International Business

    Four-year bachelor in English

    Are you ambitious, adventurous, and eager to broaden your horizons? Do you dream of an international career? Do you thrive in an intercultural environment? With an International Business (IB) degree at RBS 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 Rotterdam Business School, 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 RBS you can choose from French, German, Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia), Mandarin, Korean, Vietnamese, 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 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.

    Discover, practice, experience & become

    From the first year onwards the three learning lines take center stage: Business, Languages and also 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. In year two, you can start specialising to become the business pro that you want to be. We have four fitting specialisations for you to choose from. They cover the fields of marketing, trade and sales, supply chain management, organisations and strategy.

    Your Future

    At the Rotterdam Business School you will become a globally engaged, responsible business professional. As an International Business graduate you are competent in intercultural leadership and critical thinking. You will be able to execute international projects, while working in groups and conducting business research. You are able to adapt to the fast changing job market.

    After graduation, you will be ready to kick-start your international business career. 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 have proven to succeed in every type of business. They are successful founders, consultants, managers and innovators in both start-ups and multinationals. Want to join them? Come join the Rotterdam Business School!

    Request the brochure

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    Facts and figures

    The programme at a glance

    Programme structure

    A view of the study programme

    Your Educational Experience

    The 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.

    Watch this webinar to get to know the International Business programme.

    The 3 Learning Lines

    During your studies 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 Rotterdam Business School you can choose Dutch, French, German, Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia), Mandarin, Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese, Spanish or Russian. 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.

    Semesters & 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.

    Develop a Language

    Elementary to Upper Intermediate

    Why learn a foreign language during International Business (IB)?

    Your proficiency in more than one foreign language (besides English) can make a decisive difference. It will boost your labour market performance and increase your chances on getting the (international) job you want.

    In the IB programme students choose between two language levels.


    For students who want to learn a complete new language, the IB program offers a wide range of languages at Elementary level: German, French, Spanish, Russian and Dutch for International students. RBS are also leaders within the Netherlands in the education of Asian languages, we also offer; Korean, Mandarin, Japanese, Indonesian and Vietnamese at elementary level.

    In three semesters you develop the language from scratch up to the point where you are confident in all language skills: speaking, listening, writing and reading. This level will enable you to maintain interactions and communicate at an international level in business settings and daily situations.

    From year two of the IB program, an elementary language can be perfectly combined with the specialisations Operations & Change, Marketing or Supply Chain. In these tracks you are expected to spend at least one semester abroad.

    For Elementary level, no previous knowledge of the chosen language is required.

    Upper Intermediate

    If you are passionate about learning a language alongside your study then the Commerce track from year two is ideally designed for you. Through the choice of either French, German or Spanish at Upper Intermediate level, or Korean, Mandarin, Japanese, Vietnamese or Indonesian at Elementary level, students will continue to study the language alongside their business studies.

    In the third and fourth year you will go on internship and on exchange at one of our partner universities. When you select the Commerce track, you are expected to go for your first period abroad to a country where the language of your choice is spoken. The goal is that you immerse yourself in the life and culture of this country.

    This is another opportunity for you to explore a new city or country and expand your network. You may discover whether this could be your future home after graduation!

    Please note that Commerce students must spend two semesters abroad.

    In order to start a language at UI level, previous knowledge (A2) is required.

    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. In year 1 you will take one of seven language choices and at the end of the year if you do not decide to pursue 'commerce' then you will stop with your language learning. 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. 

    Semester 1 Semester 2
    Year 1 - Discover Block 1 Block 2 Block 3 Block 4
    Theme  Introduction to Business External Business Environment  International Business Environment Business Model Canvas

    Business Line

    Marketing & Sales
    Organisation & People
    Operation & Supply Chain
    Finance & Accounting


    International Business Economics
    Research Methods
    International Business Communication
    Operation & Supply Chain

    Finance & Accounting
    Organisation & People
    Research Methods


    Marketing & Sales
    Business Law
    Finance & Accounting
    Operation & Supply Chain

    PAS Line

    Personal & Professional Development, MOI, Business English Communication

    Personal & Professional Development, Business English Communication, Critical Thinking, Intercultural Competencies

    Personal & Professional Development, Business English Communication, ESR, Innovation & Creativity

    Personal & Professional Development, MOI, Business English Communication


    Contemporary Business Game

    Situational Marketplace Analysis (external)

    Situation Marketplace Analysis (internal)

    Business Model Canvas for an SME

    Language Line

    Elementary or Upper Intermediate


    Elementary or Upper Intermediate






    Year 2 (Specialisation Year)

    As of year two of your studies, it is time to start defining what kind of international business professional you want to be. For more information about the specialisations we recommend watching the latest webinar. We offer the following specialisations:

    The Organisation & Change specialisation is suitable for students who are eager to learn more about strategy, management, and innovation at international companies, as well as the various types of organisations and how they work. The specialisation includes topics like strategic/general management, innovation management and entrepreneurship, internationalisation and market entry strategy, consultancy, organisational change, and human resource management.

