International Students Stefan Malzkorn

Exchange Semester or Free Mover Semester at HSBA


Exchange Students and Free Mover at HSBA


Located in the heart of Hamburg, HSBA offers a world-class education in the fields of business, management and digitalisation. Founded in 2004 by the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, we now cooperate with more than 300 companies and have around 45 institutional partnerships in Europe, Asia and the Americas.

Become part of the HSBA family and our growing Alumni network and apply for a study period abroad at HSBA. Study together with HSBA degree seekers, learn about business informatics of logistics management and take advantage of the many networking opportunities HSBA and its connection to the Hamburg economy presents you with. 

Our campus is located in the center of Hamburg's vibrant central area, surrounded by some of the city's best restaurants, shops and cultural attractions. The Landungsbrücken, Elphi and the UNESCO Heritage Speicherstadt as well as the Town Hall and the Innenalster are just a short walk away. And with HSBA's lively student community you will have plenty of opportunities to explore all that Hamburg has to offer.


Our programmes, and hence also the modules for our international exchange or free mover students, are designed to provide students with a unique combination of theoretical knowledge and practical skills that prepare them for success in today's global marketplace. At HSBA you will learn from experienced teaching staff who bring their real-world expertise to the classroom.

HSBA's teaching content is generally very demanding and designed for high-achieving students. Therefore, we ensure that our visiting students are of a very good or good academic standing and not afraid of some academic challenges. 

If you're ready to take your education to the next level and experience all that Hamburg has to offer, apply to HSBA today. We cannot wait to welcome you to our community of passionate learners and innovators.

Explanation: What does "dual" studies actually mean?

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ϳԹ is a "dual" higher education institute. This means that all degree-seeking students work and study. At undergraduate level, the system is "dual" so students are at the university for three months, then work at their company for three months, then study again, and so forth. At postgraduate level, students study part-time and work part-time. All students therefore have two places of learning: the institution and the company. This, in turn, means that the education overall is intertwined and industry knowldge is applied in the classromm and vice versa. 

Exchange and Free Mover students at HSBA visit HSBA for the academic learning experience. Therefore, the above-descripted dual system is not applicable to visiting students. Nonetheless, the idea of "duality" should be understood as it influences the way HSBA operates and how study content is delivered. 

Our Course Offering

Undergraduate Studies

HSBA offers these following Bachelor’s programmes:

Students are welcome to choose and mix courses from all study programmes and years – depending on the prerequisites.

Please be aware that when mixing programmes and years, courses may overlap. Schedules will be available approximately two weeks before arrival. Here you can find the module descriptions.

Postgraduate Studies

Master’s students interested in an exchange at HSBA: Please be aware that HSBA only offers part-time Master’s programmes and that the institution does not follow a typical  exchange semester structure. Please contact HSBA’s International Office for more details.


Top Position in CHE University Ranking

The HSBA undergraduate students have rated our institution above average and are very satisfied with their studies. The CHE- Ranking shows HSBA at the top in 12 of 12 categories. check out the outcome of the ranking .

The  is the most comprehensive and detailed ranking of German universities and higher education institutions.

Semester Dates and Academic Calendar

HSBA's dual structure divides the academic year into four terms. Each term lasts around three months. Exams take place during the last week of each term. Students may come on exchange or attend as Free Mover for one, two, three of four terms. 
The start of your stay may be October, January, April or July. 

Mandatory Induction Days take place at the beginning of each term.

IMPORTANT: We recommend students to stay for two terms (equals a typical semester) to manage a workload of 30 ECTS.

Nomination deadline: four months prior to term start 
Application deadline: three months prior to term start

  • 27 July – 6 October 2023
  • 9 October – 22 December 2023
  • 8 January – 22 March 2024
  • 4 April – 14 June 2024
  • 25 July – 4 October 2024
  • 7 October – 20 December 2024
  • 6 January – 21 March 2025
  • 10 April – 20 June 2025

Academic Calendar for Exchange Students

  Summer '24 Autumn '24 Winter '25 Spring '25
Induction days/week 25 - 26 Jul 2024 7 - 11 Oct 2024 6 - 10 Jan 2025 10 - 11 Apr 2025
Course start 29 Jul 2024 7 Oct 2024 6 Jan 2025 14 Apr 2025
Exam preparation and exam weeks 27 Sep - 4 Oct 2024 13 - 20 Dec 2024 14 - 21 Mar 2025 13 - 20 Jun 2025
Juan, international student

This experience has been great and I am sure it will help me with my professional career in the future.

I am from Spain and I had the opportunity to spent the last year of my degree at the HSBA ϳԹ. During this year I have learned a lot about International Commerce, Corporate Finance, Sustainability and Marketing. We did sit exams, but also had a great deal of group work and had to deliver many presentations in English in front of the class. I also want to thank all the HSBA Staff for their kindness and professionalism, it couldn't have been done better!

