International Business

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

Are you fascinated by 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 study programme for you!

The world is becoming increasingly globalised and 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 !

  • Top rated programme according to the Keuzegids Hbo 2021 en 2020  (location Emmen).
  • Top 3 programme of this kind according to the Keuzegids Hbo 2021  (location Leeuwarden).
  • Benefit from our vast international network of partner universities (of applied sciences).
  • Study in an international environment.
  • You will follow a practical course, so that you can immediately put your knowledge intro action
  • Receive personal attention in small study groups.

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) € 1.084,-
  • NON-EU students (per year) €8,350
View all costs

Application deadlines

EU: 15 January/15 August
Non-EU: 31 October/31 May
More information


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. 
  • Export manager: you are the link between the many parties involved in the expert of goods, maintaining contact and acting as an intermediary between buyers and sellers.
  • 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
The programme is taught in Emmen and Leeuwarden. The programme in Emmen focuses more on foreign languages, while with the programme in Leeuwarden, you get to choose an elective subject in the second year that gives you extra insight into one of the International Business topics. If you would like to combine your options and study both Leewarden and Emmen, then you can discuss this with your study coach.

Admission requirements

Academic Requirements

To be admitted to one of our 4-year bachelor programmes, you will need to meet the admission requirements as outlined in Dutch Higher Education law. For a 4 -year bachelor programme at NHL Stenden, you need a diploma that is at least equivalent to an NLQF 4/EQF 4 level (Dutch/European Qualifications Framework)* and comparable to the required Dutch diploma.

The Central Student Administration at NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences carries out an assessment on every individual application to our 4-year bachelor programmes. It generally recognises the international qualifications listed here**

If the qualification you will obtain or have obtained is not listed as a recognised qualification, you may still be eligible to study at NHL Stenden and should also apply for the programme through Studielink. Your qualifications will be assessed by an Admissions Officer at the Central Student Administration (CSA) department at NHL Stenden once you have submitted your application.

If it is unclear what the equivalent level of your secondary school diploma is within the Dutch education system, NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences will have your diploma evaluated by Nuffic, a Dutch organisation specialised in the assessment of international qualifications. For an indication of how your educational system compares to the Dutch system, please visit the Nuffic website.

* The European Qualifications Framework (EQF) is a tool for understanding and comparing qualifications awarded in different countries and by different education and training systems. Its eight levels are described in terms of learning outcomes: knowledge, skills and competences. The levels of the Dutch Qualification Framework (NLQF) are linked to the levels of the EQF.

** All applications are assessed on an individual basis by the Central Student Administration (CSA) even if your diploma is listed as a recognised qualification. Although this document has been composed carefully by NHL Stenden, rights cannot be derived from this overview.

All non-EU/EEA applicants are required to submit an English proficiency test with their application to show that their English language skills are at a high enough level to succeed in their studies.

Exceptions can be made for students who have had their preparatory education in a country where English is the only official educational language.

If you are applying for a bachelor degree and hold a diploma from a European institution listed here, and English was included as part of the final exam curriculum, then the additional English language test is not required. The same applies to students who have attained General Certificates of Secondary Education (enough O and A/AS levels with the sufficient score), the European Baccalaureate Certificate, International Baccalaureate Diploma, or an IB career-related programme taught fully in English.

All other applicants need to submit a valid and adequate English language test result with their application.

NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences accepts four kinds of official language tests in accordance with the Code of Conduct International Student in Dutch Higher Education:
• Academic IELTS 6.0 ** (with an advised minimum of 5.0 for each skill) 
• TOEFL 550 ** (paper-based), 213 (computer-based) or 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 C652. 
• Cambridge ESOL score FCE-C (169, or higher). 
• TOEIC *670 (Listening and Reading) and 290 (Speaking and Writing). 

*We only accept TOEIC® certificates from public programs and not from institutional programs. Public programs are organized in public centers and delivers an official score report which is recognized worldwide.
** IELTS, TOEFL and TOEIC certificates more than 2 years old (at the start date of the study), will not be accepted. 

View the comparison of the different scores.

Please note: If you do not yet have the necessary level in English, you may enrol in our Preparatory English 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 people
  • 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 and you get to choose when and where. You may choose to go on Grand Tour, which means you can go to one of our campuses in Indonesia (Bali), 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. 

Besides that, 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 prepare yourself to graduation. In the first semester you will work on various projects, advising national of international companies. You also get to develop your knowledge on subjects such as: Marketing & Sales, Finance & Accounting, Operations & Supply Chain Management and Organization & People.

You will conclude your studies by independently doing a research assignment. This assignment includes strategic advice for an international 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 local company, you will select suitable international trade partners. You will work with students from other universities, and will take part in a trade fair and visit potential business partners. You will assess which partners are of interest and why, and in so doing help your client in finding a lucrative international trade partner.


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)

Design-Based Education is NHL Stenden’s unique education concept. It enables you to apply the design thinking method to real cases, practice-based research and innovation. You work with fellow students, lecturers and researchers from different study programmes and from both within and outside our institution. This helps you develop your own professional identity with which you can deliver sustainable, meaningful solutions for the benefit of society. Ultimately, you are being educated to become a world-wise professional who feels right at home in an international setting.