Study Semester "Principles of Sustainable Business"

Take on the challenge and shape our future – your actions matter!

As one of the projects of the UN-Decade “Education for Sustainable Development”, our Study Semester implements the maxims of the global sustainability movement. This means teaching about the complex economic, ecological and social origins of today’s megatrends such as climate change, demography, resource management and intergenerational justice.

We believe that knowledge has to be filled with life. These challenges need real-life solutions; accordingly we want to educate game-changers who are able to

  • Think ahead and address the megatrends
  • Interconnect their respective fields by working in international teams and profiting from each other’s diverse knowledge
  • Act autonomously and approach problems with fresh ideas
  • Have a say and take part in society’s decisions

It’s your turn: Explore Sustainability in Germany!

Are you studying business, ecology or environmental science and want to acquire key qualifications in sustainable management? Take part in a one or two semester intensive course and learn how companies gain valuable advantages in the international market and prosper by implementing sustainable business solutions.

Gain hands-on experience of successful sustainable projects and experience how to adapt to today’s main challenge of integrating business success and sustainability. Meet the experts on successful environmental management at the Environmental Campus Birkenfeld. You can find out about Germany, its regulatory and business approach to today’s environmental challenges. Last but not least, you visit fascinating business and cultural sites.

Modules Summer Semester

Compulsory Foundation Modules

  • Fundamentals of Entrepreneurial Management (5 ECTS) 
    Good ideas need entrepreneurs: 
    This module aims to raise fundamental elements of managerial competences needed in the field of entrepreneurship. Lessons will cover topics such as financing of ventures and funding alternatives, corporate financial modeling as well as areas such as marketing and cost accounting. We strive to improve the chances of entrepreneurial success for our students and their ideas for a sustainable future.
  • Digitalization (5 ECTS)
    Thinking ahead of times: This module deals with in-depth aspects of digitization in national, international and intercultural contexts, how to address content to heterogeneous target groups, digital business and customer communication and the economic perspectives of companies in a global digital context. You will be able to analyze, classify and optimize various digital media in terms of language, content and economic use to design a differentiated digital business communication model in an intercultural context.
  • Sustainable Development Goals (5 ECTS)
    A better and more sustainable future: The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice. You will understand and reflect on the historicity and systematics as well as on the local application of these goals. In teams you will develop action portfolios as a local interpretation and implementation of a chosen SDG. Based on that concept a real or fictional application of the action portfolio in the local context of the Birkenfeld region will be conducted.
  • German Language and International Business Culture (5 ECTS)
    Successful business is both global and local: As an introduction into German business culture and society, this course teaches about the 2000-year tradition of natural protection, why „quite good“ means „excellent“ and why management needs permission to let you work overtime. We will further look at intercultural perspectives and gain insights into neighboring cultures. This lays the groundwork for your visits to businesses and sites in the region where Germany, France and Luxemburg meet and where global and local business practices are forged.


Elective Modules

  • Sustainable Waste and Waste Water Treatment Technologies (5 ECTS):
    Keeping waste to a minimum: Reducing the amount of natural resources consumed is one of the most important actions we can all help to follow. The module introduces you to the treatment technologies for waste reduction and recycling in Circular Economy. Wastewater disposal continues to be one of the biggest tasks of environmental protection. Get to know the innovative technical paths of Circular Water Systems and Eco Sanitation. Become familiar with pilot plants for nutrients recovery, future plastic filter options and low tech solutions for developing countries.
  • Cleaner Production and Operations Management (5 ECTS)
    Reducing the environmental impact of the business: Cleaner Production tries to prevent and reduce risks to humans and the environment while increasing an overall efficiency of processes, products and services. In this module you will acquire basic knowledge about production processes, learning to understand the organization of these processes and their position within the supply chain. Learn how to analyze industry relations alongside their horizontal and vertical value-chains and get an appropriate toolkit to measure and monitor the results based on economic and ecological aspects.
  • Environmental Policy  (5 ECTS)
    Considering environmental protection: Environmental problems cross national borders and can only be tackled through international cooperation. International environmen-tal policy covers many issues: Climate protection, sustainable energy policy, conservation of biological diversity, protection of forests, oceans and soils and against hazardous substances or the fight against desertification. You will discuss the political actors and their role in the political process. Examine the different views on regulatory policy and the impacts on property rights and distribution.
  • Sustainable Conflict Resolution (5 ECTS)
    The framework for sustainable strategies: This module presents and discusses conflicts against the background of international and national development of sustainability strategies and implemented legal procedures. The difficulty of sustainable decision finding and restorative justice by formal legal proce-dures is examined. Respective knowledge about relevant Euro-pean and German legal norms and legal principles as well as about alternative dispute resolution strategies such as media-tion, arbitration, negotiation will be transmitted and serves to enhance your understanding of decision taking in different social fields.

