Qualification and networking

Working Internationally

As part of its “Internationalization of Administration” Excellence project, the University of Bonn is helping employees to gain international skills and expertise through Erasmus Staff Mobility, (virtual) staff exchanges and language training.

Honing employees’ international expertise

International exchange and intercultural training brings a wide range of benefits to the University of Bonn and its employees. Besides specialist knowledge, it also improves and consolidates their fundamental intercultural and foreign-language skills to make them even better placed to meet the needs of international researchers and students in the future and gain further qualifications for themselves. In addition, exchanges generally strengthen the administrative ties between the University of Bonn and its partner universities. Among other things, therefore, international exchange promotes networking at both an institutional and a personal level.

This kind of exchange can take many forms: work shadowing at a host institution elsewhere in Europe, taking part in a staff week or an English course abroad, or virtually by joining one of our “Virtual Staff Exchange” workshops.

© Colourbox.com


Erasmus grants for staff since the program began


Most popular destination countries

Gaining experience abroad with Erasmus+

Work shadowing, staff week or English course

Erasmus Staff Mobility gives employees the opportunity to shadow colleagues for one to two weeks at a university or other host institution in Europe. This allows them to familiarize themselves with administrative processes and issues relevant to their own area of work in a different country and a different higher-education system and get some ideas that they can apply to their own job back home. Another option is to take part in an international staff week at another European university or in one of our language courses held abroad, either at the University of St Andrews or Dorset College in Dublin.

Staff can find information on available funding, target groups, application deadlines and other topics on the internal system.

© DAAD/ Oliver-Reetz

Eine Wissenschaftlerin und ein Wissenschaftler arbeiten hinter einer Glasfassade und mischen Chemikalien mit Großgeräten.
© Universität Bonn/ Gregor Hübl

International Staff Week at the University of Bonn

The University of Bonn sees internationalization and excellence as a cross-sectional task in which all members of the university are involved. The implementation of International Staff Weeks at the University of Bonn plays a prominent role in the international qualification of administrative staff and networking with partner universities at the administrative level.

At our Staff Weeks, employees from our partner universities can get to know the University of Bonn, exchange ideas with Bonn colleagues about current university-related topics and sit in on comparable work areas. These weeks are also a good opportunity for employees of the University of Bonn to network with colleagues from all over the world as part of the “Internationalization at Home” measure, even if they are unable to take part in other staff mobility offers, for example due to family commitments.

Each Staff Week works on a selected and current topic that is worked on together with the international colleagues. The last International Staff Week was dedicated to the topic of services for students and staff and took place in May 2024.

“Working in a Diverse Environment”

In our first Staff Week in May 2022, we engaged in an exciting week-long intercultural exchange with colleagues from partner universities from all over the world under the title "Working in a Diverse Environment" about what working in a diverse environment means, in order to learn from one another. Among other topics, the following questions were discussed: What is the understanding of diversity in different countries and universities? What opportunities and challenges does working in diverse teams bring with it? What mindset is needed for more diversity in our administrations?

International Staff Week Mai 2022 (© 2022 Uni Bonn / uni-bonn.tv / GCP-Medien, Gunar Peters)

Virtual Staff Exchange

International networking can also thrive online

Engaging directly in dialogue with colleagues from partner universities is key. And, in these times of ever-increasing digitalization, this can also be done virtually. It promotes an intercultural awareness of partners’ working cultures and encourages networking among universities and their employees. In our Virtual Staff Exchange event format, a professional trainer teaches local culture and brings University of Bonn employees together with colleagues from selected partner universities for a half-day workshop run in an online conferencing tool.

Staff who are interested will find further information on the internal system.

Virtual Staff Exchange (© Universität Bonn)

© Unsplash.com

Language training

As an international research university, we promote our employees’ language skills. Whether they are looking for language courses at home and abroad, teach-yourself tips or our Central Translation Service, we have put together a treasure trove of useful information for staff.

Good Practice at the University of Bonn

Our Virtual Staff Exchange format was presented as a good practice in the German Rectors’ Conference expertise series “human recourse development for the internationalization of administration”.

Improving your intercultural skills

Certificate of Intercultural Competence for employees—a collaboration between Human Resource Development and the International Office.

Certificate of Intercultural Competence

The University of Bonn gives its employees the opportunity to study for a Certificate of Intercultural Competence, which is made up of three elements:

  • International further training
  • International exchange
  • Foreign language competence

Contact your colleagues in Human Resource Development to find out more and register for the certificate.

Intercultural training

Intercultural training is both a compulsory component of Erasmus+ Staff Mobility and one of the three elements of the Certificate of Intercultural Competence for employees. After all, spending time abroad is not in itself a guarantee that you will acquire any international skills. Only once you actively reflect on your experiences will you begin a process of personal development and learning.

The interactive intercultural training course teaches you theory that you can then put into practice straight away. Although the training is designed to prepare employees for a stay abroad, it is recommended for all members of staff, especially since intercultural communication is now a key skill for anyone working in an international environment like the University of Bonn. Staff who are not planning a stay abroad are therefore also welcome to take part in the training. You will need to register with Human Resource Development. Participation in one of our Virtual Staff Exchanges will count toward the corresponding elements of the certificate.

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Avatar Konermann-Krüger

Bärbel Konermann-Krüger

International Office, Erasmus+ Staff Mobility


Poppelsdorfer Allee 53

53115 Bonn (Germany)

Avatar Brandt

Susanne Brandt

Human Resource Development, administrative and technical staff

Poppelsdorfer Allee 31-33

53115 Bonn

The basis for the participation of the University of Bonn in the Erasmus program is the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education.

© EU

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. The contents of this publication reflect only the views of the author; the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use made of the information which it contains.

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