The International Management specialization prepares you for global management careers by developing your understanding of how the international context affects businesses and their employees. Due to the increasing globalization of the last decades, the international context now affects all aspects of business. The International Management specialization combines the latest theory of international management with practical applications.
Under the supervision of world class researchers and teachers, you will complete advanced international management courses designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of how to manage different parts of a business and how to compete in different contexts. In addition to core courses, you can select from several interdisciplinary electives that will provide them knowledge in areas of personal interest. The programme also has a strong practical component. You need to apply the theoretical tools to a practical situation by developing an international expansion strategy for a real company or advise a company on an international management problem. Furthermore, you will work in different group projects to develop soft skills for working in multinational teams.
Some key questions of the programme include: How can companies compete in a global environment? How can companies take advantage of opportunities outside their borders and overcome potential threats? How can firms do business in emerging markets? What challenges do multinational teams face? How to make global teams work more effectively? How to improve the performance of individuals who work in global teams?
Who should join us?
Students who are interested in understanding how to use the global environment to make businesses succeed. You can have very diverse educational backgrounds with bachelor's degrees in business administration, economics, psychology, engineering, social sciences or natural sciences.
The specialization has the following learning goals:
Have the advanced and original academic and research skills to contribute to the body of knowledge
You will contribute to the body of knowledge on international management by writing a master thesis. By critically assessing the latest research on international management throughout the programme and by receiving workshops on research methodology, you will be in a strong position to develop theoretically forward and practically relevant research.
Have thorough knowledge of relevant theory and methods
Advanced courses on International Management, Culture, or Doing Business in Emerging Markets will expose you to the latest theory and methods used in international management research. To deepen your knowledge, you can additionally choose from several electives that each are strongly based on fostering your ability to act in response to strategic and organizational challenges. To broaden your horizon beyond the core of strategy and organization, you can also choose electives from other programmes such as Strategy & Organization, Leadership and Change Management, Management Consulting, and Human Resource Management. Several interdisciplinary electives offer an additional opportunity to deepen your knowledge of a topical issue in business and management beyond the boundaries of the International Management programme.
Have an academic approach to solving complex business problems
You will participate in team projects for a real life company in which they act as management consultants who need to solve an international business problem such as developing an international expansion strategy. In addition, you will develop their ability to solve complex business problems by working on business cases during workshops.
Have the professional social skills to interact with other professionals
First, you will present the outcome of your team project to the company for which they acted as management consultants. Second, you will develop presentation skills by preparing presentations for companies and fellow students. Third, you develop professional social skills by working on group projects with colleagues from different cultural backgrounds.
Have an horizon beyond the professional area
Through courses on Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility you develop the understanding of how your decisions influence communities and the environment. In addition, for the team consultancy project, you will have to discuss the social and environmental implications of your proposed solutions.
Are self-reflective professionals
Courses on Cross-cultural management and Ethics will allow you to reflect on your own personality and individual goals in order to understand opportunities for change and growth. In addition you will have access to SBE'S Career Services’ workshops to prepare you for the job market.
Aspirational job (far future)
As tomorrows’ business leaders need to be able to manage in a global environment, the International Management specialization starts students on a career leading them to become global leaders. In the long term, this means our students will become the CEOs and COOs of the future.
Actual placement (near future)
With the International Management specialization you are well-positioned to start your leadership career in multinational enterprises with positions such as business analyst, management consultant, product manager, global brand manager, international sales manager, or business development manager.
Business happens in a global environment. The International Management specialization prepares you to work in multinational organizations by developing your understanding of how the international context affects different aspects of business. The programme achieves this by combining the latest academic research on international business, with practical experience, and personal skills development.
The programme places great emphasis on practical relevance as it employs case discussion in workshops and team projects for real companies engaged in international business or who wish to internationalize.
Our programme develops global leaders with strong sustainability principles by providing you with courses on Ethics that allow you to understand the ethical and environmental consequences of managerial decisions.
The unifying characteristic of students pursuing the International Management specialization is an interest in understanding how to use the global environment to make businesses succeed. As such, students can have very diverse education backgrounds with bachelor degrees in business administration, economics, psychology, engineering, social sciences, or natural sciences.
Challenge to distinguish
The programme provides several opportunities for you to distinguish yourself. Top students can join the honours programmes, which provides additional learning opportunities. In addition, you can distinguish yourself through the practical project in which you advise a real company on an international management problem as you need to present your advice and provide the report to the company analyzed. Furthermore, you can distinguish yourself by tailoring the master programme to your interests when selecting specialized and generalized electives.
Being part of a strong community is a key elements of students’ learning experience. In addition to the numerous events organized by the vibrant community of students at the Vrije Universiteit, the International Management specializations aims to stimulate strong relations between the members of the programme. There will be several student and student-teacher social events. In addition, you will be supported in your job-search by the Career Services.
LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION
1 April for international degree holders (different deadlines may hold for other category students);
1 June for Dutch degree holders
Specialization in Business Administration
FIELD OF INTEREST
Economics, Business and Law
We welcome and look for motivated and ambitious students who are actively developing themselves and are aware of their position and role in society. In order to be successful in this programme you will need a solid academic basis in, for instance, (International) Business Administration, Psychology, Sociology, Economics, and other related disciplines. Typically, successful students in this programme have at least a 7 average grade (or an equivalent GPA score for international students) in the third year of their Bachelor’s programme, or a GMAT score of 600. Prior relevant work experience and experience with volunteering or other citizenship behaviours are encouraged and also taken into account.
With a Bachelor's degree in (International) Business Administration, Economics or Econometrics and Operations Research from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam you are admissible provided you successfully meet the requirements in this document. Furthermore, we take into account your motivation, prior relevant work experiences, and any relevant volunteering experiences and/or citizenship behaviors.
To enroll in the programme submit your enrolment application via Studielink. Please note: in Studielink you can apply for the Master in Business Administration and in VUnet you can select your specialization.
Apply for the MSc programme Business Administration via Studielinkbefore 1 June. You can apply for the specialization in VUnet (see step 2)
Please complete your application in VUnet by answering additional questions and affirming your choice for the specialization. Furthermore you need to upload:
Please note: we can only process your application when your choice of specialization is clear and your documents are uploaded.
More information regarding registration WO-bachelors, see the VU website (in Dutch).
Services for international (IBA) students / Residence permit:
If you are planning to continue your studies at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam after your IBA, please contact the Central Admission’s Support Team of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam for further information and specific questions about the offered services for international students like extending your residence permit. You will need to apply for extension of your residence permit if you continue your studies at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
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We welcome and look for motivated and ambitious students who are actively developing themselves and are aware of their position and role in society. In order to be successful in this programme you will need a solid academic basis in, for instance, (International) Business Administration, Psychology, Sociology, Economics, and other related disciplines. Typically, successful students in this programme have at least a 7 average grade (or an equivalent GPA score for international students) in the third year of their Bachelor’s programme*, or a GMAT score of 600. Prior relevant work experience and experience with volunteering or other citizenship behaviours are encouraged and also taken into account.
In order to gain admission to our Master’s programme, you need to have at least a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited research university including at least three full years of academic study amounting to a minimum of 180 EC or equivalent. We do not require a GRE or GMAT test score, but we do take into account your motivation, prior relevant work experiences, and any relevant volunteering experiences and/or citizenship behaviors. Furthermore you need to have successfully completed courses and studied literature related to the core of this programme, consisting of (or equivalents of):
Standard literature: students are assumed to be thoroughly familiar with the titles below, or an equivalent:
• C. Hill (2014). International Business: Competing in the Global Marketplace. 10th edition, McGraw-Hill Education.
English language proficiency
The admission board wants to stress the intensity of the programme: reading scientific articles and writing papers will be a key part, all in a very high pace. Your English language skills, both oral and written, are extremely important in this programme. As you will have to communicate frequently with your fellow students and you will be working with and for international companies.
VU Amsterdam requires all applicants to take an English test. You can already apply online without having the test results. We do advise you to plan a test date as soon as possible. Below you will find the minimum English test scores for the programme:
• Minimum general score 6,5
• Minimum score writing 6,0
• Paper based test 580
• Internet based test 92
• Cambridge Proficiency Exam A, B, C
• Cambridge Advanced Exam A, B, C
The Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers the TOEFL ITP English-language proficiency test. The test is offered by the VU Taalloket. You can find more information and register for this test at www.taalloket.nl.
Please refer to the language requirement page for the general requirements regarding the English language test.
If you have read the admission requirements and feel you are eligible for admission, please take the following steps to submit your application. Note that the initial application procedure is fully online and that scans of your relevant documents are required.
Step 1: Prepare documents and apply online
Please prepare the following documents and arrange the payment of the application fee, a non-refundable €100 application fee applies. You can find an explanation of each document on the application page. All documents should be provided in English.
• Copy of your valid passport or ID (only for EU residents)
• Curriculum Vitae
• A motivation letter
• Transcript of records
• Thesis (or another sample of academic writing)
• A description of the relevant courses you have taken during your previous higher education
• A list of all the main literature used during your previous higher education
After having prepared the required documents, please follow the online application procedure. In Studielink you can apply for the Master in Business Administration and in VUnet you can select your choice of specific programme. After you have completed the application, our international student advisors will contact you via e-mail. Please refer to our application page to see which application deadline applies for you.
Step 2: Await decision on admission
The admission board will review your application as soon as it is complete. Normally this takes about four weeks, but it might take longer in busy periods so be sure to apply as soon as possible. If you gain admission, you will receive a letter of conditional admission by email. You can start planning your move to Amsterdam!
Step 3: Finalize your registration and move to Amsterdam!
Make sure to finalize your registration as a student before the start of the programme. Here you will find an explanation what to do after admission. When all conditions are met you will be ready to start your programme at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam!
Some international students are happy to tell you about their experiences with living and studying in Amsterdam. These Student Ambassadors come from all over the world and have attended various bachelor's and master's programmes.
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