Home ยป Executive MBA Abroad 2020 – Top 10 EMBA programs for international students

Executive MBA Abroad 2020 – Top 10 EMBA programs for international students

by Varalika Vij
Executive MBA Abroad

Executive MBA (EMBA) has steadily become a popular and perhaps a more lucrative counterpart of the regular MBA programme. This is because a professional, with a few years of managerial expertise, gets a great opportunity to grow, without disturbing the inflow of a consistent salary and experience that a regular job provides. Since a lot of EMBA candidates are sponsored by their current companies to help them become future leaders within the organisation, Executive MBA also gets a lot of respect in the professional world. With candidates as young as 28 years and as old as 69 years of age, and carrying an average work experience of 12.7 years, EMBA is a custom-designed MBA that eases a professionals journey from middle management to a general management position. Also, with the globalization of markets across the world, many top B schools now offer their own Executive MBA options for the high-flying top-level professionals, to provide them with an international perspective in the company of similarly experienced people.

This article seeks to provide information on how the Executive MBA works, Rate of Investment (the most important factor for an EMBA aspirant to consider because of the high costs involved), 10 most popular EMBA programs chosen by international students and much more.Study Abroad

Executive MBA Abroad โ€“ Admission Requirements for EMBA abroad

The procedure of EMBA admission in a foreign institution is the same as it will be in India. The difference is the requirement of a certain English proficiency and other specific particulars, which will differ from college to college. We have tried to give a broad range of requirements that are generally expected for an EMBA admission abroad โ€“

  1. Graduate/Post-graduate degree from a recognized university/institution with a quality academic record to show in your academic transcripts
  2. Minimum 5 to 10 years of professional work experience
  3. GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test and) and/or GRE (Graduate Record Examination). These tests are necessary for getting admission in foreign institutions/universities, especially if the applicant does not have a bachelors degree.
  4. A good or exceptional professional track record; a candidate with upper-level management experience will be preferred in some institutions.
  5. TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) for non-native English language speakers
  6. Writing MBA essays that may include your career goals, future plans, strengths and weaknesses and other questions to know about other facets of your personality.
  7. Recommendations from supervisors, managers or colleagues whove known you well professionally and can talk about various aspects of your skills and potential.
  8. Letter of sponsorship (details of any financial support that a company is providing so that the employee can attend the program)
  9. You should be able to impress the college board during the MBA interview.
  10. Pay the application fee (between $100 and $200)
  11. Other requirements like getting VISAs and related things.

Note: The candidate must check the eligibility criteria of the chosen B-schools before applying.

Read relevant topics โ€“ MBA Abroad & MBA in Canada

Executive MBA Abroad Things you need to know about EMBA

How is EMBA conducted in 2020?

  1. An EMBA is a part-time programme that lasts for a year or two. Typically, people pursuing an EMBA maintain their current position with the same pay scale and take up this programme when its most convenient for
  2. Executive MBA is meant for working professionals who want to gain intensive knowledge and learn leadership skills to take up a more senior role or drive their own business or even move to a better location.
  3. One may pursue an EMBA online, at a university board and by both the methods.
  4. If you havent been working at the destination, where your choice of EMBA college is located, you may apply for a suitable EMBA programme online while working at your current company in India.
  5. EMBA has a defined curriculum for senior executives who aspire to move to a leadership position. The curriculum is demanding, yet clearly designed in a way that the professionals can keep their jobs while acquiring an MBA degree simultaneously.
  6. There is a pivotal emphasis on practical working knowledge that is specifically geared towards high-level management positions. All key areas of business management like marketing, finance, accounting, operations, global strategy, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) etc. are stressed upon in the EMBA programme.
  7. Group work is vital during the process of an executive MBA programme. Mostly, the EMBA students are divided into groups of 5 or 7 called cohorts or study groups that are maintained throughout the year. This helps in duplicating the working culture of a typical corporation. As a group, the students evaluate and complete most of the in-class and out-of-class assignments. According to the Executive MBA Council, it becomes typical for students to connect with their teammates between the weekend classes by phone, emails or online collaboration software to complete their projects.

