Guide to working in Europe for Americans: Germany

Germany is possibly one of the easiest countries in the EU for Americans to find work. Unlike the previous post, Spain, the German government has a relatively easy and straight forward approach to working in their country. If you find a job, then you can work there. Granted, only if you have a bachelors degree already.

Finding a Job on your own. 

For Americans there are two ways of getting a work permit, before you arrive in the country at the various consulate offices throughout the U.S. or after you have arrived already.

Steps to finding a job in Germany.

Step 1: Find a job: The following databases can be used to finding employment within the European Union.

Step 2: Upon Arrival to Germany: stop in at the local Ausländeram (Alien’s Office) and turn in the following papers:

    • two fully completed application forms and required declaration in duplicate
    • two passport photographs
    • valid national passport and two copies of the data page (Please note these important regulations concerning your travel document/passport:
      (a) its validity has to extend the duration of the visa you are applying for by at least 3 months
      (b) it has to contain at least two blank pages;
      (c) it must have been issued within the previous 10 years. If it has been issued before that, your passport can not be accepted. That even even applies in cases where the validity has been extended by the authorities of your home country.
    • employment contract or letter of intent from your future employer inGermany and two copies thereof
    • your driver’s license and/or utility bill in your name as proof of residence in the consular district where you plan to apply
    • Visa fee.
-From www.Germany.info

 Programs

Due to the relative ease of earning working papers in Germany for Americans there seem to be a lack of programs sponsored by the government or independent groups that don’t require a fee. However, there is one organization that provides scholarships and funding for study:

German Academic Exchange Service 

DAAD offers stipends for German study and exchanges in Germany for North American students and post-graduates.

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The job market in Germany for Americans is the most open out of all the EU countries. If you are looking for a way to work in the EU this is a great opportunity, however, keep in mind that Germany is very proud of their language and while they are accepting to foreigners coming in they are not accepting to foreigners not learning their language. Upon applying for a residence visa the officer will assess your language skills and if he sees that you have a limited knowledge of the German language you will be required to take classes through an Integration Course. More information here.

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Guide to working in Europe for Americans: Spain.

For Americans working in Europe can be difficult, and at times, seem impossible. Not surprising enough there is some truth to this. The European Union is, and will always be, a confusing network of overlapping rules and regulations with each country having their own exceptions and unique situations that make it either more difficult or easier for Non-EU immigrants. This week the Guide to working in Europe as an American article will focus on gaining employment in Spain.

If you pay attention to the news coming out of Europe, I would suggest the Economist blog: Charlemagne , than you know that Spain is not in the best of shape right now economically. Fortunately, there is one market that is still relatively healthy and that is English Teaching (More on that in a future post).

Finding a Job on Your Own.

In order to work in Spain you must first get a Employment Visa. This must be done in your home country at the nearest consulate office and cannot be done while you’re already in Spain.

In order to get a work visa you need to have a sponsor, which makes it difficult for non-EU immigrants because you must first be in the country to find work, however it is possible to find a job online if you are highly qualified in a special field,  and then the employer must hold your place for you while you are gone.

Government Programs

Another way of working in Spain are government sponsored programs:

1. Cultural Ambassadors / Language & Culture Assistants in Spain

Pay: 700-1000€/monthly depending on location

Duration: Academic Year (October-June)

Location: Throughout Spain

Notes: You cannot pick your location so you can be placed anywhere from big cities like Barcelona all the way to a tiny village in Spain.

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2. UCETAM Teaching Assistantships

Pay: 900€/month for 17 hours of work weekly

1450€/month for 25 hours weekly

Duration: Academic Year (September-June)

Location: Madrid

Notes: Pays more than the Cultural Ambassadors position. Also, you can be certain that you will be placed n Madrid. You are placed in private/semi-private schools located around Madrid.

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3. BEDA Teaching Assistantships

Pay: 900€ – 1200€ / Monthly

Duration: Academic Year (September to June)

Location: Madrid

Notes: This program is much like the UCETAM teaching program however you are required to take a class through Comillas University and you are teaching primarily in Catholic schools.

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CIEE Teach Abroad

4. CIEE Teach English Program

Pay: 700€ -1000€/Monthly

Duration: Academic Year (September- June)

Location: Andalusia and Madrid

Notes: Much like the government program you don’t get much decision on where you are placed and pays the same. One positive is that they pretty much accept positions year-round due to lack of participation.

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It is pretty clear that the biggest opportunity for Americans in Spain is teaching english. In a future post I will be sure to touch more on the TEFL community in Spain since I am currently reading a few books on the topic. This guide will always be growing so be sure to check back for some more soon. If you have any questions or know of any additional information send me a message or leave a comment.