Pushpinder Bhatia
Alumni Said Business School, University of Oxford, UK

How to Enrol in an Overseas MBA Program: Leading Universities, Entry Criteria, and Further Details


Pursuing an MBA (Master of Business Administration) program overseas is a dream for many aspiring business leaders. It offers a unique opportunity to gain a global perspective on business, network with professionals from diverse backgrounds, and access top-notch education.

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the steps to enroll in an overseas MBA program, including information on leading universities, entry criteria, and additional details to ensure your journey is smooth and successful.

Why Study MBA Abroad?

After setting your sights on a successful business career, pursuing an MBA abroad can be a transformative step towards achieving your goals. Considering factors such as the potential return on investment, the reputation of institutions, and your personal aspirations is crucial. To address the common question, "Is MBA worth it?" let's delve into the five key advantages that studying MBA abroad can offer:

Advantages of Studying MBA Abroad

  1. Global Perspective: An MBA program abroad provides an invaluable opportunity to broaden your horizons beyond national borders. Exposure to diverse cultures, economies, and business practices enriches your understanding of the global marketplace, a skill that is highly valued in today's interconnected world.
  1. Networking Opportunities: Leading universities attract talented individuals from around the globe, creating a rich environment for networking. Building relationships with fellow students, faculty, and alumni can open doors to collaborations, mentorships, and career opportunities that extend far beyond graduation.
  1. Quality of Education: Renowned institutions offering MBA programs abroad are known for their exceptional faculty, cutting-edge research, and rigorous curriculum. Immersion in such an environment equips you with the latest knowledge and skills, ensuring you are well-prepared to tackle complex business challenges.
  1. Career Advancement: Pursuing an MBA abroad can significantly enhance your career prospects. Many graduates of prestigious MBA programs land on high-paying jobs after MBA abroad and enjoy faster career progression due to the advanced skills, leadership abilities, and global perspective they acquire during their studies.
  1. Leadership Development: MBA programs emphasize leadership skills, equipping you with the tools needed to guide teams and organizations to success. The collaborative and diverse nature of these programs fosters the development of essential soft skills, such as communication, negotiation, and problem-solving.

Step 1: Research Leading Universities

The first step in enrolling in an overseas MBA program is to research and select the universities that align with your academic and career goals. 

Step 2: Understand Entry Criteria

Each university has its specific entry requirements for MBA abroad programs. While these criteria may vary slightly from institution to institution, some common prerequisites include:        

  • A Bachelor's Degree: Most MBA programs require applicants to hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution.

  • Work Experience: Typically, applicants are expected to have several years of work experience, often ranging from 2 to 5 years. Some schools may accept exceptional candidates with less experience, particularly for full-time MBA programs. For those interested in pursuing an MBA without work
    , there are options available that cater to recent graduates or individuals seeking a career change.

  • GMAT or GRE Scores: Many universities require GMAT scores (Graduate Management Admission Test) or GRE (Graduate Record Examination) scores as part of the application. These tests evaluate your quantitative, verbal, and analytical writing skills.

  • TOEFL or IELTS Scores: If English is not your native language, you'll likely need to submit TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) scores to demonstrate your English proficiency.

  • Letters of Recommendation: Most MBA programs require letter of recommendation from individuals who can speak to your academic or professional capabilities.
  • Statement of Purpose (SOP): You'll need to submit a well-crafted SOP outlining your career goals and why you want to pursue an MBA at that particular institution.

  • Resume/CV: A comprehensive resume or CV detailing your academic and professional history is essential.

  • Interview: Some schools may require an interview as part of the admission process.

Step 3: Prepare Application Materials

Once you've identified the universities you want to apply to and understood their entry criteria, it's time to prepare your application materials. This typically includes:

  • Transcripts: Request official transcripts from your previous educational institutions.
  • Standardised Test Scores: Take the GMAT or GRE and the TOEFL/IELTS if required.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Approach your recommenders well in advance and provide them with ample information about your goals and experiences.
  • Statement of Purpose: Write a compelling SOP that showcases your passion, goals, and why you're an ideal candidate for the program.
  • Resume/CV: Ensure your resume is up-to-date and tailored to the MBA application.

