Finding a sense of belonging at ESMT Berlin

ESMT Berlin MIM students

Meet Andrea Manzi – ESMT Berlin

Andrea Manzi has found a sense of belonging at the ESMT Berlin MIM Program. He had studied business administration in Italy after which he took some time out to start a sustainable clothing brand. Not wishing to interrupt his studies for too long, he started looking for Master’s degrees and was quickly convinced that ESMT Berlin is the right place for him.

He shared with us how feeling at home is really important and valuable and how the program is like being in a big family.


How does the academic experience at ESMT Berlin compare to your previous academic experience?

In my previous experience, lectures were carried out by the professors to the students. So, you basically were a passive user of the lecture itself. Here, you learn from others. You learn from a very broad and diverse environment. You need to be an active part of the lecture and you will often be the one who will teach something to someone else in class. This has been really great.

ESMT Berlin MIM students

Why did you choose the ESMT Berlin MIM Program?

Coming from a small entrepreneurial adventure, I was looking into this world of entrepreneurship and it turned out that Berlin was a great place for this reason since the ecosystem presented here is great. Everything that relates to technology an innovation and the startup scene is really big. This was one key point that attracted me to ESMT Berlin.

The social impact project also really attracted me. This is an activity that is carried out during our second year and we have to propose a project that adds social value. You are free to do the activity wherever you want. If the university accepts the project, you build a team with your fellow students and for one month you work on a social project. Many people do some pro bono consulting in NGO’s, some travel and visit new places to try and make an impact there. All ESMT Berlin students have this desire to make an impact in common.

How did you secure your internship?

The internship module is a mandatory part of the MIM Program. In the first semester you have lectures on campus and then the second semester is mainly the internship. You are required to do an internship for at least twelve weeks but are free to extend it for as long as you wish until the next semester starts. I’m doing an internship at Bosch in South Germany in a product management team. I got an offer through the network of ESMT Berlin.

ESMT Berlin MIM Student Internship at Bosch

They contacted me through email and it worked out pretty well. ESMT Berlin is a great provider of opportunities. It does not necessarily mean that it is easy to secure an internship or employment, but ESMT Berlin has a great network with companies. There is a very big and effective pool of alumni that is very supportive.

The sense of belonging at ESMT Berlin is really powerful in this regard – I saw a person on LinkedIn that attended ESMT Berlin six years ago who is working in a company in the US that I am interested in. I messaged him to let him know I am a MIM student and he replied instantly. This is a very powerful thing which makes the connections really effective.

Tell us about the ESMT Berlin Career Services Team

There is a brilliant Career Services Team who constantly works for us students, finding opportunities for us and organizing great events such as the careers fair and company visits. I think it is really effective and valuable.

What have been some of the main challenges during your program?

The intensity of the program. Especially in the beginning, it was really hard. I was absorbed by the whole program, which is fine, since this is the reason why I decided to come and study abroad at ESMT Berlin, but it was hard. Keep in mind that it is not an easy journey, it is quite tough but at the end it is really pleasant and joyful. There will be highs and lows but overall, it is on the very high side. Also, I had no experience abroad so the fact that I was away from my home town and country was really hard. However, all the students at ESMT Berlin are in a similar situation as it is such an international environment so we built friendships really fast which made being away from home easier. I quickly formed new relationships.

Andrea has craved the opportunity ESMT Berlin has given him to “be part of something that is greater and to provide value to other people.” The experience has instilled a desire in him to carry this forward as he completes his program and prepares to make his mark in the world.

Keen to learn more about studying the MIM degree at
ESMT Berlin? Reach out to Andrea directly and ask him anything:


Andrea Manzi ESMT Berlin MIM Student

by Maryke Luijendijk-Steenkamp

ESMT Berlin offers a home to those who never felt at home

ESMT Berlin students

Meet Michela Andreolli ESMT Berlin

Michela Andreolli always knew she would end up moving abroad. Born in Italy, she attended an international high school in Milan which opened her mind to what the world has to offer. During her final year of engineering studies, she did an internship with Amazon where the international environment made her desire to explore new territories even stronger. It was therefore a natural choice to look for Master programs abroad.  She found her niche at ESMT in Berlin – a city she calls the “home for all of those people who never feel at home.”

Here she tells us why it was quite easy for her to move and begin her new life there.

Why the MIM Program?

