How to Do MBA Abroad: A Guide for International Students

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Reem Mohamed

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29 March, 2023

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7 mins read

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An MBA, also known as a Master of Business Administration, is a great addition to any resume, and this is why it is constantly in increasing demand. The opportunities created, and the doors opened by an MBA degree prompt everyone to apply for an MBA programme and secure themselves this career-changing degree. 

Doing an MBA abroad is on a lot of people’s vision boards, and rightfully so! Picture all the exposure an MBA degree gives you and then add the study abroad experience to it, a double win is what you get! Getting acquainted with different cultures while learning about all the different aspects of business, including management, economics, marketing, finance, and accounting, is a worthwhile experience that you should invest in and work towards. 

Let’s say you’ve decided to do your MBA abroad, you are going to need some guidance, and this is what we’re here to offer! Venturing into this extremely in-demand field can be tricky and you might be a little overwhelmed with all the aspects, worry not, though, this guide has got you covered! Let us take you through the whole process of how to do MBA abroad and provide you with the international student MBA checklist you need to get there!

How to Do MBA Abroad?

The process of doing an MBA abroad is extensive and is split up into several steps and sections. However, do not let that intimidate you! This guide aims to provide you with insight, a fresh perspective, and the ultimate international student MBA checklist to help you every step of the way! So, let us break down how to do MBA abroad together! 

1. Defining MBA

MBA stands for Master of Business Administration; it is the official graduate degree offered by business schools and colleges across the globe. An MBA is an all-inclusive degree that gives you insight and fresh eyes into the business world, widens your understanding of management and its various fields from marketing to finance, and also helps you develop much-needed workforce skills like communication and leadership. Plus, it sure looks great on a CV! 

2. MBA Eligibility

In theory, almost anyone can be eligible for an MBA degree. Contrary to popular belief and despite this being a positive addition that will definitely further your application for an MBA programme, you do not actually need a business degree or a business background for that matter. Instead, here are the things that you do need in order to do MBA abroad!

  • A bachelor's degree from an accredited university

  • Work experience (This is mostly school-dependent as an increasing number of schools now allow applicants to have no previous work experience)

  • A competitive GMAT Exam Score

  • English language proficiency score (TOEFL, IELTS, CAE, CPE, etc.)

  • MBA entrance essays (This is also school-dependant)

  • Recommendation letters from previous academic institutions and/or places of work

3. Student Visa for MBA

Since you will be doing this MBA abroad, a student visa is definitely required. The visa requirements may differ from one country to another, so be sure to add this to your international student MBA checklist so you do not skip this important step! If you’re heading to the US for your MBA, for example, you’ll need an F1 Visa. While in the UK, you’ll require a Tier 4 (General) student visa.

4. MBA Flexibility

If you’re busy or don’t know how to do MBA abroad on a work schedule, don’t worry, MBA programmes are usually flexible. While the option to fully commit to the programme and attend classes on campus and on a full-time basis, part-time options are also available. For working individuals or those who might not have the time to fully commit, part-time MBA programmes offer weekend and night classes for as much flexibility and ease of learning as possible. Additionally, some MBA programmes have their classes online!  

MBA students

5. MBA Perks and Benefits

While going through how to do MBA abroad, we should also explore why to do an MBA abroad while we’re at it, and let us tell you, the reasons are plentiful! While some of the reasons might be glaringly obvious, there is no harm in having them in front of you for reference, so, let’s delve in!  

  • Diversity in language: Choosing a non-English speaking country to do your MBA in gives you an array of opportunities to learn a new language and use it in a professional setting. Mandarin Chinese and German, for example, are important languages in the business world, following close behind English.

  • Networking Internationally: Getting acquainted with the businesses that are local to the country you are getting your degree is a great networking opportunity. You can also get exposed to working professionals as well as classmates from a variety of different countries and backgrounds. This will definitely help you find a job after graduation with ease. 

  • Cheaper education and scholarship opportunities: Given the opportunity, doing an MBA abroad will certainly be cheaper than at home, especially if you are lucky enough to be on the receiving end of a renowned scholarship for an esteemed university or institution.

  • Great resume addition: An MBA degree already looks great on a resume, but an MBA degree from a foreign country? Even better! This lets employers know you have potential and promise and increases your chances of employment. 

  • Business cultural exposure: Doing your MBA abroad will give you a better understanding of international business practices. This definitely gives you an edge and better trains and prepares you for the international business world. 

6. Choosing an MBA Degree

Another thing to cross off your international student MBA checklist is choosing which MBA degree you’re applying for. MBA programmes are diverse and span several business disciplines, all of which are great to have, but some of them are especially in demand and have their place in the market. Here are some of the most in-demand MBA degrees that you should consider when applying!

  • Business Analytics

  • International Business

  • Healthcare Management

  • Digital Marketing

  • Data Analytics

  • Strategy

  • Finance

  • Entrepreneurship

  • Human Resource Management

  • Operations

  • Information Technology

  • Risk Management


7. Top MBA Destinations

Part of the how-to-do MBA abroad process is figuring out where exactly you want to do your MBA, and the options are plenty! Choosing where to pursue your MBA studies depends on a number of things, including programme costs, living costs, the specific MBA major or discipline you’re interested in, and whether you want to do a full-time or a part-time programme. So, without any further ado, let us cross off yet another item of your international student MBA checklist and choose a destination together! 

  • United States of America: Consistently at the top of the list for the best places to get your MBA abroad, this is a great place to kickstart your career after receiving some high-quality education. Two-year-long programmes are offered there and are designed to provide a combination of internships and project work. The best US cities to get an MBA in are New York and California and of the 350+ US schools offering renowned MBA degrees, here are the ones to consider: 

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8. MBA Costs

We simply can’t go through the whole process of how to do MBA abroad without mentioning how much it is expected to cost, so here is a rough cost breakdown for MBA programmes in a few countries! 

  • United States of America: 30,000 - 70,000 EUR/year

  • United Kingdom: 40,000 - 70,000 EUR/year

  • Germany: 9,000 - 16,000 EUR/year

  • Australia: 25,000 - 50,000 EUR/year

  • Canada: 10,000 - 40,000 EUR/year

This pretty much sums it up, everything you need to know on how to do MBA abroad! We know the process may seem long and tedious, but with this guide and your international student MBA checklist in mind, it is guaranteed to be a lot smoother! And remember, getting an MBA degree, especially abroad, is definitely worth the time, effort, and money; it pays its dues in the end!

Frequently Asked Questions

Which country is best for doing MBA in abroad?

Of the many places at which you can do MBA abroad, the US is at the top of the list. The United States of America has some of the world's top-ranked universities that offer the best Master of Business Administration programs to international students.

Which country is cheapest for MBA?

The cheapest countries where you can do your MBA include Germany, Norway, Ireland, and The Netherlands.

Can we do MBA without work experience in USA?

Yes, you can! A growing number of US business schools have started offering MBA programs without work experience. These programs are specially designed for early career starters, and could be either full-time for two years or one year accelerated MBA.

Which MBA has highest salary?

Some of the highest-paying MBAs include the following: 

  • Finance

  • Marketing

  • Information Technology

  • Human Resources

  • Healthcare Management 

  • International Business


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