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iStart Career Program for International Students

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Are you already thinking about your career plans once your studies are done? Looking for an internship or job in Germany while still studying? Would you like to start building your network of fellow international students and graduates that may prove invaluable down the road? — Our iStart project is an excellent way to get started with these goals now.

Preparing for Career Entry

The University of Bonn’s iStart program was created with the support of the DAAD’s “NRWege Leuchttürme” grant program. It seeks to prepare international students, including those with a refugee background, as effectively as possible for the German job market and career entry.

The iStart program focuses on concrete issues related to application procedures in Germany, ensuring that participants gain the essential skills needed to enter onto the job market. The ultimately goal of the program is to help you frame your career path successfully during and after your studies.

Participation in the program is free. The program is conducted in English.

The iStart program works closely with companies and institutions, organizations and alumni to bring students and future employees together with potential employers. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you are an employer or alumni interested in participating in one of this project’s various events or activities. This page offers detailed information on potential collaborations.

An Intensive Program of Support

During both winter and summer semesters, we offer a diverse program covering various topics related to career entry. These are broken down into three modules: 

  • Orientation: The first block provides information about the German job market. You will also create your own career profile through group and individual coaching sessions.
  • Networking: You’ll take part in gatherings of international graduates and local companies, providing a venue to make invaluable contacts for your future career entry.
  • Application: The events of the third block are dedicated to preparing you to apply for jobs. You’ll have the opportunities to sign up for individual consulting sessions dedicated to reviewing your application documents. 

Beyond this, you’ll receive access to videos and podcasts about the job world and to grammatical corrections of your application documents (in German and English). We’ve also arranged a special bonus for active participants: professional application photos!

Program for the winter semester 2020/21 (PDF)

Application

You are welcome to participate in our intensive program if you are:

  • a student at the University of Bonn,
  • come from outside Germany, and
  • are looking to prepare yourself for entry onto the job market.

To apply, log in to eCampus and follow this link.

Please note: Only a limited number of spots are available! Application for the summer semester 2021 is open until April 11, 2021. 

You’ll be informed about your acceptance into the program once the application deadline has passed. If you’d like to learn more, please join us for our info event on April 9, 2021!

Independent preparation

Our iStart program is intended to help all international students with the career entry process. We've gathered our various initiatives here to help you prepare for the job market on your own.

Our events

To help you prepare optimally on your own as well, the iStart program includes selected events open to all. This includes:

  • Webinars to help orient yourself on the German job market
  • Alumni networking gathers
  • Virtual company visits 
  • Application training

Registration for our events is conducted online. Simply log in to eCampus and follow this link

Our course brings together all available events, as well as explanatory videos and podcasts on the topic of careers and career entry for international students.  

Grammatical corrections for applications

Found your dream job and worked hard on your application, but can’t find anyone to help review and correct your documents? The iStart team is here to help! 

We invite you to upload your application documents, both in German and English, to eCampus. We’ll return your documents with our corrections within three working days. 

Access to our tool on eCampus

For data privacy reasons, your documents and emails with attached files are deleted as soon as the corrections are sent. We do not store your data or forward it to third parties.

Office hours

Please feel free to contact us with any general questions related to “Career entry in Germany” or our iStart program. Our regular office hours:

Mondays 12:00–1:00 pm
Wednesdays 12:00–1:00 pm

In light of the COVID-19 situation, our office hours are currently being conducted via Zoom. To receive the link, please book a Zoom appointment via eCampus.  

If you can’t reach anyone, then we’re currently advising another student. If that is the case, please simply hold the line or try to reach us another time. 

You can contact us as at any time by email:
[Email protection active, please enable JavaScript.] 

Links to job fairs

There are numerous portals with job offers. We've gathered a list of several of the biggest below:

All industries (for mid-career and entry-level professionals)

For entry-level professionals

For internships

For STEM professions

For humanities specialists

Jobs with startups

For Companies, Institutions and Organizations

Interested in expanding your international workforce? iStart can help. This page details the different ways in which you can contribute to the iStart project. 

There are two primary options: our internship placement program and our corporate breakfast-and-tour program. Each offers an unparalleled opportunity to speak directly to future graduates of the University of Bonn, drawing on our help as organizers who maintain constant contact with both you and the students.
 

Internship Placement

You can use our network to find suitable interns for your organization:
  • We’ll add your internship listing to our internship and volunteer position database.
  • Based on the criteria you specify, we’ll identify the right candidate from the applications we receive.
  • You in turn will be presented with an intern you can trust to do the job right. Should the candidate not fit for whatever reason, we’ll offer alternatives.
  • Throughout the internship, we’ll serve as a contact for both you and our intern.
 

Corporate Breakfast-and-Tour

Each semester, the iStart project arranges company breakfasts and other types of corporate visits, among many other events.
 
For you as a company, organization or institution, these events offer a tremendous chance to speak directly with future graduates — and hence potential employees. On the other side, these events provide our international students with a valuable opportunity to learn more about individual companies and begin building a network of contacts in the business world. The students also benefit from a “behind the scenes” view of your firm, learning more about various industries and what expectations await them at your company.
 

Contact us at any time at [Email protection active, please enable JavaScript.] to register with us or request additional information.

For Alumni

Are you a former international student at the University of Bonn? Learn more here about networking with international students and other alumni.
 

Options for Participation

Take part as a speaker, mentor or simply as an observer!
We arrange a variety of iStart events and activities each semester, including alumni networking meetings.
 
For international alumni and students, these offer a valuable opportunity to share insights about working, or looking for employment, in Germany. The students will look to you as an alumni for information about your own personal path onto the labor market, as well as for opportunities to build networks between alumni and students — while you gain a prime chance to burnish your contacts with the University of Bonn as a former student and support current students as they take their first steps toward a career.
 
Interested in taking part as a speaker or observer? Or would you prefer to support our students beyond network events as a mentor?
 

Contact us at any time at [Email protection active, please enable JavaScript.] to register with us or request additional information. We also invite you to join your alumni group network at the University of Bonn. 

Consulting and Contact

iStart Career Program
Contact Person: Kristina Khrul
Phone: +49 228 73-2419

Email: [Email protection active, please enable JavaScript.]

Office hours
Mon, Wed 12:00–1:00 pm
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