If you want to know more about regular MBA related article check MBA category page.

What are the challenges of an EMBA programme?

  1. While an EMBA is pursued part-time, the workload is heavy and the weekend class schedules are rigorous and intensive. In the case of EMBA programmes following a weekend schedule, the students begin their first class between 8 to 9 am on Fridays, take a lunch break around noon, and then proceed to more classes until 6 or 7 pm! Saturday classes usually end by 4 pm to allow commuting time to students to fly back home. In addition to this class time, executive MBA students are expected to devote 15 to 25 hours each week on assignments, exercises and group work.
  2. EMBA demands financial, physical, mental and emotional investment by not only the candidate but also his/her family. Since an EMBA is even more demanding on ones time than a full-time MBA course, this needs to be discussed with spouse, children and family. A successful completion of this course should not have any long-lasting negative impacts on ones family (as is usually seen) and therefore, effective communication before the start of this programme is crucial.

What is the most important factor to consider before an EMBA?

  1. The bottom-line while deciding to do an EMBA programme from a specific college is the ROI (Rate of Investment) to know the expected jump in salaries after the completion of the course. Its also important to know much earlier if your employer is willing or encouraging towards sponsoring or reimbursing the tuition costs. One must be careful of racking up big debts later.

Executive MBA Abroad โ€“ What is a letter of sponsorship?

Letters of sponsorship must include the details of any funding that the company is providing for the employees EMBA education. Some companies pay for the entire cost of an EMBA while others just cover a portion of the tuition. The companies have to demonstrate that they understand the considerable time commitment required for an EMBA programme. Such a letter of sponsorship acknowledges that the employee shall be taking time away from work every Friday or for a few weeks after every few months. If youre self-employed or a top executive at a company, you may write and sign your own letter of sponsorship.Study Abroad

Executive MBA Abroad โ€“ Top 10 Executive MBA Programs for International Students

The prestigious QS World University Rankings published its first edition of Global EMBA Rankings in 2017. These rankings were based on the following information collected on 150+ programs and 100+ colleges around the world โ€“

  1. Employer Index, based on their attractive hiring prospects (25%)
  2. Academic Index, as per experts in Business & Management (25%)
  3. Pre-MBA Years of Work Experience (5%)
  4. Pre-EMBA years of management experience (5%)
  5. Proportion of an EMBA class that have C-Suite experience (5%)
  6. Number of Nationalities (5%)
  7. Female Representation (5%)
  8. Salary Raise 12 months after completion of EMBA (10%)
  9. Promotion within 12 months of EMBA completion (10%)

The most recent QS Global MBA Rankings were released in April 2019. While the rankings are available globally as well as region-wise (Asia-Pacific,Europe,Latin America,North America), we prefer to look at the top 10 Executive MBA programs with the highest number of international students. With such a large and diverse population of international students, one feels reassured. It prevents the feeling of being a part of a minority and increases the confidence and learning of a student from a different nationality. All of the business schools listed below provide a remarkable rate on investments in a way that a professional can recover all of his education loan amount or fee amount spent on Executive MBA within a year of graduation.

Business School Location % of International Students QS Global EMBA Ranking 2019
GRENOBLE ECOLE DE MANAGEMENT Tbilisi, Moscow, Medellin 100 91
IE BUSINESS SCHOOL Madrid, Sao Paulo, Singapore, Los Angeles 92 20
IESE BUSINESS SCHOOL UNIVERSITY OF NAVARRA Barcelona, New York (NY), Silicon Valley 89 4
INSEAD Fontainebleau, Abu Dhabi, Singapore 89 9
IMD Lausanne, Palo Alto (CA), Beijing 88 19

Paris, Berlin, Beirut, Turin, London 72 37


The top executive MBA programme for international students is at Grenoble Ecole de Management, where a surprising 100 percent of candidates are international students.

Programme Length โ€“ The programme length varies depending on the students choice of location to study. In Medellin (Columbia), the programme is conducted for 24 months, one session every five weeks from Wednesday to Saturday. In Tbilisi (Georgia) and Moscow, weekend classes are held for a period of 22 months, followed by a Final Management Project.

