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What type of higher education institution is iba?

iba is Germany’s largest state-recognised private University of Cooperative Education. It is part of the F+U Group with more than 40 years of experience in the education sector.

What kind of academic degrees can you study for at iba?

iba offers dual work-study undergraduate degrees (B.A./B.Sc./B.Eng.) that combine in-class theoretical knowledge with integrated on-the-job practical experience.

Which programmes can I choose from at iba?

iba offers the following accredited and state-recognised undergraduate programmes:

  • Engineering & Management (B.Eng.)
  • Engineering & Management for international students (B.Eng.)
  • Business Administration with 13 specialisations (B.A.)
  • Business Administration w/Intercultural Skills with 13 specialisations (B.A.)
  • Business Administration for international students (B.A.)
  • Social Pedagogy & Management (B.A.)
  • Social Pedagogy, Management & Business Coaching (B.A.)
  • Physiotherapy (B.Sc.)
  • Applied Therapeutic Studies – Occupational Therapy (B.Sc.)

What is the concept behind “dual” study at iba?

Dual study means alternating between on-the-job practical training and academic study, thus allowing you to become a qualified specialist in your study-related field.

How many hours per week will I work and study at iba?

iba’s innovative “split-week” model allows you to invest around 20 hours in your academic education and work 16 to 20 hours at a partner company each week. This ensures a close link between theory and practice, enabling our students to directly apply academic course content in the real-life work environment.

What is special about the 8-semester undergraduate programme for international students?

The extended study programmes Business Administration for International Students (B.A.) and Engineering & Management for International Students (B. Eng.) offer you the perfect opportunity to commence your studies while improving your German language skills. During the 1st & 2nd semester, you attend language courses in Heidelberg to attain German proficiency level C1. At the same time, you take introductory modules in your chosen programme, and spend 16-20 hours per week gaining practical experience. From the 3rd semester, you can switch to other iba study centres or continue your studies in Heidelberg.

Can I also start one of the other programmes with A2 German skills?

Currently, we only offer the extended 8-semester programmes for students interested in Engineering & Management and Business Administration. For all other programmes, you need to have a high standard of German (level C1 of the CEF). You can take a preparatory language course at our language school F+U Academy of Languages to bring your German up to this level. Visit for more information.


What are the formal admission requirements for studying at iba?

Applicants need to show:

  • proof of a higher education entrance qualification (Hochschulzugangsberechtigung)
  • for the regular study programmes: German language skills at C1 level
  • for the 8-semester programmes for international students (Business Administration, Engineering & Management): German language skills at A2 level
  • an employment contract with a partner company – iba’s study advisors will assist you with finding one during the admission process.

Will my foreign high school diploma/university degree be accepted in Germany?

Unfortunately, there is no general answer to this question. Please visit the following website to check whether you meet the requirements for studying at a higher education institution in Germany or if preliminary attendance at a Studienkolleg is necessary:

Of course, you are always welcome to send us your school and/or higher education transcripts/certificates for evaluation.

What is a Studienkolleg?

A so-called Studienkolleg offers foundation courses which you have to attend if your school-leaving certificate does not enable you to enrol at a German university directly. In order to gain admission to a Studienkolleg, you need to pass an entrance examination first. Such foundation courses usually last one year and conclude with the Feststellungsprüfung (university qualification assessment examination).

More information regarding Studienkollegs in general can be found here:

What level of German language skills are required to study at iba?

In order to study at iba you need to show proof of German language proficiency at C1 or A2 level. C1 level is required for all regular programmes; A2 is required if you wish to join our 8-semester programme for Business Administration or Engineering & Management for International Students.

Which examination certificates are accepted? What minimum result is required?

Proof of German language proficiency at level C1 of the CEFR:

  • Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang (DSH2)
  • Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache (TestDaF) at TDN 4 level (minimum score of 4 in all parts of the exam)
  • Deutsches Sprachdiplom (DSD) der Kultusministerkonferenz (Stufe II)
  • telc Deutsch C1 Hochschule
  • Goethe-Zertifikat C1
  • ÖSD Zertifikat C1

Proof of German language proficiency at level A2 of the CEFR
(for 8-semester programmes only)

Applicants can submit any official document (certificate or exam certificate) of a language school to show proof of A2 German knowledge. iba may require additional documents or ask applicants to participate in an exam.

What level of English language skills are required to study at iba?

Students enrolled in the study programmes Business Administration, Business Administration w/Intercultural Skills, Business Administration for International Students, Engineering & Management and Engineering & Management for International Students need to show proof of English language proficiency at B1 level of the CEFR.

Applicants whose mother tongue is not English may provide proof of having acquired this standard by:

  • iba’s English Placement Test, which students take after transferring to iba
  • IELTS: minimum average of 4.0
  • TOEFL iBT: minimum 43 points
  • Cambridge English First Certificate (minimum Grade C)
  • Other proof of equivalent English proficiency, such as school English examinations or completing a portion of their school education in English.

