The United States is home to some of the world’s best MBA programs. Thanks to communications, technologies and the internet, international students can now get access to the best American online MBA degree program without even visiting the country. You may not even need a visa to attend an American graduate school unless you need to come to the country for graduation or other student events.
If you’re an international student looking to attend school in the U.S., you’ll want to choose your program carefully. Make sure you enroll yourself in an accredited online program. Research the faculty to ensure they have experience working with international students and investigate the coursework to make sure it fits your schedule. Finally, check for a program with immersion opportunities in your country or a nearby country.
Enroll in an Accredited School
As a prospective international student, you may not be aware of the recent controversy surrounding non-accredited, for-profit colleges and universities in the United States. In the past, employers didn’t give much importance to the online degree programs offered by these non-accredited and profit-driven schools. Many of these degrees didn’t meet the academic standards of accredited, not-for-profit schools offering similar programs.
However, many perfectly good, reputable schools in the U.S. now offer online programs for degrees of all kinds, including MBAs. That’s why the first step in researching an online MBA program in the United States is to make sure the school is accredited by an established accrediting body.
U.S. awards two kinds of accreditation to the schools: institutional and specialized. Institutional applies to the entire school, while specialized applies to a specific program or discipline taught at the school. Most schools will say whether they are accredited or not on their website and by what accrediting body, but you should verify that the accrediting body exists and is reputable by looking it up on the U.S. Department of Education website.
Research the Faculty
You want to make sure the faculty at your prospective school understands the needs of non-U.S.-based students. Look for a program with a high percentage of faculty born outside of the U.S. Alternatively, you can make sure faculty will be sensitive to your needs is to research the percentage of enrolled students who are based internationally. When the faculty is accustomed to working with international students, they’re more likely to understand the needs of that population.
Consider How the Classes Will Fit Into Your Schedule
Before you enroll in a program, consider the times of day at which courses are offered. Are there synchronous classes, discussion boards or other activities you’ll have to be present for at specific times of day? How much coursework can you do on your own schedule? You need to assess all of this carefully as per your schedule and time zone.
These are important questions to answer when you might be located in a different time zone. You could end up going to class in the middle of the night, which might be fine with you, but in any case, you need to make sure that you maintain your schedule according to your program needs adequately.
Look for Immersion Opportunities
One of the biggest advantages of earning an MBA is the opportunity it provides for networking. Especially as an international student, you’ll get to know up-and-coming young business people from around the world. Immersion programs would allow you to cement these new relationships while benefiting from face-to-face interaction with professors.
Many MBA programs these days offer their students the chance to gain international business experience through immersion trips abroad. Save your money and look for a program with immersion experiences in your country of residence. That way you’ll get your bonding time with classmates, and your international business experience without having to travel too far. Similarly, ask about international networking events, alumni networks and ties your prospective university may have with schools near you.
Earning your MBA online from an American university is a great way to get a top-quality degree without the hassle and expense of moving to the U.S. You’ll get a top-tier academic experience without leaving home and you’ll be building your new career in business.
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