International students at Friedrich Schiller University Jena.

Supporting international students entering the world of work

University of Jena launches project to recruit and promote international talent
International students at Friedrich Schiller University Jena.
Image: Jan-Peter Kasper (University of Jena)
  • International Affairs

Published: | By: Sebastian Hollstein

The shortage of well-trained professionals is considered one of the greatest challenges facing the German economy and society. One solution to the problem is to recruit international talent. This is why the Friedrich Schiller University Jena has now launched a project together with the University of Applied Sciences (EAH) Jena to provide foreign students with an easier transition into the German labour market after graduation. The University is thereby participating in an initiative of the German Academic Exchange Service, which is supporting the project “Förderung internationaler Talente – Jena Lichtstadt” (“Promoting international talent – Jena, City of Light”) with 1.2 million euros over four and a half years.

"Firstly, the topic is very important in terms of economic policy and we see it as our duty to make our contribution," says Dr Claudia Hillinger, Head of the International Office and Career Point at the University of Jena. "Moreover, as a university, we have plenty of good reasons to attract international talent as students and to support them as they embark on their careers in Germany after graduation."

Successful graduates of Jena's universities are always ambassadors for Jena as an excellent centre of study and science, she adds. An attractive study programme, the start of a successful career and good job opportunities are essential. On the other hand, the aim is to work together with large corporations and small and medium-sized enterprises to develop ways to tackle the shortage of skilled professionals and strengthen Thuringia as a business location. "And last but not least, this is how we are shaping an open-minded Thuringia," says Claudia Hillinger.

"Promoting international talent is also a step towards strengthening competitiveness and innovation. Our project ‘Förderung internationaler Talente – Jena Lichtstadt’ focuses on the diverse potential that arises from intercultural exchange and helps to promote drive and creativity in science and business," adds Dr Danny von Nordheim, Head of the International Office at the EAH Jena.

Career Point supports students entering the world of work

In order to make it easier for Bachelor's and Master's students to enter the labour market, the International Office at the University of Jena has set up and developed the Career Point in recent years as a central resource for all questions relating to starting a career. Close cooperation with the Employment Agency, which both partners have recently intensified through a new cooperation agreement, underpins these efforts. As part of the new project, the University of Jena and the EAH Jena intend to further expand the initiatives within four modules, which extend over the entire qualification period of foreign students – not least by pooling their expertise.

Arriving, learning the language, networking

The project team wants to attract international talent and support them in preparing for their studies. Among other things, they want to intensify cooperation with the International Study Centre in Jena, which prepares applicants for their studies on site. Structured welcome days will then provide a good introduction to the degree programme.

Appropriate language skills are fundamental for all stages; before, during and after the degree programme – from  the basics to practice-oriented knowledge. With language tandems, short-term and intensive courses, the two universities offer an environment in which participants can get to know each other very well and thus support each other in all phases. A digital platform developed as part of the project is also intended to promote networking.

Studying and preparing for the labour market successfully

The initiative also includes programmes for successful studies. Participants in such courses train skills for academic work and develop their own study strategy. Promoting intercultural skills is also important in order to make arriving and integrating in Germany easier. Corresponding training courses are part of the package of measures designed to prepare students for the labour market towards the end of their studies. Once students have completed their studies or are about to graduate, the University of Jena offers counselling on career options and facilitates networking with business partners. Excursions to companies, discussions with potential employers, visits to trade fairs and innovative formats such as job speed dating help students to make contacts and find the right job.


Claudia Hillinger, Dr
Internationales Büro
Dr. Claudia Hillinger
Image: Jens Meyer (University of Jena)
Universitätshauptgebäude, Room 2.66
Fürstengraben 1
07743 Jena Google Maps site planExternal link