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German - as an additional skill
According to surveys, the majority of employers in Scotland prefer candidates with language skills. By speaking a foreign language, you also have opportunities abroad.
The following pages provide links and further information about the job market.
There is a big job market for academics in Germany. If you are interested in working for the private sector or in teaching or researching at a university or an institute for higher education this website will give ideas on some of your options.
European Studies, Dundee
University of Dundee offers European Studies in connection with German and stays abreast of the significance of the German language in the European context. This course is accessible for beginners as well as advanced learners of German. The course also offers the possibility of spending a year abroad.
The German-Scottish Lawyers Association (DSJUV) may be a useful contact for aspiring lawyers with German language-skills and interest in German Law. The organisation hosts lectures and events on the subject.
Study German and Law
University of Glasgow and other Scottish universities offer joint degrees in Law and German. With the Erasmus programme, Students of this programme can choose to study a semester in Germany to improve their language skills.
The German insurance company AGCS Allianz offers career paths for graduates in several areas of underwriting, finance, account management and IT. As some parts of the training take place in Munich, German language skills are a definite advantage. More information can be found here.
The German engineering giant Bosch offers different training programmes for interested candidates with various educational backgrounds. German skills are a great advantage when working in a German company. More information on the requirements and on how to apply for these training programmes can be found under “Joining the Bosch Team” via the link above.
The German bank Commerzbank offers various opportunities for students and graduates who are looking for an interesting career path. There are training opportunities in finance, HR, risk management and more. German language skills will certainly be an advantage as many German candidates are participating in these programmes.
This German company produces wind turbines and is interested in young talented candidates who are looking for a career in this area. German language skills are always advantageous when working with a German company. Click on “Careers” on their website and explore the many opportunities for high school graduates, university graduates and young professionals.
European Apprenticeship Scholarship with Siemens
Siemens offers an apprenticeship scheme for young people who show interest in learning German and would like to spend some time in Germany while learning invaluable technical skills and completing an apprenticeship. Here you will find out more about this great opportunity.
You have finished school and would like to learn a profession in a German apprenticeship? Or you are already a qualified professional and would like to work in Germany? Find out if the International Business Academy can help you find the right placement for you.
The German supermarket chain Lidl offers great career opportunities in the UK and abroad. German language skills are a great advantage and may open many doors. More information can be found under “Careers” and “Graduate careers”.
Step ahead with Languages
Where to go with languages? Click on the link and find further information about various possibilities in your career. You will find useful addresses and links to start your career.
Work for the European Union
The European Union is always looking for talented candidates in different professional areas – language skills are a must! With 3 member states that have German as one of their official languages, knowing German can open many doors. Browse through the job opportunities on the official recruitment site of the EU.
Studying in germany
Studying in Germany could be a great adventure. Luckily, there are many organisations that can help you find the right placement and prepare for your time abroad. Find out more about grants, important contacts and courses below.
The following pages provide links and further information about the job market.
As a researcher of any subject you will find interesting opportunities and funding in Germany. This link will give you access to various funding organisations, databases, and programmes.
The project RISE (Research Internships in Science and Engineering) by the DAAD (German academic exchange programme) offers students the possibility of participating in a cutting-edge research project. Would it not be a great opportunity to gain interesting scientific experience and to brush up one’s German skills at the same time?
The Erasmus Programme accessible via the British council gives university students the possibilities to study, work or gain teaching experience in Germany.
Studying in Germany has its appeal and being well informed makes it a lot easier. This link provides information on many aspects of student life in Germany, covering travel, health insurance and other interesting topics.
German Academic Exchange Service (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst)
The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) offers scholarships and funding for students who would like to complete parts of their studies at a German university. On this website you will find scholarship opportunities for undergraduates, graduates and doctoral students.
On this website you will find two interesting search functions for future students: The first search function provides information on degree courses in Germany - taught in English – in your preferred field of study or subject area: Simply follow these steps: Information for Foreigners>Course Search>International Programmes.