Where can I take language courses in Germany?

The F+U group, of which iba forms part, operates the F+U Academy of Languages, located in Berlin and Heidelberg. For more information on German language courses and exams please visit

How can I find a partner company?

iba’s study advisors will assist you individually in finding the right match for you. We have a network of over 1,800 partner companies where we can match your profile and interests with available positions.


What are the deadlines for the official application?

There are no application deadlines, however, we advise you to apply as early as possible so that there is time to process your application and find a partner company.

What are the semester starting dates for the winter and summer semester?

The semester starting dates are the 1 April for the summer semester and the 1 October for the winter semester.

How can I apply for an undergraduate programme at iba?

International applicants should fill out the application form on the website, providing personal details as well as information on your university entrance qualification, preferred study programme, etc. You will also need to upload your school-leaving certificate and/or other diplomas in a pdf file for us to evaluate. As soon as a preliminary check of your qualifications has been completed, we will be able to give you further information regarding the application process.

Can I apply without having reached C1/A2 level of German yet?

Yes. No proof of language proficiency is required when you apply. However, as soon as you start your programme, you are required to provide proof of your German language proficiency at C1 or A2 level, depending on the programme you chose.

Can I apply without having a partner company?

Yes, at the application stage you are not required to have a contract with a partner company. iba’s study advisors will help you in finding a match for you in our database of collaborating partner companies. However, you may also choose to find a company yourself. If this company has not cooperated with us before, we will reach and discuss the terms for establishing a cooperation.


Does iba charge tuition fee for undergraduate programmes?

Yes, please refer to Fees and Funding.

Do I have to pay the tuition fees?

Your partner company usually covers the tuition fees. Students enrolled in the extended 8-semester programmes for international students may need to pay the fees for the 1st year (while they learn German) themselves.  

Will I receive a salary from my partner company?

Your partner company will normally pay you a salary of approx. €200 - €700 per month in addition to covering your tuition fees, depending on the company.

How high are living costs in Germany?

Living costs in Germany are relatively low compared to those in other European countries, although there are strong regional variations. In general, students require approximately €800 per month to cover living expenses like rent, food, clothing and transportation. Students often receive discounts at events and cultural venues (e.g. cinema, museum, concerts, swimming pools etc.) when they show their student ID.


Do you offer housing options / student dormitories at iba?

iba can provide support with finding affordable student accommodation and also has a limited number of rooms in student dorms in Berlin and Heidelberg.

Where can I search online for private accommodation?

You can find private rental accommodation via various online portals, e.g.:


Where can I find visa information for my country?

Please refer to thewebsite of the German Federal Foreign Office where you can access the most current visa requirements.

Which visa is the right one for me?

  • If you have already been admitted to iba, you can apply for a student visa (“Visum zu Studienzwecken”).
  • If you have already applied for one of iba’s undergraduate programmes but not yet received a letter of admission, you can ask iba for a letter of confirmation that certifies the receipt of your application. In this case, you can apply for a student applicant visa (“Visum zur Studienbewerbung”). iba can also issue conditional acceptance letters. Please contact us for more information.
  • If you want to attend a language course with the intention of subsequently studying in Germany, you can apply for a German foreign language course visa(“Visum zu Sprachkurszwecken”). This visa is only valid for the duration of the course and cannot be converted into a student visa (“Visum zu Studienzwecken”).
  • If you want to attend a language course in combination with university studies, you have to indicate this on your visa application form. In this case, make sure to apply for either a student applicant visa (“Visum zur Studienbewerbung”) or a student visa (“Visum zu Studienzwecken”).

Where do I apply for a visa?

You can apply for a visa at the German embassy or the German consulate general in your home country. We recommend making an appointment as early as possible to ensure you receive your visa on time.  

What documents are typically required when applying for a student visa?

The following documents are generally requested in most student visa applications:

  • passport picture
  • birth certificate
  • university admission letter
  • diploma / degree certificates and transcripts
  • proof of previous and current employment, internships, etc
  • letter of motivation
  • sponsor’s passport, information/proof on relation to sponsor, a motivation of sponsorship
  • proof of adequate financial means to cover university fees, housing, the cost of living and other expenses, currently €720 for every month of the first academic year.

Please refer to the German embassy or consulate in your home country for the specific requirements of your case.

Can I stay in Germany after completing my undergraduate programme at iba?

After completing your degree, you have 18 months to find a job in a field related to your studies. Most of iba’s students (85%) are offered a job by their partner company after graduation.

Useful Information

Studying & living in Germany in general

Blocked Bank Account for visa purposes

Accommodation & housing (in German)

Health insurance for international students

List of German missions / embassies abroad

* in preparation