Studying MBA in Europe vs USA

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In today’s rapidly changing business landscape, an MBA degree can provide significant advantages to individuals seeking to advance their careers. MBA programmes are designed to provide students with a strong foundation in business principles and management practices, equipping them with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in a wide range of industries and roles.

Why MBA Programme?

MBA graduates are in high demand, with many employers seeking candidates with advanced business education and experience. According to the Graduate Management Admission Council (June 2021), 90% of employers plan to hire MBA graduates in the coming year, and many offer competitive salaries and benefits packages to attract top talent.

In addition to improved job prospects and earning potential, pursuing an MBA degree can also provide students with a range of personal and professional benefits. MBA programmes often offer networking opportunities, access to industry leaders and mentors, and exposure to cutting-edge business practices and trends.

Furthermore, pursuing an MBA can help individuals develop a range of critical skills, including leadership, strategic thinking, problem-solving, and communication. These skills are essential for success in today’s fast-paced and competitive business environment and can help individuals to advance their careers and achieve their goals.

Pursuing a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) degree is a popular choice for those looking to advance their careers in the business world. While the United States is widely known as a hub for MBA programmes, Europe has also emerged as a popular destination for prospective MBA students. In this article, we’ll compare studying an MBA in Europe to studying in the United States.

Education & Living Costs

One of the most significant factors to consider when pursuing an MBA degree is the cost. MBA programmes in the United States tend to be more expensive than those in Europe, with tuition fees averaging around $60,000 or more for the entire programme. On the other hand, European MBA programmes are generally more affordable, with tuition fees ranging from around $20,000 to $50,000. In UBI Business School, the MBA programme starts from €28,500. However, it is important to consider other factors such as the cost of living, which can be significantly higher in some European countries.

In Belgium, the location of UBI Business School, students can benefit from a lower cost of living than in many other European countries, making it an excellent choice for those seeking an affordable MBA programme. Specifically, Brussels, the capital city of Belgium, is known for its relatively low cost of living when compared to other major European cities like London, Paris, or Zurich.

One of the primary factors that contribute to Brussels’ lower cost of living is the abundance of affordable accommodation options. Students can choose from shared apartments, student housing, or private accommodations, with rental prices that are relatively lower than other major European cities. In fact, according to data obtained by Statista between 2021 and 2022, Brussels ranked 5th cheapest in terms of rental costs among major European cities.

Additionally, the cost of food and daily essentials in Brussels is generally lower than in other European cities. This is due to the fact that Brussels has a vibrant local food culture, and there are many local markets and small businesses that offer fresh, affordable produce and other goods. The city also has a range of supermarkets and chain stores, which offer affordable options for students on a budget.

Transportation costs in Brussels are also relatively lower than in other major European cities. The city has an efficient and affordable public transportation system, including buses, trams, and metro lines. Students can purchase a monthly or yearly public transport pass, which allows them to travel throughout the city at a reduced cost.

In addition to the lower cost of living, Brussels also has a high standard of living, with access to excellent healthcare, educational opportunities, and cultural experiences. The city is home to a range of museums, galleries, and cultural events, providing students with opportunities to enrich their education and personal development outside of the classroom.

Funding & Scholarship

Another important factor to consider is the availability of funding options. Both Europe and the United States offer a range of scholarships, grants, and other funding opportunities for MBA students. In the United States, some of the top MBA programmes offer generous financial aid packages, including full-tuition scholarships. However, competition for funding is fierce, and not all students are eligible for such aid. European MBA programmes also offer a range of scholarships and funding options, which can help to make the cost of an MBA degree more manageable.

UBI Business School is dedicated to providing high-quality education to all students, regardless of their financial situation. As such, the school offers various scholarships and tuition support programmes for both prospective and currently enrolled students. For prospective students, UBI Business School offers a range of scholarships based on different criteria, including merit-based scholarships for exceptional academic achievements, family-based scholarships for recommendations from current students, special group scholarships for affiliation with specific organisations, and global inclusion scholarships for promoting inclusivity and equitable access to education.

Enrolled students at UBI Business School can also benefit from financial aid, payment plans, and the Dean’s List recognition for maintaining an average of 16/20 or more each semester. Students are encouraged to refer to the UBI Scholarship website for further information on these opportunities.


In Europe, the MBA curriculum is designed to prepare students for the current business world, with a focus on emerging industries and markets. European MBA programmes are more adaptable to the fast-paced changes in the global economy, which demands an innovative mindset and the ability to adapt to new business trends. Students are encouraged to think critically, creatively and collaborate in teams.

This approach emphasises practical learning, hands-on experience, and real-world projects. In contrast, US MBA programmes tend to be more theoretical, with less emphasis on hands-on experience. US MBA programmes are usually more research-oriented, with the objective to educate MBA students to become strategic thinkers.

The European MBA curriculum includes a variety of courses taught in different languages. This approach attracts international students who can study in their preferred language, making the curriculum more accessible to a broader range of students. The programmes also expose students to different business cultures, providing students with global perspectives.

In terms of flexibility, European MBA programmes offer students more opportunities to customise their education to meet their career goals. Students can choose to specialise in a particular field, or take a broad range of classes to gain a diverse skill set. US MBA programmes have a more structured curriculum, with a fixed set of courses required for completion.

