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International Business

The International Business study programme takes a hands-on approach to learning, by continuously combining theory and practice during the entire programme.

    What will you learn?

    Hands-on approach to learning
    The study programme continuously combines theory and practice. All modules are centred around a real-life business case, presented to us by existing international companies or organizations. Students will be asked to solve a company’s business problem in groups with fellow students from all stages of the study programme. Supported by experts on the underlying theory, you will do research on the subject and develop a plan for your customer.

    Learning skills
    To come to an acceptable end result, you will not only need factual knowledge on subjects like finance, marketing, operations and supply chain management but as a professional-to-be, you also need to develop certain skills. By working on a real-life business challenge, you will for example learn how to co-operate, communicate, do research, analyze and think critically with intercultural awareness. Our coaches will guide you and your fellow students through the process.

    Since our study programme is fully taught in English, your language and communication skills will reach a high level during this study programme. Besides English you will study a second language as part of an Intercultural Business Line, focusing on doing business in either German, French or Spanish speaking countries, Asia or the Euregion.

    Intercultural Business Lines
    Every student will choose one of five Intercultural Business Lines. This line will allow you to specialize yourself in a specific geographical region. An Intercultural Business Line is an ongoing four-year course. You will focus on the business relations with the economy of your chosen region. Language classes will be part of the Intercultural Business Lines. During these classes you will be enhancing your language skills and study the cultural aspects.

    The options are:

    • Doing business in French speaking countries. Entry level requirement: French A2.
    • Doing business in German speaking countries. Entry level requirement: German A2.
    • Doing business in Spanish speaking countries. No prerequisite knowledge required of Spanish.
    • Doing business in the Euregion. No prerequisite knowledge required of Dutch. This line is only available for non-Dutch natives.
    • Doing business in Asia. No prerequisite knowledge required. In this line there is no mandatory second language.

    The general rule is that you cannot choose your own mother tongue or the language your secondary education was taught in, as a second language.

    Your choice
    We advise to choose a particular line because you are genuinely interested in it. To stay motivated during the learning process, you need to have a certain passion for the language, the countries where it is spoken, its people, its culture, etc. Do not make the mistake of thinking that learning Spanish or Dutch is easier because the courses start without a prior knowledge requirement. On the contrary; there is a lot of catching up to do! If you think you will have difficulties learning a new foreign language, it is advisable to choose a language you have already studied before, such as German or French.

    In year 3 you will be doing either your study exchange or your internship abroad in the region of your Intercultural Business Line.


    Fast track

    More info

    Foundation programme

    Real-life business cases
    You will start with a two-year foundation programme, that covers all the main subjects, areas and skills an International Business professional should know. By working on eight real-life business cases during the first two years of the study programme you will immediately acquire and use relevant theoretical knowledge in a practical way by applying it to solve an actual company’s problem.

    You will learn and research topics at the moment that you them to solve your business case. By choosing this approach to learning, we will turn you into a real 'problem solver' that can handle just about any business challenge that a company runs into. That implies that we expect you to have a professional attitude from your first day in our programme. You will have to take control of your own learning process. No leaning back here, you are a beginning business professional from day one!

    Main subjects
    The subjects that will continuously come back during all the business cases are:

    • finance & accounting
    • marketing
    • sales
    • supply chain management
    • management & organization 
    • business research.

    Furthermore, you will be trained in a wide range of skills:

    • conducting interviews
    • giving presentations
    • collecting and analyzing research data
    • collaborating in an international group
    • managing the process.

    Moreover, acquiring solid knowledge of foreign cultures and languages within a business context plays an essential role.

    Examples of cases
    Curious about the kinds of real-life business cases you will work on during year 1 and 2? Here are some examples:

    • Develop a marketing strategy and write a plan to support the creation of value for your international customer.
    • Evaluate the financial performance of an organisation while looking at it from different stakeholder’s perspectives and recommend financing possibilities.
    • Write a business plan for a new business, while your goal is not only the pursuit of profit but also the creation of a positive impact on people and planet.
    • Evaluate and manage the operations process within your client’s company and between international companies that they work with.
    • Draft the strategic cycle of an organisation and suggest ways to improve efficiency.

    Working in groups
    First and second year students will work together in groups frequently. Assignments will get more complex by progressing in the study programme, and task and responsibilities for second year students will of course be more extensive and complicated. It’s like getting a promotion in a real company!

    Study abroad

    Internship abroad
    During third year you will go abroad for a five-month internship in an international company. During this semester you will be working and living abroad, to experience a different work environment and to gain international work experience.  This internship abroad is a compulsory part of the bachelor’s degree programme.

    During the other semester, they can pick one of the following options:

    • International study abroad
      International Business is part of an extensive international network and has over 75 partner universities. During this study exchange, you will take courses on subjects that fit into your programme and specialization, taught in English or in your second language. This study abroad semester can greatly contribute to the development of your international orientation. You can study abroad without paying extra tuition fees to the foreign university. Check the list of our Erasmus+ partner universities or Magellan partner universities.
    • Minor
      If you decide not to go on exchange, you can expand your knowledge by attending one of the minors International Business has to offer. Courses within these minors are grouped around the following international study areas: Marketing, Management, Financial Management, Management Accounting, Business Abroad, Human Resource Management, Research, Law, Economics, Logistics, Entrepreneurship, Communication, Sales and Information Technology.

      A special minor you can follow  is a pre-master at the Maastricht University. If you would like to continue in a master’s degree programme in International Business after your graduation, doing the pre-master at Maastricht University for one semester is an interesting option for you. This pre-master will deepen your knowledge on subjects such as finance and accounting and will focus on acquiring the high-level research skills required for an academic master. After completion of the pre-master and the graduation in your bachelor’s degree programme, you can get access to the one-year master’s programme without doing an intermediate year.

    Specialization and internship

    In the first two blocks of Year 4 specialization courses are combined in one integrative business challenge, to set direction to your future career and to comply with your field of interest and ambitions:

    • Strategic management
      You will learn how to set up the internal organisation of a company by means of assignments such as how to design and apply a model for CSR implementation, how to design or apply a change management model based on a new developed strategy, or how to design and apply a model regarding innovation.
    • Marketing and sales
      You will learn how to find new attractive international markets and how to enter them to introduce your products or services. You will write and implement an export plan acquisition plan, a customer satisfaction plan, a sales plan, and so on.
    • Finance 
      You will learn how to financially stabilize your organization, to advice on financial issues when doing business abroad. You will learn for example how to design and execute a cost price analysis, an activity based on a research plan, to write and implement an advisory report regarding foreign currency policy or to develop a financial and legal structure to work with staff abroad.
    • Supply Chain Management
      You will learn how to prepare the logistic related departments of an organisation and how the entire supply chain in an organisation must be adapted to do business abroad successfully. You will for example design and implement a vendor selection system for SME’s, write and implement a plan to reduce the supplier database for SME’s, develop and implement a system for incoming goods control, etc.


    In the second half year you will do an internship which consists of real work activity participation on behalf of a company or organization and a real-life company assignment. The proportion of real work participation and research assignment (basis for thesis) is in an optimal situation 50%-50%. These assignments and research projects should have an international dimension and requiring a strong theoretical basis. Based on the research done during this internship, you will write a thesis to complete your study programme.



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