In today’s global economy and interconnected society, an international education represents a priority desire for many talented students who wish to pursue their careers in management.

While QS University Rankings place most of the world’s best universities and business schools in either the US or Europe, candidates find themself in front of a life-changing dilemma.
To better understand the most significant differences on both sides of the pond, we explore the subject from 4 key standpoints:

Costs: Tuition Fees and Living Expenses

The cost for obtaining a prestigious international degree is comprehensibly a deciding aspect for many families. Even though an international education is, by all means, an investment in one’s future, the financial factor has a significant bearing on the final decision.

In the United States, the tuition fees have more than doubled since the late 1980s and now range from from $25,000 to $55,000 per year. Although the quality of teaching and academic excellence are notoriously equivalent, fees at European business schools are on the whole much lower than their American counterparts.

It should also be considered that bachelor’s programmes in the US typically take four years while at European schools, just three. More intense training and focused internship experiences prepare students for the world of work excellently and faster in European institutions.

Higher Education in the United States vs Europe

Moreover, when evaluating the economic investment, we must not underestimate the costs of living. Although it is difficult to make an accurate comparison, we can take London as an example, one of the most expensive cities in Europe. It is estimated that rent is 22% lower than in the major US cities. The rest of the expenses in the British capital are also more affordable than the American average (source: Investopedia).

Global Outlook: Internationality and Cross-cultural Communication

Due to the proximity of the European countries and their profound connections, their universities have a historically rooted focus on internationality. On the other hand, American universities are more geared toward priming students for a business career within the United States.

The international outlook of European academic institutions is particularly pronounced in a programme like ESCP’s Bachelor in Management (BSc). The Bachelor’s Class of 2023, for example, includes students of over 50 different nationalities covering the Americas, Africa, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Oceania. The programme’s global vocation also lies in its undergrads’ unique opportunity to spend three years in three different countries, each in another ESCP Campus.

In Europe, it is not only universities and business schools that see interculturality as a value to be pursued, but also companies and the society at large. Thus, the international exposure gained during the BSc is a significant competitive advantage for our graduates. It is also essential for their interactions within today’s business landscape, which is increasingly globalized and international.

Short distances between the countries and the numerous initiatives aimed at facilitating the students’ mobility are another element that helps to live a genuinely multicultural experience while studying in Europe.

ESCP Business School London Campus
ESCP Business School London Campus

Future Horizons: Bridging Tradition and Innovation

Europe is home to nine of the ten oldest universities in the world. It is also where students can find the world’s very first business school: ESCP

ESCP Business School was established in 1819 in Paris and was France’s only business school for half a century. The school’s unique concept of multiple campuses began in the 1970s with the London and Berlin Campus establishment. Other campuses were added through the years, with the most recent expansion resulting in the Warsaw Campus. 

This way, ESCP has not only been able to construct a path of excellence in international education, but it has always been a protagonist of its time and a co-author of the change.

If the tendency towards continuous transformation has had particular weight for academic institutions, but it also applies to the industrial fabric. European cities host numerous companies which have written history in their respective fields. Still, they are also home to undisputed pioneers in innovation, ranging from the aerospace industry to robotics and bioengineering.
Equally in ferment is the scenery of start-ups. In cities like London, Berlin, and Paris they have found fertile ground for developing their disruptive ideas.

Access to project works and internships offered by European schools in these excellent realities is undoubtedly of great attraction for students who aim to build their careers on solid foundations.

ESCP International students

Teaching: Approach and Style

There is a question that often arises among students. In European universities, unlike in the American ones, is the study of theory preferred over practice?

Although the differences are not so neat, it is correct to say that the European tradition in education pays great attention to developing a critical mentality of its students through complete mastery of the fundamental principles of a study field. The practical skills of the students are then built upon a solid knowledge through practical activities.

At the ESCP BSc in Management, for example, students are prepared for the real world through the contribution of an excellent Faculty and numerous hands-on experiences.
Students complete 20 weeks of compulsory internships, distributed between their second and third years, which are just part of their practical activities: Collective Projects, Social Impact Projects, case studies, networking events, and the optional internship in the first year complete the plethora of real-work opportunities. 

International Education: A jump-off point for your future

Shirley Lui, the Associate Head of Marketing, Recruitment and Admissions for the Bachelor in Management (BSc) programme, adds her point of view on the debate:

“Our international focus and our diverse cohort are things students can’t find in an American school. Moreover, the rotational model of our programme and the immersive language and cultural learning that comes with it is an unparalleled, enriching experience. You get the chance to move to a different country every year, and you do it with classmates going through the same thing. How great is that?”

Are you interested in a 3-year Bachelor in Management degree with an international focus and real-world experience?
Receive more information on the programme, course fees, scholarships and more. 

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