The first B-schools that come to mind for American applicants are often the Wharton School and Stanford Graduate School of Business, to name a few. Outside of the U.S., name recognition can often differ. In fact, prominent B-schools can be found well beyond the U.S.—from HEC Paris to London Business School.
Ilana Kowarski, a reporter at US News, recently spoke to experts on whether or not the benefits of earning an MBA abroad outweigh the negatives.
ADVATAGES OF AN INTERNATIONAL MBA
One of the main reasons why people pursue an MBA is to gain access to a diverse and expansive network. Earning an MBA in a foreign country, experts say, can offer students the opportunity to connect with talented professionals from a variety of backgrounds.
“One big advantage is that you will be able to learn about new cultures, which will help you in future work opportunities,” Max Benz, founder and CEO of Remote-Job.net – a website that allows people to find employment options that would let them work from wherever they prefer– tells US News. “It also allows you to experience different working styles and how certain companies operate,” adds Benz, who has business-focused bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Technical University of Dresden in Germany. “This can be beneficial for future employers who want employees with global experience.”
Another main draw to international MBA programs, specifically in Europe, is the return on investment. For most B-schools in Europe, MBA programs typically last only one year compared to the two-year requirement in the U.S.
“For example, you can complete an MBA program at INSEAD in as little as ten months,” Stacy Blackman, founder of Stacy Blackman Consulting, writes. “Compared to a two-year or US MBA program, lower tuition and opportunity costs look enticing.”
DISADVANTAGES OF AN INTERNATIONAL MBA
A big factor to consider with international MBA programs is the cost of travel. Additionally, experts say, prospective applicants should look into the immigration visa policies for where they intend on applying.
“There are some downsides to pursuing an MBA overseas, such as the cost involved or not being able to apply for jobs,” Benz tells US News. “Students may find it harder than they expected to get visas or work permits for their schooling abroad, which means they might have to leave the country abruptly when they graduate without much time for transition. They may also be concerned about cultural differences in learning styles, study habits, and academic rigor.”
Ultimately, your decision to pursue an MBA is a personal one and one that should be made with careful consideration of where you want to be in your career and your life.
“If your professional goal is to live and work in Europe, pursuing an MBA there is arguably the best introduction to business life regionally,” Blackman tells US News. “If you prefer to work in the US, the US MBA programs dominate with 87-to-89% outplacement to the US.”
Next Page: Secrets to nailing the Wharton interview.