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What makes the International Business (IBW) programme special?

What does the IBW programme cover?

Programme objectives

The International Business (IBW) programme at the HFU Business School gives you a practical degree with an international outlook. You will gain a deeper understanding of global business relations and an awareness of intercultural differences.

With an IBW degree, you will not only have a recognized academic degree from a top-ranked university in your hand, you will also have the theoretical, practical and social skills you need to get started in the world of business. We are convinced that we provide the best possible qualifications for a successful international career.

Programme duration

Your study programme lasts 7 semesters, the first 4 of which will be spent in Schwenningen. You will then spend 2 semesters abroad: a study semester and an internship semester. In the 7th semester you will write your thesis and are only back at HFU for a few days. This gives you a great deal of flexibility in the 7th semester to write your thesis in a company, or even abroad.


Programme content

Business studies

During your foundation level studies you will be given a broad-based grounding in all functional areas of business, as well as in related subjects such as economics, IT and digitalization, and law.

In order to be able to focus on a particular business area in your bachelor's programme, during your advanced level studies you will be able to specialize in one of the following areas:

  • International Marketing
  • International Human Resources and Organization
  • International Finance, Accounting and Tax (iFacT)
  • Digital Business Management - NEW in Winter Semester 2019/20
  • Behavioural Business Management - NEW in Winter Semester 2019/20

Foreign languages and regional focus

IBW is a trilingual study programme. Very good language and communicative skills are essential for a successful career in the globalized world. Foreign languages and intercultural communication are therefore important components of your curriculum. All language courses are taught by experienced, native-speaker instructors.

Business English courses and a high percentage of lectures taught in English (c. 40%), will improve your English communication skills.

In addition you will select a second foreign language with your regional focus:

  • Chinese: no previous knowledge required
  • French: 4-5 years of school French
  • Spanish: 4-5 years of school Spanish

In Chinese the goal is simple business and everyday communication. By the end of your French or Spanish course however, you will be able to negotiate comfortably in that language.

If you wish you can also gain basic proficiency in a third foreign language (e.g. in Spanish, if you have selected China as your regional focus.)

You will not only receive excellent language teaching, you will also learn about the cultural, political and economic situation in your chosen region.

Soft Skills

Soft Skills are key to a successful career. Through a variety of different teaching methods, you will gain a high level of intercultural awareness and the ability to work in international teams, as well as presentation and project management skills.

How is the IBW programme structured?

IBW programme structure

Details of programme (I16615)
Learning outcomes

Learning outcomes - subject knowledge

  • You have a basic knowledge of all functional areas in an organization (Purchasing, Production, Marketing, Human Resources, Financial Accounting, etc.) and can apply this practically.
  • You understand how markets work and the effect economic and legal environments have on the success of a business
  • You are able to reflect on the social meaning and responsibility of organizations.
  • You have the necessary all-round knowledge to be able to evaluate and develop organizational strategies based on new developments (e.g. digitalization).
  • You have specialist knowledge in a focus area of your choice (e.g. International Finance and Accounting, International Marketing or International Organization and Human Resources), which particularly qualifies you for work in this field.

Learning outcomes - transferable skills

  • Your internship and study semesters abroad equip you with the openness and flexibility to work confidently in the international workplace.
  • You are fluent in business English and have very good proficiency in a further foreign language (Spanish, French or Chinese).
  • You have the required intercultural skills to work successfully in international project teams.
  • You have the key qualifications required (e.g. project planning, teamwork, presentation skills) to be able to deal with any problems which arise in the workplace in a solution-oriented manner.


Learning outcomes - employability skills

You are prepared to assume positions of responsibility in an international environment, both in Germany and abroad, for example in:

  • Marketing, Market Research
  • Human Resource Management, Recruiting
  • Finance, Controlling
  • Management Consulting
  • and other similar fields of work.