International Students Tips

1. List of documents required for the IB Master Programme

In order to apply for this programme, students have to have already completed three of four years of university studies (180 ECTS or 240 ECTS). The application form and all other supplementary documents should be sent to the following address:

- School of Economics and Businesos-Centre for Islamic Economics, Banking and Finance, Skenderija 70, 71 000 Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, or

- directly on the e-mail of the Centre: ciebf@efsa.unsa.ba.

List of entry requirements:

  1. Completed application form*
  2. Evidence for English language knowledge**
  3. Detailed CV with photo
  4. Previous education diplomas*** (certified copy)
  5. Transcript of records****
  6. Two recommendations written on the given form*****

*Available on the website of the Programme

** If English is not your first language, you will need evidence of competence in written and spoken English (IELTS overall score of 6,0), or alternative equivalent internationally acceptable certificate. If student does not have one, he/she should submit a statement that he/she will have it before the beginning of classes.

*** Officially translated in English

**** List of grades or diploma supplement

***** Forms are given as part of the Application form

You can find the Application form and Reference letter on the following link:

http://www.efsa.unsa.ba/ciebf/bs/application-islamic-banking-master-stud...

2. Insurance

We recommend you to purchase general travel health insurance before departure to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Later on, you can decide whether you want to extend that policy or buy a health insurance policy in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

3. Visa and residence permit

The list of countries whose nationals need a visa to enter Bosnia and Herzegovina can be found on the following link: http://www.mvp.gov.ba (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of B&H). Foreigners can apply for a visa at the nearest Embassy of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Consular, or Diplomatic Mission in their home country.

Students who are not obliged to get a visa to enter Bosnia and Herzegovina should regulate their first Temporary Stay Permit immediately upon arrival in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Following documents are needed:

  1. Invitation letter from the University of Sarajevo stating the purpose of your stay*;
  2. Two (2) photographs in colour (3 x 3,5 cm);
  3. Copy of the passport;
  4. Certificate of non-criminal record stamped by a court interpreter (foreign national shall prove non-criminal record by a certificate issued by the relevant authority of the state in which he/she resides; this document should not be older than 6 months);
  5. Proof of health insurance;
  6. Proof of sufficient means of subsistence (bank account statement, confirmation of scholarship, or similar);
  7. Proof of secured accommodation (rental contract).

* In order to get Invitation letter for study, students must submit all required documents to SEBS.

All of the mentioned documents have to be translated into one of the official languages in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian language) by an official court interpreter and certified by a public notary.

4. Required diploma validation

Students who attended high-school or first cycle of studies outside Bosnia and Herzegovina will have to complete validation of their diploma when they arrive in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This will be done at the corresponding faculty of the University of Sarajevo. Depending on the faculty, costs of diploma validation range between €200 and €500.

5. Schedule of the lectures

Every month students attend the lectures and take the exam in one course. In the first week, students attend lectures from Monday to Saturday and all of the lectures start at 5 p.m. Since the lectures are being held outside working hours, students who work can attend the lectures as well. In second, third and fourth week students do not have obligations regarding lectures, but they are preparing for the exam which is held in the fourth week. After the exam for the first course is completed, lectures for the second course begin and the above-explained cycle repeats for each course/subject.

6. Internship at BBI Bank

As a part of activities in first and second semester of Islamic banking Master study, students have obligation to complete an internship in Bosna Bank International. Bosna Bank International d.d. (Sarajevo) was established on October 19, 2000 as the first bank in Europe to operate on the principles of Islamic banking. Internship is being performed at BBI bank with the total number of 40 hours or 5 working days per semester (for students who do not have working obligations). For students with working obligations, internship is done in different time periods, having in mind their duties at work. The training will provide students with knowledge of Islamic banking principles applied in BBI, Accounting in banks, Retail Islamic banking products and services as implemented in BBI. Trainings will be done in different departments of BBI bank.

7. Courseware

After your enrolment at SEBS, you will get an ISSS account, which enables registration for examination period (Ispiti → Prijava ispita), selection of elective courses, registration of various certificates, etc. There will be an official announcement on the web site in regards of the registration dates for the final exams.

The courseware is based on Moodle open source platform (www.moodle.org). All course materials such as presentations, learning materials, articles, as well as additional materials, notifications, schedules and general information are uploaded on the Moodle. It can be accessed via: https://mba.efsa.unsa.ba/login/index.php

8. Student record book (index)

When you enrol at SEBS, you will receive a Student Record Book, or what in B/C/S languages is called Index. It is a common university document (a small dark-blue booklet) at public universities of the region. It contains basic information about the student, as well as all grades after passing the exams. The Indeks also serves as the confirmation of your status as a student of the University. You must remember to have it with you when taking your exams.

