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Why You Should Study Across Multiple Continents During Your MBA

Want to get the most out of your MBA? Studying a global degree that allows you to learn across multiple continents can expand your opportunities when it comes to life after graduation


Wed Mar 27 2024

When you picture the MBA experience, your imagination extends beyond simply what you learn in the classroom, right? 

An MBA involves a whole host of different experiences which combine to create something that can have a profound impact on both your personal and professional growth.

That’s particularly true if you decide to enroll in an MBA outside your home country. A quick Google search will show you can find a wide variety of international MBA programs in exciting locations across the globe, offering opportunities to not only learn business fundamentals but also broaden your horizons in a new culture. 

Enrolling in a global MBA can help you gain the maximum benefit out of your study experience. Even better, if you can find a program that allows you to study in more than one location, via an international study trip for example, you can enhance this experience even further. 

Undertake an international study experience 

When searching for a location outside of your home country to study your MBA, it’s a good idea to choose a place where the culture is significantly different. 

If you’re based in the US or Canada, for example, you might choose a global MBA based in Asia. South Korean-based Sungkyunkwan University SKK Graduate School of Business (SKK GSB) offers one of the most globally focused MBA programs in Asia, among the top in Korea when it comes to the proportion of international students in the classroom. The program is taught entirely in English—mostly by faculty who hail from international backgrounds—and offered on the school’s campus in the cosmopolitan capital city, Seoul. 

Enrolling in such a degree allows you to fully immerse yourself in a new environment. You have the space to focus on your studies and the extracurricular elements available, while also embedding yourself in a new location with its own cultural nuances. 

For Derek Laan, who left his home in the US to enroll in the SKK GSB MBA program in 2012, it was the realization of the impact that moving abroad could have on his studies that pushed him toward choosing the program. 

He also decided to enhance his degree with an additional cross-continental study experience—all SKK GSB MBA students have the chance to undertake a dual degree with the Indiana University Kelley School of Business in the US—as this would allow him to learn in multiple locations. 

"I was originally planning on applying to MBA programs only in the US before I found SKK GSB. The dual degree program with the Kelley School of Business allowed me to experience the best of both worlds,” he explains. 

Learn cross-cultural business concepts

Studying in multiple locations means extra time spent immersing yourself in new cultures and meeting new people, it also provides opportunities to gain an insight into different cultural approaches to business, leadership, and management.

Students on the SKK GSB MBA learn about key business concepts using case studies rooted in local Asian culture. They also gain the opportunity to learn about cutting-edge business topics, with the school regularly updating the curriculum to reflect today's business challenges. The AI and Business Analytics Track, for example, delves into how AI is currently impacting business both in Asia and around the world. 

Likewise, there are practical opportunities to undertake Applied Business Projects with local client firms. 

Those who take the opportunity to continue their studies in the US get the chance to undergo a similar experience but from a more Western business perspective. Over two additional semesters, dual degree students learn under expert professors who hold vast amounts of experience across a wide variety of industries with top companies in the US. 

“This allows you to earn MBA degrees from both institutions and seize a distinctive opportunity to explore Asian culture in the technological hub of Korea while also studying at Indiana University,” explains Sarang Zoo, admissions and PR manager for the school. 

A recent survey found 81% of top global recruiters feel cross-cultural competencies will increase in importance over the next five years. Developing a holistic understanding of business from multiple perspectives can therefore provide a strong platform to go on to achieve success after graduating from your MBA. 

For SKK GSB MBA alum, Sang HyunJoo, the variety of opportunities available were essential in helping him take the next steps in embarking on a global career after graduation. Starting his post-graduation career in Korea, he later moved to the US where he worked with the likes of Microsoft, Accenture, and Apple before eventually settling at Samsung in 2023. 

"The flexibility to choose from various tracks allowed me to tailor my MBA experience to my interests while gaining a holistic understanding of business management. Moreover, the program's emphasis on practical learning through real-world projects and industry connections proved invaluable in preparing me for the challenges of the corporate world," he says.

Expand your network and enhance your career prospects 

All business schools extol the virtues of their alumni network, and rightly so—past students now working with top companies can provide a great resource when it comes to applying for jobs after graduation. 

A well-placed alum can offer you insights into a company’s culture and help you decide if it’s the right fit for you. If the answer is yes, they can also provide tips on what recruiters are looking for and even help you prep for interviews. 

A wide network spanning various countries can extend these opportunities further afield, helping expand your career prospects on a global scale. 

For Gabi Yoon, a member of the SKK GSB MBA class of 2019, the combination of a strong alumni network—SKK GSB alumni are active in more than 60 countries today—and positive relationships with her classmates proved invaluable in helping her launch a global career. 

Immediately after graduation, she was able to use her MBA to land a role as a digital strategy consultant at advertising firm, Asiance, where she was responsible for multiple regions including Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. 

Now four years into her post-MBA career, she is applying her knowledge and experience as head of Korea at Brussels-based software development firm, AppTweak. 

“I highly recommend taking an MBA for anyone who wants a transition or career development. I developed my career and learned a lot more than I expected. I keep in touch with my friends from various fields and my professors at SKK GSB,” she says. 

An MBA is a generalist degree, meaning that by the end of your studies you should have a diverse range of skills and a well-rounded business acumen—which is why MBA graduates are so attractive to employers. 

Adding to that with an international study experience that allows you to enhance your cultural awareness, develop your cross-cultural competency, and expand your network can only lead to better opportunities when it comes to life after graduation.