I decided to go for an MIM Program because I am still relatively young and do not have a lot of work experience. I still wanted to gain some academic experience before starting my career. I was deciding between a Masters in Entrepreneurship and a Masters in Management but I realized that the MIM will give me a chance to learn more diverse things. I have the opportunity to explore different environments and topics which is why I chose the MIM and so far, I think it has been the right choice for me.

You seem to love Berlin

When I had to decide where to go for my Masters, Germany and in particular Berlin caught my attentions since I am very interested in Entrepreneurship. In Berlin there are a lot of startups which would give me opportunities to learn about the startup environment. It is also a very international city where you are surrounded by people from all over the world. There is a place for everyone here and everyone can find their space. It is hard to describe the Berlin culture because there is a little bit of everything. You can really be yourself and find yourself in the city. Everyone is just being whoever they want to be. 

What made you choose ESMT?

The thing that really made me decide to go to ESMT is the curriculum. It is a two-year program but you only have thirteen months of presence in class. We have a six-month internship in the first year and in the second year we have the chance to do a one-month social impact project. This gives us the chance to apply what we learnt in the classroom to a very different environment, so you have to really step out of your comfort zone. During the second year we also have three months to write our thesis and opt for another internship if we wish to. The highlight of this program is the fact that it is really practical – you have as much time in class as in a proper working environment.

What is the ESMT student body like?

We are a very diverse group, both in terms of nationalities and in terms of backgrounds. We have a lot of group projects to do and for the first six months the teams are made by the professors, so you get a chance to talk to and work with everyone. It is really nice and interesting. You get to work on a marketing project, for example, with someone who studied philosophy or psychology in Asia and I studied engineering in Europe. It brings different approaches to problems and so many different ways of working. It might sound like a standard answer, but I am learning so much from my colleagues in the classroom. We work together and it is so diverse, it is really beautiful. 



What has been your best experience so far?

It was during my first course named Judgement and Decision Making. At the end of the course the professor gave us an exercise to do where we had to create a decision tree for a real-life situation. I did my best, of course, and by the end of the exercise the professor shared that the situation was one he had encountered in his own life. This showed me that what he was teaching me was not only a matter of academics or for exam purposes but could be used in real life. Not only for business decisions but also for life decisions. In engineering I had to always follow a mathematical and scientific approach but when I saw this exercise really had an impact in his life, I really felt that I am studying something that matters. Something that could change not only my career but the way I live my life.

Michela has found her global home at ESMT Berlin. As she so aptly concludes: “I am in the right place, I am studying something that can really help me but also help others. ESMT is giving me the technical instruments to make an impact in the world.”

Keen to learn more about studying the MIM degree at ESMT Berlin? Reach out to Michela directly and ask her anything:


Michela Andreolli MIM

by Maryke Luijendijk-Steenkamp

Why Spain is still considered one of the best study destinations in the world

EU Business School campus

Though it has long been a popular tourist destination – it is the second-most visited country in the world – Spain is now the tenth-most popular destination in the world for international students. With one of the warmest climates in Europe, affordable tuition fees and universities that are steadily rising up the global rankings, more and more international students are studying in Spain every single year – regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whilst the majority of the top-ranked institutions in the country are located in Spain’s two major cities, Madrid and Barcelona, historic and prestigious universities are dotted all over the country. The University of Salamanca is the third-oldest university in the world whilst The University of Navarra is rated as one of the best in the country with the highest ratio of international students (22%) of any Spanish university.

But it is perhaps in the realm of business education that Spain thrives the most. In the most recent Bloomberg ranking of European business schools the country had four schools in the top 20. The story is a similar one in the Financial Times, who had Spain’s IESE Business School and IE Business School ranked #6 and #8 in Europe respectively. So what is it that makes Spain such an amazing place to study? Let’s take a look.

The Cost of Studying in Spain

Despite its pre-eminence as an international study destination, Spain offers a significantly cheaper cost of living and studying than many of its global contemporaries. Master’s tuition fees at the country’s vast network of public universities are unlikely to exceed €4,000 per year. Even at one of the country’s private institutions, such as IE, IESE or ESADE, the fees for studying in Spain are very affordable compared to equivalent European schools.

