Distance Learning Abroad: Vive la France!

With a German magister’s degree in her pocket, Eva-Maria set off for France. Unfortunately, in France, the degree is relatively unknown. Since she was looking to combine a full time job with a flexible, internationally recognised degree programme, she chose the MBA programme at IUBH Distance Learning.


My name is Eva-Maria and I live in a town north of Lyon in France. I decided to do an online degree programme at IUBH in the summer of 2015. Although I already had a German magister’s degree with a minor in business administration, I quickly realised that many employers do not really recognise or value business administration as a minor. Since it is love that drew me to France, where the word “magister” does not mean much to anyone, I chose the internationally recognised MBA programme at IUBH and have now completed it.

Job, Baby – and an online degree

Parallel to my full time job at an international inspection service provider, it was not always easy to study in the evenings, on weekends and during vacation. However, the feeling of learning something every day and doing something for myself in addition to working was always very motivating.  I combined my classroom coursework and exams in Germany with family visits, which kept extra costs down.

I particularly appreciated the flexibility of the IUBH programme and the end because in 2017 my life was again completely turned on its head – in the best sense of the word – when my little daughter was born. The fact that I was able to take exams online was, of course, the perfect option. And thanks to being able to easily extend the length of my study programme, I was able to finish my degree with a baby and still fully dedicate myself to her.

Live in Germany or France?

After five years in France I still cannot decide if I would rather live here or in Germany. I miss my home in Munich a lot, as well as the wonderful German open-air swimming pools and lakes. After my first dealings with French authorities, I also learned to value the comparatively smooth and efficient functioning of German bureaucracy.


cathedral of Saint Jean in Lyon

cathedral of Saint Jean in Lyon

France, on the other hand, impresses with its 35-hour workweek, which give you either a shorter working day or a few extra days off for holiday. Here I also discovered and learned to love my favourite hobby: scenic fencing. This involves performing choreographed fencing fights in front of an audience, which is comparable to the pirate or cloak-and-dagger fights one knows from films. My club is almost like a second family for me, and as part of my studies, I even used it and its strategic objectives as the subject of my thesis. France also scores points with its beautiful cities and landscapes. From Lyon, in less than three hours, you can choose between the Alps, the Mediterranean or one of the other French tourist destinations such as Drôme, Luberon or Camargue.

Maybe somewhere completely different

I cannot say what the future will bring my small family and me. Germany and France are both countries where I enjoy living, but I would be tempted to discover life in a completely different country. My friend and I do not want to commit ourselves, because as John Lennon phrased it: “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” We are open to surprises.


Eva-Maria is 31 years old and a native of Bavaria. Until 2018, she did her Master of Business Administration (MBA) at IUBH Distance Learning. In her free time – if she is not doing scenic fencing – she likes to travel, swim, play the piano or read.

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