The second search function will help you to look for financial support to fund your studies in a chosen subject or to learn or improve your knowledge of German in relation to your subject area: Information for Foreigners>Support>DAAD scholarship database.
Wondering what the life of a German language student would be like? Not sure where to begin and where to go after the studies are completed? Here you will find answers and learn more about Third Year abroad, Erasmus and opportunities during and after your studies.
Swiss universities offer top programmes for students all over the world. Some courses are taught in English language depending on the subject and the institution. To find out more on universities, courses and grants, click on the link above.
Translating or teaching? There are many opportunities for German linguists all over the world. Especially the European Union, but also businesses in the private sector and schools and colleges offer interesting careers.
With the School Experience Programme (SEP) graduates and undergraduates with an interest in teaching can apply to be given the opportunity of gaining class room experience on a visit that lasts 1 to 10 days at a participating school. If you are an aspiring German teacher find out more about Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) here.
Many European organisations are looking to fill multilingual positions with native English speakers. This website will provide options you have as a German/English interpreter or translator.
Working as a Public Service Interpreter in hospitals, at the police station and in court is rewarding and interesting. The DPSI (Diploma in Public Service Interpreting) is the only qualification accepted in the UK. Find out information about the exam and how to prepare.
Chartered Institute of Linguists: Qualifications for linguists
Interested in a career as a qualified linguist working for the health service or the police? The Chartered Institute of Linguists is a provider of several courses and exams which lead to recognised qualifications in the areas of translation and interpreting.
The Goethe-Institut is the leading organisation when it comes to German. It offers an interesting and demanding variety of jobs and educational programmes. Furthermore, its websites feature interesting articles and material for German teachers and students.
If you are looking for the right qualification to enter a language-oriented profession, Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh is just one of many Scottish universities that offer courses in applied languages, interpreting and translation involving German.
University of Dundee
The University of Dundee impresses with its practical approach and great student feedback. Read what those who studied German in Dundee had to say about the course on their website.
University of Edinburgh
Study German in Scotland’s beautiful capital at University of Edinburgh as a single honours subject or within a joint honours degree course.
University of Glasgow
The University of Glasgow offers great opportunities for German language students. The programme that lasts 5 years and leads to an honours degree includes a year abroad, that will enable students to experience German language and culture first-hand.
University of St Andrews
The German department of the University of St Andrews was ranked 2nd in the UK in the 2008 RAE and 4th in the UK in The Complete University Guide 2013. If you would like to consider studying in the beautiful Scottish town, see what they have to offer you.
German for every budget
Learning German does not have to be expensive or too time-consuming. Find ideas below to tailor your language training around your needs.
Learn German, while solving a mystery. The new app by the Goethe-Institut allows learners to explore the German language in a fun way. Just click on the link and download the app.
"German for the workplace" - Certificate
Professionals who use English in their job require language courses to be tailored to their needs. The Goethe-Institut Freiburg offers a course which leads to the exam “Deutsch für den Beruf” (Professional German). Would it not be great to combine an interesting German course with a stay in beautiful Freiburg?
Contact the experts: the Goethe-Institute offers courses, advice and online learning opportunities.
Practise your listening skills with Audio-Lingua. The short listening texts have been recorded by native speakers and can be accessed online or downloaded onto your own device. The topics are varied and cover all levels.
In the Education section of the BBC-website you’ll find an introduction to German phrases and grammar. This will help you to pick up some German before visiting Germany during your next holiday or to see if German is for you.
Interested in sports and German? The BBC combines the two on their website with a language quiz about Formula 1. Ready...? Go!
Listen to slowly read news, enter e-learning German courses, do listening exercises and dive into the German spirit on the Deutsche Welle. You can improve your German for free with the many activities offered on their website.
