For me it has always been super important that I chose a study I thought would be interesting. What caught my eye at IBA was the courses and how the program is structured. I like that there is a possibility to have two semesters abroad and the language part is a big part of the first years of the education. I think it is important to find key factors that you think will help you through your studies. Before I applied, I thought a lot about the international aspect and how everything at the study is in English. It was on the reasons I applied for this exact course as it would hopefully strengthen and improve my English skills. My expectations for the course were that it would be super difficult as learning a new language is, but I also had an expectation that especially the language course would be very demanding and it really is, so it is important that you really want to learn Japanese/Chinese as it is difficult to learn.
IBA is a super interesting course, but it also very demanding. You are learning a new language from scratch, and it takes a lot of effort and hard work. The way of studying is different as it not only reading, but writing in hand, memorizing different characters and a more active teaching. You must participate actively in the language course which was a surprise for me as it didn’t align with how I thought university would be. It did turn out that this worked very well for me, as I think it is nice that you have some responsibility to live up to. It is important to be aware that with Japanese /Chinese that you must be active during the language classes, this is both a bit intimidating but also great way when learning a new language. The thing about IBA which is really nice is that even though the language part is 50% of the courses the other courses balance it out, so you don’t get the feeling that you are a language course only, but gets the opportunity to work with both the business aspect and the language aspect in context with each other.
Besides IBA being on of the smaller studies there are many social organizations where you can interfere and get a great connection with other people who studies IBA which strength the social aspect which for me is really important.
Before starting a language course, just read a little bit about it. I started the Japanese course with no prior knowledge at all, as many other does, but some of my fellow students had just spent some time on Duolingo, or ordered the books or practiced the Japanese alphabet, and that helped them so much. Not saying you need to know every single character or anything, but just a little bit of practice during the summer will make a whole different when you enter the first class.
Don’t be afraid to ask your teacher, tutors or anything. I wished I ask more questions about anything. Whether it is how to study for the first classes in Japanese/Chinese, where to buy used books or how to book a study seat at the library, always ask.
Hear the students' reflections on choosing their study programme and being a student on IBA. Feel free to contact them with your questions.