At Zuyd I instantly get to apply what I have learned. We recently had to produce a business plan for our own imaginary company and one for the paper producing company Sappi. We also attended a three-day business competition for students in Leuven in Belgium. Every day, we were given a case study and three hours to prepare a presentation for a jury.
International Business is a bachelor’s degree study programme that focuses on a wide range of subjects related to doing business internationally, such as:
- supply chain management
- foreign languages
If you are interested in a fascinating and challenging job that involves a great deal of international exposure and business contacts all over the world, International Business will be an excellent starting point for a dynamic and international career.
- Location Maastricht
- Duration 4 years, start in September
- Degree Bachelor of Business Administration
- Freshmen 184
- Language English
- Student rating 6.9
About the education
To come to a succesful 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.
Real-life business cases
International Business takes a hands-on approach to learning, by continuously combining theory and practice during the entire study programme. This means that all modules are centered around a real-life business case, presented to us by existing (international) companies or organizations. You 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.
Intercultural Business Lines
An Intercultural Business Line - an ongoing four-year course - teaches you about the culture of the geographical region of your choice and how this affects business in that region. In the first year you will choose one out of the five. Your choice allows you to specialize yourself in a specific geographical region and to study the (business) culture in other parts of the world. Language classes are part of the line to enhance your language skills.
The options are:
- Doing business in French speaking countries. (No prior knowledge required of French)
- Doing business in German speaking countries. (Entry level: German A2)
- Doing business in Spanish speaking countries. (No prior knowledge required of Spanish)
- Doing business in the Euregion. (No prior knowledge required of Dutch. This line is only available for non-Dutch native speakers)
- Doing business in Asia. (No prior knowledge required. In this line there is no mandatory second language).
In year 3 you will be doing either your study exchange or your internship abroad in the region of your Intercultural Business Line.
You can follow the three-year fast track if you are a Dutch vwo-student or an international student with a pre-research university level education or secondary science education and if you want to go for a more practice orientated bachelor degree before you start with your masters.
EPAS quality mark
In June 2019 International Business was awarded the EPAS accreditation by EFMD (European Foundation for Management Development), a leading European strategic audit and accreditation agency.
EPAS is a world-renowned and prestigious seal of quality for study programmes in the field of business and management. The accreditation procedure critically analysed all aspects of the study programme: from the curriculum, research, teaching methods, staff and learning environment to the level of internationalisation, quality assurance, practical relevance and sustainability.
Read more about the accreditation in this article.
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Education and Examination Regulations
The education and examination regulations provide all the information you will need about the content of the study programme, the academic support provided, and the way in which examinations are organized.
In the EER you'll find a reference to this International Business framework.
As a degree-seeking student you will have to pay annual tuition fees. Students from the EU pay the statutory tuition fees, and non-EU students pay the institutional tuition fees. Normally speaking, these fees are waived for exchange students from partner universities.
Facts and figures
Are you interested in how our current students rate this study programme? What your chances are at the labour market? Check the objective information that's based on public reliable sources. With this overview you can compare our programme with the national average.
Check the facts and figures of International Business.
Year 1 and 2
You’ll start with a two-year foundation programme that covers all the main subjects, areas and skills. By working on eight real-life business cases you will immediately acquire and use relevant theoretical knowledge in a practical way by applying it to solve an actual company’s problem. In this way you will turn into a real 'problem solver' that can handle just about any business challenge that a company runs into.
The subjects that will continuously come back during all the business cases are:
- finance and accounting
- supply chain management
- management and 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
- Develop a marketing strategy and write a plan for your international customer.
- Evaluate the financial performance of an organization 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.
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.
During the third year you will go abroad for a five-month internship in an international company. You will be working and living abroad, to experience a different work environment and to gain international work experience.
During the other semester, you can pick one of the following options:
- International study abroad
International Business is part of an extensive international network and has almost 100 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.
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 is a pre-master at 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.
- International study abroad
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 organization of a company by means of assignments such as 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, an acquisition plan, a customer satisfaction plan, a sales plan, and so on.
You will learn how to financially stabilize your organization and to advice on financial issues when doing business abroad. You will learn for example how to design and execute a cost price analysis, 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 organization and how the entire supply chain in an organization must be adapted to do business abroad successfully. You will for example develop and implement a system for incoming goods control, design and implement a vendor selection system for SMEs, write and implement a plan to reduce the supplier database for SME’s, 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 50%-50% in an optimum situation. Based on the research done during this internship, you will write a thesis to complete your study programme.
- Strategic Management
You need a havo diploma with at least one of the following subjects:
- Management & Organization
You need a vwo diploma with at least one of the following subjects:
- Management & Organization
If you want to start in the fast track you have to meet the following entry requirements:
- A positive advice by the intake committee after the Matching Day.
- A diploma secondary science education or pre-research university level education (vwo in the Netherlands)
You should have followed these subjects until the final year of secondary education:
- Mathematics or Economics
If you have a mbo diploma at level 4, you meet the requirements of the study programme. The chances to pass are realistic if you have studied Economics and English during the mbo level 4 study.
Exemption of the pre-university requirements is only possible on the basis of a binding admission examination. You are only eligible for this examination if you are 21 years of age or older. Read more about the test for candidates aged 21 or older.
Generally speaking, a secondary school diploma will give access to our study programme, for example:
- international baccalaureate
- Advanced knowledge (secondary school graduation level) of economics or mathematics.
- Proof of a good command of the English language. A secondary school graduation level is required for EU-students. Students from outside of the EU are required to take an IELTS (score at least 6) or TOEFL test (computer-based score at least 213).
Do not forget to check the immigration regulations imposed by the Dutch authorities. Depending on your nationality, you may need to apply for a visa for The Netherlands. This can be a time-consuming and expensive process. Therefore, start your application process well in advance to avoid disappointment.
Applications for enrolment should be in our possession before the deadline. They differ for EU- and Non-EU students:
- EU students: 1st July
- Non-EU students: 1st June
Late applications may be considered by the management. You can ask Marjan van Diepenbeek, Student Recruitment Officer, for further information about late enrolment procedures.
In this International Business study programme you will be trained for a wide range of management positions in the fields of Commerce, Finance and Organization. As a result, you will have excellent job opportunities on the national and international labour markets, such as:
- International Account Manager
- Marketing Manager
- Financial Manager / Financial Analyst
- Business Analyst
- Sales Manager
- Customer Relationship Manager
- PR Officer
- Trade Consultant
- Export Manager
- Logistics Manager
- Supply Chain Manager