Skip to main content
MIM students in the auditorium

Pre- and Post-MBA options

Extend the value of your MBA


A few months prior to the start of the MBA program in January you can choose to arrive in Berlin and enroll in full-time, intensive German language classes. Classes are scheduled to begin in October, but the start date is flexible depending on your schedule. We recommend three months of study to introduce you to the German language or boost your current level. You can continue with your German language studies during the MBA program.


After completing all academic requirements of the MBA, you can choose to apply for the Responsible Leaders Fellowship (RLF) and use your skills to give back. The RLF start and end dates are flexible, but typically follow the MBA program between February to June.

You can also choose to continue your German language studies following the MBA program.

Learn more about the options

  • Study German before and during the program

    If you want to establish your career in Germany – particularly outside of Berlin - learning German is strongly advised. There are multiple ways in which du dein Deutsch verbessern kannst (you can improve your German).


    In coordination with GLS Sprachenzentrum Berlin (German Language School Berlin), take intensive German language courses before the MBA program begins.

    To enroll in a German course, the latest we recommend you submit your MBA application is by round 4 if you are coming from outside the EU (29 June), or round 5 if you are coming from an EU country (17 August). Costs for the course will vary but, as an ESMT student, you will receive a discounted rate. For more specific and up-to-date information and rates, please contact the Admissions Office.

    During your MBA

    Continue your language learning while you study, all of which are offered at no additional cost to you:

    • Foundation: from April to July, take part in German language evening classes
    • Summer term: choose the 6-week intensive Sommer-Sprachschule
    • Electives: sign up for the Business German elective
  • The Responsible Leaders Fellowship (RLF)

    Where? Developing countries, projects available in diverse settings

    When? Up to six months post-MBA program

    MBA Graduates can delay their job search for up to six months in order to complete a social impact project in a developing country. Students provide pro-bono service to organizations or institutions that creates value and social change for the community. All airfare, living stipend, and other related costs are covered by generous contributions from ESMT's Circle of Friends.

    Project Partner Mission Country Mission


    South Africa Linking European entrepreneurs with African entrepreneurs


    Belize, India Bringing solar energy to rural areas by empowering the local communities
    Kenya Providing medical services to the slums of Nairobi
    South Africa Teaching business and entrepreneurship courses in TSiBa, a business school focusing on graduating entrepreneurial leaders who ignite opportunity and social change in Cape Town
    Welthungerhilfe Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe ICT solutions for agriculture: developing new local farming techniques to improve productivity
    Worldwide Fund for Nature
    India, Myanmar Developing sustainable investment policies with local governments



    Supporting local entrepreneurs with their strategy, marketing activities and business partnerships

    Penda Paper


    Establishing Penda Paper, a paper recycling company, as a strong competitor

    Negotiations for the World (NFTW)


    Connect with local institutions to promote the program


Responsible Leaders Fellowship

Watch Theresa Rodriguez, Full-time MBA alumna of ESMT Berlin sharing her experience about the Responsible Leaders Fellowship (RLF) that led her to South Africa during the final months of her studies.

Responsible Leaders Fellowship

MBA alumna Nabututu discusses her experience in Kigali, Kenya and Cape Town, South Africa.

Responsible Leaders Fellowship

Roxie Overaker talks about why she chose to do the RLF and what motivated her to work in Kenya with Lookslike Avido.

Responsible Leaders Fellowship

Beverly Dodard-Guillaume talks about why she chose to do the RLF and what motivated her to work with the Huru Foundation, a NGO based in Nairobi.

Apply now

Start or continue your Full-time MBA application.

Student Perspectives

Hear from an alumna

Akshatha Hedge, MBA alumna, shares her journey from India to Europe, from an MBA to working as a program manager at a software company.

Watch now

Life in Berlin

Berlin is a vibrant and diverse city that is constantly reinventing itself. See what we love about life in Germany's capital.

Read more about the city