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Finding Out What You Want with the Foundation Year at Jacobs University

The International Foundation Year Program introduces students to academic life and prepares them for international study (Source: Jacobs University).


March 31, 2022

History? Economics? Or maybe something completely different? "I simply didn't know what I wanted to study. I could imagine many things," Elias Bosch recalls. He decided to take the International Foundation Year at English-speaking Jacobs University in Bremen, for a two-semester orientation program. "To find my own way, it was insanely helpful," Elias says. Today, the 21-year-old is about to graduate with a Bachelor's Degree in International Relations: Politics and History.

Elias was 17 years old when he graduated from high school in Bavaria in 2018 after twelve years of school. He wanted to pursue university studies, that much was clear - but what exactly? "I just wasn't ready to make a decision yet. With the Foundation Year Program, you can try things out and have the time to explore what you really want. And yet you have a plan for an entire year without already having to commit to three years of study," he says, explaining his choice at the time.

The Foundation Year Program was just the first stepping stone on a path to further successes for Elias Bosch, student at Jacobs University Bremen (Source: Jacobs University).

The International Foundation Year introduces students to academic life and prepares them for international study. It consists of mandatory introductory courses in which participants gain insight into various subjects and are familiarized with methods of scientific work. In addition, depending on their interests, they can choose their own modules from subjects in the natural sciences, economics, or social sciences, and participate in courses taught by bachelor students.

When he was completing the Foundation Year, Elias' class consisted of more than 60 students. He was one of seven Germans, sharing his room with a fellow student from India. "I met totally impressive and motivating people from all over the world. For me, it was a very valuable time. Afterwards, I was sure of what I wanted and also more motivated," mentioned Elias.

Elias stayed at Jacobs University to study International Relations: Politics and History, and had the opportunity to complement his studies with a variety of practical and extracurricular activities: A semester abroad took him to Sciences Po in France last year, he also completed an internship at a social enterprise in Amsterdam that worked on land certification for small farmers in Ghana, and one at the Berghof Foundation in Berlin. He became involved in events on campus: as the main organizer of the Jacobs Startup Competition, in Student Government, the Badminton Club, and was even one of the founders of the student consultancy Jacobs University Student Consulting.

Now it is time for Elias to set course again. In the summer, he will have completed his bachelor’s degree at Jacobs University. What is in the cards for him now? This decision is easier for him this time than it was four years ago. He knows exactly what he wants to pursue, and that is a great feeling. He is interested in international development cooperation, and wants to contribute to a better, fairer world. He has applied for relevant master's programs at Sciences Po in France and the London School of Economics in England.

Applications for the International Foundation Year are open until August 1st for EU applicants and applicants without a visa requirement. For applicants requiring a visa, the deadline is June 15th.

More information about the International Foundation Year: