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Q&A for mentors

How can I register as a mentor?

If you are interested in being an ICM mentor, please register via our registration form for mentors.

What are the advantages of participating as an ICM mentor?

There are many advantages of participating in the ICM program as a mentor.

First of all, it’s a great chance to reflect on the experiences you’ve gone through during your study life and to use them to support someone else! Mentor-mentee relationships often result in close friendships.

Additionally, you’ll be able to take part in our workshops and social events, which will help you strengthen your intercultural skills.

Lastly, you will receive a certificate at the end of the winter semester to recognize your successful participation at ICM. This certificate can be used to upgrade your CV, showing you are interculturally competent and active in your community.

My mentee has a personal question, but I don't have the answer to support them. What can I do?

When it comes to general counseling offers, you will find information on the website of Service Center StudiumThe mentoring coordinators are always available as contact persons.

Is there a training for ICM mentors to prepare for their engagement?

Yes! The ICM regularly offers a full training for mentors to learn the best way to engage with their mentees. Participation is voluntary but highly recommended.

Q&A for mentees

How can I register as a mentee?

If you are interested in being an ICM mentee, please register via our registration form for mentees.

Who can be an ICM mentee?

Every international student starting his or her studies at the University of Freiburg can become a mentee in the ICM program. 

You do not have to be facing “major difficulties” to participate as a mentee - you only need to be interested in an intercultural exchange and in receiving personal, social and subject-specific (if possible) support from experienced students.

What are the advantages of participating as an ICM mentee?

You will benefit from your mentors help and experience. The mentors are students from all faculties. They have relevant experience with university structures and the organization of studies and are happy to pass their experiences as students on to you. Most mentors have been enganged in the ICM program for several years and often they have been mentees themselves before. This means that they exactly know how you feel at the beginning of your studies and which challenges may exist.

In addition to the relationship with your mentor, you can easily make personal contact with students of higher semesters and with other mentors and mentees at our numerous accompanying offers such as workshops, trainings or social events.

Is there a training for incoming ICM mentees?

Yes! The ICM regularly offers a full training for mentees. At this training, we will give you useful information on what you can expect from ICM, what your roles are as an ICM mentee, and how you can make the most out of being a participant.

Q&A concerning mentoring relationship

How does the matching process work?

Mentors and mentees will be matched according to subject of study (if possible). We will also take your personal interests and wishes in consideration so that you will be matched with the most suitable and appropriate partner.

As soon as you have been matched you receive each other’s email address so you can get in touch and arrange a first individual meeting.

When can I meet my mentor/mentee?

The official start of your mentoring relationship is the ICM kick-off event. Participation in the ICM kick-off event is mandatory.

After that, each personal meeting is organized independently by the mentor and mentee. You can decide on your own where to meet and what to do. The location of the meeting might for example be a café, the mensa, or any place at the university.

To learn more about how to establish a good relationship with your mentor/mentee from the beginning, check out our PDFs:

How often should I meet with my mentor/mentee?

The frequency of the meetings depends on the individual needs and the amount of questions the mentee has. However, we ask you to meet at least 3-4 times personally during the winter semester. 

In addition to the personal meetings, you can also stay in contact online via video conference, emails or other channels. Of course, you can also attend our workshops and social events together.

Which topics can be discussed at a meeting between mentor and mentee?

There are no guidelines as to which topics need to be discussed.

However, the general purpose of the meetings is to help the mentee have an easy start at the University of Freiburg and to answer their questions. The questions vary from mentee to mentee and range from study-related questions (creating a timetable, contact points at the university) to organizational questions (banking and insurance issues) to general questions (where is the best café, where do you go in the evening, where can I do sports etc.)It's often really helpful for the mentee to have an exchange with the mentor as a person who has been studying for a long time. 

The mentor does not have to know an answer to all questions though. They also don't have to do all the work for their mentee as they are neither a tutor nor a coach. Ideally, the mentor and mentee can find a solution to a problem or question together.

What happens if I cannot attend a meeting?

If you cannot meet for a valid reason, please inform your mentor or mentee in advance. At your first meeting, we suggest you speak about which dates and times suit you both for future meetings, as well as how you want to continue to stay in contact.

Please don't forget: the mentor supports the mentee in their free time in addition to studying. All mentors work on a voluntary basis and receive neither ECTS-points nor money for their commitment. Therefore, it is important to respect their time by keeping arrangements.

Are the meetings documented?

The individual meetings are not documented.

What do I do if there are problems in our mentoring relationship?

Sometimes a mentoring relationship does not work out well because the mentor and the mentee are not on the same wavelength or because they have difficulties in communicating. You can find tips on how to solve possible problems in your mentoring relationship here: Conflict resolution (PDF). If you want to learn more about the possible difficulties of intercultural communication and how to overcome them, you can check out this PDF: Successful Communication between Mentor and Mentee (PDF)

If there's a problem in your mentoring relationship that you can't solve, please contact the ICM coordinator as soon as possible. At first we will find out exactly where the problem lies in order to then find a suitable solution together. 

If no solution can be found, there may be the option of exchanging partners. However, this is only possible if the problem is recognized within the first month of being matched. 

What offers are there in addition to the individual mentoring relationships?

In addition to providing an individual mentoring relationship, the ICM offers several workshops and a broad variety of in-person and online social events. The events give all participants the chance to further connect and meet friends from all faculties and from all over the world

You can learn how to make new contacts at social events here: Strategies for Networking at Events (PDF).

How long is the contact between mentor and mentee maintained?

The mentoring relationship lasts one semester. It officially begins with the ICM kick-off event and ends with the ICM closing event. The contact is then often continued on a friendly level. Often, lifelong friendships are built.