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Foreign Language Correspondence Clerk - Vocational training in Heidelberg

Foreign Language Correspondence Clerk (m/f) full-time training programme – an attractive alternative to university

  • 2019 programme start: 09.09.2019
  • 2020 programme start: 07.02.2020

Job profile: Foreign Language Correspondence Clerk

Foreign Language Correspondence Clerks work primarily for internationally orientated companies in various business areas within the manufacturing, commerce or service sector. They are also employed by international companies and authorities with overseas contacts. Foreign Language Correspondence Clerks work independently on specialist, foreign-language business correspondence and produce translations that are both linguistically accurate and professionally appropriate. They write business letters from dictation or from key terms in accordance with the formal standards of the country in which the respective language is spoken. They also communicate by telephone in the respective foreign language and interpret during business negotiations and meetings.

Detailed information on this programme can be found in our Foreign Language Professions brochure, available for download here.

[Programme and examination fees]

Frequently asked questions (FAQs):

What are the admission criteria for the Foreign Language Correspondence Clerk training programme?

Prerequisites include 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. The Mittlere Reife certificate is desirable, but you can also enrol onto the programme with a vocational training qualification or with relevant professional experience. You should be able to demonstrate English skills at a minimum of B1 (European Framework of Reference). We accept all internationally recognised language certificates (TOEFL®, TOEIC®, TELC), as well as the Mittlere Reife or the Abitur. Certificates must be less than two years old at the start of the programme. This also applies to school certificates. Alternatively, you can take an entrance test here at the school. Please note that the online English test on our website is not sufficient for this purpose. No previous knowledge is required for the other foreign languages.

  • Summer semester (March): Programme start for learners without previous knowledge. Language combinations: English, French, Spanish and Japanese.
  • Winter semester (September): Course start for the following language combinations: English, French, Spanish, Japanese*, Chinese*, Russian* or Italian. Programme start for beginners with and without previous knowledge. The course is divided into two learning groups.

*The following foreign language options are state recognised: English, French, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese and Russian.

Which languages and combinations are available on the Foreign Language Correspondence Clerk programme?

The Foreign Language Correspondence Clerk training programme consists of two or three languages. English is mandatory as the first foreign language and is complemented by Spanish, French, Japanese, Russian, Italian, Polish, Turkish, Chinese or Arabic. In addition, we offer value-for-money periods abroad in our European and worldwide branches, for example in Tenerife, Spain, as well as concessions on evening courses.

What will I learn on the Foreign Language Correspondence Clerk 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 the 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 Foreign Language Correspondence Clerk training programme.

What qualification will I receive on completion of the Foreign Language Correspondence Clerk programme?

Option 1: State recognised Foreign Language Correspondence Clerk: The examination is taken at the school before a board of state examiners. The state-recognised examination is available for the following certified foreign languages: English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese and Russian*.
Option 2: IHK certified Foreign Language Correspondence Clerk: The examination is taken at the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK). The IHK examination is available in the following languages: English, French, Spanish, Italian and Polish. Further language examinations are also offered by the respective IHK.
*Only the IHK examination is available for Italian and Polish. Additional foreign language examinations can be requested from the respective IHK.

During the course of your regular lessons, we prepare you for the internationally recognised examinations offered by the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC), The European Language Certificates (TELC; English, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, German as a Foreign Language), the Diplôme d’Etudes en Langue Française (DELF) and the Diplôme Approfondi de Langue Française (DALF). You can take these examinations at the school’s test centre. The Russian language Testy po russkomu jazyku kak inostrannomu (TRKI) can be taken at the University of Heidelberg’s Slavic Institute. The Chinese language examination Hanyu shuiping kaoshi (HSK) is held at the Heidelberg Confucius Institute. Furthermore, you can demonstrate your IT skills by gaining the European Computer Driving License (ECDL). All the examinations listed above are internationally recognised and highly regarded by potential employers.

Can I use an education voucher for the Foreign Language Correspondence Clerk training programme?

No. We don't accept education vouchers for this training.

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

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

Detailed information about the Foreign Language Correspondence Clerk training programme is available in the Foreign Language Professions information brochure (link above).

See also:

** State recognition applied for in 2012.


Taster day at F+U Heidelberg – Foreign Language Correspondence Clerk

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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