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European Secretary - Vocational training in Heidelberg

European Secretary (m/f) full-time training programme - an attractive alternative to university

  • 2020 programme start: 14.09.2020

Job profile: European Secretary

European Secretaries are the interface between nationally and internationally active companies in different business sectors, for example for manufacturing, commercial or service sector companies, or for international companies and authorities with overseas contacts. They produce business correspondence and translations in a number of languages, have a sure instinct for interaction with other cultures and speak with international customers on the telephone. European Secretaries’ language skills are complemented by administrative and organisational competence, which makes them a valuable all-rounder in the office setting. They also prepare presentations and organise conferences and business trips.
Detailed information on this programme can be found in our Foreign Language Professions brochure, available for download here.

Frequently asked questions:

What are the admission criteria for the European Secretary training programme?

You need enthusiasm for learning foreign languages and an interest in business topics. In addition, you should take an interest in other cultures and enjoy contact with people in an international setting. You also need motivation and a capacity for self-organisation.
Admission to the European Secretary programme requires demonstration of good English skills (minimum B1 level). In general, the Abitur and Mittlere Reife are accepted without the need for additional language certificates. Furthermore, all internationally recognised language certificates (TOEFL®, TOEIC®, TELC) are accepted. These examinations can be taken at the school. Please note that we only accept certificates that are less than two years old. This also applies to school certificates.
Previous knowledge of French and Spanish is desirable, although not essential.

  • Summer semester (March): Programme start for learners without previous knowledge. Language combinations: English, French and Spanish.
  • Winter semester (September): Programme start for beginners with and without previous knowledge. The programme is divided into two learning groups.
What will I learn on the European Secretary programme?

You receive intensive training in international commercial correspondence, in spoken communication and in translation skills. You will be taught by experienced and enthusiastic native speakers. Regional Studies is also a key subject, as only with comprehensive knowledge of culture, politics, geography and the mentality of the respective country is it possible to produce meaningful translations. The IT module teaches current application software such as MS Office and the production of business correspondence. In Office Organisation, teachers prepare students for the broad variety of tasks in the office. Grounding in the principles of Business Administration, International Trade and Marketing rounds off the European Secretary training programme.

How long is the programme?

The programme lasts four semesters (two years) and comprises the languages English, French and Spanish. It is complemented with modules in Business Administration, Marketing, Accounting, International Trade, Regional Studies, Commercial Correspondence, IT, Writing Skills, Office Organisation and Social Studies.

What qualification will I receive on completion of the European Secretary programme?

Option 1: IHK certified European Secretary: The examination is taken at the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK).
Option 2: State recognised European Secretary: The examination is taken at the school before a board of state examiners.

Can I use an education voucher for the European Secretary training programme?

Yes! The European Secretary training programme is certified and therefore eligible for funding through Employment Agency education vouchers. There is no regional restriction on the validity of the voucher. You can apply for an educational voucher anywhere in the country and start the course at our school. The voucher is only valid for three months from the date of issue.

What are the differences between the Foreign Language Correspondence Clerk, European Secretary and Multilingual Correspondence Clerk training programmes?

These training programmes are broadly similar. The curriculum is based on a combination of language instruction with Regional Studies, Tra

nslation, Commercial Correspondence and business-orientated subjects such as Business Administration, Writing Skills, Office Organisation and IT. The single – but significant – difference concerns the number and combination of foreign languages and the examination subjects.

Trainee Foreign Language Correspondents are able to take one, two or three languages. English is mandatory for all programmes; otherwise, students can choose from any of the foreign languages offered by F+U. By contrast, the professional title ‘European Secretary’ can only be used in connection with the combination of English, Spanish and French. Furthermore, the Writing Skills examination requires a specified rate of keystrokes. The Multilingual Correspondence Clerk training programme is an extension of the European Secretary programme: in addition to the three mandatory languages, a fourth language is selected from the range offered by F+U.

Both the number of learning hours per week and the overall duration of the programme naturally depend on the number of foreign languages: Single language Foreign Language Correspondence Clerks train for 1 year; for two languages, provided the combination is formed from English with either Spanish or French, the programme is completed in 1.5 years. All other combinations, as well as the European Secretary and Multilingual Correspondence Clerk programmes last 2 years.

The examination subjects also differ. Foreign Language Correspondence Clerks are examined in their respective foreign languages plus Office Organisation. European Secretaries and therefore also Multilingual Correspondence Clerks are additionally examined in Business and Writing Skills.
A further difference concerns the range of difference qualifications and examinations for the various languages. Currently, state recognition exists for English, Spanish, French, Japanese, Chinese and Russian. In addition, English, Spanish, French, Italian, Polish and Portuguese can be examined by the IHK. It is also possible to gain F+U certification for all available languages. As an international test centre, F+U also offers several other language examinations. For example, the TRKI is recommended for Russian, the HSK for Chinese and the JLPT for Japanese.
The programme starting dates for the various languages also differ. For English, Spanish, French, Japanese, Chinese and Russian we offer admission in March in addition to the standard September starting date. Furthermore, only these state recognised languages are eligible for BAföG.

See also:


Taster day at F+U Heidelberg – European Secretary

You are welcome to experience for yourself a typical day’s learning by coming along to an open day! Lessons begin at 8 am and, depending on the language combination, end by 6 pm at the latest. Just send an email indicating your preferred language combination to languages@fuu.de and arrange an appointment.



See also: Foreign Language Correspondence Clerk - European Secretary - Multilingual Correspondence Clerk - Translator / Interpreter






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