Frequently Asked Questions

What is WISP?
"WISP" is the Baden-Württemberg-STIPENDIUM for Vocationally Qualified People "Work Immersion Study Program", a three-month summer fellowship offered exclusively to college students in vocational fields. The program consists of one month of intensive German language training in Radolfzell, and two months working at an internship placement with a German company in Baden-Württemberg. It is funded by the Baden-Württemberg-Stiftung and administered by Cultural Vistas and its partners.

What does the WISP program provide for participants?
WISP covers the following costs for participants:

  • One month (June) of language school training
  • Two-month internship placement (July-August) arranged at a German company
  • Roundtrip transatlantic airfare
  • Arrangement and cost of housing in Germany
  • Health/accident insurance through HTH Worldwide
  • Work authorization in Germany (U.S. permanent residents must apply for their own visa)
  • Assistance in the U.S. prior to departure and in Germany during the program with bureaucratic matters
  • Orientation and final program seminar in Stuttgart

Where do I live in Germany?
Participants either live in pre-arranged dormitory housing, with a host family, or in housing provided by the host company. All WISP participants are placed in Baden-Württemberg, Germany.

What type of insurance coverage is offered?
All participants are provided with health/accident insurance through HTH Worldwide.

What services does Cultural Vistas provide?
Cultural Vistas provides participants with: temporary work authorization, pre-departure orientation materials, a program manual to assist participants with everyday life while abroad, orientation, final seminars, health insurance, and continued support and advice throughout the program.

Are internships paid or unpaid?
Internships are both paid and unpaid. Since this is a scholarship program, every participant will receive at least EUR 300 per month in the form of a stipend. For instance, if your internship pays EUR 100 per month, you will receive a stipend of EUR 200 per month. If your internship is unpaid, you will receive the full EUR 300 per month from the program. In rare cases, internships will pay more than EUR 300 per month, in which case the participant does not receive the additional monthly stipend, but will still receive free housing.

Will the stipend cover my living expenses?
As WISP is a scholarship program, participants receive a monthly stipend of EUR 300 per month in addition to free housing. Participants are also expected to supply any additional funds they may require for travel, entertainment, and unforeseen costs; we recommend US$200 per month, though this can vary depending on each individual’s spending habits.

How much does the program cost?
While WISP is a scholarship program, there is a $300 fee to participate, which is applied to the cost of administering each participant’s program, and the services provided by Cultural Vistas. This fee must be paid at the time of the participant’s decision to take part in the program.

In addition, we require a $100 deposit to be paid at the time of the participant’s decision to take part in the program, which will be refunded at the end of the program. Deposits are withheld only if the participant does not fulfill any obligation related to their participation in WISP, or to pay for any incidental damages caused.

What does the application consist of?
The complete application includes:

  • A completed application form, including short essay answers (can be completed online)
  • Your resume in English (can be uploaded online)
  • Your German-style Lebenslauf (can be uploaded online)
  • An official transcript from the institution where you are pursuing your current degree (hard copy must be mailed to Cultural Vistas along with recommendation letters)
  • Letter of recommendation from a professor from your major/area of study (hard copy must be mailed to Cultural Vistas along with transcript and other recommendation letters)
  • Letter of recommendation from a German professor that evaluates your German language learning and confirms that you have taken (or are/will be enrolled in) at least one semester of German (hard copy must be mailed to Cultural Vistas along with transcript and other recommendation letter)
  • Letter of recommendation from a current or former employer (hard copy must be mailed to Cultural Vistas along with transcript and other recommendation letters)
  • Personal Statement entitled “What I expect from WISP in Germany”, not to exceed one typewritten page, and covering the following topics: what your future career plans are, why you are interested in going to Germany, the field in which you would like to intern in Germany, the type of work you realistically expect you would be doing in your internship, and what you will bring to the program (can be uploaded online)

What happens after I apply?
Select applicants who fulfill all of the criteria for the program will be invited to participate in telephone interviews, conducted by Cultural Vistas. From those being interviewed, up to 5 final participants will be selected to participate in WISP, in accordance with available funding.

How do I apply?
If you are interested in applying for WISP, please complete our online request form at www.wispgermany.org. If you are eligible for the program, you will receive an email from Cultural Vistas with your username and password for the online application.

Who administers the WISP fellowship?
WISP is administered by Cultural Vistas, Inc. and its partner organizations in Germany. The program is funded by a grant provided by the Baden-Württemberg Stiftung gGmbH.