Whilst many other European countries offer cheap tuition fees – and Norway charge no tuition at all for master’s degrees – Spain is one of the few nations that can combine affordable tuition fees and teaching excellence with a cost of living that compares very favorably with its European neighbors. In Madrid and Barcelona you can expect to pay in the region of €400-€600 for a room in a shared flat, whilst one-bed flats can be acquired for around €600 per month. Accommodation costs outside of Madrid and Barcelona are likely to be substantially cheaper, meaning there should be plenty left in the kitty for a vino tinto at the local bodega.


International Experience

“One of the good pillars of our program was that our students came from different countries; Germany, Poland, Russia, Mongolia and Italy. All of us coming together in one classroom and putting different perspectives and ideas on the table…it was one of the great experiences.” Gantulga Erdenesukh (Mongolia), MA in International Business, Deusto Business School

Spain welcomed 120,991 international students to its shores in 2019, making it the tenth-most popular destination for international students in the world. Yet of those ten countries Spain saw one of the highest increases from the previous year, with 10% more international students arriving here than in 2018. Although that can partly be attributed to the increasingly expensive tuition fees in the likes of the UK and USA, there is little doubt that Spain is a major attraction for international students in its own right. Students from all over the world are studying in Spain, and the top three sending countries are France, Italy and the United States.

“I would totally recommend studying at EU Business School Barcelona because you can focus on your studies and at the same time enjoy the beautiful city of Barcelona, meet great people who you never thought would become your best friends for life.” Rebeca Yee Delgado (Panama), BA in Business Management (International Business), EU Business School


International students typically make up around 10% of the intake at Spanish universities although some, such as The University of Navarra, host more than 20%. Business schools in the country have an even more international flavour, with Barcelona’s EU Business School made up of 95% international students. Yet it is not just within the educational institutions that the country has a distinctly international feel. Nowadays the likes of Madrid and Barcelona are dynamic, multicultural cities that have attracted expats from all parts of the globe. You will be rubbing shoulders with South Americans, Asians and Europeans almost every day of your time here, and it is this cultural diversity which has enriched these already wonderful cities.


It’s official: Spain hosts more international students than any other Spanish-speaking country. With an estimated 572 million speakers of the language worldwide, it benefits from a huge global network of people keen on studying in Spain for a master’s degree in their own language. Studying in Spain is also a perfect opportunity to improve your Spanish skills. Most universities will offer Spanish language courses for its students, and depending on where you choose to study you might even pick up one of the local languages found in Catalonia, Valencia, Galicia or the Basque Country.

“One of the main benefits of the double degree is that we have to learn two new languages (Russian and Spanish). I think it’s very important to speak several languages for our careers.” Lujain Rabat (Syria), MA International Relations, Marbella International University Center

Although the majority of master’s programs you will study in Spain are taught in Spanish, there is an increasing number of English-taught master’s degrees to cater for the country’s growing international student population. Whilst there is a greater selection of English language programs in Spain’s major cities, the reality is that it is almost becoming a prerequisite for Spanish universities all over the country to offer master’s programs taught in English.

Culture, Cuisine & Climate

“I love living in Barcelona. I love the city and its people. I already did my year abroad here during my undergrads and I had more time to discover the city, enjoy the local food and the local culture.” Patrick Altmeyer (Germany), MA in Economics & Finance, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics

Whether you’re sipping sangria by the
playa, enjoying some tapas in the early evening sun or joining your friends for a morning café con leche, the Spanish cultural norms are known the world over. The country has a distinct cultural identity that fascinates onlookers, and with Spain predicted to have the highest life expectancy in the world by 2040, it’s difficult to argue against the merits of the Spanish way of life.

Plenty of Spanish people will put that high life expectancy down to the Mediterranean diet, which is full of olives, fruits, vegetables and seafood. In general Spanish cuisine is one of the most admired in Europe with paella, gazpacho and churros all signature dishes that originated here.

If that wasn’t enough, Spain also has one of the best climates in Europe – if not the world. Madrid and Barcelona are two of the sunniest cities in Europe whilst Sevilla and Córdoba both lay claim to being the warmest city in the continent. The summers here are long and hot, the winters are short and mild, so it makes for a wonderful place to be all year round.

Thinking of Studying in Spain?

Spain has really come into its own as an international study destination in recent years. If you’re interested in joining the country’s booming international student population then you can visit MASTERGRADSCHOOLS to search for master’s programs in Spain and find your dream one. Alternatively you can also read our latest articles or contact current master’s students to learn what it’s really like to study for a master’s degree.

by Nick Harland