Studying Abroad


We all know that there a wide range of students coming in from abroad to study in the UK but how many of us considered going abroad to complete our studies? Has anyone gone to the US or to any other country for that matter to study the postgraduate degrees and if so, they stayed abroad will become back to the UK? I’m just wondering whether it would be something worth considering now that I am trying to be open-minded about future education?
I guess as well because commerce is becoming more international in scope that studying also needs to be more international. Any thoughts or experiences on this one?


Hi Stella

As I have posted elsewhere my MBA came from New York University (Dowling) and it was the best decision I made in terms of study.
The first thing so say is that the teaching methods are different, but then that is to be expected. That is not to say that the methods were so different as to cause issues, just a realignment of thought process, and an acceptance that an honourable approach is in fact an honorable approach!
The quality of teaching is high but where the true benefit exists is that in accountancy (my field) there were ideas and technical ideologies that really did cause on to toss one’s thoughts around. The concept of the treatment of Goodwill was under discussion with vastly differing treatments in UK & USA. The ability to discuss issues such as this was character building, allowed on to think about a different logic and developed a broader cross-cultural thinking.
Stella’s comments on the international growth are so right. All major PLCs, many SMEs and numerous small business have growth patterns due to a foreign presence. If one accepts that what we have is a world economy it makes sense to study abroad as that economy is here to stay. The growth of China has now seem schools in the UK teaching Chinese languages and if this will allow for the study of a business degree in China then I would say this is a great idea.
It is only by working in a country, only if on a short assignment will allow for a greater understanding of the business community in that country and will allow you to contribute in much better way. I have worked in Cyprus. USA, Russia, Kazakhstan, Germany, France, Hong Kong, China and other countries and can say my time in USA studying set me up well.


I’m really loving the idea of studying abroad, largely because I want to take a few months abroad but also because I think it will be worthwhile from a career point of view. I hadn’t really thought about it to be honest but given the amount of Plc’s that are now international having some discussions about international accounting issues can only be a positive thing.
A few of my friends have suggested that they are able to do secondments abroad once they are in the firms that they work for and I guess that may be a good option for those of us who don’t get a chance to study abroad. I guess costs are another concern for students as it’s not always easy to justify going abroad but again as we’re all going to be in substantial debt anyhow what’s another bit for the experience of studying abroad!
I guess it is also worth looking at enhancing language skills as well (obviously not for the US lol) but maybe for other countries. It may be worth getting better language skills for use internationally regardless of whether you’re planning on studying or working abroad as international interaction is increasing.



I was reading you post and the point you make re languages is of interest. I have worked in two countries on secondment in the OIl & Gas and Mining industries and English was the lingo. The people around you spoke English, the business language was English and the accounting was English, although there were some local requirements which meant that this was in the local lingo. I worked as an example in Kazakhstan and Russia and although I speak fluent Russian in the office it was of no use and i had no chance to develop it. Outside of work the language was useful, but the hours that you commit to are such that socialising is not what you expect.
My secondments were long term (3 years) and were useful. What I did notice was that in the larger firms of accountants there were often many Brits who were on a secondment programme. Some were there to learn whilst others were there to teach and oversee. The range of opportunities seemed quite vast and they all seemed happy as the package is generally very good and the skills they learn are a bonus.


Thanks all for your comments, you’ve raised some interesting points. I think the real key to it is to work or study abroad only if it is part of your wider plan and not just for the sake of it. Many of the degrees that I look at contain an overseas element and I think this is probably a great way of going about it. Mind you the idea of doing a working secondment abroad hadn’t really crossed my mind and may be a great way of getting some work experience as well as getting the language skills sorted. Does anyone know any agencies that arrange these sort of placements or do most people go through their university? Any ideas gratefully received!


Studying abroad for an MBA can make all the difference to one’s career. New opportunities will broaden your horizons and refine your skills. For instance, I recently read an article about this HEC Paris MBA who went on exchange at Chinese University Hong Kong and is now working as the head of retail operations for Pandora jewellers in Hong Kong. You might find it helpful to read more of his experience here