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Factors to Consider – Your Own Fit

· Risk-taking & Open-minded: Anyone seeking to study abroad will need to cultivate his willingness to take risks and show eagerness to learn about new cultures and perspectives. Pursuing graduate level education outside one’s home country is unconventional. So candidates, even those studying at top European programs, are pursuing a less-traveled path and must be able to do so confidently. Confidence gained in this new setting will likely lead them to success.

· Language Skills: One thing that seems to make many candidates more successful in studying abroad is prior knowledge of other languages. Though language ability also opens doors in your home country, knowing additional languages when studying in Europe will greatly increase your professional and personal networking possibilities.

· Limited Home Country Job Connection: The main drawback for you in pursuing an MBA abroad is that if you seek immediate employment after graduation, you may find that your home contacts and networks are more limited than those of recent graduates from schools in your home country.

Beyond exploring individual programs, self-evaluation and self-inquiry into your motives for pursuing an MBA degree abroad will help you make an informed and beneficial decision. In order to become confident in the decision to study abroad, learning about the experiences of others who have studied at your chosen schools will enable you to better assess whether a particular program is right for you.

Just as finding a program in your home country that is well matched to your unique skills, personality, interests, and goals is important, it is even more important when looking into schools abroad. It’s important to research the career paths and professional backgrounds of students at programs you are interested in.

One of the main questions to ask yourself is to what degree are you willing to adapt to a new culture and new people. Also, how open are you to adapting to different academic styles. The more willing you are to adapt, the happier you will be with your decision to study in a new country.

Posted on April 7, 2009 by Manhattan Review

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There are several excellent MBA programs outside North America. European Business schools such as London Business School in the UK, IMD in Switzerland, INSEAD in France, ESADE in Spain, and RSM Erasmus in the Netherlands immediately come to mind as some of the top ranked MBA programs in the world. Although the US remains by far the primary center for MBA study (about 83% of all the GMAT score reports worldwide are sent to US-based business schools based on the GMAC’s 07 data), Europeans are increasingly choosing to study in Europe outside of their home country while Americans also start to take a serious look at schools across the Atlantic. This tendency, however, has been balanced by Asians who overwhelmingly choose to study in the US.

Why then are more students now choosing to pursue their management education abroad in a different country in Europe? Many factors contribute to this trend, such as an interest in working internationally, an interest in a particular country, the desire to learn another language or to experience a different academic atmosphere. We also listed out some crucial benefits below.

Yet, studying abroad does entail certain challenges, and some candidates are more prepared to succeed in a different cultural context as a result of their personality and professional or academic background.

Factors to Consider – Pros

· Shorter Program: European programs move at a faster pace. They are generally 1-year long, so you need to be prepared to jump right into academic work. IMD, generally ranked as the #1 program in Europe, is a rigorous 11-month program in which students do not have the opportunity to pursue an internship. So you need to be a bit more focused in terms of post-MBA goals and career pursuits.

· More Experienced Classmates: Another important consideration in terms of matching your background with European programs is that the average student age and years of professional experience is higher at European schools than in US schools. Older candidates tend to find this attractive, while younger ones may feel slightly out of place or experience increased difficulty gaining admission.

Posted on March 17, 2009 by Manhattan Review

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