Berlin School of Economics and Law



The Berlin School of Economics and Law (BSEL) was founded in 2009 through a merger of the Berlin School of Economics and FHVR Berlin. Boasting three campuses, you will be based at the main campus in the Schöneberg neighborhood of Berlin, which is only about 11 minutes from the Brandenburg Gate. BSEL partners with over 90 colleges and universities all over the world, meaning that you will have access to an extensive course list and cultural ambassadors from across the globe. This exchange program is College of Business Administration (CBA) specific, meaning only undergraduate CBA students may participate. For more information about the university, go to the BSEL's website here, and download the information linked.  

Want to learn more? Check out the Pitt Business To the World student blog and BSEL's video for incoming exchange students.


Fact sheet: 
Learning Objectives: 

As an active and engaged participant on this program, you will have the opportunity to develop: 

  • the ability to succeed independently in a foreign education environment. 
  • non-US based perspectives on your field of study and/or future career path. 
  • a global network of peers in similar fields of study and connections with faculty in Germany



Partner Information: 

Berlin School of Economics and Law

International Office

Badensche Str. 52 (room A 3.06)

10825 Berlin/Germany

T:+49 (0)30-30877-1260

F:+49 (0)30-30877-1269




Location Description: 

Berlin is the capital and largest city of Germany by both area and population.The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 marked a monumental shift in Germany's future and set the stage for this modern city. Berlin is full of old charm, yet brims with the technology and modernism of a major global city. From riding your bike through the Tiergarten to walking through the Brandenburg Gate, history surrounds you at every turn. Get ready to be in a city where there is a very strong influence of a younger German crowd that likes to have fun, yet they keep the city very clean and safe. You will never be bored exploring this rapidly growing city; from museums, river views, street art, and perfectly mild weather, this is the place for you!


Housing Description: 

BSEL offers options for university-affiliated housing or private accommodations. Pitt students are not guaranteed  spots within university-affiliated housing. BSEL will provide instructions on when and how to apply for housing. See BSEL’s website for more information on housing.


Academic Description: 

BSEL's courses are taught in German and in English with a large number taught in English. Specific courses will be offered in one of the two languages.  

Credits taken at BSEL are evaluated on an ECTS scale and will transfer to Pitt according to a 2:1 ratio. For example, 10 ECTS credits will transfer as 5 Pitt credits. Additionally, for the purpose of full-time status at Pitt, students should be prepared to take what is equivalent to at least 12 Pitt credit hours.   All credits taken at BSEL require approval by both your academic advisor(s) and study abroad program manager.

Courses taken at BSEL will be treated as transfer credits and will be marked as pass/fail (S/NC) on a Pitt student's transcript. In other words, transfer credits will not affect your Pitt GPA. Actual grades earned will appear on the transcript from the exchange university. 

As a part of the cultural experience, BSEL offers pre-semester German courses and an orientation specifically designed for visiting students. These may be considered for credit or not for credit. Verify with the study abroad program manager regarding their transferability. 


Students who have attended this program in the past have taken classes in the areas of:: 
Human Resources Management
Operations Management
Business Accounting

Unlike Pitt, BSEL's grading scale follows the practice of assigning categories, such as Excellent/sehr gut, Good/gut, Satisfactory/befriedigend, Sufficient/genügend, Fail/nicht genügend. 

For Pitt transfer credit, in order to earn a grade of “S,” (satisfactory) at Pitt, you must make an equivalent to a grade of “C” or higher. An equivalent to a “C-” or lower will result in a grade of “NC” (no credit) at Pitt.  

BSEL will provide hardcopy (or electronic transcripts) to the University of Pittsburgh’s Global Experiences Office. Make sure that you follow their instructions on how to ensure that an official copy of your grades are received. Hardcopies should be sent the following address: 3959 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA. Electronic copies should be sent to the designated exchange program manager under “Program Staff.”  


Exchange university transcripts typically do not arrive from the exchange university until 3 to 4 months after the end of the exchange period. Therefore, Pitt students should be mindful of how this may affect their ability to graduate, especially when exchanging during one's senior year. Another consideration is how this may affect your financial aid package, as the S/NC grades are not posted until transcripts are received. 


Pitt students may utilize the following online resource to understand the grading scale within this host country. 


Program Fees: 
Pitt students participating on an exchange program will pay regular Pitt tuition and fees, according to their in-state or out-of-state residency status. In addition to the Study Abroad Administrative Fee, this also includes all Mandatory Fees, such as the Student Activity Fee, Wellness Fee, Computing and Network Services Fee, and the Security, Safety, and Transportation Fee.  
* BSEL awards 1 Travel Grant of $1000 per year/semester. An interview with the program manager may be required.
Pitt Students on financial aid and/or tuition scholarships will need to consult the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid or respective entity providing the funds to confirm coverage for study abroad. 

