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4 Best International Business Schools in Europe

Updated: Nov 7, 2022

It’s no secret that Europe is a hotspot for higher education. Through a combination of advanced economies, a democratic political culture, and receptiveness to international students, European universities are some of the top places in the world to earn an MBA. Read on to learn more about the 4 very best international business schools in Europe!

IESE Business School, Barcelona

Ranked as the number one business school in the world by The Economist, this innovative MBA combines an either 15 or 19 month program model with courses taught in English, alongside a Spanish immersive that prepares students to conduct business using the world’s fourth most spoken language. Additionally, the program consists of a combination of core courses such as Finance, Marketing Operations, and Decision Making for Executives, alongside over 130 electives, an international internship, global exchanges, and two-week modules in cities such as New York, São Paulo, Shanghai, Nairobi, and Dubai.

IESE also offers concentrations in International Business; Finance; Tech, Data Analysis and Digital Business; Entrepreneurship and Innovation; and Sustainability and Responsible Business— for which the MBA program was named the top in the world for corporate social responsibility by the Financial Times. With a student body of 85% international students, a 94% employment rate within three months of graduation, and a campus in one of Europe’s most historic cities, this is a perfect program for anyone interested in International Business, Spanish and Latin American Business, or Sustainable Development.

HEC Paris

The next program on this list, HEC Paris, is another top ranked European B-school that offers English-language instruction with a global focus— where international students from fifty different countries made up 95% of the class of 2021. This sixteen-month program breaks the curriculum into two phases. The first is the Fundamental Phase, in which students take classes in core courses such as Financial Markets, Statistics, Accounting, Ethics and Sustainability, and Strategic Management over the course of two terms. The second phase is called the Customized Phase where students pick between an international exchange, eight elective classes, a combination of electives and an entrepreneurship project, or an MBA project.

For their final capstone, candidates may choose between a leadership project/specialization or another international exchange. HEC Paris also boasts an extensive alumni network with numerous opportunities for networking and recruitment. This is certainly an advantage: 93% of the class of 2021 alumni were employed within three months of graduation, earning an average salary of $128,628. Combine these statistics with a vibrant campus life in the city of Paris, HEC’s MBA program is not one to be missed.

SDA Bocconi School of Management, Milan

The prestigious SDA Bocconi School of Management is ranked first in overall satisfaction in the Financial Times global MBA rankings, as well as the number two full-time MBA in the European Union by The Economist. This program combines a rigorous English-language curriculum with a small cohort size of only 100 students per year, providing the chance for tightly-knit networking with global brands such as Google and Prada. This one-year program is divided into two parts. The first nine months segway from MBA fundamentals into individual concentrations where students carve out their niches in the business world. During the final three months, students may choose from among internships and venture projects to round out their education. The SDA Bocconi School of Management offers four concentrations: Finance and Private Investment, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Customer Experience Management, and Luxury Business Management— a uniquely Italian track.

As a top international business school, students have the chance to study in one of over two dozen partner programs, including Chicago Booth, Yale School of Management, HEC Paris, the London Business School, Beijing’s Tsinghua School of Economics and Management, and the International University of Japan. Finally, SDA students have access to the Career Development Center which collaborates with over 120 recruiting companies and provides personalized career consultation. With a 95% employment rate for students within three months of graduation, the SDA Bocconi School of Management is the perfect place to accelerate your career.

Mannheim Business School

Ranked number one in Germany and number five in all of Europe, the Mannheim Business School provides students the opportunity to pursue an internationally oriented business education in Europe’s largest economy. This program follows a flexible twelve or fifteen month model, combining an English-language core curriculum with German language instruction. The curriculum includes core courses like Strategic Management, Corporate Finance, and Ethics, alongside specialization courses in Global Corporate Strategy, Supply Chain Management, and International Marketing, among many others. Mannheim Business School also employs a team-oriented education model that calls upon the entire cohort to develop a three-term Social Class Project with a humanitarian, social, educational, or ecological focus.

During their second and fifth terms, students will have the chance to participate in an international study trip, where they will enroll in overseas courses to advance their global education. At the end of the program, students will conduct a Business Master Project as a consultant to an established firm or as an entrepreneur in an emerging business venture. Top recruiters include both German and international companies like Accenture, BASF, Amazon, Microsoft and Daimler, all contributing to the long-term success of Mannheim MBA graduates— 92.5% of students are employed within three months of graduation, earning an average salary of $107.790 USD.


For students seeking a rigorous business education that prioritizes a global mindset, socially conscious development, and a bilingual education, a European B-school is a perfect fit. With over 800 MBA programs in Europe, this list provides a glimpse into the best of the best. Students with backgrounds or interests in specific nations, languages, and/or business cultures may want to check out the top programs in their target countries. The Economist and the Financial Times also publish annual lists of the best B-schools worldwide. If you want to find the perfect program for you, don’t hesitate to reach out to Crimson's MBA Consulting Services to schedule an appointment with one of Crimson’s experts.

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