MBA in USA vs Canada vs Europe vs Asia – Eligibility, Costs, Scholarships, Top B-Schools, Job Prospects & Immigration

MBA abroad is one of the most preferred foreign degrees among international students. Pursuing an MBA abroad would give a student practical knowledge as well as better work opportunities. Moreover, there are many additional benefits that attract a student to do an MBA abroad. As per the GMAC 2018 Corporate Recruiters Survey Report, 81% of responding companies plan to hire MBA graduates in 2018. So, it’s one of the best time to pursue an MBA abroad. Now, where to do the MBA from? When it comes to choosing the right MBA program, the destination plays an important role. In this post, we will talk about MBA in USA vs Canada vs Europe vs Asia.

MBA in USA vs Canada vs Europe vs Asia

Co-Authored by Parinita Gupta

In today’s time, MBA is one of the most sought-after courses but it is essential to keep in mind that the kind of university and MBA program you attend also has connotations related to it which will open doors of opportunities based on the university’s reputation. Hence, it is important to choose the place of study wisely before applying. Listed below are the top international education destinations in the USA, Canada, Europe, Asia Pacific (Singapore & Hong Kong), giving you ample choices to fulfill your dream of studying MBA abroad.

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The US is one of the most popular countries for MBA with the most number of prestigious B-Schools in the world. Pursuing MBA in USA is comparatively more advantageous than any other countries as it provides students a strong infrastructural support, great internships and exposure to the latest content and technology besides practical training through projects.

Click Here for Free MBA Profile Evaluation

Entry Criteria

Pursuing Masters in the USA requires minimum 4 years bachelor’s after 10+2. However, there are quite a few top business schools that accept 15 years of education (3-year Bachelor degrees).

Top USA B-schools that accept 15 years of education from India

  1. Harvard Business School
  2. Stanford Graduate School of Business
  3. University of Virginia Darden School of Business
  4. Dartmouth University Tuck School of Business
  5. University of Pennsylvania Wharton School
  6. NYU Stern School of Business
  7. MIT, Sloan School of Management
  8. Duke University Fuqua School of Business
  9. University of Chicago, Booth School of Business
  10. Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management
  11. Columbia Business School
  12. Yale School of Management

Source: MBA Crystal Ball

GMAT is a mandatory exam considered by a majority of the business schools in the US. Apart from GMAT, students have to appear for language exams like TOEFL or IELTS to get admission in US Business schools.

Finally, the majority of business schools also ask the candidates to have work experience (managerial experience in a few cases). However, depending on the overall profile (case-by-case basis), few business schools do admit candidates without any work experience.

Elite Business Schools in USA that Accept Freshers (with no experience)

  1. Harvard Business School
  2. Stanford Graduate School of Business
  3. Wharton Business School
  4. MIT Sloan
  5. Chicago Booth
  6. Columbia Business School
  7. NYU Stern
  8. UC Berkeley – Haas
  9. UCLA – Anderson

Source: MBA Crystal Ball

Expenses (Fees & Living Expenses)

An average tuition fee for studying MBA in the USA is around USD $15,000 to $60,000 per year. Living expenses are quite high in the USA and completely depends on the way the person prefers to live but an Average living expense in the US can be estimated at $8,000 to $15,000 per year.

The American MBA programs are among the most expensive ones, and the total expenses could be around INR 1.5 Crore.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

There are many financial aids, both by the university and the Government, to provide financial support to the student. Bank loans, University funding, scholarships & Grants are a few ways to provide financial assistance to the international students in the US. Few scholarships are Asian Women in Business Scholarship Fund, Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowships for Indian students, Fulbright- Nehru Research Fellowships. Read more about how to fund MBA in the US.

Job Opportunities & Salaries

The US is a home for many top 100 fortune companies in the world which shows high chances of getting into these companies. Additionally, if you graduate from a top American Business School, the remuneration could be very lucrative. Average Salary for an MBA graduate from a top business school in the US is about $123,900 per year.

