International Business

(B International Business), Bachelor’s Degree (4 years), Full-time

Are you curious about different cultures and the world of business? Would you like to find out how companies operate and what you can do to become a valuable addition to any corporation? Do you see yourself contributing to the international goals of organisations? Then International Business is the course for you!

The corporate world is a global one, which requires employees to have a strong business sense and intercultural skills. In this course, you will learn to bridge the gap between cultures and to realise a companies’ international ambitions. Businesses world-wide are eager to sign people with this skillset, which you will acquire. Go on international group projects, like MAC2Warsaw and Student Trade Mission.

  • Profit from our vast international network of partner universities (of applied sciences).
  • Study in an international environment.
  • Real-world learning – put your knowledge to practice.
  • Receive personal attention in small study groups.
  • Top rated programme according to the Keuzegids Hbo 2020 (location Emmen).
  • Top 5 programme of this kind according to the Keuzegids Hbo 2020 (location Leeuwarden).

Start in February

If you are studying International Business in Leeuwarden, you can start in September and February. In Emmen, the course only starts in September.

Curious about the experiences of our student Eleonora? Watch this video.




  • Bachelor of Business Administration

Study start

  • February
  • September


  • Emmen
  • Leeuwarden


  • English

Standard duration

4 years


This course amounts to a total of 240 ECTS.


  • EU students (per year) € 2,143
  • NON-EU students (per year) €8,350
View all costs

Application deadlines

EU: 15 January/15 August
Non-EU: 1 November/31 May


With your bachelor diploma (BBA International Business), you are ready to make a difference in international trade. You know how organisations work and how to do business internationally. During your studies, you have worked to specialise yourself in a certain area, preparing you to work towards any of the following functions:

  • International marketing manager: you understand the international market and function at a strategic level. Selling your companies’ product or service worldwide is your strength. 
  • Account manager: you represent your organisation across the world. You keep in contact with both current and future clients. 
  • Export manager: exporting goods involves a lot of parties to consider. You maintain contact with said parties and serve as an intermediary between buyer and seller. 
  • Corporate communications manager: you are in charge of how your organisation communicates, making sure your employees across branches share the same goals and way of working. You bring the companies’ story to the International market 
  • Branch manager: you are in charge of an international branch of a large organisation 
  • Product manager: you are responsible for the international success of a product or service you company offers. You make decisions regarding the development, production and marketing thereof. 

Emmen or Leeuwarden: choose the city to study in
This programme is offered in both Emmen and Leeuwarden. However, most of the programme is similar at both locations. Emmen, focuses more on foreign languages. For example, you will have the chance to learn a third language in your second year: Dutch, German, French or Spanish. In Leeu­warden, you may choose one or two elective courses in your second year, which offer you extra insight into one of the themes of international business. Certain specialisations are only offered in Emmen or Leeuwarden. Would you like to combine studying in Leeuwarden and Emmen? You may always discuss this with your study coach.

Admission requirements

Academic Requirements

To be admitted to one of the bachelor programmes you must meet certain admission requirements. NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences recognises the following general international qualifications:   

  • International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma or European Baccalaureate Diploma
  • High School diploma from an accredited institution
  • Four GCSE/GCE ‘O’ level passes (final grade A, B or C) and two ‘AS’ level passes. These six passes combined must all be in different subjects.
  • Associate, Bachelor or Master Degree 

Furthermore, some of our Bachelor programs demand additional entry requirements. These can be found in the list of admissible diplomas. If your diploma is not mentioned in this list, please contact our Information and Registration Centre.


If you are aged 21 or older and would like to enrol at NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences, but do not currently meet the admission requirements, you are invited to register for the entrance examination. 

Read more information regarding the 21+ entrance examination.



All non-EEA applicants are required to submit an English proficiency test with their application. Exceptions are made for students, who have had their preparatory education in a country where English is the official working and educational language. The language requirements for EEA students are the same as for Dutch students. If your diploma is listed here, the additional English language test is not required.

NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences accepts three kinds of official language tests: IELTS, TOEFL and the Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English.

  • Academic IELTS 6.0 (with a minimum of 5.0 for each skill).
  • TOEFL 550 (paper based), 213 (computer-based) and 80 (internet based). Original test results must be sent directly from the Educational Testing Service to NHL Stenden. The TOEFL institution code for NHL Stenden is 9215.
  • Cambridge ESOL score FCE-C (169, or higher).
  • TOEIC 670 (Listening and Reading) and 290 (Speaking and Writing).

View the comparison between the different scores.

Please note: If you do not have the appropriate level, it is possible to enrol in our English Preparatory Language Course.



“If you want to study International Business you have to be curious, open to the world and be ready to get shocked”

About the course

In this English-taught course you will learn about internal and external processes of organisations, and how they market their product or service. You will learn to recognise and seize business opportunities. Additionally, you will develop the skills needed to work in a variety of cultural environments. Collaborations with people from different (international) backgrounds and international companies, play an important role in this programme. 

