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Overseas MBA: 5 Reasons to Earn Your Degree in Europe

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The following post has been republished in its entirety from its original source,

Moving to a new area for your education can be a difficult decision to make, whether you are moving across the globe or just a few hours’ drive away. Especially for moves abroad, problems like culture shock, language barriers and homesickness are understandable concerns. Nonetheless, more and more students today are discovering the massive benefits of earning an MBA abroad.

If you are prepared to make the leap, here are just a few of the benefits of earning your MBA overseas:

5 Reasons to Earn Your Degree in Europe

1. European MBAs Are Cost Effective

The cost of a European MBA has been decreasing in recent years, making the choice to earn the degree abroad a much more affordable option than staying in the United States. Moreover, most European MBA programs take only one year to complete, resulting in a degree that could cost less than half of what it does stateside. Currently, an MBA from HEC Paris costs 81,065 euros, which includes tuition, meals, housing and additional costs. Today, this equates to roughly $91,684 for one year in the program.

Conversely, two years of the MBA program at Harvard Business School cost $204,200. And while the word ‘cheap’ might not necessarily come to mind immediately for either of those price tags, a student with a one-year European MBA can be back in the workplace earning a salary while their U.S. counterparts are still on campus completing the second year of their programs.

Understandably, this huge difference in value proposition has caused a remarkable surge in U.S. applicants to European programs. HEC, which had witnessed only modest increases of U.S. applicants from year to year, for the first time saw twice as many American applicants for classes starting in September 2015 and January 2016. IE Business School in Madrid saw increases of 18 percent since last year, and four times as many applicants since 2011.

2. Students Earning European MBAs Can Take Advantage of Exchange Rates

It’s understandable why return on investment is an important factor for students pursuing an MBA, and when it comes to a European degree, there’s one more factor to consider: currency exchange rates.

Not only are European MBAs cheaper in cost, but the actual amount a student spends for his or her degree could get even cheaper from year to year, due to the recent decline of the euro and pound against the dollar. For the HEC program mentioned above, in which the tuition currently equates to roughly $91,684, the price actually decreased by 18 percent compared to 2014 in U.S. dollars due to fluctuations in the exchange rate even as the actual tuition cost in euros remained the same.

3. Gain Global Business Experience by Experiencing Business Globally

There is no question that in today’s world, an understanding of global business practices is an indelible part of working in business. And while schools across the world, including those in the United States, are adapting their curriculum to include an education in global business practices, what better place to see the way international business functions than an international environment?

In a 2015 interview with U.S. News & World Report, Itziar de Ros, admissions director at IESE Business School, commented on the benefits of earning an international degree. “It gives the students a much broader perspective in terms of cross-cultural management and understanding how different cultures face problems in different ways,” she said. “Learning a new language is also an advantage which not only enriches them professionally but personally.”

4. Create an International Network

If you are seeking to build an expansive and international network of business professionals, there may be no better place than in a European MBA program. While in top U.S. programs at schools like Harvard or Stanford, international students make up 34 and 44 percent of students respectively, the margin is significantly higher in Europe.

IESE boasts 80 percent international students, while Saïd Business School at Oxford draws an impressive 90 percent. Not only will a European MBA program give you the best opportunity for immersion within that country’s business practices, it will also connect you with more students from around the world.

5. International Experience Makes You a More Competitive Job Candidate

Not only does a shorter program mean less time away from the workforce, but a European degree can make you an even more appealing candidate when you go back to work, whether you choose to return to the U.S. or remain abroad.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, the global director of General Electric Company’s program for experienced commercial hires, Delia Garded, commented: “Having people who understand how to do business in a growth country and work with a variety of different cultures” is “part of our DNA.”
The choice to move abroad for an MBA is by no means easy, but with cost-saving opportunities, the chance to create a global network and improve employment options after graduation, that stamp in your passport may be well worth it.