Executive MBA’s are different from regular MBA programs: They are aimed at students who are in the mid-stage of their career and already have solid jobs in the industry. Executive MBA’s target aspiring managers, working executives and entrepreneurs who want to level-up their game and explore new career opportunities.
What also sets this degree apart from others are its trends: The average student is aged 37.8 years, which makes them significantly older than the average MBA or postgrad student. More and more women are being accepted in executive MBA programs, with 2015 seeing record numbers of female participants.
But perhaps the most exciting trend of all is that global experiences are a priority: 93.4% of member EMBA programs now offer international trips to strengthen a students’ learning experience. Popular destinations for European students include Germany, the UK, the U.S., India, China and Chile.
International trips have become fairly standard for most EMBA programs in Europe. In the wake of the recession, European Business Schools have modified their trips so that they are now more academically challenging and in touch with the everyday issues faced by actual businesses.
Some programs offer students a two-week international trip that is centered around a very specific objective, while others are more flexible and allow the students to decide where they want to visit, and what they hope to obtain from their trip.
Ultimate Goal of Global Experience
The overall goal is to provide students with an experience that simply cannot be mirrored in a classroom, sharpening their global perspective on business and offering them a chance to more closely examine the problems faced by businesses in global economies.
Let’s take a look at some of the international trips and programs that are being offered to EMBA students by some of Europe’s top business schools.
Cambridge Judge Business School
Cambridge Judge Business School EMBA puts international trips at the heart of their executive MBA programs. The international trip has now become a course all in itself that supplements the students’ EMBA. Known as the International Business Study Trip, it covers all types of global strategies employed by business around the world.
Students meet government officials and local business leaders, and they also take tours of organizations in an effort to understand how international businesses are responding to globalization.
The trip lasts no longer than a week, and each year the location is alternated based on the present economic situation. Students focus on whichever topic they feel will be most relevant and worth their time. Previous classes have visited China, Argentina and Brazil.
IMD Business School
Located in Lausanne, Switzerland, IMD Business School EMBA, is one of the world’s first ever business and management institutions. Their IMD-CKGSB Dual Executive MBA program is designed for internationally-minded students and executives who want to divide their work between Europe and China.
As such, a trip to China is offered during the course, and makes up an important part of the degree program. Students subsequently have the opportunity to boost their career while remaining in their current job while creating cross-cultural trust.
IMD describe the program as “offering a personalized learning journey tailored to your unique needs.”
Leeds University Business School
Leeds University Business School EMBA is one of the UK’s leading business schools. They offer students the option of an international study tour to supplement their EMBA. The tour lasts one to two weeks with locations spread throughout Europe, America or Asia.
The tours typically take place during the summer, and some of the companies students have worked with in the past include Lufthansa (Germany), Deutsche Bank (Germany) and Lenovo (China).
Former EMBA student Femi Olu-Adeleye says that his trip in 2014 was a great experience. “It provided unrivalled insight into what has driven China’s growth over the last 20 years. We visited a number of Chinese companies throughout the tour which were invaluable in helping to understand how Chinese businesses work and how ambitious they are.
I cannot over-emphasize how great the trip was and would recommend it to future full-time and executive MBA’s.”
RSM Business School
RSM Business School MBA, located in Rotterdam, Holland is a twenty-two month part-time (every other weekend) program. The school totes that students will
“Find out how applying Dutch values to an international business education in Europe will expand your influence and drive your career further than you’ve ever thought possible.”
RSM sends their executive MBA students abroad once a year to sharpen their understanding of business through the perspective of global economies and cultures. EMBA students at RSM have previously travelled to a wealth of diverse countries, including China, Brazil, Japan and Croatia.
Duna Uribe studied for an EMBA at RSM in 2015 and loved his trip to South Africa. “Even though I came from an emerging economy myself, and have been quite exposed to social struggles, I found it fascinating to see how South Africa is dealing with politics, health, diverse society and languages – all of it. Amazing trip!”
Is an International Trip Really Worth it?
The overriding conclusion is that while classrooms can certainly take a student a long way, international trips are unrivalled when it comes to the scope of learning opportunities on offer. If you’re a student applying for an EMBA in Europe, it’s well worth taking a closer look at the international business trips that are a part of the program.
According to Eric Sussman, Senior Lecturer at UCLA Anderson School of Management, “international trips afford students the opportunity to gain a broader perspective of what is happening on the ground in another country or geographical region.”
This post was written by Gretchen Shaw. Gretchen is an author, blogger and entrepreneur with a penchant for baking. She is passionate about communication, continued learning and connecting people. You can follow her on Twitter: @shawgret