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Work Permit & Immigration

A student has to apply for an F1 Visa for studying in the US. Later a temporary Visa will be issued to the student for practical experience for a time period of 12 months. Employment Authorization Document is a document provided by the government of US for the people who want to work in the US.

Immigration is one of the slowest and complicated processes in the US. Green Card can be obtained by a person only after his successive presence of 7 – 10 years in the US. Read the new H1-B Rules (effective from April 2019).

MBA in USA vs MBA in Canada

Top B-Schools in the USA:

  • Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • Booth School of Business, University of Chicago
  • Harvard Business School
  • The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
  • Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

MBA in Canada

Canada is home to many of the world’s largest companies and is a favorite among students doing masters. Canada is popular for MBA as it promises much more than good education like in terms of jobs, immigration possibilities, and business.

Entry Criteria

MBA colleges in Canada require a minimum of 4-year bachelor’s degree after 10+ 2. IELTS/TOEFL and GMAT/GRE are also mandatory for admission. Having work experience is also a factor which is considered by the business schools in Canada.

If you do not have a 4-year Bachelor degree, you could consider programs like other Masters programs like MSc Management, MS Business Analytics, MS Finance, MS Marketing etc.

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Expenses (Fees & Living Expenses)

Tuition fees in Canadian colleges depend on the type of course and college preferred by the student. Though the average tuition fee will cost around 15,000 to $35,000 per year. Living expenses will cost about $10,000–$15,000 per year.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

The number of scholarships available in Canada is relatively less than compared to the US. But the assistance is given only to the student who is exceptionally good in a curriculum. Some of the scholarships available for international students are Canada Asia -Pacific Awards (CAPA), Sauvé Scholars Program by the Jeanne Sauvé Youth Foundation.

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Job Opportunities

Due to some environmental situations, Canada is the most preferred country for students and even by many employees. There are many renowned institutions like the University of Toronto, McGill University, York University, British Columbia which shows many opportunities for fresher’s and experienced candidates. Average Salary that an MBA graduate earns in Canada is about $72,653 per year.

Work Permit & Immigration

The immigration process is very easy and quick in Canada. Once the student gets an admission of course period of min 6 months, they will be issued a student permit Visa. A work permit Visa for about 90 days is also available for the student after his post-graduation. Getting a PR in Canada is not tough. Permanent Residency under the Canadian Experience Class is a criterion on which a postgraduate student can apply for PR in Canada.

MBA in US vs Canada

 Top B-Schools in Canada:

  • York University: Schulich’s Business School
  • University of Toronto: Rotman School
  • University of British Columbia: Sauder Business School
  • Queen’s University: Queen’s School Of Business
  • University of New Brunswick: Saint John Faculty of Business
  • Mcgill University: Desautels School
  • Western University: Ivey Business School
  • University of Alberta: Alberta School of Business

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Finance & Banking Jobs in Canada

MBA in Europe

Business schools in Europe have a strong reputation in terms of excellent training by focusing on extensive curricula on global perspectives, MBA degrees in Europe train future professionals to plan, build and maintain a successful business. You could say that a European MBA truly connects you to the entire business world.

Entry Criteria

MBA in Europe is just a year course. Only in a few places, the course will be extended to 18 months.  A student should have a minimum of 3 years of full-time bachelor’s degree along with GMAT score and IELTS/ TOEFL score. Besides, work experience is also mandatory for the top MBA programs.

Expenses (Fees & Living Expenses)

Tuition fees for MBA in Europe increase every year. Average tuition fees in Europe will cost about EUR 10,000 to around EUR 60,000. Executive or international MBA courses can have higher tuition fees based on college preference. Living expenses depend on the place where the person lives. On average, it costs about €600 to €800 per month.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

There are many financial aids which are available for the students in Europe. Apart from the student’s loans many other aids like Merit-based scholarships (fellowships), Scholarships offered by universities, Scholarships offered by the government, Sports scholarship, Specific scholarships, grants, Student prizes, and many Global Study Awards are provided to the students.