Fee โ€“ 17,450 (Total programme fee) approx.

Important Dates โ€“ Application deadline month: February
Programme Start Month: April for Columbia location and March for Georgia and Moscow location.

Demography โ€“ The average age of students at Grenoble GSB is 29 years, with a work experience of 8 to 10 years. 60 % of these candidates are said to have a C-Suite experience. 35% of the student population comprises females.


The IE Business School scored full marks for career outcomes in a 2019 ranking, with graduates getting a 65% salary increase. The Executive MBA programs available here are:

  1. IE Brown Executive MBA
  2. The IE-SMU MBA
  3. The Global Executive MBA
  4. Executive MBA Presencial (En Espaol)
  5. Executive MBA Blended (En Espaol)

Programme Length โ€“ The IE Business School provides an Executive MBA for 15 months to business leaders from varied cultures and professional backgrounds.

The Executive MBA programme is divided into:

  1. 3 periods with 3 compulsory residential weeks with face-to-face sessions in Madrid
  2. 3 distance learning modules

The candidates can either choose 1.) an additional week based in Madrid or 2.) consolidate their network with two international experiences with the Global Immersion Week and Global Network Week provided as an optional part of the program.

Fee โ€“ 61,200 approx.

Important Dates โ€“ Varies as per the programs.

Demography โ€“ The average age of the students here is 34 years, with the average work experience being 12 years. 66% of the candidates have a C-Suite experience. 33% of the student population comprises women.




Programme Length โ€“ 16 months with 6 two-week modules + 1 one-week elective + final week. This includes:

  1. Two weeks of distance learning
  2. Two weeks of on-campus face-to-face learning
  3. Four weeks of consolidation with distance learning

The Global Executive MBA at IESE takes place in five major financial hubs namely Barcelona, New York, Munich, Shanghai and Silicon Valley. The students are taken to these key markets and business communities to enhance their global perspective. The students can further personalize their programme by choosing a portfolio of elective modules offered in 5 continents.

Fee โ€“ 119,000 approx.

Important Dates โ€“ Application Deadline Month: November

Programme Start Month: February

Demography โ€“ The average age of students pursuing a Global Executive MBA (GEMBA) from IESE is 39. These students hold 15 years of experience on average, belong to over 31 different nationalities and represent more than 30 industries. The female participation in the student population is 35%

Scholarships Yes


With only 51 to 60 days needed away from work for a period of 14 to 17 months, depending on your choice of campus, the Global Executive MBA (GEMBA) by INSEAD is a sure shot route to a top business degree. This modular Executive MBA programme is delivered across three fully integrated campuses: Europe (France), Asia (Singapore) and the Middle East (Abu Dhabi).A unique feature of the EMBA by INSEAD is the Leadership Development Programme and the graduates have reported a 34% salary increase.

Programme Length 14 to 17 months. This translates to 12 weeks of on-campus modules, and in addition, there is an equivalent of 10 to 12 hours of homework a week.

Fee 84,000 to 100,000

Important Dates โ€“ Application Deadline Month: June

Programme Start Month: August, October and November (3 intakes across 3 campuses)

Demography โ€“ As per the 2020 GEMBA class analysis at INSEAD, 80% of the students range in the age group of 33-45 years. The scholars belong to 63 different nationalities and have an average work experience of 14 years. Besides, there is a 25% participation by women in the classroom.

5. IMD

At IMD, learning is applied directly to the field of the professionals taking the Executive MBA course. To create an accelerated and lasting impact on the careers of professionals undertaking the coursework, a special focus is kept on the exploration of their industry where they have gained extensive experience. To enhance the curriculum further, a choice of three discovery expeditions is provided from a selection of 5 continents. EMBA graduates from IMD noted more than 52% salary increase!

Programme Length Students may take the Global Executive MBA in 15 months or spread their learning over a longer period of time, depending on their work commitments. In any case, the candidates will be expected to be away from their offices for 9 weeks.

