given the attraction of gaining international practical experience, students may well choose to integrate more than one internship into their studies, e.g. adding voluntary projects to the ones required by the university, or plan for more than one freely-chosen practical training phase.
When thinking about the feasibility of hiring an intern from Bremen, for the employer’s assessment it is important to take into account that students will be well prepared when they arrive at their destinations. Along with the scientific education in their respective study programmes, advisors and counsellors at the University of Bremen do their utmost to train students ahead of time concerning all aspects of their international experience. The Career Center and the university’s International Office, in close co-operation with the dedicated internship advisors at the individual faculties, offer a wide range of both structured and informal options for this purpose. As a result, students are normally well-versed in all questions regarding administrative and legal issues and have also heard about intercultural issues, the importance to adjust, and how to deal with “culture shock” (should it happen).
A good command of the destination country’s language can usually be expected from any intern. We are well aware that in order to be able to function well abroad, students need to be able to understand and speak the country’s language, and the future trainees are informed accordingly. To support this aim, a highly specialised Language Center, serving especially the student community, has been founded in Bremen in 1995 and provides a wide variety of language courses (among them Arabic language, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, and of course all major European languages). Also, to be able to communicate well in English is a widely acknowledged objective for young, educated people in Germany, and in a number of study programmes some courses are regularly taught in English. Thus, even in the case of the more rarely spoken and/or “difficult” national languages, communicating in English will generally work. Since students tend to put in extra efforts once they have decided to apply for a practical training position in a foreign country, employers can rest assured that the students language skills will be at least sufficient to communicate effectively, both in and outside the workplace.