Top US MBA Programs with Study Abroad Opportunities: Broadening Your Horizons

Get a breakdown of the top US MBA programs that offer opportunities to study abroad.

One of the most exciting reasons to pursue a master’s degree is the opportunity to study in another country and become immersed in a foreign culture and language. There is no equivalent to understanding another place than living amongst its people. This is especially true in international business, where understanding workplace hierarchies, social customs, and subtle language cues can mean the difference between closing a deal and leaving a negotiation empty-handed.

Traditionally, MBA programs in the US would focus on fostering their own campus communities, and students who wanted an international experience would have to apply to business school in another country. But increasingly, universities realize a global perspective is a necessary part of a business education. More MBA programs now offer opportunities to study abroad, often through exchanges with other universities.

But because a typical US MBA program lasts only two years, just a handful of top business schools offer exchange programs. The ones that do usually allow students to study abroad for one academic term in their second year and require students to apply separately once they are enrolled in the MBA program.

Specialized international business programs are more deliberately designed to emphasize a global education. Yale’s M2M program, for example, is structured so that students spend one year abroad in a partner institution of their choice, either in Hong Kong, Paris, or Vancouver, and then one year at Yale, though it is not strictly an MBA program.

That said, plenty of MBA programs allow students to spend a few months abroad. Students who participate in exchange programs often learn the same subjects they would at home but in the context of another locality, for example luxury marketing in Paris or green finance in London. Here are some of the top US business schools that offer exchange programs.

University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Students can spend a quarter studying at one of the university’s 30 partner schools located across 20 countries.

Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management

Students can spend a quarter at one of the university’s 25 partner schools. Northwestern University says nearly 80 students have elected to study abroad each year.

University of Pennsylvania Wharton School

Students can spend a semester, in some cases up to a year, studying at one of the university’s 19 partner schools, including INSEAD, often ranked the top business school in the world.

Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business

Students can spend a quarter in their second year at one of the university’s 27 partner schools.

New York University Stern School of Business

Students can spend a semester in their second year at one of the university’s 30 partner schools spread across 25 countries.

Columbia Business School

The university’s Chazan MBA Exchange Program allows students to spend a semester in their second year at one of the university’s two dozen partner schools.

Duke University Fuqua School of Business

The university is a member of the Partnership in International Management, a consortium of 65 international business schools that exchange students with each other. Students can spend up to a semester at one of the consortium’s partner schools.

University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business

Students can spend the fall semester of their second year at one of the university’s three partner schools in Barcelona, Hong Kong, or London. The university sends about eight to 20 students abroad each year.

University of Virginia Darden School of Business

Students can spend one or two quarters in their second year at one of the university’s dozen partner schools.

Cornell University Johnson Graduate School of Management

Like Duke, Cornell is a member of the Partnership in International Management, and students can apply to spend a semester in their second year at one of the consortium’s 65 schools.

University of Southern California Marshall School of Business

Students can spend one academic term at one of the university’s dozen partner schools.

Emory University Goizueta Business School

The university offers a global module that includes a weeklong study trip to another country. The school is also a member of the Partnership in International Management, meaning students can apply to study at one of the consortium’s 65 institutions.

University of California, Los Angeles, Anderson School of Management

The MBA program requires students to complete a global requirement, either by participating in a global immersion course that typically includes a travel component, completing an international project, or taking a global management elective.

University of Washington Foster School of Business

Students can take short-term, faculty-led programs that range from six days to two weeks, or study abroad at one of the university’s 13 partner schools.

If you’re interested in applying for an MBA and deciding on the right program, Crimson can help. Don’t hesitate to reach out to one of Crimson’s expert advisors. We can’t wait to meet you!

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