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Training for Mentoring

Mentoring Training

Mentoring Training
Image Credit: Career Service

Since the 2012/2013 winter semester, Freie Universität Berlin has been offering a mentoring program to support new students. Experienced students (mentors) support a group of mentees through their first two semesters, helping them to plan their studies, network with one another, and develop study and work strategies. Mentors at the departments receive intensive preparation for this role through the mentoring training activities offered by the Career Service.

The mentoring program is being funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) under its Qualitätspakt Lehre (Quality Pact for Teaching) initiative, as part of the “SUPPORT” project.

Who can participate?

Training for mentoring and tutoring is a certificate program that teaches skills in teaching at university level as well as methodological competencies. It is aimed at students at Freie Universität Berlin who:

  • wish to become active as student mentors within their departments
  • are interested in acquiring fundamental skills in teaching and advising at university level while they are students, e.g. for working as a tutor
  • wish to complete mentoring training as a module within the general professional skills (Allgemeine Berufsvorbereitung or ABV) study field.

What are the benefits?

Everything you learn during the training is something you can try out and further develop in practice during your activities as a mentor. But even if you wish to work as a tutor or become active in other teaching contexts, the skills imparted during this training are still valuable. Mentoring and tutoring training is also an excellent opportunity to prepare for important tasks during your professional life after you complete your study program.

What will you learn?

The training gives you a chance to work with others to develop and try out basic skills in teaching at university level, methodological know-how, and communication and advising strategies. You will learn how to do the following:

  • present content in an organized fashion and explain matters in a comprehensible manner
  • spark interest and motivate others
  • use methods and media productively
  • steer discussion processes efficiently, e.g. by asking good questions
  • deal with disruptions and issues within the group and in the case of individuals
  • plan mentoring sessions in terms of content and methodology

How is the training structured?

The training consists of one basic module comprising three one-day workshops totaling 24 hours. Optionally, students wishing to earn five credits in the ABV section / as “Schlüsselqualifikation” (Law) / “Wahlpflichtbereich” (VetMed) can sign up for a subject-related module at their respective department as well as for additional workshops at the Career Service. For the credits to be granted, mentors have to complete additional workshops with a minimum duration of 8 hours. Tutors do not complete a subject-related module but are required to complete additional workshops totaling 20 hours (2.5 days) in order to earn the credits.

The basic qualification, as well as most of the additional workshops, takes place during the period when classes are not in session (the Vorlesungsfreie Zeit), between July and October of each year. In case of tight schedules, additional workshops can also be held in the beginning of the following winter semester. You can find further information on the content of the individual workshops under “Gruppenleitung in Lehr-Lern-Kontexten” (Group Leading in Teaching-Learning contexts). Schedules for the next training cycle will be published here in the course of the respective summer semester.

The training program is designed to apply across disciplines. The specific content and design of mentoring sessions and programs varies from department to department. The specific mentoring representatives within the departments are responsible for these details.

What you receive from us in addition to training:

  • the opportunity to earn five general professional skills (ABV) credits for your training
  • certification of your participation in Training for Mentoring and Tutoring.


If you have questions regarding working as a mentor at your department and would like information on the requirements and how to apply, please contact your department’s mentoring representative(s).

Registration for the Training for mentoring and tutoring takes place online, via the Career Service website.

Further Information

Follow the links to our German website for further information on the training (in German):

SUPPORT - Qualitätspakt für die Lehre
BMBF - Qualitätspakt Lehre