Certificate International Organizations

UBIS - University of Business and International Studies Geneva

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Tuition fee:
  • € 6,480 / Year (EEA)
  • € 6,480 / Year (Non-EEA)
Start date: April  2015, July  2015, September  2015, January  2016, April  2016
Duration full-time: 90 days
  • English
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Full-time
Entry level: Bachelor
Skill disciplines: Personal effectiveness , Communication , Networking , Career management

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An Intensive Program (3 months) plus Internship with an International Organization
To work in an international organization one must possess skills and competences very different from those needed in private companies. The program has been specifically designed to provide those skills and competences needed to open the doors to global or regional intergovernmental organizations, or to non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

After two months of preparatory courses delivered by experienced, high-level professionals of international organizations, you will be offered an internship in one of the organizations. Through partnerships, UBIS will ensure the availability of an internship.

You will be guided through an intensive program that prepares you for successfully
passing an examination (written and oral), and receiving a Certificate in International Organizations. This will enhance your chances for a career in this sector. UBIS will also provide guidance and assistance on how to successfully apply to those organizations.

The first part of the program will be delivered every day. Conferences and visits will complement the courses. Program includes 4 environments, presented together for some courses and in different sessions for others.

EU institutions and agencies (EU)
UN related organizations (UN)
Other International and Intergovernmental Organizations (IG)
International NGOs and Foundations (NGO & F)

A Certificate in International Organizations will be granted to the participant who
successfully completes all steps of the program (sessions, exams, internship).

Starting Dates:

July 8, 2013
Sept 23, 2013


Introduction to International Organizations (40 hours)

This session will lead you through history, structure, objectives, governance, political
and technical background of global or regional international organizations and
international non-governmental organizations. The aim is to understand the basics
of international organizations and their functioning, achievements, problems and
context in world politics. Case studies of typical organizations will give you a first
insight and offer a way to systematically address a list of basic issues related to any

Legal Framework (30 hours)

All international public organizations are based on international conventions
signed by Member States and ratified by national parliaments. Those international
treaties are complemented by a large set of additional organizational and internal
rules: Headquarter Agreements, Protocols on Privileges and Immunities, Financial
Rules, Staff Rules, Procurement rules and Internal rules on governance. NGOs have
additional specific rules. You will work with those legal texts and achieve a basic
knowledge of those texts. Furthermore, you will use texts and propose solutions to
typical problems of international organizations.

Program and Project Management (30 hours)

International organizations implement their political, economic and technical
objectives through major multi-annual mandatory or voluntary programs. This
program will help participants understand common practice in program management
and how to apply standards of project management. Your practical knowledge of
project management will be tested and when necessary will be improved.

Public Procurement (20 hours)

Procurement in public organizations is a very rigid and structured process following
detailed rules, procedures and processes. Based on case studies, participants will go
through every step of common practices and rules from small to large purchasing.

Financial Management (40 hours)

Financial management is different in international organizations compared to private companies. Funding is mostly based on national contributions fixed in annual budgets as well as on financial partnerships dedicated to specific projects. The budget setting process, and the implementation of an annual budget, are one of the core processes of an international organization. The session has been designed to help participants understand and take part in budget setting and implementation. An important aspect will be dedicated to public accounting, financial control and internal/external audit. The session will also discuss the funding of non-governmental organizations including fund raising and financial partnerships. The session will create a basic knowledge of all financial management issues together with the ability to address financial matters in a structured and practical way.

Administration - Management (20 hours)

General management and administration of international organizations requires
additional skills, compared to management skills in private companies. The session
addresses those skills and provides you with a set of tools, competences and
knowledge to be successful in addressing management and administration issues
within an international organization. You will apply the proposed tools and theories
in concrete case studies.

Manage Yourself (20 hours)

This course addresses personal management theories. It is assumed that only if you can manage yourself, you will be able to manage others, e.g. in a team. In this session, you will therefore go through a process of self-assessment and assessment by HR/ management experts. An analysis of your strengths and weaknesses will be the basis to work with a team adapting and improving your management skills. General management skills will be reinforced, specific skills for international organizations will be outlined.

Communication (20 hours)

Communication is key in every management situation, but especially in the world of
international organizations with their complex administrative processes, their staff,
stakeholders and customers worldwide, all having different cultural backgrounds.
In this course the main rules of communication will be analyzed. The importance of
the written communication tools within public institutions too often neglected- will
be particularly stressed in a practical way. Practical tests in communication will help
you achieving basic abilities to address communication issues successfully.

Internship Preparation + Application and Interviewing Procedures (20 hours)

Participants will start the program by a personal interview with one of our professors, to determine their realistic wishes for the internship. From there UBIS team will work to try to match those wishes with internship opportunities. If the first choices dont work, another internship opportunity will be proposed.
The rest of the session focuses on the application processes for candidates in international organizations. High-level Human Resources professionals will help the
participants in the session to apply properly to an international organization (letter of application, CV, interview and communication with an organization in this situation).

Visits and conferences
Professionals at international organizations will complement these courses with
special presentations, through face-to-face interventions or video-conferences on
topics related to international organizations. Some visits to international organizations based in Geneva are also organized.

Following the sessions, participants must prepare a thesis, and undergo both a
written and/or an oral examination for each course.

A thesis on a subject defined by the participant in contact with a professor, and to be approved by the program director;
A written exam to confirm knowledge learned;
An oral exam to confirm competences (exams will consist of an interview, a panel discussion and a role play with a team).

Following successful exams, participants will gain an internship in one of the
partner organizations for the duration of at least one month. Internships will be in
Switzerland as well as in foreign countries. During the internship the participant will
become familiar with the practicalities of an international organization and will get
the opportunity to apply his acquired competences to real world situations.


Dr Martin Leupold Program Director
Broad HR experience, trained as a coach and process consultant, experienced in the sectors aerospace, IT, media and public service (European Patent Office).
Former Principal Director of human resources and the Director of Strategic HR projects at the European Patent Office.
Former HR officer at EADS.
Former Head of human resources for Digital Equipment and Compaq Computer.
Former Head of human resources for Süddeutscher Verlag

Dr Elizabeth Kemf
Former Head of WWF News Service/Communications Manager, WWF International;
Former Advocacy and Communications Advisor to UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR);
Former Communications and Media Advisor for Bamako 2008 Secretariat (consortium of WHO, UNESCO, World Bank, Govt. of Mali, Global Forum for Health Research, and COHRED).

Darcy Christen
Former Deputy Spokesman, Head of Public Information and Communication;
Head of External Relations at International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC).

Dr Miguel Amado
Former Ambassador Head of Delegation of the European Union in Republic of Congo (Brazzaville), Dominican Republica, Cuba and Guinea Bissau.
Former Special envoy from the President of the European Commission to East Timor and special representative of the European Commission to East Timor.
Former Head of Unit for the Coordination intra ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific Countries).
Former Head of Unit: Democracy and Human Rights and Thematic Issues.


Eligibility Criteria:
Fluency in English (interview by phone if necessary);

TOEFL Paper score: 550
TOEFL Computer score: 213
TOEFL Internet score: 79-80
University Degree (or equivalent experience, interview if necessary)


UBIS will help you with the documentation based on specific requirements from
the Swiss Embassy in your home country.

For European Citizens (except Romania and Bulgaria):

no visa requirement is necessary.

For Other Nationalities:

If internship will be done in home country, short term Schengen visa requested
(for study)
If internship will be done in Switzerland, visa for working purposes requested

This doesnt apply to people living in Switzerland previously holding a residency

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 5.5
TOEFL paper-based test score : 550
TOEFL iBT® test: 79


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