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Pursuing an Advanced Degree Abroad

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Yeah, so I've been out of college for four years (!!) this year and I'm finally seriously considering heading back to graduate school (after recovering from a delusional interest in law school).

Since I have a great job with great pay in a fun city, I have primarily been most interested in part-time Masters programs in the DC area (GMU, GW, AU - SAIS and SFS are full time only). This plan was thrown into doubt when I started looking into attending The Graduate Institute in Geneva about 30 minutes ago. The tuition seems ridiculously low (~10k CHF for two year Masters program). At that price (unless I'm missing something), it'd cost the same to go there for two years (including living expenses) as it would to do 3 year part time program in boring old DC.

So What's to stop me? Could someone with similar experience or gone through the same thought process provide insight on any difficulties a yankee could face when applying to foreign graduate programs? My resume is solid (not golden but I think it's quite good), my college grades were pretty bad though. I know i'd be forgoing 2 years of salary, not to mention living expenses in Geneva (or whichever European city I decide to study in). Some big plusses is it would shake up my career a little bit (though I like my field, I don't want to be doing it in DC for the next 3+ years) by expanding my career options, I'd be able to work on my French in a big way, I'd get the chance to travel and intern that I wouldn't doing a part time program in DC (unless I took a leave of absence for a study abroad).

Shoot away! Try to stop me!

PS - I'm 25, male, single, no major attachments to DC/USA.
post #2 of 6
Do it! Now is the time while you're young and without commitments.
post #3 of 6
I remember reading the Economist study of best B school values. They found the ROI much higher on the 1 year MBA programs in Europe than in the 2 year MBA programs in the US.

So, if the program is shorter and the cost reasonable, it probably has a lot of potential. Worth a shot, especially if you want to do international work of any sort.

Be advised that corporate recruiters in the US are already pretty dumb about schools in the US alone. 99.999% won't know anything about a European school.
post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jodum5 View Post
Yeah, so I've been out of college for four years (!!) this year and I'm finally seriously considering heading back to graduate school (after recovering from a delusional interest in law school).

Since I have a great job with great pay in a fun city, I have primarily been most interested in part-time Masters programs in the DC area (GMU, GW, AU - SAIS and SFS are full time only). This plan was thrown into doubt when I started looking into attending The Graduate Institute in Geneva about 30 minutes ago. The tuition seems ridiculously low (~10k CHF for two year Masters program). At that price (unless I'm missing something), it'd cost the same to go there for two years (including living expenses) as it would to do 3 year part time program in boring old DC.

So What's to stop me? Could someone with similar experience or gone through the same thought process provide insight on any difficulties a yankee could face when applying to foreign graduate programs? My resume is solid (not golden but I think it's quite good), my college grades were pretty bad though. I know i'd be forgoing 2 years of salary, not to mention living expenses in Geneva (or whichever European city I decide to study in). Some big plusses is it would shake up my career a little bit (though I like my field, I don't want to be doing it in DC for the next 3+ years) by expanding my career options, I'd be able to work on my French in a big way, I'd get the chance to travel and intern that I wouldn't doing a part time program in DC (unless I took a leave of absence for a study abroad).

Shoot away! Try to stop me!

PS - I'm 25, male, single, no major attachments to DC/USA.

You're not missing anything, I'm looking at a Masters from EPFL in Lausanne, about an hour from Geneva, that runs $2700 a semester for tuition. However, be warned that there are a lot of "graduate schools" in Switzerland that are no more than a couple of rooms above a grocery store, with low-quality professors and correspondingly poor curricula. They seem to serve the purpose of providing a place for wealthy families from Russia, Kazakhstan, Nigeria and the Middle East to send their children for a few years after normal university. I met a lot of these kids and they all freely admitted that their courses were a joke. Make sure what you're looking at is not like that.
post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Milpool View Post
I remember reading the Economist study of best B school values. They found the ROI much higher on the 1 year MBA programs in Europe than in the 2 year MBA programs in the US.
+1 I did a two-year US program and, if I could go back in time, I'd have done a 1 year program in a heartbeat. It's really better to minimize the time spent out of the job market. In my experience, most recruiters -- even the ones that target b-schools! -- seem pretty bad at "years of experience" math, and will consider a person with 6 years of work experience more qualified than a person with 4 years experience and 2 years of full-time b school. Or a person with 8 years and no graduate degree = somehow more qualified than a person with 6 years and an MBA. I can't tell you how many facepalms I nearly perform whenever a headhunter, recruiter, or HR person says something like "You're 30, but you only have 6 years of work experience. What happened?" Anyhow, 1Y programs are becoming a lot more common even in the US. And they're gaining in popularity among prospective students, in no small part due to reasons like the aforementioned bullshit.
post #6 of 6
One of the major world magazines (Businessweek?) recently rated Geneva as one of the top 3 best cities to live in in the world. good stuff.
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