Best MBA Abroad Destinations for Indian Students

MBA is one of the most sought-after graduate programs in the world. Whether you are looking for a jump in the corporate career ladder or a career change, MBA could be more than handy. In India, a majority of students and seasoned professionals consider MBA at some stage. According to the Global Employer Survey 2018 results (by QS Top Universities), business and management studies are among the top 5 preferred disciplines among the recruiters. After all, an MBA is a great program to learn cross-functional skills and essential soft skills. In this post, we will look at the Best MBA Abroad Destinations for Indian students. Additionally, we will also look at the popular trends among all international students, post-MBA job prospects, top business schools, and the cost of studying MBA in those countries.


Why do Indian Students pursue MBA Abroad?


In India, barring the few top business schools, the MBA curriculum is still below par. Additionally, it’s also very tough and over-competitive to get into the top MBA colleges in India. More importantly, an MBA degree from abroad can open up a broad spectrum of career opportunities. Read more about MBA in India vs MBA Abroad in the context of today’s business requirements and post-MBA job prospects. You also need to make sure that you are going to pursue an MBA for valid reasons.


Why do International Students pursue MBA Abroad?


Which is the best country for MBA studies?
Source: QS Top Universities


Top 10 reasons to pursue an MBA abroad among all students


Top MBA Destinations for Indian Students
Top Reasons for Pursuing MBA Abroad (Source: QS Top MBA)

Factors to Consider Before Pursuing MBA Abroad


Once you figure out that a foreign MBA is the right step for you, you need to get aware of the eligibility criteriaentrance exams, and application process of an MBA abroad. If you are able to crack the basics of the MBA admission process, getting admission is always competitive; especially, if you are eyeing the brands like Harvard, Wharton, INSEAD, Oxford.


Related Post: GMAT Test Pattern, Syllabus, New Format (2018), Fees, Preparation Tips, and Online Resources


Next, you need to consider the costs (tuition fees & living expenses), the possibilities (and amount) of scholarships & financial aid, and the post-MBA job prospects in different countries. After completing an MBA in a foreign country, the majority of Indian students prefer working overseas at least for a few years to recover the expenses (and to gain international work experience) before coming back to India.


Related Post: Top Countries with Post-Study Work Permits for the International Students


Where do International (including Indian) Students go to pursue MBA Abroad?

Top Countries to Pursue MBA Abroad for Indians
Source: QS Top Universities


The image above demonstrates the top 10 preferred study abroad destinations for international students across the globe. However, the top five destinations for students from the Asia Pacific include the US (40.6%), Australia (32.3%), Canada (31.9%), the UK (31.3%) and Germany (26.4%).


For MBA, the top preferred destinations for the international students are:


Best MBA abroad countries for International students
Source: QS Top MBA


So, which is the best foreign country for the Indian Students to go for an MBA? Let’s look at the top MBA abroad destinations among the Indian students in terms of popularity, quality of education, costs, and job prospects.


Best MBA Abroad Destinations for Indian Students




Popularity Among International Students for Pursuing MBA: 58.7% (2018) | 65% (2013)


The US is by far the most popular destination for pursuing an MBA abroad; not only among the Indian students but international students as well. When it comes to the course curriculum, infrastructure, resources, and career opportunities, USA is the no. 1 choice for the majority of Indian students. MBA is one of the most prestigious degrees in the US. Apart from lectures & coursework, the quality of seminars, guest lectures, case studies, practical exposure & internships is unmatchable.


Read the interviews of Ajay Singh (Harvard), Ramdas Sunder (Harvard), Tommy Zheng (Yale), and Farrell Hehn (Tippei) – US B-School Alumni.


Top Business Schools in the US


It was the US, where the concept of MBA programs was developed. Additionally, the US also hosts some of the most prestigious and highly selective MBA providers such as Harvard, UPenn (Wharton), Stanford, Chicago (Booth), UC Berkeley (Haas), Dartmouth (Tuck), MIT (Sloan), Northwestern (Kellogg), and many more. So, it’s not surprising why a popular MBA admission consulting site reported:


“Boom or recession, with scholarship or with a loan, USA continues to be the El Dorado for Indian students dreaming of studying abroad and starting an international career.” 


Although the popularity of American MBA programs decreased a little bit in the last 5 years, US is still the no. 1 preferred MBA abroad destination among the international students. International students enrolling in American colleges and universities grew by 476% from 2001-2012.


