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Belgium

The Belgium is more than chocolates and beers, it is also a stable and growing economic Centre. Being relatively small but significant, it’s capital Brussels is the headquarters of the European Union. Vlerick Business School is a good choice in Belgium for an MBA. There are also many other noteworthy Masters programs. French is widely spoken in Belgium and proximity to Luxembourg is a great prospect for job seekers. Other language spoken are German and Dutch. Belgium is also well located for the traveller’s soul with easy access to France, Germany and the Netherlands. It is an unconventional destination in comparison to the larger countries but certainly has a lot to offer in terms of post career opportunities which makes it attractive for higher education and as a study abroad destination.

France

France boasts of some of the best business schools in the world. INSEAD of course has been ranked consistently as one the best MBA schools. HEC Paris is also highly ranked and a very prestigious university. Going deeper into the core sectors of the French economy that have great potential are luxury management, food, hospitality and Agri based industries. There is also potential in finance, tech and consumer durables since the French economy is well diversified. France like Germany has good regulations supporting students to work post study. The language barrier however must be considered and learning the language to an intermediate level at least is highly recommended.

France is a also a great place to be a student offering a great life experience. EDHEC and ESSEC are also top schools for potential MBA and Masters aspirants. Typical MBA programs are 12-15 months which is great value in comparison to schools in the US considering French schools are ranked adjacent to Ivy League US schools.

France is also a great destination to study luxury, fashion, wine management, tourism and agriculture. Beyond the lights of Paris, destinations like Lyon, Marseille, Strasbourg and Monaco have great Universities among other cities in France.

Germany

Germany is the biggest economy in the eurozone with a stellar reputation for its manufacturing and product quality. Home to the likes of companies like BMW, Daimler, SAP & BASF with many other small and large “mittelstand” companies, Germany is a great place to find post study employment. Visa regulations for students are also easier with an 18 month post study work visa. Language and cultural adjustments remain a key challenge for foreigners. Germany has its share of English-speaking jobs especially around the Berlin where the startup scene is robust.

German universities are often free even at the Masters level providing great quality at the same time. For a premium course such as the MBA however, one must pay albeit a much cheaper price compared to Global peers. Mannheim Business school in southern Germany and ESMT Berlin are great choices for an MBA. WHU in Düsseldorf and Frankfurt school are also top choices. Apart from that there are great master level programs in many universities such as TUM and Humboldt to name a few. The MBA program in Germany is very global in nature, it is characterized by small class sizes and is normally one year. Germany also has a favorable tax advantage on tuition fees paid for the course.

Italy

Italy is a beautiful destination and one of the most visited countries in the world. Famous not only for its rich history but also equally for its food, wine and coffee. Italy has nice warm summers and is surely a great place to spend important student years of one’s life. As an economy the country is world famous for fashion, design, hospitality, agriculture and food processing. Italy is also very popular for skill building courses like interior design and shoe design as examples. Major cities in Italy are Florence, Rome, Milan, Naples and Bologna. For students with the travel bug, Italy is a great summer school destination as well.

SDA Bocconi is a popular MBA and Business school in Milan. University of Naples is also well known. There are also private institutions that offer courses like Polimoda in Florence for Fashion, Design & Art Direction. There are several students who also come to history to study arts and even pursue at the PhD level.

Netherlands

The Netherlands is an open minded and inviting country with great opportunities. It is also probably the most English friendly among the European mainland countries with English being widely accepted and spoken. This is a great advantage for foreigners with limited knowledge of European languages. Amsterdam its capital is one of the rapidly growing urban centers of Europe with finance, tech and tourism booming apart from Industrial activity. Amsterdam Business School and Rotterdam School of Management are great career launchers for the MBA in the Netherlands. Rents and living costs could be quite high in Amsterdam even as a student.

Scandinavia

Scandinavia is not a country of course but a region comprising Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland. Known for fjords, Aurora Borealis and the Mid Night sun, this region is highly developed and boasts of top rankings in the Human Development Index. The long winters and cold climate can be a deterrent, but the region has plenty to offer. As an upside English is spoken by many locals and there are job opportunities also in English.

Some top ranked Universities in the region are Uppsala University (Sweden), Lund University (Sweden), University of Helsinki (Finland), University of Copenhagen (Denmark), University of Oslo (Norway). There are many other good University in this region where education is highly valued.

Spain

Spain is host to three top MBA schools among others. IESE Barcelona, IE Madrid and ESADE are consistent top-rated programs in global rankings. They also offer very reputable master’s in management courses and master’s in finance courses. Spanish schools are a huge draw for students from Latin American countries where Spanish is the native language. Spanish schools are great for consulting and entrepreneurship-based programs. The recent economic slowdown in Spain is a concern for post work opportunities. However, for a more global oriented experience Spain is still a top draw. Students from Spanish MBA programs also find opportunities in other European countries.

Spain comes with a great lifestyle quotient with an easy-going culture and great weather and natural locations. It is also a great place to enjoy student life. Rents and living costs in Barcelona could be expensive however.

Switzerland

Switzerland is a neutral, highly developed and a beautiful mountainous country in Western Europe. The Swiss people are warm and friendly and proud of their culture and achievements as a country. The economy is organized and very robust and diversified. Swiss economy is famous for technology, manufacturing, hospitality, cheese and finance! It is important to note that Switzerland is organized into highly independent cantons with their own laws and official language. Languages which are official in Switzerland include French, German, Italian and Romansh. English is widely spoken and accepted in Business and University. The cost of living in Switzerland can be extremely high especially in central Zurich. Salaries on average are much higher to compensate for living costs.

ETH Zurich is a world-famous school for Engineering and Sciences. IMD is a highly selective MBA program for more experienced candidates based out of Lausanne. St Gallen is popular and very high quality for its MBA and MiM programs. University of Zurich, University of Geneva, University of Bern and University of Basel are very prestigious among others.

United Kingdom

The U.K. is a natural destination for global education. Apart from some of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the world, the U.K. has good overall education infrastructure including good student accommodation and a relatively low-cost lifestyle outside London.

As a business school destination, it is a great place with some prestigious schools such as London Business School, Said (Oxford), Judge (Cambridge), Imperial, Warwick and Manchester among many other good programs. U.K has a global workforce and has a core competency in financial services leading to many jobs in that sector. It is also a great place to start a new business. The visa regulations should ease for foreigners now leading to better post work opportunities. A one-year program of great quality is a value deal in comparison with US programs which are typically two years at the Masters Level.

Scotland also has good universities with the University of Edinburgh, St Andrews and University of Glasgow deserving special mention. Ireland is an emerging destination especially due to a rapidly expanding economy and immigration friendly policies.