Step 4: Financial Planning

Studying abroad, especially for an MBA program, is a significant financial commitment. To plan your finances meticulously, follow these detailed steps:

A. Calculate Your Costs:

  • Tuition: Determine the total cost of tuition for the MBA program you've been admitted to. Keep in mind that tuition fees can vary greatly between universities and countries.
  • Living Expenses: Estimate your monthly living expenses, including accommodation, food, transportation, and personal expenses. University websites often provide cost-of-living estimates for international students.
  • Health Insurance: Research health insurance requirements and costs for international students in your host country. Ensure you have adequate coverage.
  • Textbooks and Supplies: Account for the cost of textbooks, course materials, and any necessary equipment or software.
  • Miscellaneous Expenses: Plan for unforeseen expenses and entertainment. It's always wise to have a buffer.
B. Scholarships and Grants:
  • Research scholarship opportunities specifically for international MBA students offered by your chosen university. Most universities have dedicated webpages listing available scholarships.
  • Look for external scholarship programs, such as government-sponsored scholarships, private foundations, or corporate sponsorships.
  • Pay close attention to application deadlines and eligibility criteria for scholarships. Prepare strong scholarship applications, including essays and recommendation letters
Some Popular MBA Scholarships Abroad
  • Merit-Based Scholarships: Offered by universities to top-performing students.
  • Need-Based Scholarships: Awarded to students who demonstrate financial need.
  • Diversity Scholarships: Promote diversity by supporting underrepresented groups.
  • Country-Specific Scholarships: Some countries offer scholarships to international students.

C. Loans and Financial Aid:

  • Investigate international student loan options. Some banks and financial institutions offer loans tailored to the needs of students studying abroad.
  • Explore financial aid programs that may be available through your chosen university or your home country's government.

D. Budgeting:

  • Create a detailed budget that outlines your expected income (including scholarships, loans, part-time work, or family support) and expenses (tuition, living costs, insurance, etc.).
  • Use budgeting tools or apps to help you manage your finances effectively while abroad.

Step 5: Visa and Immigration

Applying for a student visa is a critical step in your journey to study abroad. Here's a more detailed breakdown of what this process entails:

a. Research Visa Requirements: Begin by visiting the official website of the embassy or consulate of the country where you'll be studying. Look for the student visa section to find detailed information about the application process, required documents, and fees.

b. Acceptance Letter and Proof of Funds: You'll typically need to provide a copy of your acceptance letter from the university. Additionally, many countries require proof that you have sufficient funds to cover your tuition fees and living expenses while studying.

c. Complete Visa Application Form: Download and complete the student visa application form. Be meticulous in filling it out, and ensure that all the information is accurate and matches the documents you're submitting.

d. Collect Required Documents: Prepare a comprehensive set of documents, which may include:

  • Passport-sized photos
  • Passport (make sure it's valid for the duration of your studies)
  • Proof of acceptance from the university
  • Proof of financial means (bank statements, scholarship letters, or affidavits of support)
  • Visa application fee payment receipt
  • Health and medical certificates (if required)
  • Any additional documents specified by the embassy/consulate

e. Biometrics and Interview: Some countries require you to attend an interview or provide biometrics (fingerprints and a photograph). Schedule these appointments well in advance, as they can have waiting times.

f. Pay Visa Fees: Pay the visa application fee, which can vary depending on the country. Keep copies of payment receipts as evidence.

g. Visa Processing Time: Processing time can range from a few weeks to several months, so apply well in advance of your program's start date. Once your visa is approved, you'll receive a visa sticker or an electronic confirmation. Make sure you keep this with you as it's a crucial travel document.

Step 6: Preparing for Departure

Secure accommodation in advance, explore health insurance options, pack essential items, and inform your bank about your travel plans. Book your flight, plan arrival logistics, and familiarize yourself with local customs to ease your transition abroad.


Enrolling in an overseas MBA program is a significant decision that can shape your future career trajectory. As you prepare to depart for your chosen destination, remember that an MBA program abroad is not only about academics but also about cultural immersion, personal growth, and networking opportunities.

In the end, your overseas MBA experience is what you make of it – a unique blend of education, exploration, and empowerment that prepares you to thrive in the global business landscape.