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Universidad Nacional de Colombia (Bogotá or Manizales)

About the University

The Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNAL) is the biggest and most important university in Colombia. It was founded in 1867 and has around 50.000 students, distributed in 9 branches all over the country.  It is a public university, offering an equal access and admission to the Colombian education system.

The UNAL aims to facilitate the economic, technological and cultural development of the country on a both national and global level and stands for high level investigation and education.

Campus Bogotá: At the UNAL's main campus in Bogotá around 31.500 students are enrolled. Out of them approximately 6.500 study a Master degree at the university. Employing a total amount of 2.000 teachers/professors, the campus offers a wide range of specializations and fields. With a high amount of green areas, this campus from the UNAL is putting a lot of effort in providing their students with a better quality of live as a student.

Campus Manizales: The Campus in Manizales was founded in 1948, starting with a faculty for engineering and a faculty for Business Administration. Since the faculty was the basis for the campus to develop, it still is taken for the most important one and has a very good image and acknowledgement all over Colombia. Today, the UNAL Campus in Manizales has three faculties and is very popular among students because of its great location in the small town of Manizales.

The city

Bogotá: Capital of Colombia and of the department Cundinamarca. The metropolis with its around 7 Million inhabitants forms the biggest city in Colombia and is still considered growing more. The city is a traffic hub as well as the most important economical- and cultural centre of the country, providing it with universities, museums and memorials. The capital is located in the Andean mountains and offers a variety of beautiful old mountain-villages to visit in the surroundings. The cultural and educational offer in Bogotá is very big and diverse.

Manizales: Manizales is the capital of the Colombian department Caldas and is located in the so called "Zona cafetera" (the coffee zone), which is the main growing and producing area of coffee in Colombia. The city has around 389.000 inhabitants and is - as well as Bogotá - located in the Andean mountains. That way, the city in the mountains has one of the best climate zones, being referred to as the "area where it is always spring" and has incredibly beautiful surroundings. Economically, Manizales is known as well for its amazing coffee as for great cocoa and gold-products.

For the double degree programme, IBA Master students have to apply at the Department Viadrina International Affairs. More information about the application process and the deadlines you can find under the topic application or you can arrange an appointment with us.


  • You must have completed two semesters at the Viadrina before your departure.
  • You must have sufficient knowledge of Spanish language (B1 at least) before your departure (minimum a completed advanced course or equivalent).

The language spoken in classes is Spanish. For that matter it is necessary that you have a sufficient knowledge of the language, in order to participate in the programme (at least B1). To make studying easier, the university offers Spanish courses for exchange students.

Winter semester: August - December
Summer semester: February - June

Please check the exact semester dates on the homepage of the UNAL.

Please take into account the differing academic calanders of German and Colombian universities.  As a student of the double degree programme your semester at the UNAL will either start in the beginning of February or August. You will be one year abroad.

Master Programme "Business Administration": The MBA is extra occupational. That means that the classes take place in form of block seminars either in the mornings (07:00 - 09:00 am), in the evenings (06:00 - 08:00 pm), or on the weekends.

Degree in Manizales:

  • Master "Adminstración"

Degree in Bogotá:

  • Master "Contabilidad y Finanzas"
  • Master "Ciencias Economicas"
  • Master "Administración"

Attention: More information about the courses will follow soon.

For information regarding the procedure of recognition please check the homepage of the Department Viadrina International Affairs under the topic recognition

In order to receive a degree from the Viadrina, it is necessary that you complete the given modules of your study in full. For that matter, the courses you take in Colombia within the double degree programme can be recognized. To make sure that the Viadrina will recognize the classes you choose, the selection of courses should be agreed with Torsten Glase before your departure.

For the Colombian degree it is necessary to hand in your certificate or the complete Transcript of Records from the Viadrina to the UNAL.

The Master Thesis can be written in English or Spanish and will be supervised at the Viadrina. In addition, it is necessary to create an abstract in English or Spanish.

Insurance: Please inform yourself in advance about the possibilities and benefits of your health insurance in case of a longer stay outside of the European Union.

Please check if you need any kind of injection/vaccination. To do so we recommend you to get in touch with the Tropeninstitut Berlin.

Accommodation: The UNAL does not offer its own dormitories (it is not common in Colombia anyway). The DRE (Dirección de Relaciones Exteriores) is available to help you very kindly with the search for a room or an apartment and mostly offers some possibilities before your departure. In addition, it is possible to stay with a host-family where you can rent a room and sometimes also meals.

Arrival: Possible by plane directly to Bogotá.

Living costs: Approx. 300€ - 400€ per month.

Visa: In general, you need a permission if you stay longer than 90 days in Colombia and want to study. For visa regulations please check the website of the Colombian embassy.

You can find the most up-to-date student reports under the keyword "Colombia" on our website.