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Berufsbrücke© Goethe-Institut

Career Bridge

The Berufsbrücke (Career Bridge) is a unique opportunity for motivated U.S. community college students. The goal of the program is to build a bridge between talented trade students and the German language and vocational system. The job-related skills and knowledge acquired through the Career Bridge set participants up for success in today's global and multicultural marketplace.

About the program

Through the program students will learn German language skills to be able to communicate comfortably in a work-related context. Additionally, they will develop career specific language competencies, European business etiquette, and develop a foundation for effective intercultural communication​. Currently the program focuses on engineering, with the aim to expand to additional career fields in future iterations. Partnered with a German ‘buddy’, participants will gain practical insights into vocational training at different companies in Germany. The Career Bridge accompanies you in the U.S. and in Germany with professional and personal preparation with support from our partners and the Goethe-Institut!

Participant profile

Trademarks of successful applicants:

  • They are enrolled in a community college or in their high school senior year
  • They want to learn about vocational training and workplaces in Germany and show interest in engineering
  • They are keen to learn the German language and master speaking German in the workplace
  • They are willing and able to dedicate 9-15 hours a week for a total of 15 weeks of intense language training in 2023 (language courses are entirely free of cost thanks to stipends from the Goethe-Institut)
  • Age requirement: Born in or before the year 2006 (at least 18 years old at time of travel in 2024)

Program and Application

The Career Bridge not only shows parallels and differences between trade and vocational training in Germany and the USA, but also teaches German as a foreign language in a professional setting. Its modular structure allows participants to begin with the module that matches their existing German language proficiency. Proficiency is determined once by the Goethe-Institut upon receipt of application, but falls into one of two categories: Participants with little to no prior knowledge of German, and participants with German proficiency on the A1 level. 

A1 LEVEL: Oktober 2023
Language Course General language A1 Superintensive Online Course (5 weeks, Mon-Fri, 100 teaching units (TU)) on the Goethe-Institut learning platform; this course is taught by a teacher and contains virtual live meetings. 
Goal A1 language proficiency
Participants are prepared for daily life and work in Germany
Costs Free of cost thanks to Goethe-Institut stipends
A2 LEVEL: approx. November - December 2023
Language Course Phase 1 Professional German 1, A2.1: 5 weeks x 16 TU (80 TU)
Phase 2 Professional German 2, A2.2/A2.3: 5 weeks x 15 TU (60 TU)

A2 online language course (5 weeks each, 140 TU total) on the Goethe-Institut learning platform; this course is taught by a teacher and contains virtual live meetings. 
Goal A2 language proficiency
Participants expand their German language proficiency to include professional and technical terminology
Costs Free of cost thanks to Goethe-Institut stipends
A2 LEVEL: Spring 2024 (depends on funding, announced 2024)
Trip to Germany
  • Approx. 3-week long stay in Germany in the regions of Berlin 
  • Insights and immersive experiences into the processes and pro-cedures of German companies
  • Accommodation will be in dormitories and organized by the German Career Bridge Partners
  • Meet the 'German buddies' in their companies
Goal Participants can understand and hold conversations in the workplace, including technical terminology, in the German language. They can expand their technical know-how and learn about the routines and processes in Germany
Costs To be determined - generous stipends that cover almost all costs will be given to program participants thanks to the Goethe-Institut and our partners Handwerk stiftet Zukunft

Apply by September 24, 2023!


Career Bridge Program
Goethe-Institut Washington

Key Visual Berufsbruecke / © Goethe-Institut


Logo HandWerk stiftet Zukunft © HandWerk stiftet Zukunft

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