Ask the AdCom: Opportunities to Study Abroad

Hey everybody! We’re back with another installment of “Ask the AdCom,” where we share a wide range of tips and advice from admissions team members from a dozen top business schools. Since AdCom members are human, too, we know our readers will enjoy seeing  a different side of what makes these guys tick.

This fun space is not really about the application process but more about real-life topics, like what’s a good book to readbest place to study, where you can find a killer meal near campus, and all the fun stuff happening at b-school that creates those lifelong, cherished memories for MBA students.

We hope you become inspired, too!

MBA study abroad options

Today’s Question is: What study abroad options can MBA program students explore?

Alex Lawrence, Assistant Dean of MBA Admissions at UCLA Anderson School of Management, points to The Global Immersion Program includes classes at UCLA Anderson and one week immersion in-country for a blend of classroom lectures, guest speakers, panel discussions, company visits and cultural activities.

Morgan Bernstein, Executive Director of Full-Time MBA Admissions  at Berkeley-Haas School of Business, says: Berkeley MBA students may embark on an international exchange program in the fall semester of their second year. International exchange programs are offered at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, IESE Business School, Universidad de Navarra, Barcelona, L’Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC), Jouy-en-Josas, and London Business School.

Students can also do an exchange with Columbia Business School in New York. Students interested in international exposure without the semester exchange often participate in International Business Development (IBD), our global consulting course that sends student teams all over the world to complete a three-week consulting project.

Judi Byers, Executive Director of Admissions and Financial Aid  at Cornell’s Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, asked students to share their experience with Johnson’s study abroad options:

  • Sydney Chernish, MBA ’16: We have programs where students can attend schools across the world. For shorter periods, there are opportunities to attend two week international treks to receive elective credit.
  • Najeen Riazi, MBA ’17: There is incredible diversity of study abroad programs.  I participated in programs in South Africa/Zanzibar and Israel and both were life-changing.
  • Daniel Greenhaw, MBA ’16: Yes – either semester abroad or week long excursions known as Johnson Treks.

Virginie Fougea, Associate Director of Admissions at INSEAD, says: In addition to our three campuses (Abu Dhabi, Fontainebleau & Singapore), we have alliances and partnerships with Kellogg, Wharton, SAIS John Hopkins and CEIBS in the US and China.

Shari Hubert, Associate Dean of MBA Admissions at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business, says: We have semester exchange programs with ESADE, HEC, and BiMBA at Peking University. We also require all MBAs to complete the Global Business Experience course, which asks them to consult for a company abroad then travel to that company to present their recommendations to executives.

John Roeder, Assistant Dean Graduate Admissions  at SMU Cox School of Business, says: While we have traditional Study Abroad programs, all students will go abroad to either Asia, South America or Europe as a part of the Global Leadership Program at Cox at the end of their first year.

As one of the first leading business schools to mandate global immersion for our students, the Cox School has built deep and extensive relationships with the leaders of today’s greatest international companies. As a result, students don’t just tour countries and visit headquarter locations; you hear and learn from the C-level executives who lead their global organizations on a daily basis.

Allison Jamison, Admissions Director at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, says: In addition to our Global Academic Travel Experience (GATE) courses, where students study an area of the world for a term and then go to visit, we offer more than 30 international exchange partners from Denmark, to China, to South Africa, to Argentina, and more.

Isser Gallogly, Assistant Dean of MBA Admissions at NYU Stern School of Business, says: Yes, including our popular 1-2 week in-country, intensive courses called Doing Business in… (DBis) to explore how business is conducted in other countries in Central America, South America, Europe, Africa and Asia & Pacific.

Kelly R. Wilson, Executive Director of Admissions at CMU Tepper School of Business, says: Transitional Economies Study Abroad in EU is an option for those looking for a formal exchange program. Global Treks also play a role internationally.

Melissa Fogerty, Director of Admissions at Yale School of Management, says: Global engagement is a daily occurrence at Yale SOM…Our curriculum not only incorporates global perspectives into course work and cases but also requires significant global experience and includes a unique class on working in global virtual teams.

Yale SOM was the first major MBA program to require students to study abroad, with the introduction of our International Experience trips in 2006. Students now choose from a menu of Global Studies options, which include leveraging the Global Network for Advanced Management through Global Network Weeks and Courses, semester-long study abroad, International Experience trips, and real-world consulting experience with mission-driven entrepreneurs in the Global Social Entrepreneurship elective. Students also participate in an innovative Global Virtual Teams course, in which they partnered this year with Global Network peers at EGADE Business School in Mexico and HEC Paris in France on a virtual operations management project.


Get your passport ready, because it seems international travel is all but guaranteed when you pursue an MBA degree at one of the top b-schools anywhere in the world!  Look out for the #AskAdCom in our social media channels, and we’ll see you again next week when we check in to Ask the AdCom about the entrepreneurship resources available at their programs.


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