    Leader of Innovation

    The introduction of companies such as Amazon and AliExpress has revolutionised how we look at time from production to consumption. These fascinating developments fall under our International Supply Chain Management specialisation. 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. By looking at the best practices in transportation, urban distribution, warehousing and port management you will gain an insight into the workings of effective and efficient supply chain management.

    Captain of Efficiency

    To beat the competition you will learn not only about sales, trade marketing and marketing strategy, but also about culture diversity within international companies. Languages are a big part of this specialisation, as they are a vital tool for you in international commerce. 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. RBS offers languages courses in the most widely spoken European and Asian languages.

    Master of Trade

    Are you interested in learning how products and services are marketed differently around the world? Fascinated by the way target audiences differ from place to place? Then our marketing specialisation is right up your street. You will learn how to create value for both the consumer and for society. Developing proper marketing strategies based on the target group and designing successful marketing communication programmes. Follow our mission and ‘exceed expectations’

    King of Marketing

    Year 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.
    Please note that Commerce students must spend two semesters abroad, among which one semester will be an internship abroad.

    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 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.


    Would you like to hear how our students experienced their internship & exchange abroad? Then watch this webinar.


    Fast Track Programme

    In addition to the regular 4-year bachelor programme we also offer a fast-track 3-year version for students who have completed Dutch vwo or equivalent abroad.  For example the International Baccalaureate or an equivalent. For more information please click here. It also possible to discuss on the phone, email or chat with the Centre of International Affairs (CoIA).  

    It is important to note that if you wish to choose the fast track programme it will not be possible for you to choose our commerce specialisation due to language requirements. 

    Below you will find a breakdown on Year 1 for the Fast Track programme:

    Semester I

    Semester II

    Block 1

    Block 2

    Block 3

    Block 4

    Principles of Business Fundamentals

    Principles of Business Environment

    Principles of Business Models

    Principles of International Trade

    • Critical Thinking
    • Academic Writing
    • Business Law
    • Economics
    • Organisation & Strategy
    • Operations
    • Finance & Accounting
    • Marketing & Sales
    • Operations
    • Finance & Accounting
    • Marketing & Sales

    Applied Business Fundamentals

    Applied Business Environment

    Applied Business Models 

    Applied International Trade

    • Qualitative Research Methods
    • Quantitative Research Methods
    • Finance & Accounting
    • Marketing 
    • Business Communication
    • Finance & Accounting
    • Marketing 
    • Operations
    • Business Communication
    Project Management I
    Project Management II
    Leadership I
    Leadership II
    Foreign Language I
    Foreign Language II


    Information on this page is subject to change

    4 Part Information webinar

    Published on our YouTube channel is a 4-part webinar on the International Business Programme. Through the links below you can be directed to the videos. If you have further questions, feel free to send us a message through the chat! 

    4 Part International Business Webinar: 

    FAQ video

    Our Admissions Officer Alex & current student Bogdana answer the most frequently asked questions related to the International Business programme. Is your question not answered? Take a look at the full list here

    Educational Support


    Every student is unique and has his own ideas about what he wants to achieve during his studies. We will support you by making you aware of your abilities, opportunities and challenges. Sometimes, during or even before the start of your study programme it becomes clear that you are struggling with a particular subject. It will be useful to brush up your knowledge in that area. As a student you will be assigned a coach (a lecturer) who will guide you and who will monitor your progress. It is also possible to ask for a peer coach, a senior student who trains younger year students.

    Studying with a disability

    If you have a disability and therefore require some extra facilities, we offer various options. Please feel free to contact us about this:

    Ivar Janssen

    Coördinator PowerPlatform
    Museumpark 40, 3015 CX Rotterdam
    tel. 010 - 794 6691

    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.

    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 Rotterdam Business School!

    Location Kralingse Zoom

    Where you can find us
    Foto van locatie Location Kralingse Zoom

    Kralingse Zoom

    Kralingse Zoom 91 3063 ND Rotterdam