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Information for international degree-seeking students

about the academic mentoring programme
Books are important for studying
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Are you an international student enrolled in a degree programme at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena? We want your studies to be a success! At the International Office, we run a student mentoring programme helping you to organize your studies, and answering any questions and problems you might have. Student mentors and teaching staff from your department are on hand to help.

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If you are interested in academic mentoring, please first find out from your subject's student advisory service External linkand below in the "Faculty services" which supervision offers are available for students of your subject. In order for us to find suitable academic mentors for you, please register for academic mentoring (see below in the section "How do I REGISTER?" under "Frequently Asked Questions and Registration"). We will then contact you and arrange an individual information appointment.

Faculty services

The International Offices academic mentoring shall complement the programmes run by faculties. As a result, it is important to contact your own faculty for support and advice first! Faculties offer their students a comprehensive range of subject-specific support options, including special offers for international students. On this website, we share links to these offers and give you a comprehensive overview of the academic mentoring programmes at our university.

If you cannot find particular offers here, we would love to hear from you. Please contact us at:

General courses at the University
Faculty of Theology

Each semester: special introductory events de for all new students (excluding masters programmes) in English.

Faculty of Law

Courses on German Legal Language and System

Faculty-specific information on examinations and papersExternal link

Advisory service for Erasmus students at the Faculty of Law:

Faculty of Economics and Business Administration

Optional course for students with limited mathematical knowledge (in German) learn more

Faculty of Arts
Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Buddy Programme for international students:

Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science
Faculty of Physics and Astronomy

Advisory services and support 

Faculty of Chemistry and Earth Sciences





Faculty of Biological Sciences
Faculty of Medicine

MSc Medical Photonics: preparatory course for all studentsExternal link; contact person: Dr Holger Babovsky, Study Programme Coordinator,

International Summer SchoolExternal link in August/September within the study programme MSc Molecular Medicine

Within the study programme Research-Oriented Medicine, there is a separate mentoring programme supporting studentsExternal link in their research activities

Frequently Asked Questions and Registration

What is the academic mentoring service organized by the International Office?

The International Office offers an academic mentoring service to help international degree-seeking students make their studies a success. The service is based on a well-founded concept tailored to students individual needs. Nevertheless, it should not prevent students using the subject-specific support and mentoring programmes run by their respective faculties (e.g. departmental student bodies). It should rather provide a useful supplement to those if necessary. The academic mentoring service is not a private tuition. It is designed to help international students bring their studies to a successful conclusion by becoming self-organized and taking advantage of offers at our university. Students gain support by committed teaching staff and students of respective subject or institute. Both take part in intercultural training first so that they are prepared for their tasks.

Who may register for the academic mentoring service?

The academic mentoring service is meant for international degree-seeking students (bachelors, masters, state examination) who know and use the support and mentoring programmes run by their respective faculties, and would like to complement these services; for example, with further advice and support to find their way around the German university system and to complete their studies successfully. The more precisely you can tell us the area or task for which you need some help, the better we will be able to select and prepare an academic mentor for you.

Who are the mentors?

Mentors and mentees come from the same or at least from a closely-related subject area. Ideally, we assign you two mentors from your subject area, so that you can receive the best support from both an academic and social perspective:

  • One will be a student mentor who has been studying the subject for a while and knows Jena well. The student mentor will have been trained for the job by the International Office and will be open to intercultural contact. Please note that your student mentor will work on a voluntary basis, i.e. without payment.
  • The other will be an academic mentor who has been working in your field of study for quite a while. The academic mentor will have been briefed for the job by the International Office and will be open to intercultural contact.
How will my mentors support me?

We can usually only assign mentors after late April/mid-November. Until then, you have to create your own timetable and register for examinations on time on your own. If you have any questions or problems, you can contact the academic advisors at your faculty.

Your two academic mentors can help you find your feet in the subject. They can talk to you to find out:

  • where your personal strengths and weaknesses lie
  • which particular skills you have to make your studies easier
  • which skills you need to develop to make your studies a success
  • which workshops, tutorials or language courses you should attend alongside your studies.

Your student mentor can and should:

  • be your personal contact and peer
  • share experiences and tips from their own studies
  • support you with the preparation of presentations and term papers, e.g. by helping with:
    • problems with German or specialist vocabulary
    • formal uncertainties
    • difficulties in understanding subject-related concepts
    • questions about the delivery of presentations (e.g. by practising together)
  • help you become integrated in student life and finding your feet in Jena.

Your academic mentor can and should:

  • be your personal contact in the area of study
  • help you get to grips with the subject
  • point out suitable advice sessions and courses offered by the faculty
  • discuss your strengths and weaknesses in the subject and suggest suitable steps to improve
  • discuss your further study plans and agree (learning) objectives
  • think about the structure of a presentation or term paper with you and discuss the use of certain specialist terminology.
What do I have to do myself?

Studying in Germany requires self-reliance and independence. As a student, you are expected to:

  • create your own timetable
  • register for courses and examinations on time
  • notify your instructor if you are ill and, if necessary, request a leave of absence
  • carry out independent study before and after lessons
  • prepare for examinations independently or in self-organized study groups.

