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Working Student in Germany with No Contract

Hello, I have an opportunity to work in Germany for an Olympic level female show jumper. However, she works on the basis of trust. She promises to give compensation (lessons, rides, and pay) and a shared apartment. This would be for 1 to 2 months. Does this sound normal for Germany? I would be at the barn from 7:30 to around 17:30. keep in mind she is a big name.

My concern would be what if you get hurt during your work time? Would you be insured? I believe health is free in Germany but what about any possible liability of the barn?


No, that’s absolutely not normal for Germany. This country is all about paperwork. Additionally, if you are coming from a non-EU country, you most likely need to apply for a visa to be able to work and to remain for more than 90 days.


she said she would get me insurance

im on an eu student visa

The basis of trust? Um… that is a huge red flag and frankly sounds like a scam in general.

Personally, this is a business transaction not a friend. Trust nobody and make sure you protect your own best interests.


so you would avoid it or would there be any reason you would make an exception

Avoid 100% and no.

If you take this position … be prepared to be used and abused.


even if it is a really big name?

I’d ask for names and contact information for the past two working students. If you’re going to take the risk I’d speak directly to them to understand housing, work/life balance, how many lessons they actually got, etc.

Will you have the resources to pack up and leave if it’s not a healthy work environment?


Don’t you know any former ex student? Maybe she had been working like this with no problems fir years

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I will talk directly to one of the girls there that the trainer gave me the contact of. Don’t know where I can find former working students.

I will be able to leave if need be. I asked the trainer for contacts and she gave me one of the contacts of “one of the girls.” Not sure exactly what this girls’ role is and as far as I understood she is working there currently. Not sure where to find past working students.

Did she explain why she wouldn’t write up a contract?


She said she works on basis of trust and that’s it

I’m sorry I don’t know anyone in that area, usually if there’s something wrong equestrian people are aware. Is there any German COTHer?

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it’s ok. I will talk with the girl and see if it is worth the risk, worst comes to worst I could just leave, espeically since there would be no contract binding me to anything.

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Ha, well, that would make me not trust her–have you done any Googling of this person’s name, including on COTH, to see if there is any feedback? I realize she gave you a reference, but obviously that would be a person with whom she had a positive relationship.


Do you at least have emails and/or text messages that outline the conditions of your employment, like pay? Anything at all in writing?

Otherwise, this is just BS. I don’t care how big of name. This industry is not well-served by continuing to run on standards that defy normal, real-world business practices. And frankly, she’s an idiot thinking she’s above all that. Contracts protect both parties.


she asked me what are my conditions and I told her that I would like to have a pay of 500-700 euros which seems to be the norm for WS? She said in writing the job is from 7-17 and sometimes later and she said what the duties are. Not much on compensation that is