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Friday, October 09, 2020 at 11am

Should You Head Overseas and Earn Your MBA Abroad?

Should You Head Overseas and Earn Your MBA Abroad? main image

US students are increasingly traveling to get an MBA abroad, for both financial and professional reasons. Although the US has some of the top business schools in the world, many schools in Europe and Asia are at the top of global MBA rankings as well. Even for those not planning on attending one of the top business schools, overseas MBA programs are growing in popularity – and for good reason. 

As MBAs become a more and more common advanced degree, studying abroad offers graduates an attractive element to add to their résumés. For multinational employers and small businesses alike, international business experience is a valuable quality that can only increase a candidate’s chances of getting hired and standing out against the competition.

Thinking of taking your MBA abroad? Here are some reasons to consider it and a few considerations that might give you further food for thought. 

The top 10 MBA programs outside of the US, all located in Europe, can be seen below:

Top 10 Non-US MBA Programs: QS Global MBA Rankings 2021

European Rank

Global Rank

Institution

Location

1

5

France

2

6

France, Singapore

3

7

United Kingdom

4

9

Spain

5

11=

Spain

6

13

Spain

7

16

United Kingdom

8

17=

United Kingdom

9

22

United Kingdom

10

23

Italy

Students gain international business experience

Students who study abroad learn firsthand how to approach cross-cultural and linguistic differences effectively in international business practices. Depending on where you wish to go, other students and faculty will frequently be as unfamiliar to a new country as you. A global perspective is essential in the international business world, so being able to learn from scholars with differing spheres of expertise and work side-by-side with other international students can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

A chance to create a global network

Studying with international students will enable you to gain an international network of professionals with whom you will work in the future, no matter where you live. Being able to compete in the US job market can be difficult in every field so anything, such as international business experience, that can help you stay competitive is imperative to being successful. 

Tuition and fees are often significantly lower outside the US

Of course, depending on where you go, you may accrue more costs with travel and housing. Also, many MBA programs at top business schools overseas are less than 18 months in duration, as opposed to the typical two years or more in the US. Reasonable tuition and less time actually in school means that more time during your MBA abroad can be spent working for a company and gaining work experience to advance your career. 

Students might find it easier to get into an MBA abroad

Not only is it good for students to diversify their learning, but overseas schools value US students’ perspectives in global markets. This means that some schools will be more likely to admit an international student.  

Some considerations:

Keep in mind that while obtaining your MBA overseas has many benefits, there are some drawbacks to consider. For those with close family and loved ones, studying abroad for a year or more at a time can create a lot of stress and may prove difficult to commit to, depending on your home situation.

Also, even though some of the MBA programs at top business schools in Europe and Asia are cheaper than those in the US, others are comparable in price. However, most schools offer the same federal financial aid packages that you would be getting at a US school. For those with ancestral links to the country in which you want to study, you may also qualify for discounted tuition, so don’t forget to check for scholarships. In fact, there are some scholarships only available to students who are studying abroad. Lastly, be sure to factor in housing, living expenses, tuition and the exchange rate when weighing up the financial pros and cons. 

It is important to consider all of your options before making a decision as to whether studying in the US or internationally is best for you. Speak with your undergraduate school about other students’ experiences studying abroad, and with any prospective overseas graduate school about what they can offer you. Although obtaining an MBA abroad can be a bit more work during the application process, this will typically be rewarded with valuable international business experience that is highly regarded by US employers.

How might COVID-19 affect study abroad options?

Of course, 2020’s coronavirus pandemic may affect your ability to study abroad, with travel restrictions in many countries across the world. You can keep up to date with the latest coronavirus news in our dedicated hub.

This article was first published in September 2016 and most recently updated in October 2020

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Ryan Hickey is the managing editor of Peterson's & EssayEdge and is an expert in many aspects of college, graduate, and professional admissions. A graduate of Yale University, Ryan has worked in various admissions capacities for nearly a decade, including writing test-prep material for the SAT, AP exams, and TOEFL, editing essays and personal statements, and consulting directly with applicants.

Comments

If you have the opportunity to participate in a study abroad program, we definitely suggest that you take it. You will find endless possibilities, make new friends, learn new routes, and get used to a completely different way of living. Get yours now from AXA. <a href="https://www.axatravelinsurance.com/">https://www.axatravelinsurance.com/</a>
If you have the opportunity to participate in a study abroad program, we definitely suggest that you take it. You will find endless possibilities, make new friends, learn new routes, and get used to a completely different way of living. Get yours now from AXA. https://www.axatravelinsurance.com
If you have the opportunity to participate in a study abroad program, we definitely suggest that you take it. You will find endless possibilities, make new friends, learn new routes, and get used to a completely different way of living. Get yours now from AXA. https://www.axatravelinsurance.com