An International Business class in higher vocational education

International Lycée Honoré de Balzac in Paris has been devoted to international Education and Training since its creation. With a view to guiding students towards international Higher Education, a post-secondary 2-year programme was opened in September 2014. The curriculum « Brevet de Technicien Supérieur en Commerce International » can be translated as « Advanced Technician in International Business ».

Acknowledgement of curriculum in Europe and by universities programmes

The training description was built in common by several European Education bodies in order to foster students ‘mobility. The full programme is split into training units. Each training unit has an ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) value. After a 2-year training, a graduate is granted 120 ECTS and may easily continue his/her studies in another University in Europe. Within the European Qualification Frame (EQF), the “Advanced Technician” graduate has reached level 5.

Vocational modules and ECTS value:

INTERNATIONAL TRADE MONITORING AND SURVEYS : International marketing, SWOT on foreign markets 14 ECTS
BUSINESS IT SYSTEM : Using appropriate techniques in picking up available information in all forms and updating and enriching regularly the business IT System 6 ECTS
PROSPECTING AND CUSTOMER/PARTNER FOLLOW UP : International customer canvassing techniques, Carrying out and following up international customer canvassing, Managing the different relations in a multicultural environment 10 ECTS
EXPORT SELLING : Canvassing customers according to the specific characteristics of foreign markets, Export selling negotiation 10 ECTS
SUPPORTING IMPORT/EXPORT OPERATIONS : International logistics, Financing international import-export, Import buying 12 ECTS
MANAGING THE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION : Managing the coordination of the buying and selling administration 8 ECTS
ECONOMICS & LAW : The creation and distribution of wealth in a market-based economy, Economic and financial governance, Jurisdictional approach of labour and organisations, The immaterial and the risk in economic relationships 8 ECTS

ERASMUS charter (since 2014) and mobility

Our school has applied for the Charte Erasmus for Higher Education in order to foster exchanges in Europe, namely for the less privileged students. Mr Yves Parizot is in charge of mobility projects for the students following the International Business curriculum, such as internship mobility for a 2-month period as well as training mobility with foreign partner schools. Thus, some French students may be hosted by a foreign partner for a training period (outgoing mobility) and be granted ECTS points when they return back to France, once the acquisition of skills abroad is validated by their teachers in France. As an equivalent, some foreign students sent by a partner (incoming mobility) who acknowledges the curriculum of « Advanced Technician for International Business » may attend modules in our school and get a validation once they are back in their country.

The lessons are taught in modules :

The vocational lessons are taught in modules, which facilitates mobility exchanges: The 1st school year: from early September until the end of June: lessons from September to April, 2-month internship abroad in May/June. Most lessons are taught in French. However, some vocational modules may be taught in English when receiving groups of foreign students for short incoming mobility periods.

Orientation towards Asia :

This class is especially dedicated to Asian markets. Therefore, Mandarin is also taught among foreign languages, as well as English and Spanish.


Internships in companies (in the frame of an internship agreement with the school)

  • The first internship takes place at the end of the 1st year programme for a minimum 8-week period -out of which at least 4 weeks abroad- preferably in a non- French speaking country. The trainee should see to develop his/her skills regarding customer canvassing, either in the country where he/she is based, or overseas, possibly in France (from abroad).
  • The second internship takes place in France or abroad, in a company which deals with international business (import, export, customs clearance, transport and logistics, overseas banking operations). The trainee should namely apprehend the list of documents used in international operations. The internship should last at least 4 weeks.

Export trade assignment for the sake of a firm

Groups of students may be entitled by a company to prepare and carry out marketing operations abroad, such as market surveys, customer canvassing, trade fair marketing … These operations are monitored by the teachers and are submitted to an internship agreement between the firm and the school. Any company that wishes to work with the students of the IB class in Lycée International Honoré de Balzac may email at:

Professional opportunities

The Advanced Technician in International Trade contributes to the sustainable international development of the company through the marketing of goods and/or services in foreign markets and the optimizing of purchases in the context of globalization. He/she is in charge of the implementation of strategic choices and coordination of the international activities between the different functions of the company and /or external partners. Thanks to the analysis and passing on of information made by the graduate, the company is able to adapt constantly to its evolving environment.

In this company, the advanced technician in International Trade graduate is in charge of the following activities:

  • international trade monitoring and studies
  • export selling
  • import buying
  • coordinating the various departments contributing to the import/export process -managing the different relations in a multicultural environment

In the context of the company’s international development, he/she is responsible for the constant watch of foreign markets to collect the proper information so as to contribute to commercial decision-making. He/she carries out prospection for new buying and selling opportunities, he/she makes proper commercial offers, he/she sells and participates in the purchase negotiation process. He/she takes care of the administrative and commercial follow- up of sales and purchases. He/she coordinates departments and external partners. He/she carries out his mission in a multicultural environment.


Our school has signed an agreement with the Wuxi Institute of Technology, located in the Jiangsu province near Shanghai. This allows us to send our students in China for training periods in the school and in companies in Wuxi as well as to receive Chinese students in Paris.

Chinese and French students get accustomed to work together mainly in English but also in Mandarin because it is also taught in Lycée Honoré de Balzac.

Apart from Asia, it is also important to find European partners where exchanges are easier and can be more frequent. A partnership agreement is about to be signed with a school in Germany: the BBS Handel der Region Hannover school. The objective is to foster cooperative work between students of both schools during training sessions on vocational modules in English, because most students do not speak German.

As regards partnerships with international business circles, our IB class is sponsored by a French advisor in foreign trade, member of the CCEF organization.OFAJ (Franco-German Youth office) is giving financial support to trainees and for mobility period taking place in Germany.