There’s a large NRI population that’s been living in the US for a very long time. So, Indian students have easy access to Indian stores, culture, and people. Hence, it’s relatively easier to deal with homesickness.


Cost of Studying MBA in the US for International Students


It should be noted that an MBA in the US is an expensive affair. At the top business schools, fees can range from $100,000 to $200,000 (INR 66 Lacs – 1.3 Crore), for just over a period of two-years. However, the US business schools also offer generous scholarships to deserving students.


Related Post: How to Finance Your MBA in USA


Stay-Back Option for MBA Graduates in the US


1 Year (3 months to find a job under OPT)


Best MBA Abroad Destinations for Indian Students
Image Credit: The Chopras



Popularity Among International Students for Pursuing MBA: 34% (2018) | 23% (2013)


Canada might not be among the top 3 preferred MBA destinations for international students. But, when it comes to Indian students, Canada is definitely one of the most preferred destinations for pursuing an MBA abroad.


According to Times Higher Education polls, International students put Canada at the top of the list of preferred study-abroad destinations. Even from the popularity trends between 2013 & 2018, it’s pretty evident that Canada is gaining huge popularity at a rapid pace.


However, please be advised that when it comes to MBA in Canada, there aren’t as many top business schools in Canada to choose from. But, relatively low tuition fees, relaxed post-study work permit, openness to foreign students, simple immigration process, stable economy, and presence of huge Asian & Indian population (several generations in some cases) attract several Indian students to Canada.


Top Business Schools in Canada


Canada a country that respects diversity, so irrespective of your ethnicity, you can feel at home in Canada. Indian students can expect a high standard of living while in Canada. More importantly, the country has also got some of the best business schools in the world. The top schools are Toronto (Rotman), York (Schulich), Western (Ivey), UBC (Sauder), HEC Montreal, McGill (Desautels), Alberta, and Queens.


Cost of Studying MBA in Canada for International Students


Cost of studying MBA in Canada vary from $50,000 to $110,000 (INR 26 – 60 Lacs). So, the costs are relatively cheaper than in the USA. However, for MBA graduates in Canada, the opportunity to find a placement in large corporations is on the slimmer side. In Canada, more than 98% of firms are small (less than 100 employees). But, nonetheless, Canada is still an excellent destination for pursuing MBA.


MBA programs in Canada will expose students to top-notch education along with a strong focus on global business, corporate social responsibility, internships, and industry projects.


Stay-Back Option for MBA Graduates in Canada


1 – 3 Years


Best MBA Abroad Destinations for Indian Students & International Students
Image Source: PrepAdviser



Popularity Among International Students for Pursuing MBA: 14.3% (2018) | 15% (2013)


Singapore has been turning out to be very popular among Indian students. It’s among the fastest growing economies, and host several large corporations.


Top Business Schools and MBA Fees in Singapore


The MBA degrees offered by the universities in Singapore are globally recognized. They provide extremely international environments with extensive global connections. The top schools in Singapore are National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, INSEAD Singapore campus, and Singapore Management University.


NUS or NTU would cost you something between USD $39,000 to $47,000 (INR 25 – 32 Lacs). However, INSEAD MBA will cost you around $97,000 or Rs. 65 Lacs.


Last but not least, being close to India, it would be quite convenient and economical to visit home (India) during the breaks or any emergency.


Stay-Back in Singapore


1 Year


Top Foreign MBA Destinations for Indians
Image Source:



Popularity Among International Students for Pursuing MBA: 22.4% (2018) | 15% (2013)


Germany has always been a powerhouse when it comes to technology, research & innovation. According to the World Bank, the German economy is the largest in Europe and 4th in the world. Apart from having a stable economy, Germany is also the home to some of the best institutes in the world.


More often than not, Indian students prefer English speaking countries; especially for MBA programs. But, a stable economy, high quality of education, relatively low cost of education, high standard of living, nice post-study work scheme, and good job prospects in Germany are too good to ignore.


Top Business Schools and MBA Fees in Germany


The top MBA schools in Germany are Manheim, ESMT Berlin, ESCP Europe (Berlin Campus), Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, HHL Leipzig, WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management, EBS etc. As an international student, you have to pay something between $30,000 and $50,000 (INR 24 – 36 Lacs) for your MBA.


