What is FiPS?

The Furtwangen Internship Placement Service (FiPS) FiPS organizes paid internships with companies in Baden-Württemberg for university and college students from Canada and the USA. In return HFU students receive free study places which would normally range between €5,000 and €10,000 per semester at prestigious universities.

FiPS is therefore a problem-free alternative to a one-for-one study place exchange system, avoiding the difficulties of recognition of academic qualifications, accreditation or incompatible semester dates.

Key Facts - Internship

  • Duration: 4 – 12 months
  • Begin: January, May or September (or by arrangement)
  • The partner university selects high-performing students, mainly citizens of a North American or European country who have been studying for at least 2 years
  • Only students of selected HFU partner universities (see below "What advantages does FiPS offer universities?") are eligible to apply for FiPS!

Furtwangen Internship Placement Service (FiPS) is a project within the framework of the Baden-Württemberg-STIPENDIUM for university students - BWS plus, a program of the Baden-Württemberg Stiftung.

What does FIPS do?

FiPS organizes placements for students with companies and coordinates the official paperwork such as work permit, medical insurance and enrollment at Furtwangen University. FiPS also liaises between companies, partner universities and interns.

What are FiPS' strengths?

More than 80 students have already been placed in approximately 30 different companies, and over 100 tuition-free study places have been negotiated with North American partner universities. In return approximately 90 HFU students have been able to spend a tuition free exchange semester at partner universities, and 20 more were able to enroll at reduced tuition rates.

The FiPS North American universities cooperation programme at HFU has thus become the most successful programme of its kind.

The financial implications of the programme are clear. Depending on the partner university, the value of the tuition-free study places is between €5,000 and €10,000 per semester. Most students would be unable to finance their study abroad semester without the FiPS programme and above all, the economic strength of the Schwarzwald-Baar-Heuberg region in the areas of medical, precision, microsystems and production engineering and in the automotive industry.

Who are the FiPS partners?

FiPS acts as an intermediary between the various project partners and aims to increase student mobility between Germany and North America. The partners involved are:

  • universities
  • students of these universities
  • companies

What advantages does FiPS offer students?


  • salary (> €670 / month) which normally covers living expenses
  • hands-on experience of the German job market
  • international work experience
  • opportunity to do some travelling within Europe as a tourist at weekends

Exchange students:

  • tuition-free (or reduced) study places
  • renowned universities
  • option to apply for a Baden-Württemberg scholarship
  • broad range of lectures and sports available
  • first class supervision and support at partner universities
  • option to take Master's degree in Canada

What advantages does FiPS offer universities?

Partner universities:

  • unique opportunity as an alternative to an International Semester
  • ability to "dive in at the deep end" in the German working world
  • international skills
  • lack of bureaucracy regarding acceptance of academic qualifications, accreditation, financing and overlapping semesters.

Furtwangen University:

  • first class partnerships which would otherwise not be possible
  • increased attractiveness of HFU for applicants
  • increase of awareness, attractiveness and standing of HFU in Germany and abroad
  • partnerships with universities and colleges which students are interested in
  • international skills gained by exchange students
  • less support required as companies bear some of the responsibility
  • contribution of programme to numbers of students taking part in Foreign Exchanges

Which universities are involved in FiPS?

What advantages does FiPS offer companies?

  • assistance with official paperwork
  • highly skilled foreign interns
  • free "English courses" for employees
  • intercultural awareness skills for employees
  • ability to recruit future foreign employees through internships
  • HFU graduates with foreign experience and English language proficiency
  • more intensive cooperation between companies and university and improved experience and knowledge exchange

Is your company also interested in offering an internship to a North American intern? Please contact us.

Companies participating in the FiPS programme:

History of FiPS

July 2003 HFU responds to advertisement posted in DAAD North America Newsletter:"UNB is looking for partner universities in Germany…".
May 2004 Signing of partnership agreement with the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, Canada.
Oct. 2004 The first UNB students begin internships in Germany.
Mar. 2005 The first HFU students enroll at UNB.
Oct. 2012 Signing of partnership agreement with the University of Prince Edward Island, Canada.
Dez. 2012

FiPS selected by the German Rectors' Conference (HRK) as "success story" within the framework of the "Internationalization of Universities" audit, and since then posted on their website as such.

April 2013 Signing of partnership agreement with the Rose Hulman Institute of Technology
Sept. 2013 The first HFU students enroll at UPEI and RHIT.
Sept. 2013 “FiPS – Furtwangen Internship Placement Service” becomes a project of the Baden-Württemberg Stiftung and receives financial support in the amount of €100,000 for 3 years. This enables the expansion of the bilateral agreement to become a small transatlantic university consortium with the following participating universities: University of New Brunswick, Canada; University of Prince Edward Island, Canada; Rose Hulman Institute of Technology, USA, Hochschule für Technik (HFT), Stuttgart and Furtwangen University (HFU).
April 2014 The first UPEI student begins her internship in Germany.
June 2014 The first RHIT student begins his internship in Germany.
Sept. 2015 FiPS described in a German Rectors' Conference brochure as one of 14 examples of internationalization best practice in Germany.

Baden-Württemberg STIPENDIUM

In 2013 the FiPS project was chosen from 29 applicants by the Baden-Württemberg Stiftung. The funding for the project enables both incoming students and HFU exchange students to apply for a Baden-Württemberg student scholarship. Additionally it was possible to expand the assistance and support of exchange students and the the participating companies.

The Baden-Württemberg STIPENDIUM:

The Baden-Württemberg STIPENDIUM supports the international exchange of school pupils, students and young professionals. Since 2001 over 19,000 young people from Baden-Württemberg have been able to gain experience abroad and young people from abroad have been able to spend time in Baden-Württemberg with the help of the scholarship. In the current scholarship year 2015/2016, more than 1,000 young people will once again receive a Baden-Württem­berg STIPENDIUM.

The Baden-Württemberg STIPENDIUM for students – BWS plus:

The Baden-Württemberg STIPENDIUM for students, BWS plus, is awarded to universities which offer innovative international cooperation programmes with other universities.

The scholarship which has approximately €800,000 at its disposal, was offered for the first time in 2011 and in the meantime supports more than 40 BWS plus projects at Baden-Württemberg universities.

Further information can be found under www.bw-stipendium.de


The foundation aims to enliven and improve the quality of life in Baden-Würt­tem­berg. It paves the way for top quality research, varied educational measures and a responsible manner of dealing with our fellow human beings. The Baden-Württemberg Stiftung is one of the largest operating foundations in Germany. It is the only one which exclusively and without any political interest, invests in the future of Baden-Württemberg – and thus in the future of the people of Baden-Württemberg.

Further information can be found under www.bwstiftung.de


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Rüdiger Kukral
Faculty of Mechanical and Medical Engineering
Director FiPS Programme
Office hours: Wed. 8.30 - 11.00am
Tel: +49 (0)7720 307-4319
Fax:+49 (0)7720 307-4207
Schwenningen Campus, Room C 2.12
Email: kuk(at)hs-furtwangen.de