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European MBA programs have a unique student body and campus culture. The diverse student body, lower opportunity cost, and campus culture are enticing, causing the recent growth in popularity of these programs amongst young professionals considering an MBA. The diversity of the student body is an asset to these programs because of their focus on teamwork and collaboration.
The intensive and faster-paced European programs are often very engaging with much of the learning built around group work. The interactive classroom environment and emphasis on group work position peers as a key element in the learning process. Collaborative work allows students to benefit from the diversity of the student body, with each individual bringing different background and fresh perspectives to the group. At IE Business School in Spain, an hour of class time is allotted to group work each day. Students speak highly of this collaborative process with one student stating “Teamwork is an essential part of the learning here.”
The European MBA programs' fast pace thrives on interactive and collaborative experiences in the classroom. Students at programs of all sizes speak highly of the student-professor relationship that they build. At the smaller schools, the intimate class size creates an environment where personal and professional relationships develop amongst not only peers but also students and professors. Justin Murray, a student at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, explains how the small class size of only 40 students in the full time program was particularly enticing: “When you have a small program you get much more attention from program management. It also makes it a little bit easier for the school to promote you for future careers because you aren’t having to fight against hundreds of people in your graduating class.” Students at the University of Cambridge-Judge Business School also enjoy the benefits of a smaller class, consisting of 145 students.
While the small programs do have the advantage of the smaller class sizes, the practices commonly found in the classrooms of the larger programs ensure they are personal and engaging despite their size. Many of the larger programs including INSEAD, IE Business School, and Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University successfully foster strong relationships between students and professors as well as classmates, through a collaborative and interactive class structure. The group work commonly found in European Programs prepares students for real work experiences after graduation, provides them with diverse perspectives, while simultaneously making classes engaging and personal.
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