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Information for interns from A to Z

You are in Germany to
- to increase your agricultural expertise
- to improve your German language skills
- to improve your professional opportunities
- to develop personally further
- to get better acquainted with the country and its people

Here  you will find important information about the internship. If some of your questions remain unanswered, please ask your supervisor.

Asking As an intern you should learn. LOGO and the host family expect that you have many questions about what goes on in the company. The agricultural dictionary will help you with the technical vocabulary. The more you ask and discuss, the faster you can expand your vocabulary and improve your language skills. Good personal relationships are the basis for a successful internship. Your chief will also be happy to help you with any questions.

Appearance An agricultural internship is not a beauty contest. You are expected to be dressed appropriately for your work. Make-up, lipstick, long fingernails or Sunday clothes are unnecessary for the internship.

Certificates Before you travel back you receive two certificates. The certificate from LOGO e.V. has grades for your oral and written performance in the seminar, for your report booklet and for your interest and commitment in the company. The company will also issue a certificate in which your performance will be evaluated. You will also get a confirmation for the seminar stating the subjects.

Deposit During the first two months  the farm may in agreement with you, withhold 60-100 € each from your salary as a deposit. The deposit will be paid out when you finish your internship as scheduled. Only if there are proven special reasons for an early return journey you will get this money earlier.

Eating The eating habits between the cultures sometimes differ considerably. In Germany, people usually eat sandwiches or rolls or muesli for breakfast. Warm food is eaten for lunch. In the evening there are usually sandwiches. Behaviour at table plays an important role in many families. Be attentive and tactful. For reasons of politeness, you should not fill your plate too much. It is better to take several small portions until you are full. For sandwiches / bread rolls, the topping with cheese, sausage, jam, etc. should be chosen moderately. It should be emphasized once again that you can and should eat as much as you want until you are satisfied.

Emancipation According to the German constitution, women are equal to men. This is also reflected in the self-confidence of women. 10 % of agricultural enterprises in Germany are run by women farmers, in Austria it is even 40 %. As a trainee you have to show the same respect to women as you show to men. By the way, in Germany you greet and say goodbye to women and men equally with a handshake.

Energy and  environment In Germany, great attention is paid to the efficient use of energy. Uselessly running tractor engines consume expensive diesel and pollute the environment. If you do not need a tractor for more than two or three minutes, turn it off. Hot water and the heating of rooms are relatively expensive in Germany. If you leave your room for a longer period of time during the cold season, you should adjust the temperature with the thermostat on the radiator as needed.

Free time In general, you are entitled to two days off per week. However, there are tasks that are necessary every day in the farms, such as feeding, mucking out and milking. To compensate for overtime, you can arrange days off with your chief. During harvesting times or work peaks, you should shift your days off to a period of less work. Cows must be milked at least twice a day, including at weekends. On a dairy farm you should have two days off at least every two weeks. The regulations on overtime or compensatory time off must be observed.

Guests Hospitality in Germany unfortunately is not as in the former USSR. If you invite guests to your farm, you should ask your chief for permission in advance.

Holiday In six months in addition to the seminars and the weekends you will have six days paid holiday. The date of your holiday should be arranged as soon as possible with your instructor.

Homesickness During the first weeks, interns sometimes suffer from homesickness. Reasons are limited communication and the absence of friends and acquaintances. If you get to know other interns and make friends with your host family, you will feel better and forget about the homesickness.

Hygiene During the internship you should also pay attention to your cleanliness. It is normal that you take a shower after work. However, please note that water and heating energy are expensive in Germany. Therefore you should use water sparingly. Sanitary facilities should always be kept clean after use.

Insurance The contract contains information on health, accident and liability insurance. In addition, you have received insurance documents. If you get a medical treatment, you must show these documents. Please send the doctor's bill with the completed form "Reimbursement form" directly to the insurance. The health insurance does not cover treatments of diseases and complaints which were already treated before the internship. Examinations and treatments due to pregnancy, dental prostheses, including crowns, inlays, onlays and orthodontics are also not part of this insurance. The accident insurance of Walter GmbH is for accidents not at work. The farm has a special insurance for accidents at work.

Internet Again and again it happens that farmers are contacted by lawyers because of illegal use of the Internet, if trainees have downloaded or uploaded copyrighted music or films in file-sharing services. In order to protect the farmers, we recommend that the interns only use their own mobile internet access. If you may use the internet access of you host, you should avoid any kind of file sharing.

Internship agreement You will receive an internship agreement signed by you, LOGO and the farmer. The contract sets out the most important rights and obligations.

Language The first weeks in Germany are not easy and you have to use your German language skills. The more you communicate, the better you will learn the language. It doesn't matter if you make grammar mistakes or don't find the right words immediately. The more efforts you make, the more sympathy you will receive. If you have not understood, ask again. If cannot understand some words, ask you chief to write them down. Later you find the meaning in a dictionary.

Quality and speed of work In the western world of work, speed and quality are the top priorities. So make sure that you complete a task quickly and well. Compare yourself with other (good) employees and take them as a role model. The better and more effectively you perform your tasks, the more your chief or colleagues will respect you.

Problem solving If you have any problems concerning the internship please contact your supervisor. You may talk openly about everything. If you wish, your information will be kept confidential.
Your supervisor will also talk with your chief farmer. So he /she identifies problems and can help. Some problems arise from a lack of communication and misunderstandings and are easy to solve.

