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International Business fulltime

  • Duration and start date

    4 years, September

  • Education type

    Fulltime Bachelor

  • Language


Are you aiming for a career in international business? Do you thrive in an intercultural environment? With an International Business (IB) degree at Hogeschool Rotterdam Business School you can!

Our International Business degree teaches you how to be an innovator, an intercultural business communicator and a value-oriented leader. Since every business faces complex challenges, you will tackle multidisciplinary challenges in this programme, as well as learn how to develop data-driven decisions to back up your strategies.

Real companies. Real issues

We think it's valuable for you to get out there in the business world as a student. Why wait until after your degree? Less research and more of a practical approach is our approved method of preparing students for the international business world. It means that your assignments will deal with real issues in real companies. That's the unique approach of the Hogeschool Rotterdam Business School (HRBS), compared to a more research based university.

You will get to work on marketing plans and sales techniques. You will test out entry and organisational strategies. You will learn about accounting and assess the financial performances of companies. You will also create supply chain networks, using the latest digital tools.

Multiculturism & Languages

Languages are an important part of the education we offer and are one of the unique elements of our university. You will learn at least one foreign language. This will complement your studies and improve your knowledge and cultural understanding when operating across borders.

At HRBS you can choose from French, German, Indonesian, Mandarin, Japanese, Spanish, Russian or Dutch. Besides the language itself, we also pay attention to cultural differences. Your path is all yours. So over the years you might travel to face-paced New York, laid back Cape Town or thrilling Tokyo for an exchange or internship.

With most economies of Asia booming, the Hogeschool Rotterdam Business School offers a unique track: Trade Expert Asia. If you choose this, you will learn one Asian language and specialise in doing marketing in Asia. During your third year you will be in Asia for the minimum of six months for study or internship.

Develop hard & soft skills

Having success in international business is not only about knowledge. Skills are just as important: critical thinking, communication, innovation and collaboration, to name a few. That's why we have incorporated the so called 21st century skills in all your business classes.

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International Business fulltime

    Programme structure

    A view of the study programme

    Your educational experience

    The Hogeschool Rotterdam Business School is student-centred, contextual and ethically and socially responsible. Our programme is inclusive and the support our lecturers offer is based on your personal need and individual learning style. You will get the opportunity to follow your own learning route, by choosing one of four specialisations within the curriculum. Apart from those specialisations, we offer you more choices. Choices you can make based on your background, ambitions and talents. Choices that will help you achieve your goals during the programme.

    The 3 learning lines

    As of September 2020, International Business will be offered as one study programme. You will learn to understand all aspects of international business, while you have outstanding opportunities to specialise in the field of your interest later in the programme. Throughout the four years of the International Business programme these three learning lines are central: Business, Languages as well as Professional & Academic Skills. 

    This first year is your perfect introduction to the basics of working in the global business arena. Through real world case studies taken from real companies you will discover the essentials of how to do business in an international environment.

    Languages are a vital part of your study in our university. The reason is simple: as an international business professional and a global citizen you will have to speak the language and to understand the culture of other countries in order to meet your business objectives. By knowing  and understanding an additional language, and more specifically the business dictionary and application of it, you will already have a competitive advantage over your colleagues. This will make you stand out when working for specific clusters of countries. At the Hogeschool Rotterdam Business School you can choose Dutch, French, German, Spanish, Russian, Indonesian, Mandarin or Japanese. Unique in the Netherlands is that we offer Asian languages as a specialisation.

    As an international business professional, you are expected to be able to communicate in English effectively, therefore business communication in English makes up an important part of the first year programme. Of course international students will be given the opportunity to learn Dutch.

    Cultural differences heavily influence the way people do business. That’s why you will also learn to navigate the interesting cultural differences in the international work field.

    Expanding your knowledge about international business should go hand in hand with developing your professional and academic skills. Only that combination will make you the complete business professional you desire to become. Sharpen your critical thinking, develop your intercultural competence and challenge yourself to innovate.  Your personal growth will last a lifetime.

    Semester & Blocks

    Every year has two semesters. Each semester consists of clearly defined, practice-oriented blocks. Each block is focused on a single theme and includes a limited number of subjects. A coach is ready to personally assist you in areas such as study skills, career planning and personal development. Other important elements in the study programme are applied research and critical self-reflection. Especially during your last two years, you will have plenty of opportunities to structure your own personalised programme.

