IBEA: The International Business Education Alliance

A truly global undergraduate program of excellence with world-class opportunities: Four schools. Four continents. One program.

The International Business Education Alliance (IBEA) provides undergraduate business students with a unique and comprehensive view of the global environment of business. The four-year Bachelor program draws on the academic expertise of each partner school. Selected students will study part of the program as one cohort and will stay one semester at each of the four participating institutions. Each school will offer customized classes and cultural courses designed for IBEA students. Besides a strong local and regional exposure, students will gain hands-on global management experience by working closely with one corporate partner from each school.

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Academic Excellence

All participating universities share a drive for excellence by providing teaching and conducting research at a top international level. Students learn about the business world of Asia, Europe as well as South and North America by studying on four continents and benefiting from a customized course offering.

The participating universities
I am beyond greatful for the experiences I made during IBEA. 3 semesters abroad with interesting courses, diverse people in amazing locations – this exposure helped me to become the person I aspire to be personally and professionally. I share so many amazing memories with my IBEA friends and it is very recomforting and unique to have friends around the globe.
Isabella Nass, IBEA Generation 3 Participant
Joining IBEA has been an incredible experience that I will forever be grateful for! The IBEA journey has added value to so many areas in my life through studying in four different academic settings, living in a variety of environments and embracing new cultures, gaining unique consulting insight, and building lifelong friendships. It truly is a dynamic and exciting opportunity that I would recommend to anyone who is challenging themselves to grow personally, professionally and academically!
Julia Signorelli, IBEA Generation 4 Participant
The IBEA idea of traveling on four continents around the world experiencing different cultures and perspectives at the same time as expanding and practicing my business knowledge could be considered love (and opportunity) at first sign; ever since my first year at my home university I knew I wanted to be part of the family.
Alice Micheletti, IBEA Generation 6 Participant
The IBEA is a program of excellence in which 11 students from each partner school are selected from 4 top universities and study in 4 continents in the last 2 years of school. We study at the University of Mannheim in Germany, USC in the US, FGV in Brazil and ESSEC Business School in Singapore. What particularly drew my attention to the program is the fact that the classes and cultural courses were tailored to IBEA students as it was training us to be global citizens and managers in the near future. In addition, the joint project with a corporate partner at each institution abroad allowed me to meet future potential employers and gave me the opportunity to network in four different continents with students my age who I now consider some of my best friends. I had the opportunity to work at PWC in Germany, L’Oréal in Brazil and Capsule by Juliette (a French fashion company) in Singapore.
Kareena Aswani, IBEA Generation 5 Participant
I started IBEA in 2018 hoping to get an excellent international education with a high level of cultural exposure and the opportunity to explore distant parts of the world. I finished IBEA at the end of 2019 with all the above experiences, but so much more that I didn’t expect before. I can truly say that the value of IBEA goes beyond the facts you can read about on this website. The true value is in the community, the memories, and the lifelong friendships.
Benedikt Neininger, IBEA Generation 2 Participant
Joining IBEA is the best choice I’ve made. There’s something very empowering about gaining such a global perspective in your college years, and I am beyond grateful for the experience. Not only did I receive a unique global education, but I also met some of my closest friends — it’s so fun now as an alumna to have IBEA friends in almost any city I visit!
Emily McCluskey, IBEA Generation 1 Participant

Intercultural Experience

By being part of an international cohort of 40 students, selected by the respective home institutions, participants expand their intercultural and social competences. Cultural courses, particularly designed for the IBEA program, give students further knowledge to reflect on socio-political and economic issues.

Sharing the unique IBEA experience with energizing and driven people from all around the world creates friendships for a lifetime.

Corporate Experience

Not only does IBEA provide academic excellence to its students, but the program combines theory with practice to ensure quality at all educational levels. At each partnering institution, students work on corporate projects to solve business issues together with decision-makers from national and international companies. IBEA captures the need for a globalized workforce and trains the next generation of global leaders.

Participants also have the opportunity to expand their network on four different continents, to meet competitive employers and attend workshops and information sessions at the partnering schools.

The corporate experience is one of IBEA’s key characteristics and aims to provide students in the fields of accounting and taxation with the practical skills necessary to successfully meet the demands of the global business world.


Since the start of the IBEA program in 2015, each year around 40 students selected by their respective home universities join the program after three semesters at their individual home institution.
With the fourth semester, IBEA students study as one cohort for the subsequent four semesters, starting at the University of Mannheim, Business School, followed by the Darla Moore School of Business of the University of South Carolina and ESSEC’s campus in Singapore. The last study abroad semester is spent at the Brazilian School of Public and Business Administration in Rio de Janeiro.

