FAQ Tech Program

Application Process

What are your selection criteria for the Tech Program?

Please find more information about our selection criteria here (click the link and scroll down). 

What happens next once I've submitted my application via email?

We will confirm your application within 72h. If you don’t get any confirmation, please contact our student relations manager Ibo ( to make sure we received your application. As a next step, we will screen all written applications. After a first pre-selection, we will invite applicants to one or two interviews. You don’t have to prepare for the interviews. We just want to get to know you as a person… and want you to get to know us! Once we have conducted all interviews, we will discuss internally who we would like to invite to join our program. We’ll inform you of the final results by mid of August at the latest.

I would like to apply for the program but I'm not a CODE student (yet).

One basic element of our program is the educational partnership with CODE University because we believe in CODE’s learning concept as well as curriculum. Therefore, being enrolled at CODE is a hard requirement in our selection process. If you want to take part in our program, please apply at CODE first.

How are the admission processes at FreeTech and CODE connected to each other?

Applicants need to pass the standard admissions process at CODE without any advantages. FreeTech doesn’t forward any information about applicants to CODE who haven’t been accepted by CODE yet. And CODE doesn’t provide any information about its students to FreeTech. Keeping the admissions separated helps both, CODE and FreeTech, to ensure fair and unbiased application processes.

I have or haven't been invited to a second interview after the first one.
Is this a bad sign?

In both cases, no! We usually conduct second interviews if we feel like we couldn’t answer all of your questions or if we need additional expertise to find out what projects would fit best for you. No need to worry!

I am an international student. Am I eligible to apply for the Tech Program?

We welcome students from all nationalities. Being active in more than 40 countries, Axel Springer highly encourages cultural diversity and our current tech students originate from all over the world (which we are very proud of!).

What's your spirit animal at FreeTech?

Mostly Python. But we hate bugs.</p

Tech Program Content

What elements does the Tech Program include?

Please find out more about the content of the program here

What exactly do the on-the-job trainings look like?

This is a tough question as our on-the-job trainings are very individual and tailored to the needs of different units and students. One on-the-job training usually has a time period between 3 to 6 months. Students might work in a variety of different units such as NMT, APX, hy, StepStone, upday as well as our editorial staffs and work on different projects. It’s very important to us that our students participate in the matching process to ensure an interest- and curiosity-driven training selection.

May I decide what Axel Springer brands I would like to work with?

In general, yes! Your interest is an important factor in the matching process for on-the-job trainings. 

Which costs are covered?

Axel Springer invests in a common future. Therefore, we pay our working students a fair salary (about 1400€ gross per month). Additionally, you may qualify for a scholarship for your tuition fees at CODE if you continue working for Axel Springer full-time for at least two years after graduation.

Is it possible to complete a semester abroad during the scholarship?

A semester abroad is not an integral part of our program, but as an international company we embrace cultural exchange and are open to finding individual solutions.

There's a global pandemic. Do I actually have to live in Berlin or can I participate remotely?

Flexibility is important to us and especially due to COVID-19, most parts of the program are only remote at the moment. Nevertheless, we strongly recommend being on-site as soon as the situation allows. The community exchange as well as meeting work colleagues cannot be completely virtualized which is a good thing.

FreeTech and CODE

How does this program differ from other corporate scholarships?

We offer much more than a standard scholarship. As a FreeTech tech student, you’ll be enabled to graduate at a well-known university of applied sciences while approaching theory through practice as a paid working student. Nonetheless, we provide a lot of freedom to tailor the program to your interests and strengths regarding practical projects and on-the-job trainings, enabling you to become a digital pioneer in tech and media.

How far is FreeTech involved in CODE’s study programs?

It is very important for us to differentiate CODE’s study programs from FreeTech content as we truly believe that freedom of teaching and research is an important key to keep academic education independent.

Still, we are very happy to collaborate with CODE to share expertise between tech and journalism. We also organize joint events like Media Talks that are open for all CODE and FreeTech students. FreeTech students might also choose FreeTech projects as CODE semester projects… but that’s not a must!

I have more questions about CODE University.

Please visit CODE’s website if you have any questions regarding the selection process or study programs at CODE.

If you couldn’t find an answer to your question, feel free to contact our Student Relations Manager Ibo ( anytime.