Internship With Kids: Make Your Dreams Come True

What are your childcare options abroad?
What other organisational issues should be taken into account?

The possibility of researching abroad or completing an internship with children is something that a growing number of students and university staff are considering. Experience has shown that children trust their parents more when they spend time abroad, so a joint adventure could bring a family closer together. With the right preparation and care, time spent abroad can be turned into a memorable adventure for parents and children. Therefore, you should allow enough time for organizing a stay abroad and consider specific factors as a single parent or as a couple with children of different ages.

Further information and advice on financial preparation can be obtained during our open consultation hours at LEONARDO-BÜRO SACHSEN. You can also check the website of your university or the Studentenwerk, like Campusbüro, and talk to other parents about your experiences interning or studying abroad with children.

Chances & Risks

Children who come into contact with foreign cultures at an early age will benefit from the new language, new friends, and cultural practice. Very often children become familiar with foreign languages after only a short time, especially if they attend a local kindergarten or school. Children are also exposed to new ideas and perspectives through their experiences at kindergarden, school or while making new friends at the destination country. This way, they can gain a different perspective of their own culture.

The risk with your project is that the integration in the new country must succeed both for you and for the children, which is not a matter of course – but with extensive cultural and organisational preparation the risk can be minimised considerably.

Social & cultural integration

In order to create a social network for the child, you as the parent should have at least a very good basic knowledge of the new language. It is also advisable to find specific sports and music clubs or other local organisations where the children can continue their previous hobbies or discover new leisure activities.

Financial issues

There are possibilities to financially support your stay abroad. Don’t be afraid of the associated bureaucracy, because financing a stay abroad with a child is by no means impossible and under certain circumstances even more affordable than a stay in your home town. For parents, as for all students, there is a basic grant, for example Erasmus+. In addition, you can apply for a special grant to cover the additional costs of an internship abroad that you as a (single) parent may have. You can obtain detailed advice on this topic from the LEONARDO-BÜRO SACHSEN and the DAAD.

Accommodation & Child care

As a rule, there are hardly any offers in student halls of residence for foreign students with children, so you should look for suitable accommodation in your target region in advance. Here, too, it is important to make full use of all the possibilities we have listed here. When making your choice, bear in mind the distance from your home to a suitable children’s institution and to green areas or places where the children can romp about.

Integration into a new country and a new environment is not a matter of course, but requires a good choice of care facilities – depending on the age of the children. A social network must also be created for young children for whom a facility is not yet suitable. If the child is already of school age, school laws play a role. In most cases, it will not be possible to release the child from school for the entire duration of the internship. In this case it is possible to enrol the child at a (German) school, if one exists in the target city. Otherwise, the child can also be taught at home after work or on weekends according to the school curriculum. It is also advisable to visit the selected school or kindergarten in order to get an exact picture.

Insurance & vaccinations

Ask your health insurance company about the insurance regulations in your country and consider additional travel insurance. Attention should also be paid to vaccinations, as in European countries it may also be necessary to have full vaccination status if children are to be enrolled in childcare facilities. If you are travelling with children, you will also find detailed information on vaccinations, first aid and many other topics on the pages of the Tropical Institute.