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Bachelor of Business Administration, International Business

Be Savonia, be successful

Be Savonia, be successful

Why become a Savonia BBA?



Versatile and multicultural studies prepare you for an international working environment either in Finland or abroad.


A sense of community

In addition to a degree you will get lifelong friendships and a chance to develop language skills in an international environment.


Working-life orientation

Projects and cooperation with local businesses and global partners are an integral part of the studies.

Name of the study programme: International Business
Degree title: Bachelor of Business Administration
Duration of the study programme: 210 cr, 3.5 years
City: Kuopio
Mode of teaching: Full-time, on Campus
Language: English
Study places: 20


The BBA Programme aims at developing global business experts. You will learn to face the challenges presented by the continuously changing global business environment, and to be sensitive to the requirements set by international partners. As a Savonia BBA you will become especially skilled in the internationalisation process which makes you an asset to small and medium-sized companies going global. When you graduate, you will be able to operate fluently in multicultural teams and guide your team towards objectives. Savonia BBAs work in import-export, international sales and customer care, logistics and other international activities.

Students' stories

Hao Chenjie

Hao Chenjie from China found the Finnish University of Applied Sciences by chance. He got interested in the small unit located in the Eastern part of Finland and walked on campus at the beginning of September 2005. Another young man Yue Shen of Nanchang started his college in Shanghai. However, word-of-mouth on Finnish education reached him, and he made the jump from familiar Chinese environment to this unknown little Eastern town and started his bachelor studies all over again. Later Chenjie and Yue became friends, business partners and Savonia's alumni.

Hao Chenjie & Yue Shen of Nanchang




Student selection

This section will be updated by the end of June 2019.

Student selection of International Business is based on either the SAT test or the entrance exam:

  • 10 students are selected on the basis of the SAT test result
  • 10 students are selected on the basis of the entrance exam result

An applicant can participate to the student selection in both ways by taking the SAT test and the entrance exam.

Entrance exam

All eligible applicants will be invited to the entrance exam. An applicant must inform on the application form where he / she will participate the entrance. Entrance exam of International Business is arranged on 11 April 2019 in

  • Kuopio (Finland)
  • Shanghai (China)

Structure of the Entrance Exam:

  • Written part 1: Essay (min. 3/max. 10 points)
  • Written part 2: Multiple-choice questions (min. 2/max. 6 points)
  • Written part 3: Mathematics and Logic (min. 3/max. 8 points)
  • Spoken part: Group discussion after the written exam (min. 4/max. 16 points)

The total duration of the written parts 1-3 of the International Business entrance examination will be 3 hours. In addition, there will be a 30-minute group discussion (=spoken part) after the written part. The entrance exam is not based on pre-reading material. Part of the entrance examination (essay and multiple-choice questions) is based on reading comprehension and/or analysis of a set of articles which the applicants are given during the examination.

Applicants must pass all the parts of the examination in order to be selected for admission. Applicants scoring below the minimum points for any of the sections will fail the exam.

Savonia UAS is not co-operating with other UASs and therefore the result of the entrance exam is accepted only at Savonia UAS. Savonia UAS will not accept the entrance exam result of any other UAS.

SAT test

Savonia UAS requires a minimum score of 400 from Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, and 400 from Mathematics. Only new SAT scores taken after 1 March 2016 are accepted. Please note that SAT Subject Tests are not accepted. The SAT test result must be available at the Savonia UAS Admission Services by 10 April 2019. More information on SAT test.

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Our BBA programme contains  three alternative minors, which make it possible to start building your own career path.

  • International Sales develops your understanding of sales and purchase processes, customer relationship management, management of global sales teams, and promotion. Our second focus area
  • Design Business challenges you to create new business models and processes in sustainable fashion business, service design, creative leadership, and digital concepting. The third alternative minor
  • Wellness Business makes you an expert in the trends of wellness, health and well-being such as Nature Wellness and Green Care as well as wellness technology and event planning.