Job Opportunities

Europe is always the best place to work at. The availability of top professional candidates is high in Europe. There are very good opportunities for finance and business students in Europe with an average annual salary of EUR 78,000.

MBA in USA vs Canada vs Europe vs Asia

Work Permit & Immigration

The competition for getting jobs is stiff in Europe. However, for qualified and skilled candidates (technical & language), Europe is could be very welcoming.

Visa process in Europe is a little tedious and time taking process. For a student getting a Visa is not that tough but getting a PR takes nearly 2 months after submitting the application to an embassy. It takes nearly 5 – 7 years for a foreign national to apply for PR in Europe.

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Top B-Schools in Europe:

  • London Business School
  • University of Cambridge (Judge Business School)
  • IE Business School
  • Cass Business School
  • IMD
  • HEC Paris
  • IESE Business School
  • University of Oxford (Said Business School)
  • ESMT Berlin
  • Erasmus University (Rotterdam School of Management)
  • Esade Business School
  • SDA Bocconi
  • Mannheim University
  • EDHEC Business School
  • Imperial College Business School
Free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation

MBA in Asia (Singapore & Hong Kong)

The Asian Pacific countries are increasing their standards and quality of education. The job opportunities are relatively more in Asian countries than in western countries as Students have permission to work for 16 hours a week while pursuing studies to support themselves economically. Also getting a PR is easier in Asian countries than western.

Entry Criteria

To get a seat in Asian countries like Singapore or Hong Kong, a student has to clear exams like GMAT or GRE and TOEFL / IELTS / PTE with a minimum score. The students who want to pursue MBA in Asian countries must have a minimum of 2 years of work experience in the concerned field they wanted to opt.

Expenses (Fees & Living Expenses)

MBA in Singapore is comparatively cheaper than compared to other countries. It costs on an average of SGD $110,277. The living expenses cost up to   SGD $35,573. While in Hong Kong average tuition fees costs around HK$90,000 – HK$265,000 per year and living cost reach up to HK$30,000 to HK$50,000. Tuition fees totally depend on the student’s preference for the college and the course he would like to go for.

Financial Aid & Scholarship

There are numerous numbers of Scholarships, grants and financial aids available for students who want to continue their Masters. Both the Government and Non-Government assist the financial support for the students. Scholarships, Grants, Skill Future Credits, Skill Future Awards, Loans, and Bank loans are provided in both countries.

Job Opportunities

Asian countries have experts of skilled workers while the presence of qualified professionals is lesser. Western counties attract professionals more than Asian countries. This shows opportunities for the professional candidates in various streams like finance, marketing, strategy and organization, real estate, healthcare management.

Many Asian countries have a huge employment market which requires professional aspirants to manage the skilled workers. 90% of all the companies in the Asia-Pacific are planning to hire MBA graduates, says the GMAC 2018 Corporate Recruiters Survey report, released by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC).

In Singapore, the average annual salary of an MBA graduate is SGD $101,000; whereas in Hong Kong, it’s around USD $100,000.

Work Permit & Immigration Policies


In Singapore, any Work Permit visa is provided by considering their professional and technical skills. Employment Pass or Entrepreneur Pass is issued by the government of Singapore which is considered to be the easy way to get the Work Permit Visa.

To get PR in Singapore, the applicant has to stay and work there for at least 6 months. You must show a minimum of six months’ worth of salary payslips, which means that you must have worked in the country for at least six months before applying.

Hong Kong

In Hong Kong a student a student permit will be issued based on the course, for an average of 12 months of student Visa. To get the PR or Hong Kong Identity Card, a foreigner has to reside in Hong Kong for 7 consecutive years.

