Work-study in Germany

Cross-border apprenticeship

Both regions Alsace and Baden-Württemberg have signed in September 2013 a Franco-German agreement in order to facilitate integrated learning for the French and German youth in the Upper Rhine.

Master Caweb students enrolled for the second year can perform the practical part of their training as a cross-border apprenticeship within a company based in Baden-Württemberg or in Rhineland-Palatinate.

Terms and prerequisites

In order to benefit of cross-border apprenticeship, the student must:

  • be enrolled in the second year of Master Caweb (on-campus or distance learning);
  • be germanophone and/or germanophile;
  • have found a company based in Baden-Württemberg or Rhineland-Palatinate;
  • be less than 26 years old at the signing of the apprenticeship contract. Of course, the apprenticeship must focus on one of the areas taught in the master.


Stages of the apprenticeship

The apprentice signs a fulltime apprenticeship contract with his company (fulltime in Germany amounts to 40h/week). The three parties involved (i.e. the company, the University of Strasbourg and the student) sign a partnership agreement with the “CFAU Alsace”, the University Apprentice Training Centre (Centre de Formation d’Apprentis Universitaire)..

In terms of organization, cross-border apprenticeship works the same way as in France. The practical part takes place in the German company and the theoretical part is provided by the University of Strasbourg. It takes place in the University for the on-campus students and in distance learning for EAD students.

As in any apprenticeship, vacations must be taken during the practical part, i.e. during the days spent in the company. Since the university holiday periods are spent fulltime in the company, it is possible to ask leave during this period. Vacations shall in no case be taken during the theoretical part of the training.

Status and salary

The cross-border apprentice depends on the German labor law. He has the same vacation entitlements as the other employees of his company.

Social Security no longer considers the cross-border apprentice as a student. From now on, he is considered to be a cross-border worker and can no longer be affiliated with a student insurance. Nevertheless, he is holder of a student card and can still profit of many students benefits..

Despite the recent introduction of the minimum wage in Germany, cross-border apprentices do not benefit of it. The salary has to be agreed with the employer by mutual agreement at the signing of the contract. Generally, the company refers to collective agreements in its domains or to trainees’ wages (often between 500 and 800 euros).

Social security

The cross-border apprentice profits of the same social security and accident insurance as the other employees of the company. Before the beginning of his apprenticeship, the employer must register the apprentice to a German health insurance company of his choice. The apprentice and the employer are both participating in the insurance costs.

The apprentice then receives the German equivalent of the health insurance card, the Gesundheitskarte. He can also receive the European Health Insurance Card (europäische Krankenversicherungskarte) on the back of his Gesundheitskarte, allowing him to acknowledge his rights to health insurance and to benefit from a paid on-site medical care in member countries of the European Union.

When registering at the German health insurance company, the apprentices must request to the health insurance the E106 form (or formerly S1). Then, he must send it to the CPAM in France, which will be his French insurance company, to make the link between the two countries. He must keep his French health card which will be updated to match his health insurance situation.

Therefore, the apprentice will be insured on both sides of the Rhine and can claim medical benefits, whether he is in France or in Germany.

Apprenticeship information

Basic information about apprenticeship in Master 2 Caweb are available in PDF format. You will find a version for the students as well as a version dedicated to recruiters (to print for interviews):
version pour les employeurs, version pour les étudiants, l’apprentissage transfrontalier (en allemand)

Useful links

For more information about administrative, legislative and social matters about cross-border apprenticeship: