Summer, seasonal and short term jobs in Berlin


Job Hunting in Berlin

If you are an EU citizen, finding a job in a hostel, bar, retail or cafe should be fairly easy, especially if you speak German. If you don't speak German, there are often positions as a dishwasher or maid. The high seasons of summer and Christmas allow for many short-term/seasonal jobs. The best way is often just walking around to shops with your resume and asking about positions.

For non-EU citizens, finding a short-term job is much harder. There are not many businesses that are willing to go through the paperwork of hiring a non-EU worker for a short-term position. The best option is teaching English, or enlisting in a gap year program.

Search Engines

Also check out EasyExpat's Job Listings.


As part of the EU, job seekers can access the European job mobility portal EURES. This resource provides information about job vacancies and the labor market. It also provides information on the living and working conditions, and a CV posting service.


Online searches are the best resource, but jobs are still listed in newpaper's classified sections.

Programs & Jobs

Working Holidays in Germany - Recruits people for 3 to 6 months, usually attracting gap year students. People work in family hotels or family farms, and duties often include looking after animals (like horses) and children, and tasks such as cooking. The workweek is about 36 hours a week with one day free. Housing and food are paid for, with a salary of around 50 euro a week.

Agricultural work can infrequently be found outside of the city. The best opportunity is to utilize the WWOOF program. Read the EasyExpat article of "WWOOF Around The World" to find out more.

Berlin has a growing media, modeling and TV/movie industry. There are periodic openings for daily soaps, telenovelas and movies. Apply at casting and acting agencies.

Tour Guide

Becoming a tour guide is an option for people who have an outgoing personalty, have a great knowledge of the city, and are willing to work hard. There are many companies in Berlin, but compensation is variable and competition for the positions can be fierce. Some companies are not willing to hire short-term, but other companies need summer help. There are several companies that are advertised as "Free Tours", but in reality a donation is expected (at least 5 euro) that pays the guides salary, with about half going to the company

Teaching English

English-speaking expats are in high demand for teaching English. Language schools usually require applicants to have TEFL course certificates and a college degree. You must have adequate visa clearance and registration Most schools will supply you the intent to employ so you can secure a visa.

The easiest way to get started teaching English is to find a school. The best situations are companies that pay adequately and aid in getting visa paperwork completed. These positions may be difficult to come by and there is fierce competition for the largest.

Applicants usually submit their resume and application, and if the school approves, the applicant will be asked for an interview. The interview may consist of a sample lesson or a grammar test. Some schools will throw teachers right in for a 90 minute class where the school observes and either offers the job, or does not.

It is common for new teachers to only receive a few classes at first. If they are able to prove themselves reliable and are able to handle a class, they will gradually be given more classes. Some teachers work at two schools or also give private lessons.

It is also an option to work for yourself by giving private lessons. These are usually more profitable per hour, but require a lot more work finding customers. The best way to get private students is to post advertisements in business newspapers, on bulletin boards, or offer your resume on expat site's like Easy Expat's job listings. Having basic native language skills will help expand your clientele as you can then work with beginners.

Private lessons in technical and business English at private companies is the most lucrative strain of teaching. These jobs are hard to come by without experience. Teachers must provide valid permits for these positions.

TESOL(also known as TEFL) is the acronym for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. A TESOL certificate is the most common qualification required to teach English abroad. There are a wide variety of TESOL courses available, ranging from 4-week intensive, classroom based TESOL courses with TEFL International, to TESOL courses studied online. It is even possible to combine a period of online study with a shorter classroom based course. In addition to standard TESOL certificate courses there are also more specialized courses such as courses for teaching business English, or teaching English to young learners. There is also the more advanced TESOL diploma course.

Student Employment Contract

An employment contract is standard for any working environment and in the case of student or short-term work, a student employment contract may be used. This usually imposes a time-limit between a student and an employer, with the student getting a salary for his/her work. Making a formal student work contract is not mandatory (it is possible to sign a standard employee contract instead), but may have additional benefits for a student position.

Discount Cards

ISE Card(International Student Exchange Card) - An internationally recognized identification card with thousands of discounts in over 80 countries, it is valid for one year from date of issue. Students of ANY age are eligible, as well as faculty members and children to young adults from 12-25. The price is $25 and you can purchase it online at

SIC (International Student Identity Card) - Full-time students 12 years and older offers discounts on travel rates, accommodations, shopping, entertainment, basic sickness and travel insurance, and inexpensive international phone calls. A passport sized photo is required and the card costs about $25 and is good through December 31st of each year. It can be purchased at

IYTC (International Youth Travel Card) - A discount card for travelers under 26 who aren't enrolled in school, this card offers a smaller range of youth travel discounts. The card costs $22 card.

Work Visa

EU citizens may enter and work in Germany for up to 90 days without a Visa. For non-EU citizens, it is not legal to work unless you have a work visa, or a Working Holiday Visa.

Working Holiday Visa

Citizens of Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan between the ages of 18 and 30 may apply for a Working Holiday Visa. Citizens of Canada between 18 and 35 years of age may also apply. There is no limit on the duration of employment, during the stay of up to 12 months. Evidence of sufficient funds for the first three months are required (i.e. 250 euro per month).

Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders can remain in the country indefinitely if they find long-term work they are uniquely qualified to. This is subject to approval by the government employment office - Bundesagentur fuer Arbeit.

For more information on visa, consult the section on Passport and visas.

You will find information on voluntary jobs or internship abroad in our other articles on the left column of this page.

Update 20/08/2013


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