Application:

When can I apply?
Applications are preferred before March 31 for the BEST Summer Academy of 2018.

When is the application deadline?
The preferred application deadline is March 31, 2018. We strongly recommend handing in your application before this date. You can try to apply after this deadline, but chances of being accepted are rather low.

How do I apply?
The easiest way is to use our online application portal here (link). But we certainly accept the well-proven paper-based version as well.

Can students from non-partners also apply?
Absolutely yes! Students from all over the world are welcome and have already participated in the BEST program.

What is the language of instruction? Do I need to speak any German?
The BEST program is completely conducted in English. No previous knowledge of German language is required.

Do I need to provide a language proficiency certificate?
It depends. We ask citizens of non-English speaking countries to provide a language proficiency certificate for English. However, if you study at an English speaking university you can hand in the language certificate you needed when you registered for this university. All others need a TOEFL score of at least 79 to participate in the BEST program. We will decide about all other certificates on a case-by-case basis.

When will I know if I am accepted to the program?
If you handed in your application before the preferred deadline (March 31), the BEST staff will get in touch with you within two weeks.

Do I have to be a business major to join?
No, not at all. But we recommend having at least basic knowledge about business and economical processes.

I am not a junior, senior, or graduate student--as requested. Can I still apply?
Yes. We will review those applications in detail and decide from case to case.

Costs:

What is the regular cost of the BEST program?
The BEST program regularly costs EURO 3,700 without a tuition waiver.

Who gets a tuition waiver?
Students from our partner universities, which reciprocally waive tuitions for our students, will be granted a tuition waiver. That means that the whole BEST program will only cost EURO 2,300 for them.

What exactly is covered by the program costs?
The program costs cover accommodation in a shared room including breakfast; university fees; public transportation tickets within city limits; the Berlin excursion including hotel, breakfast, and entrance fees; field trips and company visits; course materials; and health insurance.

Is the Berlin excursion already covered by the program costs?
Yes, it is. Accommodation in a hotel including breakfast and Wi-Fi Internet access as well as all entrance fees are already covered by the program costs.

Can I receive financial aid from the Mercator School of Management?
The only financial aid you may receive from our institution is the waiver of the tuition (link).

Arrival:

When do I have to arrive?
BEST students are expected to arrive on Monday, May 28, 2018. We strongly recommend arriving on this day. If you want to arrive earlier, please let us know in advance.

Is it possible to arrive late to the program?
No, the introduction week is an important part of the BEST program and must not be missed.

What is the closest airport to Duisburg?
Dusseldorf International (DUS) is only 12 miles (20 minutes by car, 10 minutes by train) away from Duisburg Campus. Beware that airport Dusseldorf Weeze Niederrhein is farer away from Duisburg and mainly serves as a local airport so that additional transfer arrangements have to be made. Frankfurt International (FRA) is approximately 140 miles south of Duisburg and can be reached by train (3 hours).

Will there be a pick-up service?
Each BEST participant will be assigned to a local “buddy” student who will get in touch with you before the program starts. Most of our students are willing to pick you up at Dusseldorf International airport, sometimes they will at least welcome you at Duisburg main station.

How do I get to the hotel?
Duisburg “buddy” students or the BEST staff will pick you up either at the airport or main station and guide you to the hotel on your day of arrival.

Academic Information:

Do I need to have German language skills?
No, not at all. The regular BEST program is conducted in English and German language courses do not require any previous knowledge.

What is the language of instruction?
The regular BEST program is completely taught in English. Also, BEST staff and local students speak English fluently.

What is the general structure of the program?
The program is divided into two parts: BEST orientation and BEST courses.

BEST students will be introduced to various fields during the BEST Orientation, before the actual academic program starts. In this first week, students will be introduced to the current political situation and economic performance of the European Union. They will learn about the historical, cultural, and business highlights of Duisburg and the region. Also, they will be exposed to the organization of UDE and the facilities of Duisburg Campus. Finally, they will get their first training in German language.

BEST Courses, the academic part, is divided into three modules and each module consists of three courses: Module Business Administration in Europe with the courses Corporate Governance and Strategic Management in Europe, Marketing Strategies in Europe, Banking, and Corporate Finance in Europe; Managerial Economics in Europe with the courses Comparative Managerial Behavior in Europe, European Economic Integration, European Currency Union and Financial Markets; and German language with focuses on Writing, Comprehension, and Conversation.

How many credits can I earn?
BEST students can earn up to 9 US-Credits (18 ECTS): three for the “business” module, three for the “economics” module, and three for the “German Language” module.

What are the course levels?
BEST courses are designed for upper undergraduate (junior/senior) and graduate students with previous knowledge in business and economy.

How does the timetable typically look like?
The first week of the BEST Summer Academy is BEST orientation. The BEST courses run from week 2 to 5. Classes run from 09.30am until 12.00noon and 01.00pm to 03.30pm. Here is an example of last year’s schedule (link).

Will all the credits be transferred to my home institution?
Your home institution shall be responsible for accepting credits earned during the BEST Summer Academy. Please, contact your international office. Experience has shown that most partner institutions have transferred all credits.

Where do I get course materials?
Course materials will be handed out in the first session of each course.

How many different courses are there?
There are nine different courses, three for each module: Corporate Governance and Strategic Management in Europe, Marketing Strategies in Europe, Banking and Corporate Finance in Europe (all module: Business Administration in Europe); Comparative Managerial Behavior in Europe, European Economic Integration, European Currency Union and Financial Markets (all module: European Managerial Economics); Writing, Comprehension, Conversation (all module: German Language).

