During the programme

As well as working on two themes per year, you get to colour your own specialisation, allowing you to realise your dreams and ambitions. You will have work placements in year 2 and 4.

What makes IB truly international?

In your second and fourth year, you will do a work placement - one of these has to be outside of the Netherlands. Additionally, you may study a semester abroad in your third year. All of your classes are in English and you have the additional opportunity to reach business fluency in four other languages: French, German, Spanish or Dutch. Your fellow students and your tutors come from all continents.

Study content

In your first year, you get to know Utrecht, the university, your fellow students and the programme. In two 20-week blocks, you are introduced to the main themes and subjects you will be working on in the next four years.

After successful completion of year one, you will receive the propaedeutic (foundation phase) diploma required for continuing the IB programme.

  • Semester 1: An international business simulation in which you familiarise yourself with key roles and positions in business. Subjects include: marketing and sales, finance and accounting, operations and supply chain management, and organisation and people. You will learn about sustainability, gain essential digital business skills and discover interdisciplinary thinking and working skills.
  • Semester 2: Focus on business innovation. We provide you with the latest insights in design thinking, and you experience of what it takes to create a business model for a new idea.
Courses year 1

During the main phase of the programme, you broaden and deepen the knowledge acquired during the first year. The final term of your second year consists of a ten-week work placement with a company active in the international business arena, either in the Netherlands or abroad.

  • Semester 1: Focus on sustainable production and the global value chain.
  • Semester 2: Individual elective modules and first work placement (in the Netherlands or abroad).

In your third year, you take part in a student exchange programme at an internationally recognised partner university. We have agreements with institutions in countries as varied as the US, the UK, Thailand, France, Spain, Germany and New Zealand, among others. The exchange programme is mandatory for students whose previous education was in the Netherlands, and highly recommended for our international students.

  • Semester 1: Study abroad/minor.
  • Semester 2: Focus on global strategic issues facing business.

Your fourth and last year focuses on your graduation. You complete a five-month work placement at a company of your choice and write a research-based dissertation, resulting in graduating with a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree.

  • Semester 1: Research or consultancy project, plus orientation for your graduation project.
  • Semester 2: Second work placement (in the Netherlands or abroad) and graduation project.
International Business: study in figures
  • 20%Practice
  • 80%Theory
  • 70%Individual
  • 30%Group

Self study

hours per week
Study in figures

More information

Do you want to go the extra mile and do you have a “do good & pay it forward” attitude? In the IB Honours programme you have the chance to work on your skills and competencies to make a difference in the world. In this platform for super motivated students, you can participate in a project for a cause to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals. For example, students help to raise awareness and funds to provide breakfast every school day for young children aged 3-10 years old in Kenya, Africa with the aim of reducing hunger and poverty.

From day one, you are allocated a personal learning circle facilitator (LCF), who supports you during your time with us. Your LCF helps you with all study-related issues, from time management to study methods and career planning.

Our teaching methods vary depending on the module, but the focus is always on student participation. Typical methods are: small groups and individual tutorials, research, workshops, appropriate training in relevant technology, a combination of online and offline learning and self-study.

Courses conclude with exams, tests, assignments, essays or portfolios. Exams may also be broken down into partial exams (or partial tests). Exams are held at the end of each term and are posted on the examination timetable.

During this programme you work in learning teams: small groups of students who learn together to build their knowledge and skills collectively and individually. An IB learning team consists of five to seven students, guided by a professional development coach and lecturers.

You will undertake two work placements during your time with us. At least one of these has to be done outside the Netherlands. They give you the practical skills you need for a successful international career.

Dafinka Mihaylova, student International Business

"The minor offered me the opportunity to apply my knowledge in the real world"

Dafinka Mihaylova (Age 25) Fourth year student
Michael Sprehe, student International business, HU University of Applied Sciences, Utrecht

"The IB programme helps me to prepare for the future by offering internships."

Michael Sprehe (Age 22) First year student
Chiel van Ewijk, student International Business, HU University of Applied Sciences, Utrecht

"The class is an intercultural mix of countries all over the world, allowing students to gain experience working together with different nationalities."

Chiel van Ewijk (Age 27) Second year student

Why choose HU?

  • A truly international experience

    Work placements and studying abroad, our international team of tutors, our international student population and the completely English-based programme.

  • Practice-based education

    Your teachers are in direct contact with the professional world. You and your fellow students will work in exciting real-life projects for international companies.

  • Colour your individual specialisation

    Within prescheduled themes you can choose your own path, allowing you to create the programme that suits you best.