Each school offers a customized business class for the IBEA cohort reflecting each school’s academic fields of excellence and a customized cultural course reflecting each country’s economic, social and cultural background. While studying abroad, students are exposed to regional business intelligence while working in teams on a designated corporate project at each partnering institution. In addition, IBEA students are able to take regular undergraduate courses offered at the host school in order to fulfill their home degree course requirements.

The final eighth semester will be, again, completed at the student’s home institution. Graduating students will receive a document of completion appropriately endorsed by all four institutions.

The first three semesters will be completed at each student’s individual home institution. Students receive a thorough education in the fundamentals of Business Administration, as well as training in key skills.

Beginning with the fourth semester, IBEA students will study as one cohort for the subsequent four semesters. The first destination will be the University of Mannheim, Business School in Germany, which will offer IBEA students a tailored course in accounting and taxation (Business and Corporate Taxation) as well as a specific cultural course (German Business Culture). In addition to that, IBEA students will be able to choose electives from a large variety of different courses offered at Mannheim.

The following semester, IBEA students will jointly study at the University of South Carolina, Darla Moore School of Business, U.S.A. The cohort-specific course will be Globalization and Business, in which students learn about drivers of globalization and business responses to it.
Further, IBEA students are enriching their managerial skills through a real-life consulting project in collaboration with the SCSBDC (South Carolina Small Business Development Center). During this intense five-week project, students will consult local U.S.-based business partners on their strategy, ending with a final presentation and deliverable. IBEA students are also able to attend selected courses offered at USC spanning various different topics.

With ESSEC’s campus in Singapore, IBEA students will experience a complete different regional setting in the subsequent sixth semester. Next to a cultural course with a focus on Asia, students will be offered a cohort-specific course “EBusiness”. The IBEA consulting project allows students to derive strategy implications for local business partners in South-East Asia and gain insights into Asian markets. In addition to that, students will have the possibility to choose from business courses offered at the ESSEC Singapore campus and take part in French or Chinese languages courses.

The last destination for IBEA students as one cohort will be at FGV EBAPE in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The focus of the cohort specific course will be on leading and managing, with the current cohort specific course being focused on Human Resource and Strategic Management. Students will also be able to attend a cultural course, where they learn about the history and current drivers in the Latin American business realm as well as the particularities of the Brazilian market. The acquired knowledge is applied in the IBEA company project, with national and international companies. Furthermore, IBEA students can choose from a range of electives around the topic of business, economics, and politics in both English and Portuguese, depending on their language skills.

The final eighth semester will be completed at the student’s home institution. Graduating students will receive a document of completion appropriately endorsed by all four institutions.


IBEA students must be admitted to one of the four institutions as a candidate for a specific undergraduate business degree awarded by that institution. Awarding of the degree is a requirement for completing the IBEA course of study.

The institutions will jointly recognize all participants who have completed all parts of IBEA by a document of completion appropriately endorsed by all four institutions.

For application to IBEA, please see the respective school’s website:

  • Students need to be admitted to a specific undergraduate degree program at one of the participating schools before they can apply for the IBEA program

  • Only the respective home institution can accept IBEA applications and is solely responsible for the selection process

  • Students will receive their degree from their respective home institution, jointly recognized by all other schools

University of Mannheim

The Business School of the University of Mannheim constantly tops the list of German business schools and was Germany’s first institution which received the “triple crown” – the accreditations by AACSB, EFMD (EQUIS) and AMBA. Being the biggest business faculty in Germany and located in the heart of the 4th largest economy in the world, Mannheim maintains strong relations to the corporate world. Its corporate partners offer exclusive events for its students on campus and accompany students during their academic studies.

University of South Carolina

The Darla Moore School of Business of the University of South Carolina is known worldwide for its international business graduate programs that have been top ranked for the past 40 years; and it’s undergraduate International Business program, that has been ranked No. 1 for 24 consecutive years by U.S. News and World Report. USC’s approximately 35,000 students represent 105 nations and benefit from this international atmosphere on campus.

ESSEC Business School

One of the leading business schools in Europe and founded in 1907 in Paris, ESSEC Business School strategically chose Singapore to extend its international presence and establish its Asia-Pacific campus. The economic dynamism of the city-state and its position at a multicultural and educational crossroads allows ESSEC to respond to the increasing demand for management education in Asia. ESSEC Asia-Pacific serves as a gateway to the Asian and European markets, allowing our business students to get an enhanced educational experience and learn how to deal with different cultures in our increasingly global and complex environment.


The Brazilian School of Public and Business Administration (FGV-EBAPE) has been ranked as the best School of Administration in Brazil. Its excellence is built on quality teaching and strong academic research. FGV-EBAPE provides state-of-the-art management education suited to the Brazilian context and represents a strategic access point to Latin America business. The FGV-EBAPE furthermore serves as a major research center into the managerial demands of Brazilian society and a veritable hotbed of landmark concepts, methods and techniques of a Brazilian corporate culture.