International Programs

Student Reports

  1. TOP
  2. International Programs
  3. Student Reports
  4. HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management DDP Study Abroad Report 2022-2023

HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management DDP Study Abroad Report 2022-2023

#留学 #交換留学 #MBA #ドイツ #Germany #HHL #Exchange report #Exchange #StudyAbroad #Global #International

We are pleased to introduce a DDP study abroad report from Tung Phuong, who participated in Double Degree Program HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management, Germany from September 2022 to July 2023.



My journey as a participant in the Double Degree Program at HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management in Germany, from September 2022 to July 2023, was a profound experience that touched every aspect of my academic and personal life. The trimesters at HHL not only provided me with invaluable knowledge and skills but also enabled me to forge lasting friendships and explore a vibrant city with a rich cultural heritage.


The idea of pursuing a Double Degree Program had been brewing in my mind since the end of 2021. There were several reasons why I chose HHL as my destination. Firstly, Germany's prominence in the fields of economy, education, history, and engineering in Europe was a significant attraction for me, having never visited Europe before. Moreover, Leipzig, the city where HHL is located, stood out as a small yet essential and peaceful city, conveniently close to Germany's bustling capital, Berlin. HHL Leipzig's distinguished history of education and development, combined with its reputation as a top 5 business school in Germany, captivated my attention as well, especially due to its entrepreneurship spirit, technology inclination, and dynamic student activities.

Preparation for the program began right after the end of my 1st semester at NUCB Business School, i.e. December 2021. Within next 4 months, I found myself balancing among the preparation for supporting documents, working towards 2nd semester credit requirements, and making arrangements for my journey to Japan whose incoming flights had previously been impossible due to Covid-19 restrictions. The acceptance letter from HHL in early May 2022 brought me immense joy and triggered a flurry of activities, including visa application, HHL's matriculation process, and securing accommodation in Leipzig. Amidst all this, I remained committed to ongoing studies at NUCB Business School and managed to squeeze in some short but rejuvenating trips to Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, and Nara before embarking on my European adventure.

Adventure in Leipzig and HHL

The experience of HHL life began even before the official enrolment ceremony in September 2022. Thanks to early communication efforts from HHL Student Affairs team, their guidance proved to be a lifeline during my visa preparation, providing timely advices on various requirements, such as the blocked account, health insurance, and other administrative matters. As a piece of advice for future students, applying for German visa as early as possible is crucial since processing time can vary between 1 to 2 months. Preliminary orientation for prospective students, including regular and DDP students, consisted of several informative Zoom meetings with the Student Affairs team. During those initial informal exchanges, I got acquainted with some of my future classmates, many of whom later became close friends and teammates. End of August 2022, I was ready for my first trip ever to Europe with a mixture of excitement and nervosity.

Arriving in Germany and eventually in Leipzig was a seamless experience, thanks to the well-connected railway and public transportation system. Upon arrival, there were a few initial tasks to be completed, including program matriculation reporting, accommodation checking in, and bank account opening. For accommodation, I applied for a spot in Leipzig's student dormitory network, Studentenwerk Leipzig, which advised us to apply early due to high demand. A typical dormitory unit was really affordable and convenient for between 1 to 8 students, depending on preferences of room type. Regarding banking options, traditional banks like Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, or Sparkasse were available, but the process could be lengthy. Alternatively, digital banks such as Monese, N26, or Wise offered fast approval and convenient integration with mobile phones, although they had certain limitations such as waiting period for physical card and possible rejections during transactions. To get around Leipzig city and to school from my room, I made use of networks of trams and buses, which were free of charge for students in Leipzig owing to annual arrangement from Studentenwerk Leipzig. Located across the city were numerous grocery stores such as Rewe, Lidl, Aldi, Konsum, etc. for daily needs. My favourite purchasing items were different seasonal fruits with attractive prices offered. For more high-end shopping experience, wandering around Augustusplatz, the city’s square and shopping centre, was non-skippable. Although being compact in size, Leipzig could really cater for diverse needs of a student life.

Even though it is a challenge to summarize the vibrant life in HHL within a limited scope of this report, I would attempt to share a few glimpses into assorted aspects: orientation, academic, entrepreneur sphere, career support and social life.

Initial weeks in September in HHL were dedicated to orientation and acclimatization to Leipzig life. During this occasion, the “Leipzig Leadership Model” was introduced to new students, focusing on importance of having a purpose, combining entrepreneurship spirit and responsibility, and contributing meaningfully to personal growth, company success, and community development. Various activities, including enrolment ceremonies, city tours, and introductory lectures, were organized to help us settle in. In addition, we engaged in team-building challenges that brought us closer together and culminated in an enjoyable outdoor BBQ session. At the end of orientation week, most of us felt energetic and delighted to kick off the learning journey.