Spring 2023 Items Billed by Pitt

  In-State Out-of-State
Tuition* $11,036 $20,280
Mandatory Fees $660 $660
Study Abroad Fee $400 $400
Total Billed by Pitt* $12,096 $21,340
How Much To Budget: 

Estimated Additional Out-of-Pocket Costs

Travel Expenses: Airfare, Passport, Visa  $2,000
Room & Board $3,000 - $4,000
Personal Expenses $2,000
BSEL Administration Fee  $250 - $350
The estimated costs reflect information provided by BSEL and are reported to OAFA to calculate financial aid packages.  The listed costs are defaulted to one semester. Multiply the costs by two for two semesters. 
Personal expenses vary with individual students. Review BSEL's factsheet for more information on expenses. 

Students studying abroad through Pitt Global Experiences are automatically provided health insurance coverage during the official program dates. However, you may need to purchase additional insurance if the exchange university you will attend requires purchase of a specific health insurance coverage per their regulations. It is your responsibility to ensure you know the cost of that insurance prior to committing to the program.


Program Dates: 

Pitt students enroll at BSEL for either the spring semester or a full academic year (two full semesters). BSEL’s calendar may differ from Pitt's normal fall (August through December) and spring (January through April) semesters, so Pitt students should check the academic calendar at the exchange university. Unlike Pitt, BSEL's academic calendar follows a Winter-Summer progression, meaning Winter is the first semester followed by the Summer semester as the second.

Steph Spirk

Hola, hallo, hi!  I'm Steph Spirk, and I am an International Programs Manager for Pitt Business.  I am a yinzer, very proud to call Pittsburgh my home, yet my love for cultural exchange has always led me to new places, even ones I never thought I'd go to before.  I was a Pitt student myself, becoming an expert on study abroad by participating in three programs: Global Service Learning in Bolivia, the International Internship Program in Madrid, and an exchange program at Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona.  I speak fluent Spanish and German at an advanced level.  In my free time you'll find me practicing yoga in the square, hiking through the many parks, painting, and capturing the beauty of Pittsburgh and beyond through the lens of my camera.
Looking forward to chatting with yinz!

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Application Instructions: 

Pitt sends a limited number of students per semester to BSEL. In addition to applying to the Pitt Global Experiences application above, be sure to review BSEL's website regarding their application requirements for incoming exchange students. A formal nomination from Pitt Global Experiences is required for a Pitt student to be recognized as an exchange student at BSEL. Therefore, Pitt students must complete all necessary Pitt Global Experiences steps in addition to BSEL's requirements. In other words, acceptance by Pitt Global Experiences does not guarantee acceptance by the exchange university.


Prior to being nominated you must meet with the Program Manager.   


The exchange university may require the following to be submitted through an online application or by paper. Requirements may include but are not limited to the following:  

  • Application Form 

  • Copy of Valid Passport 

  • Official Pitt Transcript 

  • Official Pitt Verification of Enrollment 

  • Statement of Intent or Purpose 

  • Resume or CV 

  • Official Language Evaluation 

  • Up to 2 instructor letters of recommendations 

  • Up to 2 passport photos 



Additional Information: 

Non-native English speakers may be required to show evidence of English proficiency either through the IELTS or the TOEFL.  


Agreement Meeting

All students are required to attend the mandatory Agreement Meeting.  This event will cover important topics relevant to study abroad like health, safety, security, and more.  Plus, it will give you the chance to meet other students studying abroad on your program.  Alumni and staff will also be present to help you start thinking about your goals for the program. Your program manager will follow up with more information once you begin your application.


Scholarship Information

For scholarship opportunities, be sure to check out the Pitt Global Experiences funding page. 

Pitt Business students may also apply for additional scholarship through the Pitt Business International Scholarships, as well as crowdfund using the Pitt Business Fund My Travel page. Please note, that the application deadline for the Pitt Business International Scholarship is the same as the program application deadline.  


Insurance Requirements: 

Students studying abroad through Pitt Study Abroad are automatically provided health insurance coverage during the official program dates.


Visa Requirements: 

In order to study as a student in specific countries, a visa is required. A visa is formal endorsement by the host country to grant permission for an individual to enter, live or stay in that country for a specific purpose and period. In addition to a visa, some host countries may require a residency permit upon arrival.

For those without a German/EU nationality, students must obtain a student visa to study in Germany. BSEL will provide general direction after formal admission on how to apply for a visa. Pitt students should also research the visa and/or permit process through the specified country consulate website.   

In general visa application requirements include but are not limited to the following requirements:  

  • Visa application 
  • Valid Passport 
  • Verification of acceptance from sponsoring university (exchange university) 
  • Financial Documents, such as bank statements, tax documents or pay statements.   
  • Passport photos 
  • Application fee 
  • Medical/physical examination (likely to require a doctor's appointment so plan accordingly)