This section contains answers to some of the questions we are frequently asked about our assignment preparation courses.

Relocating to a partner country is an everyday occurrence in the field of international cooperation. Many colleagues choose to travel abroad with their partner and family.

The experts who undertake these assignments are using their specialist expertise and abilities in a highly responsible role. Our ‘Preparing for an assignment abroad’ courses allow them to strengthen and develop their existing skills before they travel.

What exactly does the term ‘preparation’ mean in this context?

International cooperation experts and managers need to regularly develop their skills and acquire new ones to enable them to fulfil their role effectively.

Our modular courses can be combined as required to meet individual needs. We offer intensive language training in over 70 national languages and a wide range of non-language courses. Most of our courses are available in English as well as German. Our training portfolio covers the following areas:

  • Diversity Competence, Country Analysis and Agenda 2030
  • Language and communication
  • Personal security and dealing with stress and trauma
  • Project management and advice
  • Digital literacy
  • Development policy
  • Supported learning (subjects chosen by the participant)
  • Partner and family

Over half of all assignments abroad end prematurely because the accompanying partner has not been actively involved in the secondment process. While assignment preparation is, of course, vital for experts and managers, nearly all our courses are also open to accompanying partners, so that they can be fully engaged.

What is the idea behind ‘networking’?

Sharing and networking with colleagues – both within and outside your own organisation and specialist field – is a major feature of our courses.

During your assignment preparation, you will have many opportunities to share experiences and views with other people working in international cooperation. Our participants come from a range of German development cooperation organisations, so you will be meeting people with a wide variety of backgrounds and experience.

Once you have registered for a course, you will be able to use our SQ Portal, an online community that brings together those who are about to undertake an assignment abroad and those who are already abroad. As well as information on courses and other complementary learning opportunities at the Academy, the SQ Portal is a great place to find advice and support from colleagues.

There are plenty of comfortable seating areas, including a bar and a cosy lounge with an open fire, where you can meet up for a chat with colleagues. Or, if you feel the need for exercise after an intensive day of assignment preparation, make up a team and try out your nine-pin bowling skills or head out for a walk in the surrounding Kottenforst.

What ongoing support is available?

We see preparation for assignments abroad as a learning process that begins at the Academy but continues in the partner country. Follow-up consultations are just one of the additional services that we offer for BMZ-funded participants. For some of our preparation courses, we can arrange a series of follow-up consultations with your trainer to provide ongoing support during your assignment.

We have also set up a virtual platform called the SQ Portal to facilitate informal learning and provide links to other virtual media. We make every effort to support course participants before, during and after their training – and that support will remain available well into your assignment, wherever you are.

What other services do you provide?

The Academy’s Media and Information Centre offers plenty of study space and reference material so that you can conduct further research of your own. As well as books and periodicals, you will find maps, music, films, course-specific learning materials and entire learning programmes. Much of the material is available online. You can also submit research requests.

At our interactive learning stations, you can sharpen your focus, consider other points of view and develop a clearer understanding of how systems relate to each other.

What languages are your training courses held in?

As well as German, many of our courses are available in English. On request, we can also offer training in other languages, such as French, Portuguese and Spanish. More information is available in the online description of each course.

We also offer language-learning courses for over 80 national languages.

When and where are the courses held?

Our courses are held at Campus Kottenforst in Bonn-Röttgen. You can find out more about our new training site here.

The modular structure of our courses means that we can put together a tailored programme that meets your specific needs. Many of our courses run several times a month. Provided that the specified course dates are free, you may choose to complete the training all at once or over several visits.

For more information about course dates, see the individual course description or the list of course dates.