The MBA Programme at UBI Business School, for example, offers students a curriculum that focuses on the management of technology, internationalisation, digital economy, and good personal and corporate citizenship. Students have opportunities to participate in UBI’s Venture Creation Lab, which provides practical experience and flexibility. The HyFlex learning environment maximises the quality of learning, and one-on-one coaching supports individual growth and development for MBA programme students.

The programme emphasises community building, peer learning, and horizontal work similar to companies. It offers a global business experience with extensive networks of established companies, valuable internship and employment opportunities, and an international business trip to London School of Economics or Singapore/Shanghai. This personalised focus helps support multiple career trajectories, including the choice of an Integrative Management project designed to support the next stage of an international student’s career growth.


The quality of faculty is another critical factor to consider when choosing an MBA programme. Faculty members in European MBA programmes are typically more focused on practical experience and professional development, while US MBA faculty are more focused on academic research.

In Europe, many MBA programmes have faculty members who are also experienced business professionals, which can provide a unique perspective on business challenges and opportunities. In contrast, US MBA programmes often have faculty members who are experts in their fields and focus more on theoretical learning.

At UBI Business School, faculty members are carefully selected to bring a balance of academic and practitioner experience. They provide students with the latest developments in the field through research and reflections on professional practice. UBI’s diverse faculty brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the classroom, and they are passionate about teaching and helping students achieve their academic and professional goals. With experience across a variety of industries and fields, UBI’s faculty members are well-versed in the latest technology and research methods.

Student Diversity

Diversity is a crucial factor in MBA programmes, as it provides students with exposure to different cultures, perspectives, and ways of thinking. European MBA programmes are often more diverse than those in the US, with students from a range of cultural, professional, and academic backgrounds. This diversity can provide valuable networking opportunities, cultural exchange, and exposure to new ways of thinking. At UBI Business School, diversity is a key focus, with students from over 25 nationalities represented in the programme. The programme provides an excellent opportunity for students to experience and learn about different cultures and business practices.

In contrast, US MBA programmes are typically more homogeneous, with a high proportion of domestic students. However, some US MBA programmes have taken steps to increase diversity, such as implementing affirmative action policies or actively recruiting international students. While this trend is positive, US MBA programmes still have a way to go in terms of diversifying their student bodies. As the business world becomes increasingly global, having a diverse student body is essential for MBA programmes to remain relevant and prepare students for the international business landscape.

Career Opportunities

Career prospects after completing an MBA programme are a critical consideration for prospective students. In general, MBA graduates from both Europe and the US enjoy high demand in the job market. However, there are some differences in the types of opportunities available in each region.

In Europe, MBA graduates often have opportunities to work for multinational companies or to start their own businesses. European MBA programmes also tend to be more focused on entrepreneurship and innovation, which can be beneficial for those interested in starting their own businesses. European MBA programmes prepare graduates to be innovative and versatile, with the ability to adapt to new and changing business environments. They teach graduates to be strategic thinkers, effective communicators, and skilled problem solvers, which are essential qualities for success in any industry.

In contrast, US MBA programmes are more focused on finance and consulting, which can lead to more opportunities in those industries. The US has a robust financial services industry, which is why many US MBA programmes emphasise finance as a focus area. US MBA graduates also tend to earn higher salaries on average than European MBA graduates, although this can vary depending on the individual programme and the student’s career path. The US MBA programmes have a strong emphasis on research and data-driven analysis, which is why many graduates go on to work in consulting firms. US MBA programmes teach graduates how to analyse complex problems, break them down into smaller components, and develop solutions. This analytical approach to problem-solving is highly valued in the business world.

Despite the differences, both European and US MBA programmes offer excellent career prospects for graduates. Many companies prefer to hire MBA graduates because of their knowledge of business practices and their ability to adapt to changing situations. Both types of MBA programmes prepare graduates to be effective managers, leaders, and problem solvers. Furthermore, they provide opportunities to build a professional network, which can be a valuable asset in the job market.

Application Process

The application process for MBA programmes can be quite rigorous and time-consuming, and it is essential to understand the requirements and deadlines for each programme. In general, the application process for MBA programmes in Europe and the US is similar, with requirements such as a bachelor’s degree, GMAT or GRE scores, and work experience.

However, there are some differences in the admission criteria and process. In the US, many MBA programmes require applicants to have several years of work experience, while European MBA programmes may be more open to students with less experience. Additionally, US MBA programmes often require essays or personal statements, while European programmes may require students to complete additional assessments or exams.


Choosing the right MBA programme can be a challenging and complex process, and it is essential to consider all of the factors discussed above. Ultimately, the choice between studying an MBA in Europe or the US will depend on individual preferences and goals. Students interested in a more practical, hands-on learning experience may prefer European MBA programmes, while those interested in academic rigour and research may prefer US programmes. Additionally, factors such as cost, funding, curriculum, faculty, student diversity, and career opportunities will all play a role in the decision-making process.

Regardless of which region students choose to study in, an MBA degree can provide numerous benefits, including improved job prospects, higher salaries, and a broader network of professional contacts. By considering all of the factors discussed in this article, prospective MBA students can make an informed decision and choose the programme that best suits their needs and goals.