Content of Studies

Studies at Savonia are practically oriented and versatile. Projects and cooperation with local businesses as well as foreign partners and fellow students are integrated in your everyday life with us.

Each year the studies have two assigned themes. During the first autumn term of the studies you will learn about planning and starting a business. After that the first spring term focuses on operating a successful business. You will gain a profound insight into running daily operations and learn about team building phases and become familiar with multicultural teams and work methods. In the spring you will take part in a trade fair organised by first-year students where you and your team will present your virtual start-up company By the end of the first year you will have acquired a comprehensive understanding of everyday business operations as a foundation to develop your expertise in global business.

The second-year themes shift focus of your studies to the requirements of international operations. You will learn the skills and knowledge needed when starting international business operations such as business research methods and the fundamentals of international economics. You will also learn to analyse target market characteristics from the view point of a local organisation. You will co-operate with local businesses in assignments and projects to support their internationalisation.

During your third year you will focus on adapting business operations to an international environment, and on the challenges organisations face due to differences in conducting business. As skills and understanding grow, you will be able to evaluate and develop global business. Your management and leadership skills will grow to meet the demands companies make on global business experts.

Structure of Studies

The degree consists of 210 credits. Each study year equals 60 credits, which requires 1600 hours of your work. Your workload includes lessons, online and independent studies, team work and internship. Participation in research and development activities make up an important part of your studies.

The detailed structure of your studies is as follows:

  • Business orientations studies (=basic studies) 60 cr
  • Professional studies 75 cr
  • Alternative studies 30 cr
  • Internship 30 cr
  • Thesis 15 cr

BBA International Business - Structure of Studies


The thesis at Savonia is always work related. This gives you a good opportunity to networking with professionals in your field 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 work-related thesis can be:

  • a developmental project, which you or your team plan and implement based on the requirements of your client. Examples of such a project include product or service development, work flow development and information material development such as a guide or manual.
  • a research-oriented project, where you or your team will perform appropriate research activities in order to shed light to the developmental or problem-solving needs of your client.
  • a production, which you or your team plan and implement to show your expertise or artistic talent. The production could be an event, seminar or performance.
  • a compiled thesis, where eg projects, researches or scientific articles done during the studies are gathered together and reported as a synthesis.

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.

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.


  • 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


Our BBA-groups are multinational and -cultural by nature, so you will get accustomed to an international work environment from day 1. 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, and internships (basic and/or professional) could take you anywhere in the world.

Our selection of language studies is substantial, complemented by the offerings of University of Eastern Finland. Cross-cultural studies provide a good basis for your personal experiences in all aspects of internationality.


Savonia is active in developing the surrounding community via, among others, student projects, joint research projects and various development programmes. The cooperation with the local working life is highly valued and based on long-term relationships. Also the joint activities with the University of Eastern Finland and Karelia UAS bring a variety of options for our students. International aspects are dealt with in a close network of foreign partner institutions, covering exchange, internships, projects and joint or double degrees.


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 business world.

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 world-wide. Often the following Master’s degree can be completed in 2 years, depending on the field of study and the student. However, should you wish to continue your studies to the Master level at a university of applied sciences, you will be directed to start your working career to gather 3 years of work experience before entering a Master’s programme.


Our whole programme is conducted in English apart from mandatory languages courses in Finnish (for foreign students) and in Swedish (for Finnish students). Please note that you are not expected to be perfect when you start your studies – your language skills will improve while doing business studies. The multicultural learning environment with students speaking various languages is the best way of preparing for the challenges of global business life!

Application period:
9th - 23rd January 2019

How to Apply?

Contact person
Terttu Niskanen
Tel: +358 44 785 6949

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Savonia UAS

Savonia is one of Finland's biggest and most versatile universities of applied sciences. Our campuses are situated in Kuopio, Iisalmi and Varkaus. There are almost 6000 students and 600 employees at Savonia. In education we implement Open Innovation Space (OIS), where we combine learning, development, research, and teaching.