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Study International Business at Otago

Conducting business in the global village

Business is being conducted in a dynamic, global environment, and organisations, both in New Zealand and throughout the world, need individuals who can work across the traditional functional boundaries as well as across national borders. International Business prepares you for a global career.

You’ll study a combination of business, language and culture subjects, giving you an excellent knowledge base to work internationally. Plus, you’ll have the chance to travel overseas while you complete your degree with Otago’s renowned international student exchange programme.

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Why study International Business?

The world has never been more connected. Technology advances such as the internet, smartphones, email and social media mean that we can now conduct business from wherever we are in the world – not just from our home offices. International Business is concerned with strategies for doing business in this global environment.

Studying International Business at Otago will provide you with an understanding of how people from different cultures do business. It will teach you how to deal with different cultures, languages, laws, institutions, companies and communities around the world.

Career opportunities

A degree in International Business opens up a world of opportunities! Our graduates are well prepared to assess and solve business issues at the global level across sectors and industries – from financial markets to management, from trade to marketing. And because you learn a language as part of the degree, your options open up further – French is spoken in 47 countries, German is used for business across central and Eastern Europe, and Spanish is the first language for more than 300 million people… not to mention Japanese and Chinese!

Examples of areas you could work in include:

  • Finance
  • Human Resource Management
  • Foreign Economic Relations
  • International Trade and Investments
  • International Marketing and Business Strategy
  • Management Consulting or Operations
  • Government Departments, such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

International Business at Otago

International Business is a major of the Bachelor of Commerce (BCom), a three-year degree programme.

Within the degree, you will study a range of business papers covering the fundamentals of accounting, business statistics, economics, finance, information and communication technology, management and marketing.

In addition, you will study six papers related to language and culture. You can choose one language from Chinese, French, German, Japanese and Spanish. Combined, the business and language papers will teach you the principles of international business and how to work in the international arena.

International Business course handbook

Course structure

The International Business BCom is comprised of 252 points (equivalent to14 papers) in Commerce and 108 points (equivalent to six papers) in additional language and/or cultural papers. Thus the total number of points for your degree is a minimum of 360. The International Business degree is quite structured, so you should plan your degree carefully. Take the time to map out which papers you will be taking from one year to the next by using the latest Guide to Enrolment. If in doubt, email the Programme Director:

Teaching style

Papers are generally taught as lectures and tutorials, but some of the language papers also include video and internet-based learning. Assessment will vary depending on the paper, but may include essays and reports, oral presentations and exams.

Degree options

International Business is a valuable general business degree and goes well with a range of other majors and degrees offered at Otago, including the BACom and BComSc combined degrees. Popular combinations include Languages, Law, Management, Marketing, Economics, Finance, Computer Science, Political Science and Tourism.

Minor option or diploma in Language and Culture

Taking a minor or a Diploma in Language and Culture in addition to your BCom in International Business is possible, and is highly encouraged. For more information on how to minor in a language, consult the Department of Languages and Culture.


Student exchange

The University of Otago has exchange agreements with more than 90 institutions in over 30 countries. If your marks average B or better, you may qualify to attend one of these institutions for one semester or for a year. You pay only your New Zealand fees and complete your qualification within the same timeframe as if you'd never been away. The Business School also offers excellent travel scholarships for students travelling on exchange.

Background required

There are no formal prerequisites for studying International Business at Otago, except a desire to learn about other cultures and the way business is conducted in other countries. English and statistics are nonetheless recommended. While the course features a language and culture component, you do not need to have studied a language at school.

There are two 100-level papers offered for each language at Otago – one for absolute beginners and the other for those with some knowledge of the language.


INTB papers

Paper Code Year Title Points Teaching period
IBUS480 2024 Dissertation 40 Not offered in 2024
IBUS501 2024 Applied Project 40 1st Non standard period, 2nd Non standard period
IBUS580 2024 Research Project 40 1st Non standard period, 2nd Non standard period

More information

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Department of Management
Otago Business School


Studying at Otago

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Regulations on this page are taken from the 2024 Calendar and supplementary material.

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