Most of the top B Schools in India provides options to their students with the opportunity to study abroad during their second year of the MBA program for 3 to 4 months. These Institues form exchange partnerships with different international universities all across the globe. These kind of programs are called Students Exchange Programs.
Single-Degree OR Dual-Degree Exchange Program
In a Single degree exchange program, students get to study their 5th semester in these exchange-partnered universities. In the case of a dual degree program, apart from the 5th semester, students have to spend one more semester with the partnered university post-completion of their MBA. Although many B-Schools offer both variants, a single-degree program is more popular.
Attending and Non-Attending Colleges
Apart from this, the partner universities or colleges are categorised as attending and non-attending colleges. Attending college carries compulsory attendance, but in a non-attending college, you need not come to attend classes; you only appear to give the examination.
Most B-Schools have partnerships with Europe Based Universities as travelling is the popular reason for going for an Exchange program. In the case of Europe, you only need a single Visa to travel to 17-20 countries. Apart from Europe, America, and Japan are also popular options.
How to check the exchange partners of an Institute?
To check the exchange partners of a B-School, you can google search" College Name + Exchange + Partners" E.g., to check IIM Ahmedabad's partner colleges, you can search "IIM Ahmedabad Exchange partners," and you will get the relevant details.
Leading International Partners with Top Indian B Schools for student exchange program:
|Partner Institute/ University Name
|EDHEC Business School
|HEC School of Management
|University of Chicago
|NUS Business School
|University of Bocconi
|ESC Clermont Graduate School of Management
|ESADE Business School
|IESE Business School
|University of Virginia
|Aston Business School
Some popular tier- 2 MBA colleges and their exchange partners are:
|Partner Institute/ University Name
|KJ Somaiya, Mumbai
|Saint Martin University
|NJCU school of Business
|IDRAC Business school
|Frankfurt school of Finance & Management
|Ureka Education Group
|Catolica Lisbon School of Business & Economics
Process & Eligibility
The selection process begins before the Summer Internship Program for the MBA degree. The students applying for the student exchange program give a preference list of the exchange partners. The seats are allotted on a rank basis as per the no. of seats available.
Now, How is the ranking done? The ranking is done broadly based on two parameters, academic Performance in the first year and the extracurricular activities performed after admission in the college, like winning case competitions, participating in a sports tournament, and being a member of a club/ committee. However, the selection process may vary from college to college.
Some students may be ineligible for the exchange program, which also depends on college to college. But some criteria are: People with prior foreign work experience, club/ committee coordinators not members, and student council are not eligible for the exchange program.
Finances: How Much Does it Cost?
The student exchange program generally costs between 4-6 lakhs rupees. The cost does not comprise any additional tuition fee. It is the one that you regularly pay your college for each semester. The cost includes flight expenses and accommodation expenses. The colleges generally don't provide accommodations, so the students must arrange private accommodations. Other expenses are travelling within and across countries and food expenses. Specifics may differ from college to college.
Going for an exchange program presents the following benefits:
- Opportunity to travel and spend time in a foreign country
This is the obvious one but cannot be overemphasised and is the most popular reason why students opt for the student exchange program. This could be your chance, probably the first and the last, to travel and spend time abroad, that too with your friends. In your free time, you can visit famous landmarks, try local cuisine, and learn about the history and customs of the country. The experience of exploring the culture, learning a new language, and learning about their customs and traditions will be memorable.
Additionally, Going abroad during this program for travelling is much cheaper than going post-completion of the MBA as you get the International Student Card, which gets you 40-50% discounts on Most things.
- Networking Opportunities
Studying abroad will present you with opportunities to interact and build relations with people from different cultures. This could help you gain a global perspective and strengthen your cross-cultural communication. The relationships you build there could come in handy when seeking job opportunities, especially in foreign companies.
- A New Perspective
The exchange program exposes you to another country's business context and scenario and helps you understand the differences in Business practices and policies of different markets. You will gain an understanding of various factors like political, economic, and social that shape businesses across the world. The program would broaden your horizons and make you a more informed, well-rounded business professional, giving you insights into the challenges and opportunities in the global marketplace.
- Boost your Resume
Opting to study abroad shows that you are willing to step out of your comfort zone and are ready to learn and adapt to a new environment. The student exchange program in your resume will demonstrate your understanding of international businesses and show you are comfortable working in a multicultural environment. All of these are positive signs giving a good impression of your resume to the hiring team.
- Increased chance of getting placed abroad
Getting a job abroad is considered very prestigious in India, and the student exchange program definitely gives you an edge. The campus recruiters for international placements would give more preference to a student who had opted to study abroad than one who has not, as they have some exposure to different cultures and knowledge of international businesses. Apart from it, the network that you would have built during your stay might also land you a job abroad.
- Personal Growth and Development
Apart from exposing you to another country's culture and tradition, a foreign experience can also increase your appreciation for your country's customs, traditions, values, and beliefs. The experience would make you learn new things and make you independent, confident, and adaptable. All of these qualities are well recognized in job markets today.
To conclude, opting to study abroad could be a life-changing experience. Not only it becomes a travelling opportunity with your friends, but it may also prove to be a game changer in your professional life, exposing you to businesses and business contexts of a different country and giving you a global perspective, increasing your employability and also increasing personal growth and opportunity. If you have the opportunity to participate in a student exchange program, it is an opportunity worth considering.