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    International Students

    Transition from university to employment

    Have you successfully completed your studies in Baden-Württemberg or Germany? Are you close to completing your studies? Would you like to stay in the Heilbronn-Franken region and find a suitable job here? We want to give you some tips and suggestions that can help you with your transition from university into the local labor market.

    Note: This page is intended for people who are studying at the moment or have studied in Baden-Württemberg or Germany before. For those who are interested in studying in the Heilbronn-Franken region, further information is available on our website regarding training and further education.

    Funding

    For the time while you are studying or the time between studying and finding a job, there are several options to finance yourself:

    • Having a side job while studying is allowed to the extent of 120 full or 240 half days per year. No special authorization has to be requested from the local foreigners' registration office (Ausländerbehörde). If you wish to work more or work on a fee basis, your local foreigners' registration office must agree in advance. If you have completed your studies and have a visa for searching a job in Germany, you can work a side job without restrictions. However, a job that qualifies you to obtain a residence permit requires some prerequisites. You will find more information below.
    BAföG (a grant offered by the government) is generally awarded to foreign students who have a permanent residence permit or a residence permit with a high prospect of remaining in Germany permanently. Recognized refugees can receive BAföG or an education loan. If you have a temporary permission to stay in Germany (Duldung), you can apply for BAföG after 15 months. Whether you are entitled to receive BAföG depends mainly on your personal assets, as well as your income and that of your parents. A further possibility for being eligible to receive BAföG exists, if you or at least one parent has worked in Germany for three to twelve years before the beginning of your studies. Generally, the age limit for being eligible to receive BAföG is 30 years. In exceptional cases, however, older students can also be supported. If you have any questions concerning BAföG, please contact the BAföG-Advisory Service of the Studentenwerk that is responsible for your university. The Studentenwerk Heidelberg is responsible for the universities of the Heilbronn-Franken region.
    • Furthermore, various scholarships for different target groups exist. A first overview is provided by the scholarship database of the German Academic Exchange Service. More options are the education servers of the Federal Government and the States. Political foundations (such as the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, and the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung) or denominational foundations might be of interest as well.

    Suggestion! It is important to look for a scholarship and apply for it at an early stage, as there are often deadlines, not to mention the selection process which can take several months.

    German Language

    Frequently, international students lack sufficient German language skills for a smooth transition from study to work. This is especially the case after completing an (international) study program completely in English. Therefore, if you already have the opportunity to attend German courses at the university, use them. Without good German language skills it can be difficult to find adequate employment.

    Suggestion! Please also check with your university whether special intensive German courses are offered during the semester breaks.

    One possibility could be to take an integration course. International students and graduates are not entitled to a place in an integration course, but they can apply for admission at the regional office of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF). The form can be found here. In integration courses, you can reach up to level B1. With admission to the integration course, the price becomes lower. You can also participate in the integration course without the admission from the BAMF, in this case with a higher participation fee.

    Further tips on learning German can also be found here.

    Job Search

    After successful completion of your studies, any non-self-employed activity can be pursued for 18 months (Aufenthaltsgesetz section 16 (4)). In order to be able to start/continue working in Germany after studying, there must be a financial guarantee for the full period of time the job search is taking. This can be provided by a blocked account, an income through employment or a declaration of commitment. For more detailed information on the prerequisites, an early contact with the local foreigners' registration office is recommended so that the required documents can be collected.

    After successful completion of studies in Germany, international students can take up a job in Germany. There are no restrictions on the job search for citizens from the European Union. For alumni from third countries, the prerequisite for taking up a job is an appropriate employment for one's professional qualification. The decision whether or not a job is appropriate is being made by the local foreigners' registration office. If there are uncertainties, the foreigners' registration office can ask for an opinion in a so-called 'internal procedure' from the Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit). They are mainly concerned with the contents of your study program and whether they match the tasks you will be required to fulfil at the workplace. Whether the position is a temporary or part-time employment (at least 15 hours a week) is of no relevance for the decision- making. If you have any further questions, you can also contact your local foreigners' registration office directly. In addition, here you can find an overview of the team at the Federal Employment Agency that is responsible for you (link available only in German).

    Suggestion! Temporary jobs can already be used as a good opportunity to present yourself to a company and possibly get a long-term job there. Furthermore, you gain important experience concerning working in Germany and the German working culture.

    Offers of support and further education opportunities

    The Baden-Württemberg IQ network offers training possibilities for engineers, architects, most IT-professions, economists, social- and educational scientists. You can apply for these measures if you wish to continue targeted further training after your studies. Within the framework of the IQ network, another project - Interprof-Tech - offers intensive training opportunities for graduates of the MINT subjects (mathematics, computer science, natural sciences and technology). The prerequisite for applying for this special program is that you have at least one academic degree from abroad.

    The local Employment Agency is a good point of contact for all questions concerning job search and professional development. Even if you are not entitled to unemployment benefits, you can report to the local Employment Agency and receive support for your job search. You can register online at the job platform. Afterwards the employees of the agency will send you a letter with an appointment. There are also employees who speak English.

    Suggestion! The local Employment Agency is an important and competent contact that can offer a wide range of further training possibilities and advisory services. There are special offers for migrants in most local Employment Agencies.

    Start-Up Consultancy

    If you want to become self-employed after graduating, there are many aspects to consider and you should have a well-elaborated plan. Information on the legal framework, especially for migrants, is provided by the IQ network on the website wir-gruenden-in-deutschland. The 'founder portal' of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy also provides a good general overview. If you need practical advice for your project, you can get support from start-up advisory offices in the region Heilbronn-Franken. Examples include the Venture Forum Neckar (if your central point of living is in Heilbronn /or if your idea is technology-related) as well as the 'start-up shop' Heilbronn-Franken, which is conducted mainly online.

    Suggestion! Especially your own university can be a useful point of contact. Many higher education institutions have established initiatives to support start-ups.

     
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