IBA Curriculum

IBA Curriculum

    • During the first year, students are introduced to international business through a combination of theoretical and skills-related courses that are the foundation for a career in management.

      The first year in the IBA programme has been impressive and enjoyable. The international vibe and integrated learning can be experienced from day one.” – Sabine Sara (Indonesian)

      “During my first year of IBA, I learned so many new skills and met the best group of people to be surrounded by. The courses were challenging, but very manageable if you put some effort into it.” – Kevin Ren (Dutch) 

    • The IBA Mentor Programme provides experienced and well-trained second year students to guide small groups of first year IBA students to find their way during their first few months of study at RSM and around Rotterdam. This well-established programme will help you to settle in, and will encourage you to make a good start in your first year by focusing on your studies and study techniques.

      “This programme is very helpful, especially as an international student. A second year mentor guides you, along with 15 other students, through the first trimester. The themes of the sessions are diverse, for example studies, exams, student life, and the city, this definitely helps you to get acquainted to your new life.” – Arthur Petit (French) 

      “The mentor programme offers a place that you can have a small family of friends and learn about all the things that are waiting for you. It’s the best way to share concerns with a second-year student who has already experienced your current life.” – Cansu Alp (Turkish)

    • Right from the start, IBA students are expected to be able to write a real business plan. Working in groups of four and after meeting with employees from their chosen business, students make an internal and external analysis of the firm’s activities, check its financial position, analyse options and dangers from the outside market and devise a strategic plan to improve the firm’s chances of survival in the market – and even expand its activities. This project requires the ability to work in a team and communicate effectively – these are the skills honed in the three Skills development courses.  In the past, students have written plans for companies such as Bavaria and Rotterdam The Hague airport.

      “Working on a strategic business plan with three other teammates during a semester helped me turn theory into practice and get a good insight into the business world. The company we created a plan for was glad to get an outside perspective for potential future actions.” – Pauline Heurthe (French)

      By speaking to the CEO and getting an insight in what a company really is and what problems it faces, we could gain some unique experience; it’s something you can never learn from a book.” – Nikita Reshetnikov (Russian)

    • The binding study advice policy states the minimum number of credits you need in your first year of registration to be able to continue your studies. IBA students need to pass all their first-year courses during their first year to be able to continue into Year 2.

      “The binding study advice was a lot less stressful than I originally expected it to be thanks to the weekly online tests and workshops that helped me stay on track throughout the trimesters.” – Marissa Berghuis (Dutch)

      "At first I thought it would be impossible to pass the year without re-doing exams, but in practice I proved that it is possible. All you need is focus, motivation and confidence.” – Yuliia Ponomarenko (Ukrainian) 

    • The second year of the IBA programme expands your knowledge and develops your research skills, with courses such as Quantitative Decision Making and Applied Business Methods. A wide array of topics are covered, with courses focusing on everything from strategy to marketing, finance, and cross-cultural management.

      “In the second year, I felt like I could accomplish anything I set my mind to. Everyone was proud that they had passed their first year with 60 credits, and this created a really relaxed atmosphere, where hard work, exchange opportunities and future focus were the main aspects of our daily mindset.” – Alyssa Beitsma (Dutch) 

      “In the second year you'll start to understand the possibilities RSM offers you. For example applying for an exchange or an internship, or deciding which minor to specialise in are turnkey moments for your career.” – Théo Fromentin (British/French)

    • IBA graduates can expect to work in international teams, which is why we teach you how to communicate effectively across cultures. The Cross-Cultural Management course is where you’ll develop the skills to interpret differences in use of language, and awareness of cultural differences and prejudices.

      In this course, you’ll work on the ‘Living Diversity’ assignment, a project that has been developed within RSM to train future managers in international business.

      “The knowledge that I obtained in the cross-cultural management course is still valuable to me. I use the insights for my professional work as well as my personal life. It has provided me with a strong foundation and understanding of cultures and mutual interaction.” – Kim-Oanh Nguyen (Dutch)

    • Any academic business study has its foundations in technology and industry, so a good working knowledge of industry and industrial processes is essential. The IBA programme has formed a partnership with our neighbouring university, Technical University Delft, in which RSM’s IBA students work with students from Delft on an assignment which requires both groups of students to understand each other’s worlds of business and industry. This part of the programme encourages mutual understanding of business and industry, an essential skill for any manager.

