”We found each other without having to look”

Finding true friends in the anonymity of a big city is not easy. Hinrika, Josephine and Vanessa are well aware of this. The three of them live in London where they met each other through their IUBH Distance Learning programme.


The three of us started our business degree programme more or less simultaneously in 2015 at IUBH Distance Learning. We are Hinrika from East Friesland, Josephine from Husum and Vanessa from Wiesbaden. Although all three of us had previously completed a vocational training programme in tourism, we now all work in considerably different kinds of jobs. If there had already been the option of taking exams online at IUBH when we started studying, we probably never would have met even though we are enrolled in the same degree programme. Unlike on-campus study programmes, with online degree programmes you hardly ever meet your fellow students personally.

LondonMonthly exam dates start a friendship

How fortunate that back then all exams still had to be taken at the Goethe-Institute in the district of Kensington! This meant that we saw each other almost every month to take exams and quickly realised that we got along superbly.  Originally, our group was even bigger. However, others have now finished their degree or have moved: back to Germany or even to Wales – greetings to Cardiff, Ulrike!

Ulrike was the one who created our Facebook group, called, the London-Stammtisch-Group. It was now much easier to coordinate plans for taking exams, and for taking the same exams at the same time so we could share the rent of the room at the Goethe-Institute. Soon we also got together in our free time for breakfast in the city or afternoon tea.

Personal exchange gives strength to carry on.

There never were study sessions, but it was and is always about studying: Who will plan which module next? Does anyone already have expertise in a specific subject and can give tips? Working full-time and studying online is not always easy to balance. This makes it even more valuable to have fellow students in the vicinity to talk to, and to give each other the necessary strength to carry on.

Now when the three of us meet, we always have fun. There is hardly ever a meeting where we don’t shed tears from laughing, even though “London life” with its high rental prices, long commutes and fast pace can sometimes be very grinding. The anonymity of a big city cannot be easily brushed aside, and that is exactly why it is so great to know each other. We found each other without having to look.

Meanwhile, we are all approaching the end of our online degree programme. If that will also mark the end of our time together in London is still open. The decision to pursue a personal future in Great Britain will certainly depend on the Brexit negotiations, so we will have to wait and see. However, even if the future should separate us geographically, our friendship will remain. Thank you IUBH!


left to right: Hinrika Busemann completed her vocational training in tourism management in East Friesland and now works in the tourism sector at an incoming agency for Great Britain and Ireland. Vanessa Lohe completed the same tourism-training programme in Germany and works for a large cruise ship operator. Jospehine Weber moved to London after completing her hotel management training on the island of Sylt. She works as a receptionist at an auditing company. All of them are doing their business degree programme at IUBH Distance Learning.

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