If you have any questions about your study programme and its requirements, please make the most of the services offered by the academic advisors and the departmental student body. If you have any questions about specific courses or modules, please visit your module coordinator and/or instructor during their office hours.

If you need further support, do not hesitate to register for the academic mentoring service at the International Office. An information event about the programme is held before the start of every semester where you can find out what is expected of you and what the programme entails. If you want to register for the programme in your first semester, you must first attend the information event. You should attend in the semester in which you want to participate in the mentoring programme. After attending the introductory event, you will be assigned academic mentors. If you are already study in a higher semester, you are also welcome to attend the information event. However, you do not have to do this to take part in the programme. If you do not attend the information event, we would still like you to send us an e-mail describing where exactly you need help.

If you realize you need support during the semester, please send us an e-mail and explain as precisely as possible what type of mentoring you would like to receive and where you require support.

If you are assigned academic mentors and take part in the programme, you also have some responsibilities. We expect you to keep in touch with your mentors and regularly attend the events they organize. This project can only be a success if you raise your study-related problems and difficulties early enough, so that you can look for a solution alongside your mentors.

The mentoring programme team will be delighted if you make the most of what they offer, and attend their meetings and events. This is a great way to meet other members of the programme and to talk about life in Germany, and your studies in Jena. At the end of the semester, we expect you to let us know whether you still need mentoring.

What other support services are there?
  • Orientation Days at the start of every semester with general information on organizing your studies and introductions to your subject
  • FriedolinExternal link workshops and inquiry sessions to get to grips with the platform (creating timetable, course and exam registration; in the Help Centre, you can find video guides, too)
  • Subject-specific advice in every field of study
  • Departmental student representative committee (Fachschaftsrat)
  • Tutorials in your field of study
  • Other services de

It is possible to register for subject-related mentoring in each stage of your studies .

Please use our student registration platform to register for the summer semester (preferably between early March and late April) or the winter semester (between early August and late October). Before we will assign academic mentors to you, you have to attend the information event (late April or October) which is compulsory for first-semester students. At this event, we will learn more about your right and duties.

If you realize you require mentoring during the lecture period (from late October to February and from late April to July), please send us an email to with the following details:

  • first name, surname, matriculation number
  • subject, semester
  • areas in which you need some help (how exactly should the academic mentor support you?)

We will then contact you as soon as possible if we have any questions or if we begin looking for suitable mentors for you.

Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee this support because we cannot always find suitable mentors.

What happens after registration?

Before academic mentors are assigned to you, you have to attend the information event (mid-April / late October) which is compulsory for first-semester students. At this event, we will let you know what you are entitled to and what is expected of you. You can find the exact date on our website. If you want to take part in the mentoring programme, you have to attend this event or an alternative meeting. If you cannot attend any of these events, please let us know by e-mail, so that we can think of an alternative solution.

After the information event, the coordination team will look for a student mentor and academic mentor from your field of study. Once these have been found, all three of you will receive an allocation e-mail. Then you can connect with each another and organize your first meeting to discuss the next steps.
Sometimes we are unable to find either a student mentor or an academic mentor. If this is the case, support will be provided by one mentor. Both of you still receive an allocation e-mail. You should also arrange a first meet-up with this person to agree and schedule your future meetings.

How long can international students use the academic mentoring service provided by the International Office?

As long as you like, provided you are a student at our university. You do not have to participate in the academic mentoring service for the whole duration of your studies. Nevertheless, we recommend you to make a full use of it for at least one semester. If you no longer want to take part in the programme, please send us un e-mail:

How much does the support cost?

The academic mentoring service is free of charge for international students of our university.

Can I change mentors?

Yes. Generally, you can change mentors. Please send an e-mail to, briefly explaining why you would like to change mentors.

If this is possible, you will receive the contact details of your new student and/or academic mentor. We recommend you not to change mentors during the semester.

What should I do if I no longer need the help of the programme / my mentor(s)?

If you no longer need the mentoring programme, please send us e-mail to, so that we can assign your academic mentors to other international students. Please also let your mentors know that you no longer need their help in order to avoid any misunderstandings.

What happens if one or both of my mentors leave the programme?

If you have both, a student and academic mentor, and one of them leaves the programme, the remaining mentor still supports you. Depending on demand and availability, we will obviously try to replace any mentors who leave the programme. However, please understand that we may not always be able to do this (straight away).

If both mentors leave the programme, we will try to find a replacement as quickly as possible.

If your mentors leave the programme and you realize you no longer require support, please send us e-mail to, so that we can remove you from the list of participants.

Information events

Please contact us via email for more information (our information event will be held in German). During our office hours, we will let you know what is expected of you as a mentee and what you are entitled to.


Internationales Centrum, Haus auf der Mauer
Johannisplatz 26
07743 Jena
Opening hours:
siehe Hinweise unten
Postal address:
Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
Internationales Büro
Fürstengraben 1
07743 Jena

The office hours of the coordination office can be found on the website of the Team International Students.

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