Year 1

In the first year, you will learn the basics of business management and cultural awareness. This means that you will learn how organisations and its employees work (together). You will also learn how products or services can be introduced in an international market, while gaining the tools to help you keep an eye on company processes and finances. To support you in this, you will work on themes such as:

  • Organisation and employees
  • International Marketing
  • English Business Communication
  • International Sales
  • Personal development
  • Operations Management
  • Supply chain management
  • Finance
  • Accounting 

In addition to English, you will also explore a different language which may help you later on in your career, such as German, French, or Spanish.  

The second year consists of two semesters, covering two different themes: International Business Planning, and International Business Strategy. In the first half of the year, you will dive into themes like organisational science and organisation processes with regards to supply chain optimisation. In a diverse group of students and lecturers, you will do an assignment for a client from the industry. You will learn to collect and analyse data. 

The second part of the year is about gaining in-depth knowledge of company processes and developing your strategic views of the present and the future. You will also expand your knowledge of marketing, sales, and finance. You will be able to use this knowledge immediately by working together with a company with international ambitions. You also learn a third foreign language if you are studying in Emmen. 

This year contains the following themes:

  • Organisation &  people
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Finance & Accounting
  • Personal development
  • Supply chain optimisation
  • Intercultural awareness
  • English business communication


To be successful internationally, you must -of course- gain international experience. That is why you will do part of your studies abroad. You may choose to go on Grand Tour, which means you can go to one of our campuses in Indonesia (Bali), Qatar, South Africa, or Thailand. You may also choose to do part of your studies at one of over a 150 of our partner universities of applies sciences. 

In the second part of this year, you will do and internship. For this, you will choose an internationally orientated company. Here you will conduct a research assignment, which prepares you for your graduation year. 

In this year, you will finish your studies and become an expert in one of four specialisations. As an internationally orientated professional, you will gain in-depth knowledge of this specialisation. These are the specialisations from which you may choose:

  • International marketing & sales (Leeuwarden, Emmen) 
  • International business strategy (Leeuwarden, Emmen)
  • International logistics & supply chain (Emmen)
  • International financial management (Leeuwarden)

You will conclude your studies by independently doing a research assignment. This assignment includes strategic advice for an organisation. You will conduct research yourself and use your conclusions and recommendations to contribute to the company's international ambitions. 

During your studies you will participate in international projects, like MAC2Warsaw Student Trade Mission. You will be right in the middle of the action, collaborating with other international students. 


You travel to Warsaw and meet international students from various European colleges. You conduct research into the needs of expatriates, people who are temporarily staying abroad for work. What do you need for a successful job abroad? You operate as a re-location consultant and provide advice in the form of a service or product. 

Student Trade Mission 

For a regional company, you will search for suitable international trade partners. Together with Dutch and other foreign students, you will take part in a trade fair, and visit potential business partners. You will explain to your client which partners are of interest and why. You may actually help your client in finding a beneficial international business relation. 


International marketing & sales (Leeuwarden, Emmen)
Are you curious about the way organisations can use international marketing to increase sales? Would you like to contribute to the international success of a company? To accomplish this, you will first need to take classes such as strategic marketing and international market research. In addition to gaining knowledge, you will also learn the skills needed to successfully sell a product or service internationally. 

International logistics & supply chain management (Emmen)
Trade is taking place around the world and products are being shipped globally. Would you like to find out how these processes work? What would a company need to do to be able to ship a product from the Netherlands to Vietnam in a sustainable way? With this specialisation, you will learn how to optimise the logistics process and how to utilise cutting-edge technologies such as blockchain.  

International business strategy (Leeuwarden, Emmen)
Business strategies are subject to change, now more than ever before. Innovations create new markets or even completely new industries. Successful international organisations show time and again that they are resilient and therefore able to continue growing. This requires leadership and willpower. Will you be able to lead your surroundings and to convince others that new developments equal opportunities? Are you interested in the long-term approach that companies need to follow and do you think you will be capable of translating complex issues into company policy? This specialisation teaches you to think strategically so that you can prepare yourself and the company for "the next step". 

International financial management (Leeuwarden)
Business is money. Trade eventually leads to a financial transaction. On a global scale, a lot of factors are involved in this: currency flows, trade risks, varying payment habits, and so on. When a company becomes increasingly internationally orientated, they should be managed very precisely from a financial perspective. This is important to limit risks and to be able to benefit from opportunities. Being able to manage budgets combined with well-considered financial analyses are essential in decision making. How would activities abroad need to be financed? What will be the policy on exchange rates? These are questions that can make or break internationally operating companies. With this specialisation, you will acquire all the necessary theoretical knowledge, work on case studies and -where possible- on real-life assignments. 


Practical learning

International Opportunities

Design Based Education (DBE)

With Design Based Education (DBE), ideas are turned into practical solutions, often in an international context. You will work in small interdisciplinary groups on assignments from actual clients. This is the best way to prepare for your future field. DBE places a strong emphasis on the personal development of our students. Guided by the academic staff, students will take charge of their own learning path. Our new educational concept will be used in a selection of our study programmes, starting in September 2018. It will also be implemented in all of our study programmes in the years to come.