Soft Skills


Supplementary qualifications or "soft skills", in addition to professional qualifications, play a very important role in professional life. These competences are thoroughly examined during professional interviews and not infrequently the decisive factor for further professional development.

In the course of a career, these acquired "soft skills" are indispensable and are assumed to be self-evident in practice. That is why we not only offer our students a comprehensive and well-founded professional training, but also allow them a multitude of additional qualifications. In the course of the Master's degree at the Europa-Institut, it is thus possible to optimize their own abilities individually and acquire further skills.

Whether in order to begin learning a language or to deepen existing knowledge, the Europa-Institut offers language courses in German and French, for different language levels.

Mooting is undertaken on a regular basis and allows students to gain a practical insight into the work of the Court of Justice of the European Union and the arbitration proceedings of the WTO. Moot courts thus enable our students to convert theoretic knowledge into practice in realistic scenarios. The European Law Moot Court is held, true to form, at the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg, whilst the WTO Moot Court takes place in Frauenchiemsee. Fictitious cases are negotiated, requiring students to simulate the roles of the different parties involved. As such, their tasks include preparing their written submissions and briefs, presenting their arguments orally and spontaneously defending their position, under realistic circumstances and pressures.

The Europa-Institut organizes, in cooperation with a consortium of American and European universities, an annual simulation of European decision-making processes (EUROSIM). The simulation presents a special opportunity for our students to put their theoretic knowledge to the test. During the simulation, which is conducted in English and takes place alternately in the United States and in Europe, students take on the role of European decision-makers and are required to come to a resolution on the particular subject in question by the end of the convention. EUROSIM also always offers a variety of extracurricular activities such as city tours, trips, dinners etc

In order for students to improve their rhetorical skills, the Europa-Institut offers communication skills courses each semester. They are conducted by an experienced communications and language consultant. The students' communication skills are tested under realistic (pressure) situations, recorded (inter alia with help of state-of-the-art camera equipment), and then analyzed in order to identify strengths and eliminate weaknesses. The focal points of the training are:

  • the function of speech;
  • Communication styles and meta-communication;
  • Communication in conflict situations;
  • Control and use of body language;
  • Rhetoric in conversation, discussions and speech;
  • Speech techniques, breathing and voice control;
  • Rhetorical style tips and other aids for conversation, discussions and speech;
  • Rules and use of dialectics in conversation, discussions and speech.

In order to give students the opportunity of practicing their advocacy skills and improving their style, the Europa-Institut offers advocacy practice in conjunction with mooting activities, each semester. Students are coached and supported by lecturers and research staff. They practice presenting their arguments and learn to give tactical thought to their approach and presentation of arguments. Not only are they prepared for giving closing speeches in front of a court of justice, they are also prepared for cross-examination of the opposing party.

This seminar offers students the opportunity to acquaint themselves with a broad range of parameters that play a fundamental role in international negotiations. Strategy and tactics, the different phases of a negotiation, ideal conduct during negotiations and how to chair negotiations, are amongst the issues that will be examined during the seminar. Students are given the opportunity to apply relevant tools and techniques directly by means of simulations and group work.

The ability to present oneself successfully during a job interview is just as fundamental as good grades or an impressive personal portfolio. The Europa-Institut does its best to support its students in taking the step from student to professional life. The Careers Service of the Institute provides students with help with drafting applications (whether these consist of online forms or of cover letters and CVs), offers individual counseling and can organize simulated practice interviews.

Each year, 2015 EVER, in cooperation with euphorum, prepares the students from the Europa-Institut for an ongoing AD open competition of the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO). EPSO, which is in charge of selecting staff to work for the institutions and agencies of the European Union, is generally looking for administrators who are typically engaged in drafting policies and implementing EU law, analysing and advising one of the EU institutions.

In 2016 more than 30,000 people applied Europe-wide for the yearly AD-generalists open competition. In order to increase the chances of the students of the Europa-Institut to pass the first phase of that highly competitive selection process, during a one day workshop the students trained to successfully take all the computer based tests.

Excursions


Saarbrücken is located in the border triangle of France, Luxembourg and Germany. Its geographical location makes the Europa-Institut an optimal starting point for the organization of trips to cities of European significance and to important European institutions, where theoretical knowlege can be put into practice.

Each year, the Europa-Institut organizes excursions to important European and international institutions in order to experience theory in practice.