The BBA Degree Programme in International Business at Savonia U.A.S. aims at developing focused expertise in foreign trade. To reach this goal you will develop knowledge gradually, along the years and will gain a profound ability to work within an international working environment. Your future career doesn’t necessarily take you abroad as multicultural and multinational workplaces can be found right here in Finland as well.


Practical tools for your future career

BBA graduates are prepared to face continuous change in the global business field and are sensitive to the requirements set by international partners. BBAs are especially skilled in the practicalities of the internationalisation process, thus in a good position to assist eg SMEs in starting international trade. They operate fluently within multicultural teams and are able to guide their team towards set goals.

BBAs have an open mind towards developing new ways in not only business but also in well-being at work as well as their own expertise in the field. BBAs will work, among other things, in import-export, international sales and customer care, logistics and other international activities.


Specialisation of the programme is International Trade Expert, with emphasis on internationalisation of SMEs and the practicalities of international trade.

Content of Studies:

Studies at Savonia are practically oriented and versatile. Projects and cooperation with the surrounding community, businesses and institutions as well as foreign partners and fellow students are integrated in the everyday life of our students.

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. This is done by working in cooperation with a local partner organisation. The students will form teams around SMEs, and start getting to know the various phases needed when establishing a business.

The second term in the spring focuses on operating a successful business. You will gain a profound insight into running daily operations of the partner organisation. You will go through? team building phases and become familiar with multicultural teams and work methods. You are also expected to apply business knowledge into practice within the partner organisation and to be able to share your understanding to fellow students. At the end of the year, you will have acquired a comprehensive understanding of the everyday business operations as a foundation to develop your international trade expertise.

Solid foundation and international goals

The second-year studies will focus on the essential internationalisation skills. First, you will learn how to use the tools, such as business research, and will understand the functions of international economics. Second, you will put these skills and understanding into use, again together with local organisations, within the theme of preparing for internationalisation. A real-life business internationalisation project dominates the term, supported by studies in business analysis and communication.

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 perceive the evaluation and development of international business. Your management and leadership skills will grow to meet the demands of international trade expertise.

Structure of Studies:

The degree consists of 210 credits. Each year equals 60 credits, which requires 1600 hours of your work. Your workload will include lessons, online and independent studies, teamwork and internship. Participation in research and development activities is also part of your studies.

The detailed structure of your studies is as follows:

  • Basic studies 60cr
  • Professional studies 90cr
  • Alternative studies 15cr
  • Internship 30cr
  • Thesis 15cr


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 U.A.S. in choosing the topic, setting the goals and 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. Work-related theses include the following at Savonia:

  • a developmental project, which you or your team will plan and implement based on the requirements of your client. Examples of such a project include product or service development, workflow development and information material development such as a guide or manual. The developmental process and its outcome will be reported in a field-specific manner.
  • a research 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. The process and its outcome will be reported in a field-specific manner.
  • a cumulative thesis, where eg projects, researches or scientific articles done during the studies are gathered together and reported as a synthesis, presenting the key findings or results in a field-specific manner.

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


The 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 U.A.S. 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.


The BBA programme is dedicated to helping small and medium-sized businesses in their internationalisation efforts. Our students will work on various work-related research or developmental projects of SMEs.

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 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.


The whole programme will be 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!


Savonia University of Applied Sciences has made a decision to introduce tuition fees for non-EU/EEA students. The tuition fees apply to students starting their studies on 1 August 2017 or later. The tuition fee is charged for each academic year and it must be paid by 31 August.

The fees are:

  • for Bachelor studies 5000 euros per academic year
  • for Master studies 6000 euros per academic year

All non-EU/EEA students of Savonia University of Applied Sciences may apply for a scholarship after they have been admitted to fee-charging Bachelor or Master degree programmes and they have enrolled themselves as present. In the first academic year the scholarship covers 70% of the tuition fee; in the following academic years, the scholarship covers 50% of the tuition fee. To qualify for the scholarship after the first academic year, students must earn at least 55 credits of studies detailed in their personal study plan per academic year.

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Last updated June 14, 2019
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