Hong Kong does not have any number quota on how many internationals can secure full-time employment there. For individuals graduating out of a Hong Kong University, the work permit is valid for 1 year but can be renewed further. If you apply within the first six months of graduation, you may not even require an offer letter to get a visa.

If you want to immigrate to Hong Kong, the requirement is that you will need to be highly skilled and your job should be in your field, unlikely to be filled by a national. This is called the General Employment Policy (GEP). This is open to all internationals except Chinese professionals.

Top B-Schools in Singapore & Hong Kong:

  • INSEAD Singapore
  • NUS Business School
  • Nanyang Business School
  • The University of Hong Kong
  • School of Business – Yonsei University
  • CUHK Business School
  • The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

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MBA in USA vs Canada vs Europe vs Asia

The US is by far the most preferred destination for MBA abroad due to factors like the quality of education, the number of available choices (top-notch business schools), job opportunities, and salaries. However, the expenses and recent tightening of the immigration rules are the major drawbacks. But, overall, the US is still a great choice for pursuing an MBA abroad. The average salaries are anyway high. Additionally, if you end up with an MBA from Harvard, Wharton or Stanford, the figure could be $190,000. Due to the reputation and huge alumni network, even if you have to come back to India after completing an MBA from a top business school in the US, the career prospects are actually quite bright.

MBA in USA vs Canada

MBA programs in the US are well known for going beyond the classroom to ensure their students have an edge in the national as well as the international stage.

Finally, the ROI on a US MBA is pretty high as compared to the MBA programs in Canada, Europe, and Asia.

Canada has been gaining a lot of attention due to immigration-friendly policies, comparatively lower tuition fees, and excellent quality of education. Canadian MBA programs are also of two-year duration. Like the American counterparts, the Canadian business schools also believe that the two-year option allows for a deeper level of understanding of oneself, time for self-reflection, time to build up solid networks with other students and professors and to look deeper at the subject matter in hand.

However, the number of available choices is limited. Moreover, average salaries are also on the lesser side. But, Canada is very suitable for international and Indian students. Indians, more than any other nationalities, remain to work after graduation in the countries where they study. This is why Canada scores a few extra points.

Europe provides many options. There are many excellent & reputed business schools in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Ireland, and the Netherlands. The costs are not on the higher side, but not as expensive as in the US. Secondly, the time duration of MBA is also shorter than the American & Canadian MBA programs. The business schools in Europe tend toward shorter programs, typically ranging from 10 to 18 months.

The number of international students in MBA programs in Europe is higher than the number in US MBA programs. In the US, MBA cohorts typically consist of 30 – 40% international students. Whereas in Europe, international students make 80 – 90% of an MBA class. So, if you are looking to gain more international exposure, Europe is generally considered the better choice.

Personalized MBA Admission Consulting Session

The only major drawback in Europe is a tough job market due to the language barrier. The language barrier also presents a serious problem while looking for internships during the MBA program – which is not a problem in the US, Canada or Asia.

But, if you pick up a local language (French, German, Spanish or Italian), the job prospects could be much brighter. Finally, if you leverage the business school brand and alumni network, you could end up with job opportunities in any part of the world.

In Asia, Singapore & Hong Kong are among the fastest growing economies. So, job opportunities and salaries are great. The expenses are not too high as compared to the West. Both countries are very close to India as well. In short, Asian business schools are turning out to be very attractive for Indian MBA applicants. But, the number of business schools to choose from is a serious drawback. Since there are very few top business schools, you have to face very stiff competition. Due to the location factor, a majority of all the Indian, Chinese, and other Asian applicants will always go after the business schools in Singapore & Hong Kong.


Parinita Gupta

Author Bio: Parinita Gupta is a full-time banking professional. Additionally, she is also a passionate blogger and digital marketer. She mostly writes about the Banking & Finance, Technology, and FinTech sector. But, she also enjoys writing on other topics as well.  You can follow her on Twitter.

Key Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

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