Apart from these globally ranked schools, foreign students can also pursue MBA from the Universities of Applied Sciences. They might not be very well known and don’t feature in the ranking tables (QS or FT). But, they can really give you a good return on investment, if you are not too keen on the brand name.


More importantly, Germany is facing a shortage of skilled personnel. It has therefore fine-tuned its immigration policy to increase the availability of expert professionals.


Stay-Back for MBA Graduates in Germany


1.5 Year (18 Months) to look for a job




Popularity Among International Students for Pursuing MBA: 25.2% (2018) | 20% (2013)


Even after being a vast country, Australia does not have too many MBA that feature within the top 100 in the world. But, owing to the country’s quality of education, friendly immigration policies, high standard of living, Australian MBAs are quite popular among the Indian students.


Top MBA Schools in Australia


The top MBA schools in Australia are Melbourne, UNSW, Macquarie, Sydney, QUT, and Monash. If you are looking for a decent education along with industry exposure, and stay-back & immigration options, then Australia is a good choice.


However, if you wish to come back to India, or relocate to another country after finishing an MBA, I would recommend not looking beyond UNSW & Melbourne, if possible. The cost of pursuing an MBA (fees & living expenses) in Australia is not cheap at all.


Cost of Studying MBA in Australia


The MBA programs in Australia cost between USD $37,000 and USD $72,000 (INR 16 – 48 Lacs). The average MBA fees in Australia have recorded another strong increase in 2018 with the standard course now costing more than $50,000, up nearly 12% in three years. Then you also need to add the living expenses; which is roughly INR 8 – 10 Lacs per year. So, spend your money on MBA wisely.


Stay-Back Option in Australia


2 years (provided the MBA program is of 2-year duration)





Popularity Among International Students for Pursuing MBA: 36.9% (2018) | 41% (2013)


Post-Brexit and scrapping of the Post-Study Work Permit scheme (in 2011), the UK has lost significant popularity as an MBA abroad destination. But, the UK is still a good choice for folks looking for a shorter duration (one year MBA) programs. More importantly, the 2-year Post Study Work Visa Rule is going to be reintroduced from 2020-2021. So, things could change in 12 months.


The UK has been one of the most traditional destinations for Indian students to study abroad. The country hosts some of the biggest brands & prestigious universities on the planet as well.


There are many MBA programs in or around London, one of the largest financial hubs in the world. Almost all the top MNCs have got a presence in London. Though it’s tough, it’s not impossible to get a job in the UK as an international student.


Top Business Schools and MBA Fees in the UK


The top MBA schools in the UK are London Business School, Cambridge, Oxford, Manchester, Cass Business School, Warwick, and Imperial Business School. An MBA from the UK will typically cost you something $55,000 to $90,000 (INR 40 to 60 Lacs).


Stay Back Options in the UK


2 years to find a job after the reintroduction of PSW visa in the UK


Top Countries to Study MBA Abroad



Popularity Among International Students for Pursuing MBA: 19.4% (2018) | 23% (2013)


France is a very popular study abroad destination. The MBA programs in France do not get the limelight that much. But, if you take a closer look, France is an excellent country for doing an MBA.


In France, the Government spends more than 20% of its budget on education. French education is among the best in the world, in terms of content, industry relevance, and quality. As an international student in France, you can enjoy all the benefits that a French national enjoys. France is a global superpower when it comes to science & technology, business & finance, fashion, arts, etc.


Read how INSEAD (Paris) MBA Helped Matthieu with his Career Change.


Top Business Schools in France


Two of the most competitive & top-ranked business schools in the world are based in France – INSEAD & HEC Paris. Additionally, ESSEC, EDHEC, ESCP Europe (Paris), Grenoble Business School, Emylon Business School, SKEMA Business School are also very reputed ones.


MBA Tuition Fees in France


USD $70,000 to $98,000 (INR 45 – 65 Lacs)


Stay-Back Option in France


1 – 2 Years




MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation


Other Popular Abroad MBA Countries for Indian Candidates


Apart from the above six countries, some of the other popular MBA abroad destinations for Indian students are:


  • Spain: 14.9% (2018) | 15% (2013)
  • Switzerland: 14.1% | 14% (2013)
  • Hong Kong: Data Not Available
  • The Netherlands: 10.7% (2018) | 10% (2013)
  • Ireland: 5.6% (2018)


References: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

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