A fun way to learn vocabulary. With this app you can create your own dictionary and practise vocabulary with games and quizzes on your phone.
German coffee break
Learn German in your coffee break, while driving to work or while doing the dishes with Radiolingua. The courses are designed for learner who would like to set their own schedule and learn on the go. Try out one of the free sample lessons.
German Newspapers Online
Anyone who enjoys reading German newspapers can do this online now. Find a list of German newspapers and the appropriate links here.
Study German with an app on your iphone. Search under the heading “German” – the options are amazing.
iTunes - Vocab Trainer
Not only recent chart-hits can be found on iTunes but also great apps for learning German. For example Lextra Vocab Trainer with which learning the 4000 most frequently used German words will be a piece of cake.
Is your German a bit rusty and you need some practice? Or do you want to meet other German speakers for a chat? Join the German Meet-Up Group Glasgow. You will meet German speakers of various levels for an informal get-together.
Here you can learn more about German tandem partners; how to find the right tandem partner and how to benefit the most from this exchange.
Travelling and work experience
The German-speaking countries are easy to travel to and offer a lot of gap-year opportunities and holiday destinations. Find more information on organisations that can help you organise your stay.
There are many British citizens who temporarily live in Germany or have settled down there. This website contains useful information for aspiring ex-patriots on daily life in Germany, work, schools and more. They also provide a platform for exchanging experiences and opinions with fellow-nationals.
InterNations is an organisation, that brings people together, who live abroad and give them a possibility to exchange experiences and knowledge. There is also an InterNations page for British citizens in Germany and it’s easy to sign up.
UK German Connection - Taster Trips to Germany
With the Instant Impact Programme by the UK-German Connection, schools and youth groups in the UK have the chance to visit Germany with the aim of immersing into the German language and culture. Here you can find out how teachers and leaders of youth groups can apply on behalf of their class or group.
The UK-German Connection provides information on exchange programmes, study trips and scholarships.
Working as an au-pair in Germany is fun, provides you with work experience and improves your foreign language skills. The Au-Pair Society can give you access to addresses and links to trustworthy organisations that can place you with a family.
For those who are looking for employment in Germany the International Placement Services (ZAV) is the place to look in order to find out about German companies that recruit an international work force, migration checks, taxes and more.
Eurodesk: European Work, Study, Travel and Volunteering
Holders of a UK-Passport have the right to work and study in countries of the European Economic Area - Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein are part of it. On the link above, there is useful information on how to organise your stay abroad.
Freunde der Erziehungskunst Rudolf Steiners
The voluntary service of “Freunde der Erziehungskunst Rudolf Steiners” is looking for volunteers with German language skills. The voluntary placements involve work with children, people with disabilities and the elderly. Applicants should be 18 years or older and ready to spend 12 months in Germany.
Internship in Germany
Have you thought about doing an internship in Germany? It’s a great way to gain work experience and improve your German language skills. Don’t know where to start? Here are some useful ideas.
Volunteering with EYS
Would you like to learn German and put your time to good use in community projects? EYS (Ecumenical Youth Service) may be what you are looking for. EYS offers young people of the age between 18 and 26 the opportunity of working on various projects as a volunteer in Germany, gaining experience and meeting people.
Thinking of working on a farm or in a guest house while improving your German skills? This British-run organisation offers placements for minimum 6 weeks and maximum 6 months in Germany. Via the link above you will find more information and application forms.
World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms
Still not found a job for the summer holidays? The organisation World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms administers a list of organic farms, gardens and smallholdings (in Germany and Austria), that offer food and accommodation in exchange for practical help on their land. Most hosts expect WWOOFers to stay for at least two days.
If you are thinking about moving to Germany you will have a lot of questions about the language, work and just simply life in Germany. This link will answer many of your questions and also give you the possibility to practise your language skills with films, stories and games.
Those who are interested in working or studying in Germany, but are not proficient in German yet, can find information on cultural aspects, on how to write a CV in German and news on politics and lifestyle on the link above. It’s all written in English.