The elective modules from the study semester program "International Business and Digital Transformation" are also selectable.​

Modules Winter Semester

Compulsory Foundation Modules

  • Fundamentals of Sustainable Business and Circular Economy (10 ECTS)
    Fundamentals of Sustainable Business
    You can do well by doing good:  A growing number of organizations are integrating sustainability into their business strategy. This module serves as a natural starting point by identifying and analyzing the structure of these modern enterprises. You will be able to demonstrate the influence of external environmental conditions on the entrepreneurial process as well as identify potential ethical conflicts and social responsibility issues involving different stakeholders of the firm.

Circular Economy A critical tool for sustainable development: The circular economy boosts the EU‘s    competitiveness by protecting businesses against scarcity of resources and volatile prices, helping to create new business opportunities and innovative, more efficient ways of producing and consuming. Be part of weeklong activities and site visits to showcase, demonstrate and share knowledge on the latest advancements.

  • Management of Non-Governmental Organizations (5 ECTS)
    From service organizations to human-rights advocacy: You will reflect on the status-quo of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and learn about chosen tools to manage them. Via case studies, you will interpret the given and potential development of particular NGOs. In order to expand the professional, methodical and social competences in the area of NGOs, you will elaborate reports on particular (global or local) NGOs in regard to pre-defined historical, managerial and trend-based aspects and criteria.
  • German Language and International Business Culture (5 ECTS)
    Successful business is both global and local: As an introduction into German business culture and society, this course teaches about the 2000-year tradition of natural protection, why „quite good“ means „excellent“ and why management needs permission to let you work overtime. We will further look at intercultural perspectives and gain insights into neighboring cultures. This lays the groundwork for your visits to businesses and sites in the region where Germany, France and Luxemburg meet and where global and local business practices are forged.

Elective Modules

  • Ethics and Society (5 ECTS)
    Harmonization of antagonistic targets: This module explains the need for modern ethical correct business modeling and sus-tainable management in companies in all major functional and managerial fields. Practical real business exercises as well as virtual examples set you into a manager role as decision maker or project leader. You identify the parallels between classical and business ethics and realize the positive outcome. Learning more about classical ethically desired and accepted behavior you understand how to change today’s established often-misleading production ways and rigid treatment of employees to a business that reduces systematically negative impacts.
  • International Law and International Economic Policy (5 ECTS)
    Monitoring the behavior between states:This module introduces you to basic rules of international civil law, which is an enormously complex topic, as most countries in the world have their “own” international civil law. Achieve a certain sensitivity which enables you to evaluate the legal risks going along with certain business actions and business problems. You will also get insights to certain basic principles of the European unification and international economic cooperation. Core economic issues behind the integration process on a European and on an international level will also be highlighted.

The elective modules from the study semester program "International Business and Digital Transformation" are also selectable.​

Study Conditions, Accommodation and Fees

Participants in the program will live and study on our modern campus with over 2,500 other students of environmental business, law, sustainable science, information and media technology. All student apartments are reasonably priced. They come fully equipped and provide high-speed internet access as well as being connected to our university intranet.

The university does not charge a tuition fee for the Study Semester. Students will have to pay a 500 Euros administration fee per semester that also covers excursion costs and a general admissions fee of approx. 200 Euros per semester that also allows free rail travel in the region.

Students will enjoy the benefits of our “buddy concept”, with German students providing individual help in getting orientated and integrated in campus life.

