Strategic partner - CSULB

The cooperation between HAW Hamburg and California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), was chosen for the 2017 NAFSA publication 'Best Practice Case Studies in International Partnership Development'. The basis for this recognition was the multi-layered faculty exchange and the strong student exchange programme. The cooperation began in 1996 with a collaboration between the College of Business (CSULB) and the Department of Business (HAW). In 2008 a university-wide exchange agreement was signed, opening up the cooperation for the development of student and faculty exchange. Since 2014 HAW Hamburg has been continuously developing faculty exchange and short programmes in the form of workshops, guest lectures and summer schools in addition to increasing semester exchange to strengthen and deepen the relationship with CSULB.

Student exchange & 'Hamburg Tracks'

Forty percent of US exchange students at HAW Hamburg come from Long Beach, making CSULB the strongest partner within the reciprocal semester-exchange programme with the US. Each year 13-15 CSULB students come to Hamburg; mainly from the areas of film, design, business and social work. The semester exchange is gradually being strengthened further through the introduction of 'Hamburg Tracks'. In each field a range of Hamburg classes are registered in Long Beach for "pre-approved credit". The goal is to have a complete semester (15 US credits) approved, so that the time to graduation is not extended because of the semester abroad.

Faculty exchange & workshops

The longest cooperation with CSULB dates back to 1996 with the German-American International Business Workshop. A one-week workshop is held annually in Hamburg (May/June) and in Long Beach (October) with students and teachers from both universities. The special focus is the close involvement with industry partners, which gives students an insight into the global working world. Through the mixture of lectures, company visits and project work in international groups, the students expand their intercultural skills and knowledge of international management. In 2020 and 2021, the workshops were changed to an online format. A new COIL module was developed from this concept in the winter semester 2021/22. Article: 25 years German-American Business Workshop. Coordination: Prof. Dr. Natalia Ribberink, Department of Business.

Starting in 2015, film workshops and guest lectures were introduced in both Long Beach and Hamburg. The reason for choosing CSULB as a cooperation partner was the high level of expertise in the area of film, which complements and enriches the studies at HAW Hamburg.  At CSULB the core classes focus on 'Screen & Media Writing', 'Film & TV Production' as well as 'Production Management'. This corresponds with Hamburg lectures in dramaturgy, video, audio and the production of short film projects. Since 2017 the cooperation has received funding through the ISAP programme from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) for student semester scholarships and travel expenses for faculty exchange. In 2018 a joint film project culminated in the short film "Oceans Across" (video at the end of this page). In 2020 a new virtual format was introduced due to the corona restrictions and during the three-day workshop German-American student teams made a joint short film which they called "Carrying the torch" (article & video). 2021: Online film workshop 'Postcards from Home' (article& video) Coordination: Prof. Wolfgang Willaschek, Department of Media Technology.

in 2017 a new collaboration with Brand Design Workshops started between CSULB and HAW Hamburg. The core content of teaching in brand design at both universities is so similar that professors were able to hold joint lectures from the very start. At the same time each university has a special core competence that complements teaching in the form of workshops at the partner university. Coordination: Prof. Sven Vogel, Department of Design.

In 2018 the universities started to develop faculty exchange in the field of Social Work. With a block seminar on the topic of "Strengths-based interventions with children and families" CSULB professor, Nancy Meyer-Adams, is an important addition to the English-language classes of the 'International Semester' in Hamburg. At the same time Hamburg professors give CSULB students an insight into the particular methods and current topics in German social work through guest lectures in Long Beach. Coordination: Prof. Dr. Daniela Ulber, Department of Social Work.

Summer schools

Not every student has the opportunity to spend a semester abroad. In the USA in particular, faculty-led short programmes in the summer are becoming increasingly popular. HAW Hamburg is an important strategic partner for CSULB and so, where student and faculty exchange has a strong base, they are developing summer schools as an additional option. The goal is not to create islands, but to develop programmes where students and faculty from Long Beach and Hamburg can connect.

Since 2018 faculty members from both universities offer a Brand Design Summer School in Hamburg, which students from both universities attend. For Hamburg students it is part of their HAW curriculum. In preparation for the class they complete research on the topic during the summer semester and then complete the class as a two-week block seminar in July with the CSULB students. Tor Hovind's teaching complements course work in Hamburg and adds an additional expertise. Coordination: Prof. Sven Vogel, Department of Design.

Starting in summer 2023 there will be a new Social Work Summer School, led by Nancy Meyer-Adams. CSULB Master students will spend a week in Berlin and a week in Hamburg looking at current research topics in social work and getting an insight into current topics in the field of migration and refugee policies. For the US students the summer programme is part of their 'Social Policy' seminar. Professors from both universities are responsible for the lectures and projects. The programme is in cooperation with ASH Berlin. Coordination: Prof. Dr. Daniela Ulber, Department of Social Work.

From summer 2023 there will also be a new Film Summer School in Hamburg on the topic  of 'Theory of Fiction & Film'. Unlike the other summer schools this short programme will be taught solely by Bonnie Blackburn, a CSULB lecturer, who has a particular expertise in this field. For the CSULB undergraduate students this is a regular course, that is also offered as a block seminar in the summer. Through the modular structure of the course Hamburg students can participate on individual days and network with the US students. Coordination: Prof. Wolfgang Willaschek, Department of Media Technology.

Network of professors
Short programme participants
CSULB exchange students

since 2009


Ingrid Weatherall
International Office - USA-Strategie & International Marketing