Placement or visiting programme?
Depending on the country you come from, how long you want to stay and the legal conditions that apply to you as a foreigner, there are a variety of options available to you as a placement student at FAU. The status of a placement student is similar to that of an employee; as a visiting student you have a special status that allows you access to the infrastructure of FAU. If you come from one of FAU’s international partner universities and arrive at the beginning of the semester in April or October, you can also enrol as a ‘free mover’ exchange student. The Central Office for International Affairs (RIA) supports host institutes in finding the best possible solution.
A placement is designed to give students the chance to gather practical experience in addition to the theoretical knowledge acquired during their studies. It is important that the placement student does not have a fixed responsibility within the corresponding business or institution but has the opportunity to work in several different departments. It is not permitted to employ placement students to fill vacant posts in an organisation or university department. It is also advisable to assign a permanent supervisor to the placement student who can act as the contact person if queries arise. The placement is meant to be part of the study programme and provide the student with practical experience.
As regards subject-related placements, it is important that the knowledge to be gained is related to the subject of study and provides practical training. The training received must be evident from the placement schedule agreed between the placement student and the host institution.
Who can take up a placement at FAU?
The following groups of people may take up placements in Germany per Section 2 (2)(5) of the German Employment Regulations (Beschäftigungsverordnung):
Students of foreign nationality who are enrolled at a university abroad and have already completed four subject semesters and in whose case the placement is directly related to their subject of study at their home university can take up a placement in Germany.
The following programmes are considered degree programmes being studied abroad:
- Regular or full-time degree programmes
- Part-time, evening or distance learning degree programmes – but only if the time spent studying during the degree programme is equivalent to at least 50% of the time that would be spent studying during a full-time degree programme.
Please determine yourself whether you need to apply for exemption from the work permit requirement for your placement.
Individuals with a university entrance qualification who are not enrolled at a university in their home country cannot take up a placement at FAU.
If you have already completed four subject semesters at your home university or abroad, you are also eligible to take up a clinical traineeship or write a Bachelor’s or Master’s thesis in Germany. Section 2 (2)(5) of the German Employment Regulations specifies that clinical traineeships and final theses are considered to be equivalent to a placement.
In certain circumstances, graduates from universities outside Germany who are no longer enrolled may be able to take up a placement at FAU to gain additional practical experience. Please contact the German embassy or consulate in your home country to find out whether you are eligible for a permit to stay in Germany.
Graduates from universities outside Germany may only take up paid placements in Germany. They are not permitted to take up placements without remuneration. Payment must be at least commensurate with the minimum wage.
Placements are also possible in connection with EU-funded programmes. Students from EU or EEC countries do not need a permit for these placements. This means that you do not have to apply for exemption from the work permit requirement.
If you are studying at a European university as a non-EU citizen and want to take up a placement at FAU as part of an EU-funded programme you must apply for exemption from the work permit requirement.
Students from universities outside Germany can take up placements in Germany in the context of international exchange programmes run by associations, public institutions or student organisations. In this case, you will not have to obtain a special permit from the International Placement Services (Zentralstelle für Auslands- und Fachvermittlung – ZAV) at the Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit) as the necessary administrative measures will be undertaken by the organisations themselves.
The most important student exchange organisations include IASTE, AIESEC, DFA and ELSA.
Professionals and managers who receive scholarships from German public institutions or from the EU (government scholarships) can also take up a placement in Germany.
International visiting students come to FAU in connection with a co-operation agreement between FAU and their home university or in connection with a funding programme (e.g. a DAAD programme) for a limited period and here learn laboratory techniques, work on research projects or undertake research for their theses. Visiting students are not enrolled and thus cannot be credited with any qualifications obtained at FAU. Placement contracts cannot be concluded for legal reasons. However, it is possible for visiting students to attend courses and lectures with the agreement of their academic supervisor and the lecturers. Visiting students spend a period of more than four weeks at FAU.
Students from countries with a visa requirement may not stay in Germany for more than 90 days. For longer stays, a residence permit for study purposes or for a placement is required.