Pros and Cons of the International MBA

We’ve seen much growth of late in the range of international full-time, part-time and executive MBA courses aimed at American students looking for a global business school experience and exposure to other cultures. A great article earlier this week on expatica.com explores the potential benefits and drawbacks of doing an MBA in Europe.

What sets the international MBA apart? Student body diversity, for one. According to the article, European schools boast a roughly 80% non-national ratio, compared to 30% at their U.S. counterparts. Not everyone has a shot at these programs, however. Many prefer students with prior international work experience and fluency in a foreign language, so if you’re toying with the notion of going to a business school abroad to fill that resume gap, think again.

The so-called internationalism of business schools abroad may be trickier to pin down, since the faculty at top programs, more often than not, have earned their own degrees from prominent American universities.  With a few tweaks, international curriculum too may mirror U.S. structure, leaving many students to find the diversity they seek not from the nuts and bolts of the program but from fellow classmates.

Lastly, MBA applicants need to consider where they want to work upon graduation. If the answer is in the U.S., then a program abroad is probably not the best fit.

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