Report booklet Write your report booklet regularly. It contains instructions on how to edit it. The report booklet gives you an additional opportunity to talk to the boss about the company and the purpose of the work to be done. Later it will be an interesting reference book for your internship. The version in your mother tongue should be read by your university to evaluate your internship. We at LOGO will check your report booklet twice.

Rooms Normally you will live at your host family. Please pay attention to cleanliness and keep all the rooms you live in tidy.

Safety It is very important to prevent accidents and injuries. For every new task, your chief should not only explain the work itself, but also the dangers and how to avoid them. If this is forgotten, please ask. Safety at work often consists of many small things. Here are three examples:
- The fork for feeding cattle has to be placed against the wall, not in the grass.
- When working with the angle grinder, wear safety goggles and watch out for sparks.
- Ladders must be specially secured so that they do not slip or fall over.

Seminars During the internship you will be invited to a seminar. There you will meet other interns and spend pleasant hours with them. In lectures, workshops and excursions you will learn a lot about vocational training, organic farming and renewable energies. We expect that you are really interested and we will evaluate the oral performance. The last day you have to prove in a written test how much you have learnt.

Sleep Probably nobody will control when you go to bed. However, your chief has a right to demand that you sleep enough. A tired person works poorly and unfocused, makes more mistakes and cannot learn.

Switch to another farm If you have problems in the farm through no fault of your own, a switch to another farm is possible. We will investigate the causes of the problems. If you are generally disinterested, do not speak German or commit a crime, you will be sent back early. If LOGO agrees a switch, the travel costs will be covered to varying degrees by the association (see contract).

Technology and security  Interns often work with tractors and other technologies. When you are working with any equipment, be careful to avoid accidents and damages. If you need advices, ask your instructor.

Telephone Almost all interns have mobile phones. With a suitable SIM card, you can make cheap calls in Germany and abroad. To get a SIM card, please ask your supervisor. In emergencies you may use a telephone of your farm. In Germany it is obligatory, that you introduce yourself with your name. Anonymous calls are considered rude and uncultivated.

Television There are about 36 German television channels. Unfortunately, the level of films and reporting is quite mixed. Most interns have the possibility to watch TV at the host family. However, television is only of limited use to improve your language skills.

Thinking ahead It is mportant that you are interested in the work processes and think ahead. If you perform well, you will get more demanding and interesting tasks. If you are disinterested, you will only perfom simple and monotonous tasks that do not require any special intellect. Your chief appreciates interns who ask questions and think along with him. So he can also develop a better understanding of your initial difficulties. The more active you are, the faster you will learn. If you are going to run a company after your internship and studies, you need to be able to plan and evaluate operational procedures.

Travel expenses On arrival in Germany, LOGO will pay you the travel expenses from the airport/introductory seminar to the farm. For seminars, LOGO pays for the travel from the company to the seminar location and back. If you do not return to the company on the same day after the end of the seminar, but visit a city with other trainees, for example, you will have to pay yourself the rest of the travel costs to the farm. In most cases LOGO will arrange the tickets for you. If you have to buy tickets yourself, LOGO will only reimburse you for the favorable connections.

Visa Some visas are only valid for three months. Please make sure that your visa will be extended in time by the immigration authorities. The costs for the extension must be paid by your farm. If your visa has become invalid, you have to face difficulties and you must to leave Germany.

Wage A trainee costs the farm at least € 1068.00 per month. The costs are:
340,00 € payment for a trainee
493,00 € official non-cash benefits (2020) for room and board
235,00 € internship fees to LOGO e.V.. These contributions are used e.g. for insurance (28,50 € per intern and month), for seminars, for trips in Germany, for support, for learning materials and other tasks. In the documents of the "Agentur für Arbeit" the minimum wage is 861,50 €. This is based on a German law for the promotion of students.

Washing Your dirty clothes will be usually cleaned by the host family. It could be that they may charge you for washing 20 euros a month.

Waste Environmental protection and resource conservation play an important role in Germany. Therefore, waste is separated in order to recycle it. Please separate your waste according to the following categories: Paper, glass, organic material, "Grüner Punkt" and residual waste. Please ask your host family how and where the garbage is disposed of.

Workwear It would be good if you bring workwear to the internship. So you may decide which clothes you like and which fit you. According to the Internship Agreement, the company must provide you with workwear. It may be that the clothes have already been worn by former employees and are therefore not new. It often happens that you are working in a dirty or wet environment and you need the appropriate clothing. For some jobs, protective shoes or rubber boots are required.

Working hours According to the internship contract and the legal regulations, the weekly working hours are 40 hours. In most companies you will work longer at times. This depends on the type of company and the season (harvest time). If you work effectively (quickly and well), you should receive compensation for your extra work for legal reasons. Financial compensation is also possible in agreement with your farm manager. To avoid conflicts, please note your working hours and have them confirmed weekly by your boss by signature. If you feel that you are being exploited as "cheap" labour, please call your supervisor.

Visa Visas are sometimes only valid for three months at the beginning of the internship. Please make sure that your visa is extended in time by the immigration authorities. The costs for the extension are borne by your company manager. If your visa (residence permit) has become invalid, you will have to expect difficulties and a departure.

 

We wish you a successful internship and hope that you have many positive experiences.

 

 

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