Netherlands, Amsterdam

Foundations of International Business

when 4 July 2020 - 18 July 2020
language English
duration 2 weeks
credits 3 EC
fee EUR 1150

We live in an increasingly global and interconnected world. Over the past couple of decades, rapid technological advancement and disappearing trade barriers have completely transformed the business community. The world has gone digital and in order to be successful, companies have no choice but to go international.

The new millennium has given rise to new challenges and exciting new opportunities. On the one hand, competition is fierce in the globalized market of the 21st century. On the other hand, access to new markets, expertise and cheap labour is giving companies an unprecedented edge.

Getting to grips with the international context is essential to successfully navigate the global arena. Companies need a wider set of strategies in their arsenal, focused on finding business opportunities around the globe and staying ahead of the competition. This requires an in-depth understanding of foreign cultures, international communication and employee diversification.

This interactive course teaches students the fundamentals of international business, through simulations, games, movies, in-class team assignments and fieldwork. The course will address the following topics:
• Why do companies engage in international business?
• What are the main benefits and challenges of doing business across borders?
• How does culture influence business?
• What is necessary for cross-cultural communication and negotiation?
• What are the differences between global and domestic competition?
• How do companies identify countries for foreign expansion?
• What do you need to enter a foreign market (on your own or with a partner)?
• What is important when leading or working in multicultural teams?

Course leader

Dr Oli Mihalache

Target group

Bachelor’s students from all educational disciplines and all years of study and Master’s students who are interested in learning the fundamentals of international business are invited to join this course.

Course aim

After completing the course, you will be able to:
• explain different theories of international business;
• solve practical international business problems (e.g. select a country for foreign expansion);
• work in multicultural teams;
• present solutions to practical problems verbally and in writing for various audiences.

Credits info

3 EC
Contact Hours: 45
Do you want to make the most out of your summer? You can combine this course with a course in session 2 to create a 4-week summer school.

Fee info

EUR 1150: The tuition fee includes:
• Airport pick-up service
• Welcome goodie bag
• Orientation programme
• Course excursions
• On-site support
• Emergency assistance
• Transcript of records and certificate after completion of the course

An early bird discount of €150 is available for students who apply and pay before 15 March, and students from VU Amsterdam as well as from exchange partner universities will receive a €250 discount. You apply for the discount simply by indicating that you are currently a student at VU Amsterdam or at a partner university in the online application.

There are also discounts for students who attend multiple sessions, combine 2 courses and receive a €200 discount and combine 3 to receive a €300 discount. All courses include excursions. We will also organize trips and excursions as part of our social programme, which is a great way to get to know your fellow students and learn more about Amsterdam and the Netherlands. The social programme is not included in the tuition fee.

Furnished accommodation is available. Various housing options will be offered.


VU Amsterdam Summer School offers three kinds of scholarships: the Academic Scholarship, the Photographer Scholarship and the Vlogger/Videographer Scholarship. More information can be found on the VU Amsterdam Summer School website.

Register for this course
on course website