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Top 7 European Countries for Indian MBA Applicants

When you feel ready to start making plans and life decisions post-COVID, you may wonder, where in the world should you do your MBA? It’s an important question for any prospective business school student to consider.

The location of your MBA can affect everything from the makeup of your cohort to your job prospects after graduation, so choosing the right location that matches your career goals is key.

Europe is a great place to start your MBA search: the continent has something for everyone, whether you’re considering life in a startup or putting your skills to work in big business, and the cost of an MBA in Europe tends to be cheaper than in the United States.

We analyzed GMAT™ exam score-sending data to find out which European countries are the most popular among Indian MBA applicants.

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Here’s the top seven countdown:

7. Ireland

image of ireland

Ireland is seeing increasing interest from MBA applicants globally, with an area known as “Silicon Docks”, in Dublin, playing host to some of the world’s biggest tech firms, including Google, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Startups and SMEs accounted for around 70 percent of employment in Ireland in 2019 according to OECD, making it an ideal destination for budding entrepreneurs.

Renowned business schools include Trinity Business School at Trinity College Dublin and the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School of University College Dublin.

6. Switzerland

image of switzerland

Switzerland is the home of the United Nations and has long held an important position in European politics and culture.

This makes it a great place to pursue an international business career, as while the country’s key sectors are similar to other countries on this list—tourism and banking—a variety of global brands choose to base their European operations there.

McDonalds’ European headquarters is based in Geneva, as is global automotive brand Nissan. By pursuing an MBA program in Switzerland, you’ll be able to explore international business both on your doorstep and further afield.

Top business schools in Switzerland include the University of St.Gallen and IMD Business School.

5. The Netherlands

image of the netherlands

Famous for its pedestrianized city centers and love of bicycles, the Netherlands is known for innovation and sustainability, and has set itself ambitious targets when it comes to the use of green energy.

The Netherlands also offers you the chance to network with peers and professionals from across Europe. MBA cohorts in the Netherlands are commonly more than 90 percent international, and the country itself is hospitable to foreigners: 8.2 percent of jobs were held by expats in 2017, according to Statistics Netherlands.

The Orientation visa, a residence permit for non-EU citizens with very few restrictions, allows you to stay in the Netherlands and work for one year after your MBA.

4. Germany

image of germany

There are many reasons to study an MBA in Germany. The German economy is the largest in Europe and consistently ranks within the top 20 in the Global Entrepreneurship Index. Plus, Germany is one of the easiest countries to get a work visa.

Germany is also a good study destination to consider if you have a background or interest in STEM. 50 percent of Berlin’s startups are tech-related, operating in fields like fintech or Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), and there are plentiful corporate opportunities out there too.

Germany’s key industries are the automotive, mechanical engineering, chemical and electrical industries, and world-famous brands headquartered there include BMW, Daimler, and Allianz.

3. Spain

image of spain

Famous for its pleasant climate and laid-back lifestyle, Spain has plenty to offer for MBA students, with career opportunities for ambitious MBAs in key sectors like tourism, manufacturing, and financial services.

It is also a great place to network: Madrid, the capital, is the fourth-largest city in Europe and welcomes more than one million corporate travelers every year according to Business Destinations magazine. If you want to explore elsewhere on the continent, Spain is an ideal base, as your student visa will enable you to travel across the whole of the EU.

2. France

image of france

Like the UK, France is home to a number of top MBA programs, including INSEAD and HEC Paris.

La Défense, the Central Business District in Paris, hosts 19 Fortune 500 companies, with the wider country hosting 29. This makes it not just a buzzing business hub, but one of the centers of business for the whole of Europe.

France is also part of the European Union’s Blue Card scheme, which offers work visas to highly-skilled workers with an employment contract in the country, including MBA grads who have at least five years of work experience.

You can apply for a long-term residence permit after five years as a blue card holder, meaning you could look forward to a successful career in France after your MBA.

1. United Kingdom

image of the uk

The United Kingdom is the most popular study destination for Indian MBA applicants, and it’s not hard to see why.

As well as being home to some of the top business schools in the world—including London Business School, Cambridge Judge, and Oxford Saïd—the UK also offers access to exciting growth industries.

According to data compiled by the London Mayor’s office in partnership with Dealroom, only San Francisco’s fintech companies attracted more investment than London’s fintech industry in 2020, with more deals being made in London.

✈ Read more: Is London Still a Top Business School Destination?

Plus, visas are available for you to launch a career in the UK post-MBA. The UK government recently announced that applications for its Graduate Route post-study work visa, which allows grads to work for up to two years in the UK post-graduation, will open on July 1, 2021.

Outside London, there are also a number of high quality, affordable MBA programs in the UK.

Where will you earn your international MBA?

Our free guide, Finding Your Best Fit Full-Time MBA Program, gives you the expert tips and guidance you need to confidently narrow your options and identify the programs that make the most sense for your needs, preferences, and career goals.

Get exclusive, insider advice on:

  • The key questions you need to ask yourself to ensure optimal preference-to-fit alignment
  • The best tools to use to understand what your options are
  • How to build out your program list and what mix of programs should be on it
  • Best practices for connecting with schools and getting your questions answered
  • Developing specific, tailored responses to “why this program?”


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