  1. Step 1 (3 weeks out of office) โ€“ Learn Foundations for Business Leadership for 20 days at IMD.
  2. Step 2 (Foundation Stage) โ€“ 5 weeks online learning.
  3. Step 3 (Mastery Stage, 6 weeks out of office) โ€“ 6 face-to-face modules combined with distance learning (company assignments + individual leadership stream)

Fee โ€“ CHF 105,000 (US $ 105,008). This includes tuition, learning materials and a three-course lunch served at IMD on weekdays.

Important Dates Application Deadline Month: click here

Programme Start Month: May, November

Demography Students have an average experience of 16 years, with 12 years of managerial experience. Over one-third of the students have C-Suite experience. The student population undertaking EMBA here represents 22% women and comprises people belonging to 30 different nationalities.

Scholarships โ€“ Company sponsorship mandatory


The Executive MBA programme at Nanyang attracts the most capable applicants from Asia, Europe, U.S. and the Middle East who seek to enhance their leadership abilities without interrupting their careers. These participants boast a proven track record in senior management positions. An average graduate is reported to receive a 30% salary increase.

Programme Length 14 months. The Nanyang EMBA is a modular part-time programme conducted in five segments of full-day classes lasting approximately 2 weeks each, allowing the students to realize their leadership potential while continuing with their career.

Fee SG $100, 666 ($74,439) approx.

Important Dates โ€“ Application Deadline Month: Check here

Programme Start Month: In 2020, the Nanyang EMBA had two intakes in January and April respectively. Both intakes shall converge in August 2020 and take the August, November and April segments together.

Demography The students who pursue EMBA from Nanyang Business School have an average age of 40 years with an average experience of 14 years in almost 20 sectors/industries. Applications come in from candidates belonging to 40 different nationalities. 32% of the student force comprises of women.

Scholarships Attractive scholarships are available by Nanyang Business School, based on merit.


ESADE offers the following Executive MBAs

  1. GEMBA โ€“ Global Executive MBA
  2. The ESADE Aalto MBA for Executives

Programme Length The Executive MBA is a 16-month programme which takes place over 4 separate phases. This includes 12 months of core and 4 months of operative subjects. While the first 3 phases cover three fundamental business concepts of Company, Strategy and Development in Complexity, phase 4 constitutes of a 4-month long Intensification or Exchange Programme. Also, the programme includes threeinternational study periods(in Europe, LatAm, Asia or the USA) that take place during phases 2,3 and 4.

Besides, there are 3 part-time formats of ESADEs Executive MBA

  1. Weekly Format: Campus Training atBarcelona or Madrid; Start month โ€“ February, September; Language of Instruction โ€“ Spanish and English; On-campus lessons each week on Fridays and Saturdays.
  2. Monthly Format: Campus training at both Barcelona and Madrid; Start month October; Language of Instruction English; On-campus lessons once a month for 3 full days (Thursday to Friday)
  3. Biweekly Format: Campus training at Barcelona; Start months February, Language of instruction Spanish and English, On-campus lesson every fortnight on Fridays and Saturdays.

Fee โ€“ 65,300approx. (excluding travel expenses and including 1. Academic rights 2. Educational material 3. Lunches and breakfasts during the programme schedule 4. Accommodation of a shared double room, food and programmed activities for the 4 study tours and ELP periods 5. Registration costs for electives abroad.)

Important Dates โ€“ Application Deadline Month: Check here

Programme Start Month: February, September and October

Demography The Executive MBA class profile includes 55% expatriates who speak 17 different languages and represent 20 different countries. 44% of the students are women, making ESADE stand first in the world for classroom diversity.

Scholarship Yes. Several kinds of scholarships are available including a complete sponsorship programme, which you can apply for once you have been admitted to the EMBA programme. There are also several financial aid programmes available.


8. National University of Singapore (NUS) BUSINESS SCHOOL

The NUS Executive MBA Advantage programme has a strategic focus on Asia-Pacific business and is designed to meet the needs of entrepreneurs and executives for a quality international curriculum and exposure.

