An MBA that is earned abroad can be more affordable for U.S. students, and international experience is increasingly valuable.
Some advantages of a European MBA
- Last year, 65 percent of MBA programs in the United Kingdom and 67 percent of schools in other European countries reported increasing numbers of applicants from elsewhere, and many of them from the U.S., according to the Graduate Management Admission Council's 2017 Applications Trends Survey.
- European programs attract the most U.S. students. Many are based in appealing business hubs like London, and several compress the two-year MBA curriculum into 18 months or a year. That, coupled with the dollar's strength compared to European currencies, can greatly reduce the cost of getting an MBA.
- Tuition costs range roughly from $73,000 to $95,000 for one-year programs in Europe to just over $100,000 for two-year programs, not counting room and board. In contrast, tuition and fees for a number of top-20 U.S. MBA programs in 2017 ranged from roughly $120,000 to $160,000.
- European degrees can also appeal to hiring managers. The top U.S. companies are international themselves and need people who have the ability to work across borders.
Reasons for Graduate Study Abroad
- Europe offers find a range of option. For example, HEC Paris attracts students interested in technology and entrepreneurship. IMD – the Institute for Management Development – fosters tomorrow's CEOs with its focus on leadership development.
- Brilliant broad curriculum
- 1 + 1 MBA, a two-year program that awards an additional master's degree from one of 14 other departments, including medicine, history and music.
- Excellent internships.
- 20% of 1 + 1 MBA are Americans.
- Wide range of experiences, from consulting projects for large multinational companies like L'Oréal to advising financial-technology startups in Africa.
- Tuition for 2018-2019 is about $76,000 at early 2018 exchange rates and the school estimates that room and board would range from about $17,000 to $26,000.
- Entrepreneurship is one of three broad themes that shape the MBA curriculum at Saïd
- 320 MBA students a year. Everyone participates in an entrepreneurship module, teaming up to develop ideas for startups.
Also offers Global Rules of the Game, which focuses on laws and norms that govern business transactions, such as anticorruption agreements and trade laws; and Responsible Business, where students focus on ethical decision-making.
Another common experience is Global Opportunities and Threats Oxford, a project that brings together faculty and students from across the university to address a different international issue each year. The 2017-2018 class focused on health care, working in groups to identify business opportunities related to the global aging of the population.
INSEAD calls itself "the business school for the world"
- Students can move between its flagship location in Fontainebleau, France, and its Singapore campus. Some participants also do a rotation at the school's Abu Dhabi campus.
- INSEAD is the only top European MBA program with a language requirement. All classes are taught in English, but students must have a basic working knowledge of two other languages by the time they graduate from the 10-month program.
- Of the roughly 1,000 students who enter the program in one of two intakes per year, about 8 percent come from the U.S.
- The INSEAD curriculum is split into five two-month periods, accommodating core business classes, electives and a capstone project.
- The tuition cost for 2017-2018 was nearly $100,000, plus fees and living expenses.
- INSEAD's international campuses offer the opportunity to gain deep experience working with companies that are either based in those countries or that are trying to establish themselves in a region.
- Google, for example, called upon INSEAD students in Abu Dhabi to create an open online platform for news organizations in Africa.
- Participants generally pick their location of study based on their career goals,
- The INSEAD experience is highly customizable. Students who choose to enter the program in January have the option of completing eight-week summer internships with organizations ranging from the World Bank in Washington, D.C., to private equity firms in Dubai.
London Business School
LBS has exchange agreements with around 30 universities in a dozen countries, including China, Australia, Mexico and the U.S.
- LBS admits more students from the U.S. than any other country, and in 2017, Americans comprised 16 percent of the total student body of 431.
- Students who start the two-year program in August 2018 will pay about $108,000 in total tuition.
- Students think about business challenges in a global context
- During the second half of their studies, every student takes part in an immersive Global Business Experience in one of a number of other countries, including South Africa, Israel, China, Peru and Myanmar. The weeklong program includes faculty briefings, panels, workshops, company visits and project work.
- In the fall of 2017, for example, 80 MBA students worked with small-business owners in South Africa to implement improvements that would boost their profits.
- LBS's program is somewhat similar to the typical two-year model that has long been popular in the U.S., with core courses like accounting and marketing taught in the first year, followed by electives. The school recognizes that taking time out of the workforce for two years isn't feasible for every student, but programs can be tailored to be completed in 15, 18 or 21 months.
- All students now have three possible options for their summer term: They can line up at least one paid internship, be one of a handful of top students to get hands-on experience in consulting or take advantage of the Entrepreneurship Summer School to work on a new business idea.
- Students who participate in the international exchange program also now have the option to shorten the length of their time overseas so they can fit that into a condensed curriculum.
- Another distinctive element of the LBS MBA is that students are expected to participate in some of the 75 themed clubs on campus designed to help them prepare for their chosen careers. The choices include finance; retail and luxury goods; and technology and media
University of Navarra IESE Business School
Once a year in Barcelona, MBA students at the University of Navarra IESE Business School band together to stage an international conference called Doing Good Doing Well. The theme of the conference – responsible business practices – mirrors the MBA curriculum at IESE, which is designed to train students to make managerial decisions that positively impact the world.
- Strong emphasis on social responsibility and service that I find really attractive.
- Curriculum is mainly taught through case studies that build in a discussion of the ethical implications of strategies and what the impact of a particular decision might be on workers or the environment.
- About 12 percent of IESE's 710 students come from North America. They spend most of their 19 months in the program studying in Barcelona.
- IESE offers 133 electives, giving students multiple options to drill deeply into topics from wealth management and real estate finance to mergers and acquisitions.
- Students who want to start their own businesses can spend the entire summer term in an entrepreneurship boot camp, developing a business plan for their startup.
- IESE also offers an exchange program; Atwell, for example, spent his second-to-last term taking business courses at Yale University.
- IESE charges roughly $108,000 in tuition and fees for the program. The school advises students to budget about $2,468 per month for room and board off campus.