Work ideas

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Hello. I am graduating from University here in the United States in two years. I am an International Studies major and I am minoring in German. I am about to do an all-immersive summer program through the University of New Mexico where we speak only German for a month. I have been to Germany before and I loved it. I would really love to work there but I am having some trouble looking for jobs. My advisor said I may be able to get work on an American military base after I graduate. I've seen jobs such as youth coordinator for the children of service members. I thought maybe if I get some experience in that field after I graduate, such as an internship, I may be able to apply for a position like that. I wanted to see if anyone had any thoughts on this. Thank you.

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Rather than directly applying for jobs from the US, maybe you could attend graduate school in Germany and start applying for jobs while you are in graduate school.

 

There is no application fee and no tuition (there are some fees, though, but they are likely a fraction of what you're paying in fees in the US), you are allowed to work part-time while you have a student residence permit, and many universities are interested in hiring native speakers for things like conversation courses for their students.  In many places, parents are also willing to pay a premium for native English-speaking babysitters.  If you don't feel comfortable doing graduate-level work in German, there are many graduate programs taught in English.

 

While you're in graduate school, you'll also be able to make connections with people who can help you get a job.  Unfortunately, if you don't have a local address and don't really have any connections with people here who can put in a good word for you, the hiring manager will probably not take your application seriously.  Most U.S. military bases in Germany shut down a few years ago (and priority for jobs there is given to family members anyway) and most of the other people I knew who were working for the U.S. government in Germany in other capacities were laid off at the end of last year, even in positions that don't have anything to do with party allegiance.

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16 hours ago, dandoc said:

My advisor said I may be able to get work on an American military base after I graduate. I've seen jobs such as youth coordinator for the children of service members. I thought maybe if I get some experience in that field after I graduate, such as an internship, I may be able to apply for a position like that.

 

What is your end game?

 

Are you only interested in working for a few years in Germany on an American base? Or do want a professional job local job in Germany?

 

54 minutes ago, yomintyfresh said:

If you don't feel comfortable doing graduate-level work in German, there are many graduate programs taught in English.

 

If he wants to work in Germany long-term, a non-technical degree taught in English will not bring him any closer to his goals.

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I think that generally, as a US citizen, getting a job for the government/military in Germany is a pretty nice way to be abroad.  Visiting Germany, minoring in German and doing a German course is all good but it takes a huge commitment to move over on your own and get a job on the German economy.  Having a US government job will allow you to of course be in Germany and get to know how truly it is like to live there but at the same time have a very easy plan B in case you find Germany not all that you thought it was.  Now that said, your mileage may vary when it comes to getting to know Germany in a US government function.  On base at work, you'll be speaking English with Americans who have varying degrees of interest in getting to know Germany.  And many of the locations the US government offers employment in Germany many Germans would not consider to be exceptionally desirable parts of the country to live.  But all in all, if you have a desire to be in Germany and can land a US government job, I would highly recommend it.

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in the vein of government jobs, you could check the embassies to see if they have anything that might suit you.  In this case you would not be living in a micro-environment on base, and you'd probably have more exposure to/need for German skills. 

 

I think Engelchen has also recommended foreign service jobs in the past...eh?

 

downside to these is Trump adminstration's fickle funding and lack of regard for diplomacy (or even services to expats, apparently).  I know a guy working at the embassy in Munich and they were furloughed for a short time due to Trump's antics.

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3 hours ago, lisa13 said:

in the vein of government jobs, you could check the embassies to see if they have anything that might suit you. 

 

 

Quote

I think Engelchen has also recommended foreign service jobs in the past...eh?

 

Yes, however, he needs to decide on a plan. The various options require different skills and are more or less mutually exclusive.

 

I know for a fact that the US Embassy in Germany requires local hires to already possess an open work permit and won't consider applications from non-EU citizens without one.

 

On the other hand, the US Embassy offers better salaries than other embassies in Germany as well as in the German government for comparable positions.

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I really have to stress that it is a bad idea to put one's eggs in the US military or embassy basket as a local hire. It's a different story if you get sent here as a civilian by the US government, but that is part of a very different career path, and one that starts in the US, specifically the DC area.

 

The OP should not study in English here in Germany. He will be at a huge disadvantage even with a degree from a German university because he won't be able to properly communicate, and especially not in writing, in German. That will greatly limit his work opportunities. 

 

Don't try shortcuts. Plan appropriately and execute. Your competition here in Germany will have the language skills, sometimes being trilingual. 

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What, in general, does one do with an International Studies degree as a profession? If the option includes Youth Coordinator then I would question the need for a very expensive bachelor's degree. If the goal is to do Foreign Service then this requires very strategic preparation, brown nosing with the right people, and language expertise.

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