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by Vault Education Editors | July 16, 2010


Naysayers of study abroad programs typically allege that a semester or two spent studying in another country is a distraction from--not an augmentation of--one's education. As a result, they argue, study abroad leads to less prepared individuals who do not contribute as much to society. Those who either study abroad themselves or know others who have done so may take issue with these claims, and for good reason.

Studying abroad in London, EnglandInside Higher Ed recently reported on research findings about study abroad, the punch line of which is as follows:

They've found that students who study abroad have improved academic performance upon returning to their home campus, higher graduation rates, and improved knowledge of cultural practices and context compared to students in control groups. They've also found that studying abroad helps, rather than hinders, academic performance of at-risk students.

The study was conducted over a 10-year span and used data from the 35 institutions that make up the University System of Georgia.

In my recent article about why more MBA applicants are choosing European business schools, I made the point that there is no better way to indicate your interest and willingness to work abroad than by going abroad during school. Even if you end up working in the States, studying abroad means you'll still have the advantage of having proven experience in a foreign business setting, especially with professionals from the country in which you studied. Finally, now that there is clear evidence that going abroad improves academic performance and increases knowledge or cultural practices and context, it seems the question is: Why aren't you studying abroad?

In that spirit, we've picked five MBA programs with strong study abroad opportunities that will give you international experience along with a U.S. degree.

Stern School of Business (NYU)

Eli Broad College of Business (Michigan State University)

Terry College of Business (University of Georgia)

Thunderbird School of Global Management

Graziadio School of Business and Management (Pepperdine University)

--Written by Madison Priest, study abroad 2007, intern abroad 2007


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