How to apply as a guest student coming from a partner university

How to apply

The next two Study Semester "Principles of Sustainable Business" will take place from October 2021 to January 2022 (winter semester)andfrom March to July 2021 (summer semester). Applications should be submitted by

  • 1  November for the summer semester
  • 1 August for the winter semester

Please note that the application forms have to be signed personally by applicants and by the responsible university referees. They have to be sent back via e-mail to studysemester@umwelt-campus.de and via regular mail to the following address:

Umwelt-Campus Birkenfeld
Ms. Katharina Laros
PO Box 1380
55761 Birkenfeld
Germany

In addition to the application form, the following documents must be included with each application:

  1. Statement of Motivation
  2. Letter of Reference
  3. Most Recent Grade Transcript
  4. Certificate of English Language Proficiency or an equivalent
    • TOEFL® Test (internet-based: 79 / computer-based: 213 / paper-based: 550)
    • IELTS (band 6)
    • TOEIC® Test (Listening & Reading 750 points + Writing & Speaking 300 points)

      TOEFL and TOEIC are registered trademarks of ETS in the United States and other countries.

All forms have to be filled out on computer (not handwritten). Please send all applications forms together with the other documents as one single PDF document. Handwritten forms or an incomplete application will not be accepted.

 

How to apply as a "free mover"

How to apply

Our Study Semester program addresses enrolled (Bachelor) students from partner universities all around the world. However, in exceptional cases foreign students may carry out a semester or a whole academic year at our university, even though they are not applying as part of a student exchange but voluntarily. This can be the case if applicants have already completed a Bachelor or Master study or have not yet started studying at all.

When applying as a free mover students will not be treated as guest students, but as regular students. Hence, they have to meet the academic admission requirements for studying at German universities. A higher education entrance qualification has to be proven.

Which application documents do I have to hand in?

The next two Study Semester "Principles of Sustainable Business" will take place from October 2021 to January 2022 (winter semester)andfrom March to July 2021 (summer semester). Applications should be submitted by

  • 1  November for the summer semester
  • 1 August for the winter semester

Please note that the application forms have to be signed personally by applicants and by the responsible university referees. They have to be sent back via e-mail to studysemester@umwelt-campus.de and via regular mail to the following address:

Umwelt-Campus Birkenfeld
Ms. Katharina Laros
PO Box 1380
55761 Birkenfeld
Germany

In addition to the application form, the following documents must be included with each application:

  1. High school/college and university leaving certificates officially translated into German or English
  2. A detailed resumé with your complete academic and professional career (incl. annual details)
  3. Statement of Motivation
  4. Certificate of English Language Proficiency or an equivalent
    • TOEFL® Test (internet-based: 79 / computer-based: 213 / paper-based: 550)
    • IELTS (band 6)
    • TOEIC® Test (Listening & Reading 750 points + Writing & Speaking 300 points)

      TOEFL and TOEIC are registered trademarks of ETS in the United States and other countries.

5. Payment document/receipt of the transfer of 50 Euros

Each document has to be sent as a PDF file named accordingly.

The revision of documents by our Students Office in order to check your higher education entrance qualification costs 50 Euros and has to be transferred no later than 1 August for the winter semester and 1 November for the summer semester (date of receipt). Please note that foreign remittances can take up to 1 or 2 weeks.

Please transfer the amount to the following account:

Recipient: Landeshochschulkasse Mainz

Name of bank: Deutsche Bundesbank Filiale Mainz

Account number: 550 01511

Bank Sort Code: 550 000 00

IBAN: DE25 5500 0000 0055001511

BIC: MARKDEF 1550

Reason for payment: 6671-1566-BIR 11113/02 "Surname, First name, Date of birth"

Please do not forget to mention the reason for payment, otherwise we cannot locate the payment and your application will not be processed.

Your excellent conditions

  • All modules taught in English
  • Fully credited with 30 ECTS points per semester
  • Stay for 1 or 2 semesters
  • Live on-campus in Birkenfeld, Germany
  • No tuition fees

Key Features

  • Orientation week & buddy system
  • Small classes and direct contact to faculty and applied research
  • Study in the heart of Europe - in the dynamic triangle between Germany, France and the Low Countries

Application deadlines

Summer semester (March to July):
1 November

Winter semester (September to January):
1 August

Contact

Katharina Laros
Katharina Laros, Dipl.-Betriebswirtin (FH)
Beschäftigte FB Umweltwirtschaft/-recht - FR Umweltwirtschaft

Contact

+49 6782 17-1208

Location

Birkenfeld | Building 9916 | Room 45

General enquiries

studysemester@umwelt-campus.de

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