Haven’t you decided on your next holiday destination yet? Why not visit the land of Goethe, Bach and techno-music? Germany’s tourist board provides you with all you need to know about the most exciting places in the country.
Networks and media
German is very talked about. For the latest news on German check out our links below and find out what is out there for you.
„A degree in German Studies opens up many different career opportunities”
(Alumniportal, Date ...)
„Language graduates: What jobs are they really doing?“
(The Guardian, Date ...)
„Language Skills: Way to get a job“
(The Guardian, Date ...)
„13 words Germans think are English“
(Deutsche Welle, Date ...)
Head of Office, European Parliament Office in Scotland
"Learning German in school in rural Sweden opened my eyes to a new world. My abilities in German increased during skiing trips to the Alps, participation in student exchanges and by completing my post-graduate studies in Germany. These experiences were hugely rewarding and I met and formed friendships with people from all over Europe and indeed the world. My knowledge of German was also a major asset when applying for my current job at the European Parliament. The ability to speak and work in a foreign language gives you a key to a treasure chest of opportunities and cultural experiences that is there for the taking."
Marketing Manager, Murgitroyd & Company
"In an English-speaking business world, it is not always necessary to know the language of the country you are doing business in, but it is a great sign of respect and of 'going the extra mile' when you make the effort to communicate in the customer's language, and I believe this gives my Company an edge in its business dealing."
Honorary Consul General of Switzerland
"In my role as Honorary Consul General of Switzerland in Scotland, I get involved in many different business, cultural, political and social activities. It is striking to see how „speaking a foreign language is key “ to pursue careers in these fascinating and vital fields. For example, within Europe - being able to communicate in German, you gain access to the most competitive (Switzerland) and the largest (Germany) markets on the continent. By being able to communicate in more than one language, you are open to learn about diverse cultures, traditions and social behaviours as well as to be part of them. Being bilingual makes it easier to travel, find a job and belong to the global world!"
Drama Artist, Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh
"It has surprised me how often having a knowledge in languages comes in useful in theatre. This summer I directed a production of Oh What A Lovely War with the Lyceum Youth Theatre, and in some scenes the actors were just speaking in French and German. If they did not have knowledge of those languages, the play would have been near impossible to do. A sound understanding of language can also help actors with their accent work too."
"I am so glad I studied German and French at school and continued with German at University because it has been very useful throughout my career. Indeed, it was the reason I secured employment in Human Resources as the company, a German based oil and gas drilling company, had opened an office in Aberdeen and German was one of the working languages. Now in the Scottish Parliament we receive lots of delegations especially from Germany and it is great to be able to welcome them in their language to show Scotland as an outward looking international player."
"Gaining the language skills to communicate with others in German was always something that seemed unimaginable but has been so easily obtainable. I have been learning German for ten years, both in school and at University. I have been involved in the most exciting things because of learning German, such as being involved in a German exchange with my school, taking part in a German language course in Freiburg with a scholarship and being an organizer of a German social night every few weeks in Dundee where I study. My knowledge of German has benefited me in so many ways from travelling and meeting new people even down to the little things...such as getting a discounted taxi ride in Berlin just because I was making the effort to speak German. I'm so thankful I chose to study a language as now so many more doors in the job market will be open to me when I graduate and I'm looking forward to seeing where my German takes me next."
SCILT is a focal point for language teachers and language learners in Scotland. It provides information on the latest developments in language learning and teaching, career choices and volunteering possibilities.
Oxford German Network
Information on events, competitions and news for teachers and learners.
The UK-German Connection provides information on exchange programmes, study trips and scholarships.
Facebook 'Friends of German in Scotland'
For news about German culture and language join „Friends of German in Scotland“ on facebook. This is an initiative from the German departments of Scottish universities and the Goethe-Institut Glasgow – “Like”.
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