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Should You Stay in Italy or Study Abroad for Business School?

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Making major life plans right now feels more difficult than ever. Choices such as where to work, study, and live all seem to hinge on the state of the world as it reacts to COVID-19. While you may not be able to put major life-changing moves in motion during COVID, you should still use this time to plan for your future as much as possible. Specifically, now is a great time to consider whether you plan to stay in Italy for your postgraduate business education or whether you may want to explore another country.

Choosing where in the world you want to pursue your business master’s degree or MBA is a significant decision that can change the trajectory of your life and career (no pressure!). As such, it’s important to be prepared and ask the right questions. Learn which factors you should consider when deciding where your future will take you geographically.

Consider the language of instruction and local language

One of the most important things to think about as an Italian local is whether you want to pursue a program in Italian or use your graduate education as an opportunity to become more proficient in a new language. If your goal is to master Mandarin, you probably shouldn’t choose the UK for your studies. For many, the prospect of studying in a country that allows you to immerse yourself in a foreign language is one of the most appealing aspects of earning your graduate degree. Learn about ten advantages of pursuing a master’s degree abroad in 2020.

Examine the state of the local economy

While it’s certainly not required that you remain in your postgraduate location of study after you finish your coursework, it is a possibility. Therefore, you should research the state of the economy in question in the event that you choose to stay after graduation or pursue an internship. This is a particularly relevant factor to consider now, as the economic situations of most countries are shifting due to COVID.

What is the current state of the Italian economy?

Before you decide whether it’s better to get your business master’s or MBA in Italy versus another country, let’s consider the Italian economy. The global coronavirus pandemic undoubtedly had a major impact on the already-struggling Italian economy. Recent political and economic instability has resulted in a double-digit unemployment rate, which is expected to reach 11.1 percent in 2020 and 11.3 percent in 2021. While this may seem high, Italy is not alone—for context, the unemployment rate in the United States is hovering around 10 percent and is near 13 percent in Canada.

While high unemployment certainly doesn’t indicate that it will be impossible for you to find a job, it does mean that it will be more difficult. Explore this list of countries by unemployment rate to see how the economic situations of other potential countries of study stack up to Italy.

Consider how opportunities vary across cities

Keep in mind that oftentimes the city you choose to study in can be almost as important as its host country. For example, in Italy, the quality of graduate universities and job opportunities vary greatly depending on what part of the country you’re in.

If you’re considering remaining in Italy, you may find that northern cities like Milano, Torino and Varese have higher qualities of universities and postgraduate opportunities than do their southern counterparts. You should use this same logic when considering which cities to pursue in other countries.

Use this tool to explore some of the top business programs in Italy. If you want to see the best programs in other countries, type your desired destination into the ‘location’ field on the top left.

Think about which schools are best for your desired industry

The final and perhaps most important consideration when choosing your postgraduate study destination is which schools specialize most in your area of interest. How can you tell? One of the best indicators of whether a school is highly accredited in your desired field and acknowledged universally for its business program is by whether it requires prospective students to take the GMAT exam. The most prestigious universities in the world, such as Harvard Business School, Stanford Graduate School of Business and Imperial College Business School all accept the GMAT exam for entrance into their business program. The acceptance of an admissions exam score serves as a guarantee that schools are receiving professional, prepared business school students.

Use program finder to explore GMAT-accepting schools near you and ensure you’re receiving the highest quality education possible.

In sum, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to deciding whether to pursue your postgraduate business education in Italy or elsewhere abroad. Whatever you decide, make sure you are considering the most important factors that will help improve your chances of long-term career success and happiness.

Happy hunting! We hope you find the program that is perfect for you. In the meantime, you should create an mba.com account to receive advice and information from leading business school experts around the world.

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