Being a diplomat is still a respected job
There are many requirements for a career as a diplomat. Where do we start In order to be eligible for the training and to go through the difficult selection process, you have to meet a few points. You must be German within the meaning of Art. 116 of the Basic Law, have a very good state of health, have completed a scientific university degree (at least a master’s degree or comparable) and, in the best case, should not exceed 32.
Experience abroad is also very important, because here you have already been able to develop intercultural skills and get an impression of how quickly you can find your way around a foreign country and whether a change of residence every three to five years is even an option for you. Your language skills go hand in hand with the international experience. Mastering your mother tongue, German, is not an issue. It is also mandatory that you have a perfect command of English and that you are also confident in French. Another or even several UN foreign languages such as Spanish, Arabic, Russian or Chinese are an enormous advantage and can also compensate for uncertainties in French at the beginning.
Further requirements for the diplomatic profession are suitability for the tasks of the higher foreign service and the approval of the implementation of an extended security check according to § 9 Security Checks Act (SÜG). When you have successfully mastered the 14-month training at the Foreign Service Academy in Berlin-Tegel, you can earn your money as a diplomat in one of the 230 representations abroad or directly at the headquarters in Berlin. It is also possible to do an internship at the Foreign Office in advance, but this does not guarantee that you will be accepted for the training. Nevertheless, internships, a social year or volunteering in aid organizations or European commissions are big pluses and can help you with your application.
In general, graduates from all disciplines are eligible for the profession of diplomat. There is no compulsory subject. It is noticeable, however, that predominantly graduates in law, politics, philosophy, economics, history, cultural studies, communication studies and sociology work as diplomats. And even if lawyers and economists are particularly sought after at the moment, you should definitely study something with which you will later become successful in another profession. Because you never have a guarantee that you will be accepted for the training.
If you decide to become a diplomat, you should be open to the world, be interested in other countries and cultures and be informed about political events in Germany and around the world. This also means that you read the newspaper every day and make the political connections clear to yourself. You always have to familiarize yourself with new topics and develop them independently. Structured thinking skills and high intellectual performance are essential for this.
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