Programme Length The participants study 18 modules over a period of 15 months, conducted over 6 intensive 2-week residential segments. Classes will be held for 10 hours a day during each of the six (two-week) residential segments.

Tuition Fee Tuition fee of S$105,000 that has to be paid in three parts. (exclusive of Goods & Services Tax applicable in Singapore). Other expensesare estimated at S$25,000 for candidates based out of Singapore (for flight and accommodation borne by the candidate).

Important Dates โ€“ Application Deadline Month: Round 1 deadline in December-end and Round 2 deadline in March-end.

Demography The average student age pursuing EMBA from NUS is 35 years, with the average work experience being 17 years. There is a 24% participation of women in the classes.

Scholarships โ€“ Not provided by the university. Candidates may explore a sponsorship with their company or apply for student loans through banks and financial institutions, some of which are mentioned on the NUS website too.


Programme Length โ€“ The Cambridge Executive MBA is a 20-month degree programme delivered over the course of 16 weekends and 4 week-long sessions. The students are required to stay out of office for a period of just 34 days over the 20-month period.

Fee โ€“ 69,200 (including programme tuition, membership of aCambridge College, group meals in Cambridge during weekend sessions, accommodation and group meals for the orientation week, single occupancy accommodation during orientation week and accommodation and group meals on the International business study trip.)

Important Dates โ€“ Application Deadline Month: 18 Nov 2019 for Round 1; 13 Jan 2020 for Round 2; 9 March for Round 3; 20 April 2020 for Round 4; 4 Jun 2020 for Round 5

Programme Start Month: September

Demography The EMBA students at Judge Business School are 37 years of age on average and have an average work experience of 13 years. Females make up 30% of the cohort.

Scholarships โ€“ Cambridge Judge Business School awards a range of bursaries and scholarships for Executive MBA participants. Check here


The ESPA Executive MBA is a part-time programme that includes 9 core courses, 10 electives, 5 international seminars and 1 international consulting project. Scholars have reported an average 78% increase in salary.

Programme Length โ€“ 18, 22 or 30 months (part-time)

Fee โ€“ 62,000 (including tuition fees for 520 teaching hours, all course materials and online resources, and accommodation expenses for off-campus seminars. Travel and living expenses are not included.)

Important Dates Application Deadline Month: June-end for the programme starting in September (Paris Track, Turin Track and Itinerant Track), December-end for the program starting in January

Programme Start Month: January or September

Demography The average age of EMBA students at ESCP Europe is 38 with 13 years of average professional experience. There is a 30% female representation in the class.

Scholarships Click here

Find various regular MBA/Management programs around the world in the Management Courses page.Study Abroad

Executive MBA Abroad โ€“ FAQs

Q. What is the difference between an MBA and an Executive MBA?

A. MBA is a full-time masters degree offered by business colleges around the world for the students to receive a complete understanding of business and management. Executive MBA, on the other hand, is like a part-time postgraduate programme for working professionals with corporate experience of more than 5 years, that they can pursue while maintaining their jobs. The tuition fee of Executive MBA is often paid for partially or fully by the company of the professional taking up the course.

Q. Is Executive MBA full-time or part-time?

A. Executive MBA is a part-time MBA programme. However, it is more challenging than a regular MBA since the students are working professionals who are continuing their jobs alongside this course. Executive MBA classes usually happen in the evenings or on Fridays & Saturdays (from morning till late evenings). In addition, a professional is expected to devote 15 to 25 hours each week on assignments, exercises and group work.

Q. Is Executive MBA good for a career?

A. According to a new report from the Executive MBA Council (EMBAC) in 2019, Executive MBAgraduates receive an average 13.5% increase in compensation, including salaries and bonuses. 40% of students who completed the survey received a promotion during their EMBA.

Q. Is the Executive MBA better than a regular MBA?

A. Whether one should go for a regular MBA or an executive MBA depends on a number of factors like whether a candidate has the financial, mental, physical and emotional stamina to pursue a course while working full time, how many years of experience does he/she have, is the professionals company willing to sponsor the tuition fee partially or fully, does the candidate want to study in the company of professionals with similar experience, age and liabilities etc.

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