Get an MBA while vagabonding

Asias top business schools. Photo by Businessweek magazine.

Asia's top business schools. Photo by Businessweek magazine. Click on photo for full article.

There are two common dilemmas when it comes to vagabonding:  A) The person who’s traveled for a long time, but worries about becoming unemployable. B) The person who’s worked for a long time in their field, but worries about missing out on travel.

One possible solution is to get an international MBA. You’d improve your career prospects with your education, make invaluable contacts, and get to go overseas. With the way globalization is going, an IMBA could become the new standard.

It is important to decide whether to do a program through a university in your home country or your host country. While you’ll get a more of an immersion experience through a foreign university, a degree might not be recognized by employers back home. At least check to make sure it is accredited by an official body like the AACSB.

When considering an international MBA, the main dilemma is choosing whether to specialize in one country or region, or doing a “tour” of several places. Globe-hopping is fun, but I think it might be better to focus on a particular country and fluency in one language. For more information, check out this Businessweek article, The Best Global MBA Programs.

I’ve tried to list a sampling of both types of programs. There is a bit of an Asian bias, though.  Since I live in this region, these are the programs I hear about more often. If anyone knows other good MBA programs focusing on Europe, South America, or anywhere else, please post in the comments.

“Tour” MBAs

Duke Cross Continent MBA — London, Shanghai, Dubai, New Delhi, and St. Petersburg.

San Diego State University Global Entrepreneurship MBA — Hong Kong, Abu Dhabi, and Hyderabad, India.

Specialized Programs

University of South Carolina International MBA — Choose from 8 different “language tracks” or do the “Global Track” option. Languages include Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, and Arabic.

International Institute for Management Development (IMD) — Not a full university, an institute solely dedicated to teaching global management in Lausanne, Switzerland. Intense 11-month program. Very competitive for admissions.

INSEAD — One of the best business schools in Europe.  Study either at their France or Singapore campuses.

Thunderbird School of Global Management — One of the most internationally-oriented business schools in the United States.

Monterey Institute of International Studies Fisher IMBA — Held at the Monterey Institute in California, which is highly regarded for its foreign language classes.

China Europe Business School — located in Shanghai, considered the best MBA program in China.

Beijing University BiMBA — MBA program offered in collaboration with a Belgian university.

University of Hawaii China International MBA — Spend a year in Hawaii and a year in China.

University of Hawaii Japan-focused MBA –Study in Hawaii and do an internship in Japan.

McGill MBA Japan — 18-month program in Tokyo, Japan.

University of British Columbia IMBA — part-time program in Shanghai, China.

Posted by | Comments (2)  | October 16, 2009
Category: Vagabonding Advice

2 Responses to “Get an MBA while vagabonding”

  1. Emily Liedel Says:

    There is a very well regarded MBA program at the IE university based in Madrid, Spain. The Fulbright program has a special relationship with them, and there is a special Fulbright award for study in the IE MBA program (they have other programs as well). Their website is

  2. Mandi Walls Says:

    I am currently a student of a global MBA program based through UNC (USA), RSM (Netherlands), EGADE (Mexico), FGV (Brazil), and CUHK (Hong Kong) called the OneMBA program.

    It’s an EMBA-style “one weekend a month” program with one-week global residencies built in as transition points between terms. The trips include visiting the cities of the participating schools, as well as additional destinations such as Istanbul and Delhi.
    This program was also mentioned in the Financial Times this week.,dwp_uuid=d1462326-b9f0-11de-a747-00144feab49a.html?nclick_check=1