Opiskelija katsoo kameraan.

International Business

Bachelor of Business Administration 

Start your journey towards global business!

Autumn 2024, January 2025
Applications for autumn 2024 intake are closed

Degree programme: International Business
Degree title: Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)
Duration: 210 ECTS, 3.5 years
Study mode: Full-time studies, on Campus
Study place: Microkatu campus, Kuopio, Finland
Language: English
Annual intake: 45

The Bachelor of Business Administration, International Business programme develops global business experts with a focus on international sales and markets. BBA graduates are valuable assets to small and medium-sized companies going global. Our BBAs work in import-export operations, marketing, international sales, customer care, and other international activities.

Our programme prepares you to find careers in the field of international business and to be sensitive to the requirements set by international partners. You will learn to operate fluently in multicultural environments and learn to lead your team towards reaching specific objectives.

This degree provides you with the knowledge and skills you need to get a job in Finland or abroad. Since learning Finnish may open more doors to Finnish business life, Savonia offers many possibilities to learn Finnish during your studies if you don’t speak the language yet.

Complete this form and the student recruitment team will reply to you

Programme Highlights

Opiskelijoita käytävällä.

Cooperation with companies

Students get the opportunity to work closely with local businesses, for example, in courses such as Global Business Environment, and Sustainable Innovation and Business Development.

Opiskelijoita konetekniikan laboratoriossa.


The programme includes 30 ECTS of practical training. During this time, students get to apply all of their acquired skills and knowledge in a specific firm.

Opiskelija kirjastossa opinnäytetyö kädessään.


The final thesis is an opportunity for students to explore on a deeper level a topic of their personal interest. The thesis is also the last project to complete before graduation!

Our specialisations

The International Business programme offers two specialisations:

  1. International Sales develops your understanding of international customers and global sales and purchase processes. You will also learn about the importance of customer relationships and global sales team management.
  2. Digital Marketing prepares you for careers in social media and digital marketing. This specialisation deepens your skills related to planning, managing and implementing digital marketing strategies.

Content of studies

Studies at Savonia University of Applied Sciences are versatile and practically oriented. Projects and cooperation with local businesses as well as foreign partners and fellow students are integrated into your everyday life with us. Each year, the studies have two assigned themes.

The first study year develops the students’ essential business skills and understanding of the environment that businesses operate in.

The second-year studies focus on planning global operations with the help of customer and market understanding and the use of contemporary means and methods of management. The students start to specialize in Digital Marketing or International Sales.

The specializations deepen during the third year along with developing the students’ global management skills. The capstone of the studies includes the expert thesis and professional internship.

Programme structure

The degree consists of 210 ECTS. According to the curriculum, one academic year corresponds to 60 ECTS, which is equivalent to 1600 hours of a student’s workload.

The studies consist, among others, of lectures, online and independent studies, teamwork and internship(s). Participation in research and development activities also makes up an important part of your studies.

The detailed structure of your studies is as follows:

  • Business orientation studies (basic studies) 60 ECTS
  • Professional studies 75 ECTS
  • Specialisation studies 15 ECTS
  • Elective studies 15 ECTS
  • Internship 30 ECTS
  • Thesis 15 ECTS

You can familiarize yourself with the content of the degree programme in the curriculum.

Language of instruction

The whole programme is conducted in English apart from mandatory language courses in Finnish (for foreign students) and Swedish (for Finnish students).

Please note that you are expected to have sufficient English language skills to conduct your studies fully in English. A multicultural learning environment with students speaking various languages is the best way of preparing for the challenges of global business life!

Learning the Finnish language

Finnish language is an inherent part of life in Finland and the Finnish culture. Although many Finns speak English quite well, Finnish is the main language of every day operations. Knowing the Finnish language can also be an important factor in finding employment in Finland.

Finnish language studies are integrated in the English-taught programmes. By improving your Finnish language skills yearly you can also get 10% extra scholarship for the next academic year.

Career possibilities

BBAs will work, among other things, in import-export, international sales and customer care, logistics and other international activities. You will also have the skills and competences needed to become an entrepreneur.

Possible work titles:

  • Export assistant
  • Export secretary
  • Sales representative
  • Sales secretary
  • Marketing planner
  • Store manager
  • Import assistant
  • Import secretary
  • Product Manager
  • Investment Adviser
  • Procurement Specialist
  • HRM Specialist
  • Commercial Agent
  • Export Manager
  • Import Manager


Savonia is active in developing the surrounding community through student projects, joint research projects and various development programmes.

Cooperation with the local working life is highly valued and based on long-term relationships. You can do your internship or work in a development project in cooperation with local companies. These are great opportunities to get integrated into the local working life. It also gives you visibility and the possibility to showcase your talents while increasing your opportunity to find a job in the Northern Savo region, in other parts of Finland, or in the global job market.


Savonia’s BBA groups are multinational and multicultural by nature. You will get accustomed to an international work environment from day one.

In addition, the BBA programme itself is designed for internationalisation. Close cooperation with our international partners brings you in contact with people and organisations outside Finland, making it possible for you to compare views, share knowledge and work side by side on projects by using technology-based communication tools as well as meeting in person. Student exchange is also a natural and recommended part of your second-year studies.


The thesis at Savonia is always work related. This gives you a good opportunity to network with professionals in your own field already during your studies, and often the thesis turns out to be a starting point for your career.

The thesis emphasises the cooperation between you, working life and the UAS – from choosing the topic to setting the goals and to actually doing it. During the process you show that you are capable of working independently in recognising, evaluating and solving developmental challenges in working life. Professional reporting and communications skills are required as well.

Your thesis process will be supported by business research studies, thesis seminars and methodology workshops. You can do your thesis independently or in a group.

Possibilities to continue studies after graduation

A BBA degree is an internationally recognized and approved qualification. A BBA graduate is eligible to apply to continue theoretical studies at most universities worldwide. Often a Master’s degree can be completed in three years, depending on the field of study and the student.

However, should you wish to continue your studies to the Master level at the Savonia University of Applied Sciences, you will be directed to start your working career to gather two years of work experience before entering a Master’s programme.


Our BBA programme is dedicated to helping small and medium-sized businesses in their internationalisation efforts. You will work on various work-related research or developmental projects of SMEs during your studies and gain valuable insight into the business world.

Picture of Gerly Matihaldi. Savonia alumni.

Gerly Matihaldi – Savonia BBA alumni

“During my studies, I gained vital knowledge about business and found a passion for entrepreneurship. Above all, Savonia taught me to be confident about my skills and I learned how to use different learnings in a practical manner.

Today, I practice what I learnt in Savonia. This programme gave me an excellent base for the skills I have and gave me numerous possibilities to prove to myself that I can do anything – I just need to try.”

Meet your teachers:

Terttu Niskanen
Study Counsellor
+358 44 785 6949

Virpi Oksanen
International Coordinator
+358 44 785 5793

Abdelazim Hannoura
Senior Lecturer

Özerk Göker
Senior Lecturer

Leo Suomela
Senior Lecturer