9. Grading system

The grading system has been determined by the Rule Book for the Second (Master) Cycle at the University of Sarajevo (www.unsa.ba). Within four semesters, students are graded on the basis of following activities: midterms, homework, projects or assignments, quizzes, presentation, attendance, etc. The final exam is held at the end of each course of instruction. The date and time of the exam is set out by the relevant instructor. The percentage of points scored at the final exam cannot exceed 50 % of the overall number of points envisaged for the passing grade.

10. Living in Sarajevo

COST OF LIVING COMPARISON: https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/comparison.jsp

Accommodation

There are no school-provided housing and eating facilities. Centre for Islamic Economics, Banking and Finance will help students with finding temporary accommodation when they arrive in Sarajevo. During the study, roommates can share an apartment and split the amount of rent between them. Accommodation costs can be roughly €100 or more, depending on the type of accommodation.

"Compared to other large cities, the cost of an apartment is very affordable, especially if you share with others. Your search shouldn't stop with apartment buildings, however. Homeowners sometimes rent floors of their home, offering larger spaces with similar amenities for much cheaper." - Omar Ben Yunus, Islamic banking student from Chicago, IL

What to eat

Traditionally, the local food is based on meat and potatoes. However, you may come across some great Sarajevo vegetarian restaurants. Rice and pasta dishes are popular. Cevapi is another traditional dish in Sarajevo made from grilled minced meat served with bread and chopped onion and is a very popular local fast food. Pita is also a popular dish and is basically a filo pasty pie with different fillings such as meat, cheese, spinach, etc. Other fast food such as pizza, hamburgers, hotdogs and Panini sandwiches are also available at fast food restaurants in Sarajevo. Average price of a lunch is between 2€ - 4€

Local transportation

"Sarajevo is connected with a tram and bus system within the city and a separate bus system for the suburbs. The city is not too geographically spread out, however, so walking is almost always a good option. When you're in a rush, just hop in one of the city's many taxis." - Omar Ben Yunus, Islamic banking student from Chicago, IL

The monthly student ticket for trams and buses within the city are costs €8. There is large number of taxi companies that operate in Sarajevo. The starting price is €0.70 and a 1km of driving costs €0.50.

For more information on life in Sarajevo visit: http://unsa.ba/s/images/stories/pdf/AAa/EX.pdf

11. Culture and religion

Sarajevo is the cultural, economical and educational centre of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is one of the historically most interesting and varied cities in Europe. Sarajevo is called European Jerusalem because, besides Jerusalem, it is the only place in the world where you can find a Mosque, Synagogue, Catholic Church and an Orthodox church within a two- block radius.

"Those who visit Sarajevo will also notice qualities from different eras of its rich history-distinctly European attitudes, Islamic values, and even socialistic ideals. While war is hard to forget, the people of Sarajevo refuse to be defined by it. The result is a sharply-dressed, family-oriented society that values hard work but also knows how to relax." - Omar Ben Yunus, Islamic banking student from Chicago, IL

12. Language barriers

"If you know English, you'll be in great shape. Especially among younger Bosnians, English is nearly ubiquitous. If you're in a pinch, Google translate has Bosnian language options. With free Wi-Fi at nearly every restaurant and shopping centre, even communicating with those who don't speak English will be no problem." - Omar Ben Yunus, Islamic banking student from Chicago, IL

13. Climate

Sarajevo has a continental climate, lying between climate zones of central Europe to the north and the Mediterranean to the south. The average yearly temperature is 9.5 °C, with January (−1.3 °C (29.7°F) avg.) being the coldest month of the year and July (19.1 °C (66.4 °F) avg.) the warmest. The city typically experiences mildly cloudy skies, with an average yearly cloud cover of 45%.

14. Academic opportunities

Besides the internship in an Islamic bank, students have the opportunity to conduct additional work in the field of Islamic banking and finance. One is submission of papers to the conferences that Centre for Islamic economics, banking and finance organizes. The papers presented at the conferences will be published.

As a part of BBI Academy students have to attend four out of five seminars every semester. Examples of topics of seminars are: Products and services for natural persons, Analysis of business of Bank from aspect of implementation of Islamic Banking principles, E-business in BBI, Fraud and embezzlement, Internal auditing system, etc.