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Intercultural competences and international academic experience are key skills for an area studies program such as North American studies. It is therefore recommended that students enrolled in Kombi-BA in Applied North American Studies spend one semester at a university outside of Germany. Students can spend a maximum of two semesters studying abroad and usually leave Germany in their 5th semester.
The JFKI and the Freie Universität will both support you with planning your stay abroad, offering counseling and extensive information on available programs. Both the university and the institute maintain contact with many universities in the U.S. and Canada to which you can apply, in addition to a number of American Studies programs at other European universities.
You can find more information about Erasmus partner universities as well as a map of our North American partner universities on the following page.
Studying a career-oriented B.A. like Applied North American Studies, students should perhaps even more consider the possibility of an internship abroad. A fundamental part of North American Studies is understanding North American approaches to work, culture, and the respective approaches to professional problems. Getting a head start already during their studies, student of Applied North American studies have the option to receive up to 30 credit points for pursuing an internship outside of Germany.
Depending on a student's qualifications and interests, various institutions are suitable for internships. While the student focusing on economics might appreciate hands-on experience in a corporation or bank, political science students might find it more interesting to look into the work processes of an embassy or a parlamentary institution; a focus on sociology for instance might lend itself to an internship at an NGO while cultural studies or history concentrations to museums. If focusing on literature, one might prefer a publishing house. The goal of the university is to enable students to pursue their own interests and open up career paths through the connections of the internship as well as fostering international ties. So while it is an important part of gaining professional expertise to choose and apply for an internship independently, the university offers various resources and advice for reaching this goal.
As internships are credited in the General Professional Skills (ABV) section of the Kombi-B.A., the career service of the Freie Universität is responsible for advising students in regards to interships. Especially in the German pages of their website, you will find helpful links and information regarding funding an internship abroad and receiving credit for it. They for example keep a database with reports from students that successfully completed an internship.You will also find support for your internship at the JFKI with the "Praktikumsbeauftragten".
While it is possible to be credited for internships that were completed before your studies (as long as they relate to North American Studies), it is however worth noting that it is not necessary for you to look into internship options before you completed your second semester. Students usually pursue internships in the semester holidays or in their 5th or 6th semester. The most useful links to dig into the experience of an internship are listed on the right side. As these pages have not been translated into English completely, it might be helpful to check out the German versions as well.