What You Should Know About Getting An International MBA

Working towards an MBA (Masters in Business Administration) degree is exciting and challenging enough. But then there are those advanced degree candidates who have that extra dose of courage and sense of adventure, and for them, only studying for an MBA degree or organizational leadership degreeabroad is enough to fulfill their craving. Regardless of where you happen to reside, whether stateside or elsewhere around the world, the opportunities to gain an online MBA are so plentiful in today’s education friendly marketplace that you will never have to worry about being shortchanged of the opportunity to further your education. But if you are interested in getting an international MBA, then there are certain facets of planning and preparing that will differ from if you plan to pursue an MBA in your home country or online.

Evaluating the Time Frame

The first consideration you will need to factor in is a frequent difference in the amount of time it will take you to complete an organizational leadershipor MBA degree in an international setting. This is because, while traditionally MBA degrees obtained stateside will ask for two years of your time before you are able to graduate, international MBA degrees typically only encompass one full year of studies prior to graduation. Not only will you be able to condense the amount of time it takes for your advanced studies, but you will be able to experience life in a new part of the world as you do it. Even if you opt to enroll in an MBA degree online, you will still need to allot approximately two years if it is a United States-based program. So the time frame advantages can be notable if you are in a hurry to get that extra set of credentials.

Calculating the Cost

The next factor you need to evaluate when deciding whether to pursue an international MBA degree is the cost. Because of variations and fluctuations in exchange rates between stateside and international currencies, you can expect that your tuition prices may change from semester to semester, and certainly will not be the equivalent of what you would pay for a program in the United States. Because of this, it is important to sit down and do a cost analysis of the best and worst case scenario cost-wise, factoring in not just tuition and materials expenses but also living and emergency expenses while you are abroad. Only after you have completed this exercise will you have enough information to decide whether an international MBA is a cost-effective opportunity for you.

Considering the Long-Term Picture

You will also need to think strategically about where you want to obtain your international MBA degree if you are set on this track. If you have an interest in international business in a certain geographic area, for instance, you may want to target your search for an applicable MBA program in that region. Beyond simply the opportunity to immerse yourself in any language and customs differences, you will also have the chance to meet and network with individuals who may be of assistance or influence once you have graduated and have set about working towards your long term career goals. These types of networking opportunities can be invaluable over the course of your career depending on what your specific career goals happen to be.


Finally, it is important to research how congruent the education you may receive abroad is with your domestic business goals, if your ultimate goal is to live and work within the United States. In particular, if you have your eye on a particular future employer, it can be beneficial to research their hiring practices and history, and attempt to the best of your ability to discover whether the institution who will be granting your degree is one that is held in high esteem at that employer.

Getting an international MBA degree can be one of the most exciting, rewarding choices that you make on your way towards building a career that matches your goals and aspirations. With just a bit of focused pre-work, you can make sure you choose the international institution that can help you to meet your goals as well as grant you with wonderful life experience living abroad.


This article was provided by Terry Stienbach, who has worked extensively in finance in London after receiving his MBA degree online. Steinbach, though, is originally an American citizen. He has just returned to the U.S. and is teaching organizational leadership degree courses in college. 

1 comment

  1. This is all pretty solid advice. I would like to get an international MBA someday (sooner than later if you know what I mean).

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