Cámarabilbao University Business School, Exchange Student at HSBA 2023
Rebecca, international student

I recommend HSBA to people who would like to experience something different to their usual university life. I felt well taken care of, from both the International Student Committee and the International Office, and the lecturers are willing to work out a solution if an assignment is challenging without work experience.

What I liked about the classes was that they were not too big in size. The students were actively engaged during the lectures and had a good relationship with the lecturers, there did not seem to be any “power distance” and the lecturers were interested in the student’s opinions and thoughts. If I had any questions, I could just ask.  

I really loved the city of Hamburg. Even though it seems so big at first, everything in the city center can actually be explored by foot. One of my favorite places was the Plaza at the Elbphilharmonie, you have such a great view over the city and the buzzing harbor. I also liked the Aussenalster and the many cute cafés in districts like Winterude and Eimsbüttel. And the Sternschanze has a nice vibe, even though it can be crowded.

No week looks the same and the semesters are short and intense. It also helps if you have some working experience, because HSBA works closely together with their partner companies and this shows in the lectures, the tasks, and the structure of daily life at HSBA. But work experience is not mandatory for exchange students. So do not let this be in your way of having a great time in Hamburg and just get here!

BFH Berner Fachhochschule, Exchange Student at HSBA 2023

Free Mover

Free Mover Welcome!

Your home university is not a part of HSBA’s partner network? No problem at all! If you wish to take a semester at HSBA or to study in selected courses, please check all the information on this website. There may be restrictions when it comes to selecting courses, see also HSBA Course List Incomings 2023/24 or HSBA Course List Incomings 2024/25. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Ms. Iris Heine via iris.heine(at)hsba.de from International Office.

Tuition Fees

Bachelor: EUR 100 per credit or EUR 3.000 per semester (2 terms). 
You can choose your courses from all undergraduate programmes – depending on prerequisites.

Master: courses and fees on request

Application Process

Students from partner institutions need to be officially nominated by their home university. After the nomination students apply online and provide supporting application documents. Free Movers apply directly.  

  • Learning agreement (you may use either the HSBA’s or your university's form) 
  • Current Transcript of Records in English 
  • Passport sized photograph (JPG for student ID) 
  • Proof of English and/or German proficiency at B2 level (required from ALL students except native speakers). 
  • Proof of English proficiency: TOEFL (90 pts.), IELTS (6.0), Cambridge Certificates: FCE with Grade A, CAE with Grade A, B or C, CPE with Grade A, B, or C or academic tutor’s statement of competence in English.  
  • Proof of of German proficiency: DSH-Test (DSH2 level), TestDaF (TDN 4 or higher), Goethe-Zertifikat C2: Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom (GDS) or academic tutor’s statement of competence in German. Other certificates upon request.

Apply now online

Erasmus+ at HSBA

HSBA takes part in the Erasmus+ Programm, financed by the European Commission. 

If there is the option to benefit from EU-funding for a stay abroad, you should certainly take it! Erasmus+ has been promoting student mobility within Europe (and beyond) for over 35 years already. 
More information on Erasmus+ is available here.

Incoming students of HSBA's European partner institutions receive, after consultation with their home universities, a (partial) scholarship to help with the usually high living costs in Hamburg. Not sure if your home institution and HSBA have signed an Erasmus+ contract? Please check our partner list here and in case of doubt, contact the International Office of your home university - there you will also find further information on applying for a scholarship.

Tips for planning your semester at HSBA

For information on visa regulations, residence permits, registering in Hamburg, accommodation and many more tips for living in Hamburg, please check the page “Plan Your Stay”.

The below downloadable "International Student Guide" summs up all relevant steps from the application process to the arrival at HSBA and in Hamburg.

Get a Buddy!

Buddies – A Great Way to Connect to HSBA

A new country, a new city and a new university might cause confusion. No reason to despair! HSBA’s Buddies will help you off to a smooth start. Their support ranges from issues realted to study and academia to Hamburg life and German culture. They might pick you up at the airport, show you the nearest supermarket to your apartment, help to register as a Hamburg citizen or take you to the next party and best bar in Hamburg. How much time you spend with your buddy is, in the end, up to you and your buddy.

A Buddy for inbound exchange students

All inbound exchange and guest students are automatically matched with an HSBA Buddy. There is no need to register separately. In due time before your semester at HSBA, your Buddy will get in touch with you. 



A Buddy for HSBA degree seekers

Are you a degree seeker in one of the undergraduate or postgraduate programmes? You are not from Germany/ Hamburg and would like to be buddied up to explore Hamburg and HSBA life with a new friend? Contact us via email and we will try and find a buddy for you. Get in touch at least three months prior to your arrival in Hamburg. You can either contact us or the  International Committee directly. 



We are happy to help!

Iris Heine, HSBA
Iris Heine

Senior Manager International Office

+49 40 822160-959
Questions?Iris Heine, HSBA
Iris Heine, HSBA

Iris Heine

Senior Manager International Office
+49 40 822160-959

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