Mespelbrunn Castle, Bavaria, Germany. ©

Photo Volker Glätsch used under licence and adapted from the original.

Am I eligible for a placement in Germany?

To be a Language Assistant in Germany, you must:

  • fulfil the general eligibility criteria
  • have A2-level German. Please note however that Assistants will be expected to be able to communicate and complete the necessary administration procedures in German. 
  • be aged 35 or under

Will I need a visa? 

The information outlined below is the situation as of 25 May 2021. However, it may change as and when new developments arise in the UK and Germany. We will endeavour to ensure that all participants and stakeholders are kept updated. 

Please bear in mind that general visa regulations for Germany may not apply to ELAs as our partners are ensuring special status for this programme. Our partners are working to ensure that both countries’ embassies and consulates are up to date on these matters. 

All UK and non-EU Passport Holders: 

1. No visa required to enter Germany. Simply state that you are arriving ‘as a tourist’. There are agreements in place with countries that provided support to Germany in the post-war era, including the UK. 

2. Once at your destination, your host institution will assist you in completing an application and booking an appointment at the Immigration Office. (Ausländerbehörde). 

3. The PAD will provide you with necessary documentation to take to the appointment. 

4. You will receive your Residence Permit (Aufenthaltstitel). 

Please note that visa requirements can change at short notice. If allocated a placement, you will receive the most up-to-date information. You should not apply until you have been instructed to do so by the team. 

When will I start my placement?

Posts in Germany run from early-to-mid September 2021 to 31 May 2022. 

Shorter posts are available for the first semester of the year, usually running from early-to-mid September 2021 to 28 February 2022. For the shorter period of appointment, it is not possible to leave the post early or finish before the official end date, as agreed on in the Assistant’s contract. 

Please note that this information is subject to change. In 2020, posts in Germany started on 1 October 2020. 

Will there be an induction course?

A compulsory four-day induction course will be held near Cologne, run by our partner agency in Germany, the Pädagogischer Austauschdienst (PAD). This is likely to take place in August or September, and Assistants will take up their placements once the induction course has finished. 

You will be invited to the induction course by the PAD via email. 

The course will cover all the necessary administration for living in Germany and give Assistants the opportunity to learn and practise teaching skills. On arrival, Assistants will need to pay a small cost (about €35) to cover accommodation and meals. 

Applicants who have recently been an Assistant in Germany (within the past five years) may not be invited to the induction course. 

Please note that this information is subject to change. In 2020, the induction course was organised as a virtual event. 

How many hours will I work per week?

Language Assistants in Germany can expect to work approximately 12 hours per week. Please be aware that the number of hours and your specific timetable can vary depending on the region and institution that you are allocated to. 

How many posts are available in Germany?

Every year there are approximately 260 posts available in Germany in all areas of the 16 Bundesländer (federal states).

Undergraduate applicants who need to complete a compulsory year abroad will be given priority. 

What type of institution will I be working in?

The majority of placements in Germany are in secondary schools, with a small number of postings in the primary schools. 

How much will I be paid?

Assistants will receive a grant of approximately €850 net per month.  

Please note that our overseas partners and employing institutions are ultimately responsible for setting the salary of Language Assistants and this amount should therefore be treated as indicative and may be subject to change.

What holidays will I have?

In Germany the academic calendar runs from September to June. Typically, Assistants can expect to receive the same school and national holidays as their institution. 

Holidays often vary by region and sometimes institution. Your institution will give you full details of your term dates when you begin your post. Germany has many official public holidays every year, some observed nationwide, some local. To get an idea what the academic calendar may look like, you can browse this website

Where can I go in Germany?

You can choose three options from the list of geographical regions in bold below, ranking them in your order of preference. You may also select 'No Preference'. 

You should expect to be allocated anywhere within the given region, as the town and school allocation will be decided by the educational authorities of the Bundesländer, not the British Council. If you wish to be allocated to a particular Bundesland within one of the geographical regions, we recommend that you state this preference clearly in your application. 

Please note you will only be considered for Berlin if it is your first choice. Berlin is heavily oversubscribed each year and consequently many applicants are allocated elsewhere even if they put Berlin as their first choice. Please keep this in mind when choosing your preferences. Placements in the geographical region ‘Ost’ may be close to Berlin, so we recommend considering ‘Ost’ as one of your preferences if you wish to be allocated near Berlin. 

  • Nord: Bremen (HB) - Hamburg (HH) - Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (MV) - Niedersachsen (NI) - Schleswig-Holstein (SH) 

  • Süd: Baden-Württemberg (BW) - Bayern (BY) - Hessen (HE)

  • Ost: Brandenburg (BB) - Sachsen (SN) - Sachsen-Anhalt (ST) - Thüringen (TH)

  • West: Nordrhein-Westfalen (NW) - Rheinland-Pfalz (RP) - Saarland (SL)

  • Berlin: Berlin (BE)

If you have already had contact with a particular school in Germany, you should enclose a letter from them with your application form. You will be able to explain and give reasons for your preferences in the application form. 

The final decision on where you will be placed rests with our German partner organisation and the Bundesländer. We are not able to guarantee any particular region or school. We recommend you research the different regions of Germany before applying. 

Please note there are also a small number of German-speaking areas of the Italian region of Trentino Alto-Adige. Please see the Italy page for further information.  

I've worked as a Language Assistant in Germany – can I apply again?

Assistants currently working in Germany can apply for a consecutive year. This is not done through the British Council: please contact the PAD for more information. We recommend you do this as soon as you have decided you would like to stay in Germany. 

Consecutive year Assistants can ask to remain at the same school or request a change to their school or Bundesland. They will not be required to attend the induction course the following year. 

Measles Protection Act (“Masernschutzgesetz”) 

In accordance with the German Measles Protection Act (“Masernschutzgesetz”), Assistants in Germany will be required to obtain and provide evidence in relation to their immunity to or vaccination against measles prior to the start of their placement. Obtaining such documentation is necessary only once the placement has been confirmed.

Please carefully consult the information provided by our German partner organisation, the PAD, about the “Masernschutzgesetz” and its impact on the Language Assistants programme in Germany. 

Last updated: 07/06/2021