      “This course enables you to broaden your scope, to learn something about the ever-growing technology side of business. Although challenging, it certainly is one of the most interesting courses I have had.” – Michelle Dieben (Dutch) 

    • The third year of the IBA programme gives students some flexibility. In the first trimester, students can choose between:

      1. an international exchange to one of RSM’s partner schools
      2. an international internship
      3. a minor
    • For many students, spending an exchange semester abroad at one our partner universities is a valuable opportunity to make an early investment in their future international career, and widen their professional network. Our partner universities are all of high repute and well-ranked. They all have similar accreditations to ours. Students study at the partner university from the end of the summer term until January, and must obtain at least 20 ECTS during the exchange.  Click here for a list of our partner universities.

      For students who would like to go on a short-term programme in the summer, we also have agreements with a number of schools in Europe, Asia and the USA for our students to have priority access to their summer programmes.

      "My exchange at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania was probably the most amazing experience of my life. Not only did I have the chance to interact with some of the best professors in the world, but I had the opportunity to explore a very different part of the world. This opened a world of opportunities. This would have not been possible without RSM." – Andrea Petrini (Italian)

      "During my four-month exchange in Canada I made many new international friends and explored Canada and the USA for the first time. It was my longest time abroad and also one of the most enriching experiences in my life!" – Matthias Man (Dutch) 

    • There is no substitute for real working experience. The IBA programme gives you the opportunity to complete an international internship lasting at least 10 weeks and worth 15 ECTS. Although academic in approach, the international internship gives you in-depth knowledge and practical experience in a company of your choice. Non-Dutch students can do this in the Netherlands or abroad. Dutch students must choose a destination outside of the Netherlands for a truly international experience.

      "The bachelor internship enabled me to explore a field of my interest, the aviation industry, while also improving my skills in online marketing and customer acquisition. While I didn’t completely master chopstick eating in four months, I did become a fan of Chinese soup and most importantly learned a lot about myself!” – Victor Val Mas (Spanish)

    • Your IBA programme concludes with your Bachelor thesis. For this, you must study and train in research methodology. The thesis is used to measure your ability to present research and opinions – about management of businesses and organisations – in a well-structured, coherent, and academic document.  You’ll join a group of three students to write your Bachelor thesis, which will be based on a theme offered by one of RSM’s departments, and you’ll be closely supervised by an experienced member of academic staff.

      Successfully completing the thesis means you have mastered sufficient content and research knowledge for RSM to award you with a Bachelor of Science degree in International Business Administration.

      “Conducting your own research on a practice-oriented topic is a very interesting but time-consuming task. However, our work was worth it since my team delivered a thesis that we can be extremely proud of.” – Marina Arnaudova (Bulgarian) 

      “Research, data processing, data analysis and clear communication are all extremely valuable skills you can develop and strengthen during your bachelor thesis, and will help you regardless of what career path you choose to pursue.” – Akhilesh Deoras (Dutch)

    • Chicago, New York, Paris, Shanghai – not just a list of international destinations, but places our IBA students have actually visited during their annual IBA Study Trip, organised each year by STAR, RSM’s largest study association. These fascinating destinations are chosen because of their business environment, their universities, and their impressive attractions for international visitors. If you are selected as one of the 40 IBA students to join the trip, you’ll also discover the local shops and party scene!

    • Erasmus Consultancy Project (ECP), formerly known as International Business Study, is a research project organized by STAR. Every year, ECP offers companies and non-profit organizations tailor-made research and consultancy services in an emerging market on a non-profit basis. ECP is carried out by approximately 25 carefully selected students at RSM Erasmus University, with the support of two professors. The consultancy adds sustainable value and high quality due to desk and field research which results in well considered decision-making for companies. In previous years, ECP has successfully completed projects in countries such as Mexico, India, Vietnam, Chile, Brazil and South-Korea. Currently ECP is planning to perform research in Thailand. Check out their website for more information: www.rsmstar.nl/ecp

    • The International Research Project (IRP) is one of the largest activities organized by the Marketing Association EUR and offers students - during the last stage of their study - the possibility to apply their knowledge and research skills in practice and gain international experience. The students are commissioned by an internationally orientated company and will conduct market related research in a foreign country. This way you actively approach prominent companies and jointly work towards discovering and understanding a new market. Within a diverse team of students you get the chance to go to an exciting destination during the summer for 3 to 5 weeks and conduct high-end research.  Previous research destinations have been Australia, India, China, Turkey, Brazil and the USA.

    • The official graduation ceremony for students who have completed their BSc IBA studies is held in the fall. IBA graduates reunite for this special occasion, and are joined by friends and family from all over the world. The ceremony is always an enjoyable highlight for students and RSM staff.