I could not help but notice that academic experience at HHL differed significantly from NUCB Business School. Instead of the case study method, HHL's classes primarily involved classroom lectures and discussions. Courses could span from a few days to several months, emphasizing on group assignments with diverse team members collaborating for final presentation decks, written assignments, and group presentations. As a result, students were expected to proactively meet, discuss, and complete tasks outside of official in-class teachings. This aspect of HHL's academic approach helped me develop essential skills in problem solving, critical thinking, empathy, motivation, leadership, and effective teamwork. Some of the courses left lasting impressions on me, such as the "Problem Solving & Communication" course, which taught us how to structure our thoughts, arguments, and presentations – crucial skills for managerial roles and professions like consultants. The "Business Design, Modelling, and Planning" classes challenged me to work collaboratively with four classmates on designing a card game focused on sustainability and circular economy awareness, following the formal structure of idea brainstorming, user interviewing and prototype designing for a business idea. Additionally, the "Negotiation" course provided insights into the art of negotiation and its practical applications, further extending my past learning from similar course in NUCB Business School. Another memorable course was "Public Relations & Crisis Communication," which allowed us to handle mock press conferences and experience the importance of preparation and teamwork. Throughout the program, I was also exposed to new perspectives on emerging fields, such as sustainability, circular economy, social responsibility, data analytics, and cryptocurrencies. In some courses, students were even requested to teach key concepts to their peers, fostering a rich learning environment. Overall, it was a really joyful and engaging venture for knowledge enrichment with HHL.

HHL's strong emphasis on entrepreneurship became evident through numerous activities and resources available to students. HHL SpinLab, startup coaching weeks, startup funding, and pitch competitions showcased the school's commitment to fostering innovation and entrepreneurial spirit. The "Entrepreneurship" course was also compulsory for both MBA and MSc students, encouraging students to develop their business ideas. Furthermore, students were encouraged to lead and participate in various student initiatives, covering a wide range of business-related topics, including startup acceleration, energy movements, venture capital, and negotiation. Personally, I got involved in the "HHL Negotiation Club" and "HHL Energy Conference," which allowed me to work closely with fellow German students, providing me with unique insights into German business practices and culture.

HHL Career Services played a pivotal role in preparing students for their professional endeavours. I attended several career-related workshops that covered self-understanding, resume writing, and interview tips. For students aspiring to pursue a career in consulting, there were dedicated sessions on case interviews that helped us develop effective problem-solving and analytical skills. These workshops not only prepared me for future career opportunities but also allowed me to build new skills and enhance my overall approach to interviews. In addition, HHL Career Service team worked tirelessly to invite respective companies (and potential employers) to campus through several career fair events for company introduction and initial interactions with HHL students, aiding tremendously for internship, student job and full-time employment opportunities. It is worth mentioning that although not always explicitly stated, a decent proficiency in German is expected for job-seekers. With the above involvements, it came at no surprise that HHL Career services have been consistently ranked the top of its kind in Germany.

Despite the demanding academic schedule with more than 20 courses during the DDP, I made a conscious effort to engage in extracurricular activities and build connections outside of the classroom. Most of my free time was spent with fellow MBA classmates, with whom I celebrated special festivals such as Diwali, an essential event for my classmates from India. We also organized outdoor activities and BBQ sessions, fostering a sense of camaraderie and cultural exchange. While many of my peers opted to travel to neighbouring countries, I found solace in indulging in outdoor sports like long-distance biking and jogging, taking advantage of Leipzig's beautiful natural surroundings and favourable weather. In fact, Leipzig had no shortage of beautiful parks, lakes and greeneries within minutes of traveling. My proudest achievements during this time were completing a 70km biking tour around Leipzig and successfully finishing the Leipzig Half Marathon. It would be remiss not to mention about the passion for football and the local favourite team, RB Leipzig. Even though not a fan of this club, I did let myself in the Red Bull Area, home stadium of RB Leipzig, to attend a football game within Germany's premier national league, the Bundesliga. The ambience was mesmerizing with every moment in the field fuelled by enthusiasm from supporters of both teams. For the football-loving students, Red Bull Area is just opposite HHL, and you will have many chances to catch live matches between RB Leipzig and worldwide famous teams like Manchester City, Real Madrid, etc. with reasonable ticket prices. Those were but few glances into my modest social life in Leipzig !

Without my noticing, the Double Degree Program gradually came to an end. Time truly flew when you were engrossed in what captivated you. As I bid farewell to HHL, Leipzig city, and my dear classmates, I was filled with the realization that the daily life routines, classroom moments, group discussions, and cherished gatherings had woven themselves into precious memory fragments within me. These memories hold a special place in my heart, and I will treasure and reflect upon them for years to come. I promise myself that I will return to Leipzig, Germany, and Europe one day to reunite with my HHL friends and fulfil the unfinished exploration of other European countries. Bis bald wieder, Leipzig !


My time at HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management has been an inspirational episode in my academic and personal life. The journey has indeed broadened my horizons, instilled in me the "Front Tier Spirit" of continuous exploration and growth, and enabled me to develop into a more confident, skilled, and adaptable individual. I am deeply thankful to the Administrative Committees from both NUCB Business School and HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management for this incredible opportunity and the lifelong friendships I have formed along the way. As I return to NUCB Business School, I carry with me the valuable experiences, insights, and perspectives gained during my time at HHL. I hope my story will serve as an inspiration to future students to seize similar opportunities, venture into unknown territories, and embrace the transformative power of international exchange learning programs. As I step into the next chapter of my academic and professional journey, I remain ever-grateful for the memories and lessons gathered during my time at HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management.