Complete Guide to International Business Studies

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International trade: what are the different types of studies possible to work in this sector?

The international business curriculum requires a great deal of rigor. Different types of programs are possible, ranging from two years after high school to more than six in some cases. Obtaining a bachelor’s degree is a first step before beginning a course of study in the sector:

  • After obtaining a general baccalaureate or an STMG baccalaureate, the first option is the BTS in international trade or the DUT in marketing technology, choosing a specialization in international trade. This course takes place over 2 years.
  • It is possible to complete a Bac + 3 by going for a Licence pro or a specialized Bachelor. Many directions are possible and the proposed curriculum is elaborate. The Licence pro allows for rapid professional integration with a vast choice of professional proposals.
  • A Master’s degree (i.e., 5 years of higher education) represents a very solid background for a recruiter, and gives access to positions with high responsibilities at the international level. This degree of higher education is a guarantee of great skills for a future employer. It ensures total mastery of the subjects chosen in the specialty.
  • The Bac + 6 level of education represents the highest level of learning. In order to acquire new professional skills, after a Master or Msc (Master of Science), it is possible to do an additional year of specialization in a specific field. The courses taught will revolve around the following main areas:
    • Fundamentals of business management
    • Purchasing and supply chain fundamentals
    • Strategic management of companies
    • Entrepreneurship and Consulting
    • Innovation and new negotiation techniques

What is a business school specializing in international trade?

France has many international business schools. These institutions offer complete curricula as well as a wide range of specializations to meet students’ expectations. Here are a few examples of possible orientations depending on the training chosen:

  • Bachelor :
    • Marketing and international trade
    • International Business Manager
    • International Business
  • License:
    • License pro logistics distribution and international trade
    • Licence pro commerce import – export – international trade
    • Licence pro specializing in import-export for SMEs
  • Master:
    • Master of Commerce and International Trade
    • Master in International Trade and Management
    • Master in Business and Intercultural Negotiation

In order to adapt to the international offer, foreign language training is offered. Mastery of two of them is essential to continue the program.

The vast majority of these schools are in partnership with foreign institutions. It offers internships in different countries to gain experience in the field, as well as to promote language learning.

As an example, ESCE offers a reference 5-year Grande Ecole program. In addition to offering students a large number of internships abroad in order to consolidate their knowledge of the international environment, the school offers 12 Master’s degree specializations. In a traditional or alternating way, future graduates receive the necessary training for a successful future international career.

Why go to a business school specializing in international business?

For many students wishing to pursue a career in the international business sector, a course of study through schools specializing in international business is essential. The omnipresent context of globalization, as well as the expansion of foreign trade, generates an ever-increasing demand for experts capable of managing trade around the world. This is a rapidly evolving field that promises particularly numerous and rewarding opportunities. Thus, this program is an ideal springboard to prepare for jobs in the sector:

  • International buyer
  • Product Manager
  • Sales Manager
  • Development Manager
  • Office Manager
  • Client Manager
  • Import-Export salesman
  • International business manager
  • Account Manager

What are the eligibility requirements to enter an international business school?

In most cases, the most frequent admission is after a BAC +2. It is still possible to enter a specialized institution after a Bac +3 or 4. Entering at the end of the curriculum is an effective way to reduce the cost of tuition.

The process of admission to a business school involves submitting an application via an online orientation platform:

  • allows students to choose up to 10 courses (BTS, Licence, Master…). It lists all the higher education institutions and all the possible courses throughout the country. You will find a wealth of information (program content, 2nd year pass rate, possible career opportunities…)
  • offers an online orientation course to discover all the schools that can be integrated, as well as the information needed to register for the BTS.
  • provides information on various international programs, admission tests, exchange forums with professionals and students…
  • An indispensable portal for information on the different types of cycles in the sector, on the establishments and the training courses offered. A link with schools is available, as well as various forums…

Even if it is considered difficult for many students, the preparatory class still represents a possibility to enter a business school. It is an efficient way to deepen your knowledge on many subjects (philosophy, history, science…) before preparing a course of study. Following this, the post-preparatory schools offer admissions tests for each of them. The two common test banks are :

  • The BCE competition. It allows access to the major management schools. Its principle lies in the pooling of tests, chosen by the schools, with specific coefficients.
  • The Ecricome competition. Test dedicated to high school graduates who wish to complete a Bachelor’s degree, over 3 years. This competition is part of the Parcours Up portal of the Ministry of Higher Education for its Bac+3 programs.

What are the possible jobs after studying international business?

The international trade professions have evolved considerably over time. The sector has adapted to the evolution of markets, globalization and the digitalization of the economy. The numerous sectors of activity in the field represent an inexhaustible source of opportunities for students wishing to orient their projects towards the international arena. After an adapted training, the list of possible jobs is large. Here is a non-exhaustive list:

  • Head of foreign subsidiaries
  • Export Manager
  • Import/Export Manager
  • Director of International Development
  • Import Operations Manager
  • Business Development Officer
  • Marketing Research Manager
  • Lobbyist
  • Business Engineer


Updated 18 April 2023