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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: 40
Studies begin in the end of August 2021


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

** The student selection information for the 2021 Admissions will be updated during the autumn 2020.

News about possible information security risk in the admission procedure of International Business degree programme (25th April 2020)

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

  • 15 students are selected on the basis of the SAT test result.
  • 10 students are selected on the basis of the entrance exam result. The exam is in Shanghai China on 27-28 February 2020.
  • 15 students are selected on the basis of the entrance exam result. The exam is in Finland on 1 April 2020.

An applicant must inform on the application if he / she takes the SAT test and / or participates in the entrance exam. If an applicant is participating in the entrance exam he / she must also inform where he / she will participate in the entrance exam. All eligible applicants who have informed on the application form that they will participate in the entrance exam, will get the invitation to the entrance exam by email. An applicant can participate in the student selection in both ways by taking the SAT test and the entrance exam.

SAT test

SAT test is not required if you participate the entrance exam in China or in Finland. If you cannot participate the entrance exam, you have to take SAT test.

Savonia UAS requires a minimum score of 400 from Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, and 400 from Mathematic. 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 8 April 2020. More information on SAT test.

Please note, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Savonia UAS will accept new SAT test results until 31 May 2020. 

Applicants, who have informed on the application form that he/she will take the SAT test, will be offered the possibility to participate in the online entrance exam. 

The entrance exam in Shanghai China

The entrance exam is common for Savonia UAS options Mechanical Engineering, Internet of Things and International Business. Structure of the entrance exam depends on which Savonia UAS options the applicant has applied to. Parts 1 and 2 are common for all applicants. In addition, part 3 is compulsory for applicants of Mechanical Engineering and Internet of Things, and part 4 is compulsory for applicants of International Business.

Structure of the entrance exam:

Written part 1: Textual skills in English (Writing and/or reading) (min. 4 /max. 16 points)
Written part 2: Mathematics and Logic (min. 4 / max. 16 points)
Written part 3: Technical Mathematics and Logic (min. 3 / max. 8 points)

Spoken part 4: Group discussion after the written exam (min. 3 /max. 8 points)

The common part of the entrance exam is arranged on 27 February 2020. Applicants coming outside of Shanghai China will be interviewed 27 February 2019. Applicants living in Shanghai China will be interviewed 28 February 2019.

Applicants must pass all the parts of the exam 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.


Please note, that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Shanghai entrance examination is replaced by motivation letter. Savonia UAS has sent instructions by email on 26 February for all those applicants who have informed that they will participate the entrance exam in Shanghai China.


The entrance exam in Finland

All eligible applicants are invited to the entrance examinations. Invitations to the entrance examinations will be sent to the email address indicated in the application. The examination location may not be changed. Lists of universities of applied sciences involved in cooperation for entrance examinations are published on the website in connection with the application guidelines specific to degree programmes.

At least 20 points must be obtained in the entrance examination (max. 80 points). Applicants shall complete all sections of the entrance examination. Incomplete entrance examinations will be rejected. The result of the entrance examination will be valid during the current application period. The national entrance examination for business training programmes will be included in the I upper-secondary-level joint application process for higher education institutions for the spring on 1 April 2020. The material related to the entrance examination, provided in advance, shall be available at the beginning of the application period on the websites of all universities of applied sciences organising a national examination.

The entrance examination consists of the following sections (min./max. score):

essay (6 p./20 p.),
multiple-choice questions (4 p./12 p.),
section measuring mathematical and logical skills (4 p./16 p.) and
interview (6 p./32 p.).

In the entrance examination, the essay and the interview form an integrated section measuring the applicant’s English skills. The applicant must obtain at least 6 points for each of these sections. The section measuring English skills will be recorded in the system as approved or rejected. The examination measures study skills and teamwork, oral and written expression, and mathematical and logical deduction. Detailed information is available on the website.



Please note, that in order to comply with the Finnish government recommendations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the entrance examination of Bachelor’s Degree Programmes in Business and Administration will not be arranged as planned on 1 April 2020.


Update on 30 March 2020: New instructions for entrance examinations of Bachelor's degree programmes are published on this page. Please see below. Instructions are also sent to the applicants by email.


New instructions for entrance examination (published on 30 March 2020)

The national entrance examination of Bachelor’s Degree Programmes in Business has been changed from the face-to-face exam to an online exam due to the Corona virus situation. The exam will now be fully online. Please note that the original times have changed.

The online exam will now contain two phases: 1) Pretasks A & B, and 2) Online interview. The applicants must pass all parts of the examination in order to be considered for admission.

1) The Pretasks A & B

  • Pretask A (application video)
    • Create a 2-minute applicant video according to the attached Pretask A Instructions.
    • You can start working on the video today, and it must be ready latest by 11.45 Finnish time on Tuesday 14 April.
  • Pretask B (written online exam with essay and maths)
    • Further instructions will be sent to you by email on Monday 6 April.
    • The online exam will be open for you on Tuesday 14 April at 11.45 – 14.00 Finnish time.
    • Mark the date and time in your calendar now.
    • For the online exam you will need a quiet place with computer, and an internet connection.
    • You need to start reading the required pre-reading material now. The essay of Pretask B will be based on the pre-reading material. The pre-reading material was published on the UAS websites originally in January.
  • Points awarded: max 25 p; minimum requirement 8 p.
  • In case the pre-reading material link does not open, here is an alternative link to the same material:

Best applicants will be invited to an online interview by the points of Pretasks A & B.

2) The Online interview

  • Invitations will be sent by email between 22 – 24 April
  • Individual online interviews (about 30 min - video connection required) between 27 – 29 April
  • For the exam you will need a computer, and an internet connection, and a quiet place. 
  • Points awarded: max 25p; minimum requirement 5p



Please check our website for more information on

Want to know more about studying in Finland?



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:
January 2021

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.