IMA-MBA Practical training
Practical training - more than Study
The aim of the practical training
The practical training on a farm is the first internship (Practical Semester) of the IMA course of studies.
The students of the International Master's Program in Agricultural Management should learn to understand important determinants of management decisions in agribusiness and be able to transfer their experiences to future situations.
They should get to know content and meaning of various techniques in plant and animal production, as well as operation methods of agricultural production facilities and farm machinery and thus, be capable of understanding and evaluating the technical and organizational contexts of the production process. The students should be able to derive and assess the cost of production and the economic success of the entire company, based on key indicators. They should understand the socioeconomic environment of a farm in terms of its impact for the development of agricultural production and rural areas.
Additionally, the practical training is of great importance for non-German-speaking students in order to familiarize with agricultural terminology and improve their German language skills.
The practical internship program of the International Master's program in Agricultural Management (IMA) at the University of Weihenstephan-Triesdorf was eestablished in 1990 and has been continually developed. It has received a high level of acceptance and appreciation from all the actors involved.
Since 1990, more than 1,500 interns from 29 countries have been trained.
There are over 250 agricultural training companies listed in the operational database of the IMA course. Among them are many farms that have taken on foreign students for more than 10 years and thus have a great social experience for this training.
Requirements for training farms
To qualify for practical training, the farms or agricultural companies must be recognized training enterprises and the farm manager needs an instructor/teacher qualification.
The instructors need to be open-minded and curious about different cultures and act sympathetically towards the interns. A contract between the farm manager and the trainee, as well as the adherence to certain guidelines are necessary to ensure a trouble-free internship. These conditions must be fully accepted by the training companies.
The integration of trainees into the farmer's families is desired and encouraged.
Many families support the trainees not only professionally but also personally. They provide additional information and help, for example with learning the German language, and integrate the trainees in recreational activities.
Completion of the practical training
After successful completion of the agricultural practical training, the students receive a certificate from HSWT and a letter of reference from the agricultural enterprises.
The achieved level of German language skills of the trainees is assessed internally.
At the end of the internship, approximately 15% of the students are classified in the level A1/2 to A2/2, 85% reach level B1/1 to B2/1. Due to the intense German language training, many students are even encouraged to advance to level C1 and hence obtain admission for German universities.