Can I just apply for some of the courses?
The modules “Business” and “Economy” cannot be dropped or selectively chosen. If BEST participants can proof an advanced knowledge of the German language, this module can be dropped upon request. However, we would encourage students to join the German language module nevertheless and are welcome to serve as an assistant to the teacher to boost their language skills.

When will I receive my transcript?
BEST staff will try their best to send out transcripts within three weeks after the end of the program.

Accommodation:

What accommodation arrangements have been made for BEST students?
BEST students are accommodated in shared rooms in the historic hotel “Rheinischer Hof”. All rooms are equipped with free high speed Wi-Fi Internet access and a TV. Microwaves and refrigerators can be used to prepare food in the evening.

Where is the hotel located?
The hotel is located within walking distance from the university campus (0.5 miles, two bus stops). Grocery stores, bakeries, cafés, and bars are just around the corner. The city center of Duisburg, where you can find numerous shops, historic sights and two shopping malls, is less than a mile away. A tram station is right in front of the hotel building and Duisburg main station is only one stop away. The tram can also be used to reach Duisburg’s neighboring city of Mülheim.

Is it possible to arrange special requests (single room, special diet, etc.)?
Please, contact the BEST staff as early as possible for special inquiries. We will do our best to help.

I do not need any accommodation. Can I make my own arrangement?
We prefer the BEST students to stay together at the hotel "Rheinischer Hof" near campus. This way, it is easier to set up meeting points for the excursions, company visits etc.

Is there a laundry service?
There is a laundromat right next to the hotel and it is easy to use.

What meals are being served at the hotel?
The hoteliers wait on you in the morning and serve a rich and nutritious breakfast.

Are there any cooking facilities?
A microwave and a refrigerators will be provided for students who want to prepare some food in the evening.

Is there an Internet connection?
Yes, every room is equipped with free Wi-Fi Internet access.

Can I stay at the hotel after the program has ended?
If there are rooms available, you are welcome to stay longer. Please, let us know as early as possible if you are interested so that we can ask for special rates.

Campus:

Are there any sport programs offered and open to BEST students?
BEST students have the option of using the gym and sports facilities of the University Sports Club for a small fee of EURO 15.

Do I have Internet access on campus?
Yes, BEST students will be provided with a secured Internet access to the University Wi-Fi network. Print stations are available in the library.

Can I use the library?
Yes, the library--including work stations, computers, and seminar rooms--is open to BEST students. However, they are not permitted to borrow any books. This might be done by your local “buddy” students.

Can I use all cafeterias and canteens?
Yes, all cafeterias and canteens are open to BEST students. You will also benefit from the regular student discount that is offered to local students.

Do I need to bring my own laptop?
We encourage you to bring your own laptop or tablet to get easy access to online material in the classroom. However, if you do not own such an electronic device, you will be able to use computers and print stations in the library.

Berlin Excursion

Is it possible to skip the Berlin Excursion?
Yes, but no money will be refunded. And honestly, you do not want to miss this fantastic trip to Germany’s capital!

Where do BEST students stay during the trip?
BEST students will be accommodated in a solid hotel that includes breakfast and Internet access. Last year it was the Motel One Berlin Hauptbahnhof (link).

What are we going to visit and see in Berlin?
In recent years, BEST staff have organized visits to various sights and interesting places in Berlin, e.g., the old underground bunker system, the remains of the Berlin Wall, the historic Reichstag including a visit of a plenary session of the German parliament and a greet and meet with a member of parliament, the Brandenburg Gate, Sony Center, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews in Europe, the American Embassy, various cathedrals, the TV Tower, and many more! Also, BEST students may go to nearby Potsdam to have a guided tour at Sanssouci, the former summer palace of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia.

Is there any free time to explore the city on our own?
Yes. We plan to have late afternoons, evenings, and nights free for individual activities. So there is enough leisure time to explore the city on your own and shop till you drop.

How do we get from Duisburg to Berlin and vice versa?
BEST students will take the famous ICE high speed train to get from Duisburg to Berlin in no more than 4 hours!

Miscellaneous

Will there be enough free time to explore the city, country, and continent?
You will have most afternoons free on a regular course day to explore Duisburg and the beautiful Ruhr Area on your own, with other BEST students, or your local “buddies”. At least one weekend will be free to visit a European city of your choice within the program. Also, most BEST students travel Europe and Germany before and after the official program.

What is the weather like in Germany?
This is really hard to answer. Summers in Germany can be really hot. Most of the time the weather is moderate and enjoyable, but sometimes it can be rather cool and rainy. Be sure to have everything with you: t-shirts and shorts as well as jeans and jackets.

Can I travel Europe with a visa for Germany?
Yes, you can enter most European states with a visa for Germany. According to the Schengen Agreement, you can travel all countries belonging to the so called Schengen Area, i.e. Germany, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Are there any other currencies than the EURO in Europe?
Yes, the UK, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Poland, Czech Republic (amongst others) hold their own currencies.

Do I need a special health insurance?
Students require an adequate health insurance as foreign coverage is often not equivalent to German standards and needs. Therefore, BEST provides all guest students with a German student health insurance that is fully recognized in Germany. If you want to use your own health insurance, please get in touch with our staff.

What companies do we visit and what kinds of field trips are planned?
BEST features are subject to change since we do our best to consistently improve our program and meet our students’ ideas and wishes. BEST has recently visited renowned international operating enterprises such as Vodafone, ALDI, and König Brewery; attended meet and greets at institutions such as the Bundestag (federal parliament), Landtag (state parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia), and Bundesbank (federal reserve bank); as well as wonderful sights in and around Duisburg, e.g., old town Düsseldorf, Landscape Park Duisburg, Old Coal Mine Zeche Zollverein in Essen, various historic cathedrals, a medieval castle, and much more!