Vocational Training in Germany

By | April 24, 2021

In Germany, there are a number of higher education courses in English, especially in the technical, economic and scientific fields, but also in the humanities. Many Danish VET students take internships in Germany.

Germany consists of 16 states. The individual states have extensive autonomy and can to a large extent implement their own legislation in areas such as the environment, culture and education.

As one of countries starting with letter G listed on COUNTRYAAH, Germany is the world’s 3rd largest industrial nation (after the United States and Japan). The largest industries are the automotive, electronics and chemical industries. The reconstruction of the former East Germany has caused the construction industry to grow, and Germany is Denmark’s largest export market in the construction sector.

Worth knowing

Vocational training in Germany

The German vocational education system is called the dual system and is somewhat reminiscent of the Danish one. The teaching alternates between school and internship in a company, so that the student is at school 1-2 days a week and in internship 3-4 days a week. The education takes 2-3 years.

The education ends with a journeyman’s test and a journeyman’s letter (Gesellenbrief, Facharbeiterbrief or Abschlusszeugnis), which must be approved by the professional authorities (Handwerkskammer, Industrie- und Handelskammer, Ärtzekammer or Rechtanwaltskammer). The educations take place at e.g. Vocational school and vocational school.

You can find available training places in the ASIS database.
Germany is the most visited country for Danish VET students who take internships under the PIU scheme. German employers are generally satisfied with Danish students and apprentices.


If you are thinking of taking all or part of your own internship abroad, read the section on internships abroad for vocational education under the section Primary school and upper secondary education.

Economics and education

For some higher education in Germany you have to pay a moderate tuition fee, read more on DAAD’s website (Deutscher Akademische Austausch Dienst). You must also expect expenses for books and the like of a maximum of 200 euros (approx. DKK 1,500) per. term. In general, books are cheaper in Germany than in Denmark.

Here you can read more about what it costs to read in Germany on TOPSCHOOLSINTHEUSA.

Germany is very interested in receiving foreign students, and in order to increase the number, it has been decided in some cases to provide support to foreign students. You can get more information about scholarships for foreign students from the supervisor at the Goethe-Institut in Copenhagen and at the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD).

Work in Germany

There are very large regional differences in Germany, both in terms of wages and other conditions. Wages in the east are generally slightly lower than in the west. In the public sector, it is e.g. 14% lower in the east.

Working hours are 37.7 hours in the west and 39.7 in the east. By law, everyone has the right to at least 3 weeks of vacation, but most companies provide 5-6 weeks.

It can often be an advantage to discuss the German employment contract with your Danish trade union before signing it.

Job search

You can find job advertisements through the German employment service’s job portal. The nationwide German newspapers have job advertisements:

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) has many job advertisements in the computer and finance sector.

Die Zeit focuses mostly on positions for people with a humanities education.

In addition, there are job advertisements in Süddeutsche Zeitung, Hamburger Abendblatt and in Die Welt.

You can also try the online job database careerjet.

You can receive unemployment benefits for 3 months while applying for a job in Germany, and you can get further information about working in Germany from the EURES Advisers at the country’s Job Centers.

Work-and residence permit

As an EU citizen, you are free to stay in Germany for up to 3 months. Then you must apply for a residence permit. The residence permit is applied for at the nearest Ausländerbehörde (immigration office).

If you are working in Germany, you must bring a valid passport when applying for a residence permit.

If you are a student, you must bring:

  • documentation of sufficient monthly income / financial support, ie. ca. 560 euros (4,000 kr.) Per month
  • admission certificate (Zulassungsbescheid) to a German university or employment contract from an employer
  • health insurance certificate

You can read more about work permits in the section Visas, work and residence permits.

Practical conditions

You can get information about language courses in Germany from the Goethe-Institut in Copenhagen and the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD).

Germany is known for having many educational offerings in creative subjects, especially music and art. You can find an overview of the creative educations on Studien- og Berufswahl’swebsite. One of the many opportunities for students with an interest in philosophy, literature, art and political theory is Bard College Berlin in Berlin. The students at Bard College come from 20 countries and everything is done in English. The institution offers an international summer university, two one-year programs and a bachelor’s degree.

A special website has also been created where you can get answers to many questions about mobility in and out of Germany. It is mostly in German, but some information has been translated into English.

On the website young-germanyyou can find information about opportunities for young people, lifestyle and German society – all information that can facilitate your stay.


In general, it is not particularly difficult to find a place to live in Germany. However, it can be difficult in the larger cities.

It is very common for students to arrange themselves in housing associations. As a rule, educational institutions do not help to provide housing.

Until you find a more permanent home, you can stay at a Jugendherberge (hostel). It costs approx. DKK 150 per. Day.

In many large German cities there are housing offices (Wohnungsvermittlung) that can help find a room or an apartment. You can also put up posters yourself and see the housing ads in the Saturday newspapers.


All companies are covered by a statutory occupational injury insurance (Unfallsversicherung), which is paid for by the employer.

Study in Germany