Person working on notebook—search fields symbolizing questions

First-generation students

Venturing on to new paths
Person working on notebook—search fields symbolizing questions
Image: HAKINMHAN, istock

Students who are the first in their family to embark on the adventure of higher education are often treading new and unfamiliar paths. They may be facing a unique set of challenges due to a lack of information and familiarity with topics related to academia, university, and science, or a lack of close role models who can provide information on important questions and actively support them in their desire to pursue a university degree. They may also be confronted with financial problems and possible resistance within their families.

The University’s advisory services and contact points can offer support and advice on topics ranging from your choice of programme, enrolment process, introductory phase, to the various challenges you may face throughout your studies.

  • Information for prospective students

    What we offer

    Further information

  • Information for existing students

    The University of Jena can advise and support students during the extended introductory phase of their first year at university. They can also provide assistance in dealing with study-related challenges.

    The Student Services Organization of Thuringia (Studierndenwerk Thüringen) offers advice on how to cope with everyday university life as well as free legal and social counselling services. They also organize information events and courses to help students deal with exams, academic challenges, and everyday life at university and to strengthen their self-competence.—Learn more


  • Personal support and mentoring before and during studies

    STUDIENKOMPASS—Support programme for prospective students from non-academic families

    This programme supports young people from non-academic families who would like to study by offering intensive study and career counseling services during the last two school years and the first year at university. Learn more External link in Thuringia is a non-profit limited company that promotes higher education access for non-academic children. Their services include:

    • a comprehensive information portal   External link that answers all study-related questions;
    • mentoring run by volunteers, most of whom are students or first-generation academics themselves;
    • a social online network with pages on various topics and a discussion forum; 
    • a group in Jena open to students, their parents, and young people who would like to studys. At regular group meetings, mentors answer questions and provide assistance and guidance. The group meets every first Tuesday of the month at 19:00 in the basement of Cafeteria Zur Rosen, Johannisstraße 13, 07743 Jena. To join their next meeting, send an e-mail to Learn more External link about their work.

    B-First Clausen Simon Foundation scholarship

    This scholarship programme combines financial with personal support. It is open to first-generation academics from all disciplines who are enrolled in or have just started a bachelor’s or state examination programme (no longer than 2 semesters ago) at a German institution of higher education.

    The scholarship includes:

    • financial support: individual assessment based on personal living costs
    • academic support: compulsory curriculum with workshops, seminars, and coaching sessions

    Funding periods: 

    • Bachelor’s degree programmes: Funding covers the regular period of study.
    • State examination programmes: Funding is available for six semesters.


  • Financing options

    Information and advice

    The Student Services Organization of Thuringia (Studierndenwerk Thüringen) offers advice on student financing and legal issues. They also offer general social counselling services. Learn moreExternal link

    Basic funding

    • Bafög—funding for pupils and students provided under the Federal Training Assistance Act (Bundesausbildungsförderungsgesetz, BAföG) Learn more External link
    • Deutschlandstipendium of Friedrich Schiller University Jena Learn more
    • ‘mystipendium’ scholarship database Learn more External link

    Financial emergencies and cases of hardship

    • Repayable loans and funds are available for students facing financial emergencies and cases of hardship. For more information and help with your application, please contact the Student Services Organization of Thuringia (Studierndenwerk Thüringen). Learn more External link

    Working while studying

    • In order to combine their studies with gainful employment of 15 to 30 hours per week, students in various degree programmes can apply for part-time studies (‘studying at half speed’). Learn more
    • Job portals for students in Jena:
      • Jobs for student, undergraduate, or graduate assistant are posted in the University’s job board. Learn more 
      • Jobs for working students are posted in the job portal of the University of Jena's Career Point. Learn more
      • Jobs for students in regional companies can be found here:
    Learn more
  • Literature on the topic

    Reuter, J., Gamper, M., Möller, C., &  Blome, F. (Eds.) (2020). Vom Arbeiterkind zur Professur.External link Sozialer Aufstieg in der Wissenschaft.External link Autobiographische Notizen und soziobiographische AnalysenExternal link. Reihe Gesellschaft der Unterschiede, 54, transcript. 

    Stamm, M. (2019). Arbeiterkinder und ihre Aufstiegsangst.External link Probleme und Chancen von jungen Menschen auf dem Weg nach oben. External link Barbara Budrich-Verlag. Leverkusen.

    Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft e.V. (2020). Hochschulbildungsreport 2020. External linkEssen.

Student information and advice

Central Student Advisory Service ZSB

University Main Building / SSZ, Room E065
Fürstengraben 1
07743 Jena Google Maps site planExternal link

Opening hours:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9:00 to 13:00,
Tuesday and Thursday from 14:00 to 16:00
Wednesday from 11:00 to 15:00

Appointments may be made by email to or by phone from Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 11:00

Student advisory services and representation of interests

Diversity Officer | Diversity Office

Office hours:
Please arrange an appointment by email.

Please note that our office is located on the first floor at Zwätzengasse 3. This office is not accessible (no lift).
Please inform us of your needs in advance so that we can arrange for a meeting in more suitable premises.