From Financial Collapse to Pandemic: 2008 MBA Grads Offer Advice To This Year’s Grads

How International Students Feel About The MBA Now

Nearly 90% of US colleges and universities are preparing for a decline in international student enrollment this upcoming academic year, a survey by the Institute of International Education finds.

Humeyra Pamuk and Jan Wolfe, of Reuters, recently spoke to international students on whether a US b-school degree is worth it in the time of coronavirus.


With b-schools like Haas and Anderson announcing hybrid formats coming this fall, the MBA classroom experience will look and feel different for many.

For many, the new virtual classroom takes away from what many seek out in an MBA: a close community, networking events, and a dynamic classroom environment.

In a survey by GMAC, only 43% of international MBA candidates say they plan to enroll if programs continue online. 48% surveyed say they would defer.

“The virtual environment might take away a chunk of the MBA experience,” a 27-year-old student from China admitted to Wharton tells Reuters. “That’s what a lot of people including myself are thinking through now.”


With a majority of air travel being restricted to essential travel right now, a lot is up in the air.

That uncertainty has led a number of b-schools to try to accommodate international students concerned with travel restrictions.

At Harvard, students are allowed to defer for a year. Wharton announced that it will grant deferral for international students with visa issues.

For some international students, a virtual environment may actually be beneficial given the travel restrictions.

“I plan to stay at my home in Beijing and take the courses remotely,” a Chinese student admitted to Columbia tells Reuters.

B-school officials say that virtual teams will become the future of the b-school experience.

“Being effective in this virtual world actually gives them a competitive advantage,” Sanjeev Khagram, the dean of the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University, tells Reuters.

Sources: Reuters, Institute of International Education, P&Q, GMAC

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