    Year 1

    From the first year onwards the three learning lines take center stage; Business, Languages and Professional & Academic Skills. During this first year, you have the time to discover your specific interest by touching upon all the different subject areas of international business. This will prepare you for choosing a specialisation in the second year. In your assignments the learning lines of Business and Professional & Academic Skills will be integrated wherever possible. Finally, in your first and second year you can choose elective modules that offer you the opportunity to look beyond your own study programme.

    A breakdown of the programme and themes you will experience are shown below on this page.

    Year 2

    As of year two of your studies, it is time to start defining what kind of international business professional you want to be. We offer the following specialisations which cover the fields of marketing, trade and sales, supply chain management, organisations and strategy:

    Are you fascinated by the inner workings of international companies and how to change them for the better? Then this specialisation has your name on it. You will study subjects such as general management, innovation management and HR management. You will also learn how to map the interests of an organisation and translate those into strategic goals and plans.


    If you have ever wondered how Amazon is able to deliver their products in such an efficient period of time, you may consider a focus on international supply chain management. You will learn the ways of managing the flow of goods and services, from the raw material to the consumer goods you can find on the shelf in the supermarket. You will gain an insight into the workings of effective and efficient supply chain management, by looking at the best practices in transportation, urban distribution, warehousing and port management.

    To beat the competition you will learn not only about sales, trade marketing and marketing strategy, but also about culture diversity within international businesses. You will become experienced in dealing with social and cultural differences, which is needed for successful trade relations with business partners worldwide. You will learn how to develop and build up your network within the business world, how to develop an enterprising attitude and how to adapt quickly to changing circumstances. Languages are a big part of this specialisation, as they are a vital tool for you in international commerce. HRBS offers languages courses in the most widely spoken European and Asian languages.

    Are you eager to learn how to market your products and services in different markets worldwide? Interested in choosing the right target audience for promotion? Then this is the specialisation for you. This specialisation is perfect if you want to learn how to create value for customers and for society. You will become able to craft a proper marketing strategy based on the target group and design a successful marketing communication program.

    Years 3 & 4

    In the third and fourth year of your studies you focus on growth and innovation. You will continue your education with at least one semester abroad. This could either be an internship at a company or an exchange programme at one of our partner universities around the world. You will conclude your studies with your final assessments and a graduation assignment in which you will solve a real business problem with the proper research skills.  

    You will put your training into practice during a six-month internship in an international company. This company could either be located in the Netherlands or abroad and could either be a large multi-national or a medium sized enterprise. By choosing to do your internship in another country you will learn the ropes from the international business professionals in the country of your choice.

    The minor is a programme in which you focus on a theme relevant for your future career. This could for example be digital marketing, entrepreneurship, circular economy or one of the many other options. You will focus in-depth on one specific aspect of your profession or broaden your horizon through examining terrains bordering your own profession. In this way you can significantly improve your chances on the labour market after graduation.

    In the International Business programme you can either choose to do your minor at the Hogeschool Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences or to spread your wings and take part in an exchange programme at one of our partner universities across the globe.

    You conclude your studies with a graduation assignment for which you combine all your training and practical experience. By using your practical research skills and coming up with innovative solutions you will help a company of your choice solve a real-life management matter. It’s your chance to shine and show off your skills.

    Your graduation assignment could for example be a marketing entry strategy for Brazil with a special focus on digital channels, a plan for the logistics of a start-up in China or improving sustainability management of a company in Germany.


    Fast Track Programme

    In addition to the regular 4-year bachelor programme we also offer a fast-track three-year version for students who have completed Dutch vwo, the International Baccalaureate or an equivalent. For more information read the admission requirements



    Examples of practical projects

    Working on actual real life projects

    After your graduation

    A world of possibilities

    After your graduation

    After completion of your studies, you will receive your Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree. You will also receive a diploma supplement with a DS-label. With this English document you can show the value of your degree abroad when you apply for further study or when you look for a job.

    If you participate in the honours programme, you will also receive an honours degree.

    Continue your studies

    Many students start working after finishing their bachelor studies. However you may also choose to continue your studies at Master level. For example: 

    Career opportunities

    As an International Business graduate you are competent in intercultural leadership, critical thinking, and intercultural sensitivity. You will be able to execute international projects, while working in groups and conducting business research. You can adapt to the fast changing job market requirements.

    As an IB professional in small and medium-sized companies you will often be the generalist with a wide range of duties, mostly in an international context. In larger, internationally operating companies or multinationals, you will generally have a more specialist role.

    Our graduates work in various industries on a general management level, or in business areas such as (digital) marketing, sales, financial services or logistics management. Want to join them? Then come join us at the Hogeschool Rotterdam Business School!

    Current labour market

    Source: national figures HBO-Monitor 2019


    Where will you study?

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