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When choosing an EMBA program with international travel components, consider where you would like to work after completing your degree.xavierarnau/Getty Images

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Question: I’m interested in getting an executive MBA, but I want to do at least part of it abroad. What are some of the best options for an EMBA at an international university or a Canadian university that offers part of the program in other countries? I’m keen to expand my horizons and experience other cultures while I upgrade my education.

We asked Amanda Mirizzi, student recruitment manager at CourseCompare, to tackle this one:

When it comes to programs with international travel components, here are three Canadian and three international institutions that I think are well worth looking at.

On the Canadian side, the first option I want to talk about is The Kellogg-Schulich EMBA, which is an EMBA partnership with York University’s Schulich School of Business and the Kellogg School of Management in Evanston, Illinois (17 months, approx. CAD $110,000). This was a very easy first choice because it has a very strong reputation and allows the most flexibility and travel out of the Canadian EMBAs. You have the option to take your elective classes at any of the six partnering campuses – Miami, Beijing, Chicago, Hong Kong and Dusseldorf – over a couple of months, which gives you more time to immerse in a culture and understand the business setting.

The second one is from the Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University. They have a stream within their EMBA called the The Americas MBA for Executives (20 months, CAD $62,000). It’s a cool option because you’re going to travel through the largest economies within the Americas: Canada, the U.S., Brazil and Mexico. You start in Vancouver and end in Nashville, and it’s also the most affordable on this list.

The last Canadian option I want to talk about is the Queen’s University Smith School of Business EMBA (16 months, CAD $112,000). There is a two-week global experience in this program where you can choose between Singapore and Barcelona. This type of two-week travel experience is very common – you can find that at the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business, McGill Desautels Faculty of Management, U of T’s Rotman School of Management and others.

When it comes to international degrees, I want to focus on EMBAs that integrate travel throughout the program so you can get as much opportunity to travel as you like. The first one is the EMBA at HEC Paris (18 months, CAD $162,000). It’s an amazing brand name that carries a lot of weight in Canada and the world. The main curriculum takes place in Paris with one week spent in Qatar. You can also choose a specialization to allow for further travel to destinations like London, Frankfurt, San Francisco and New York City, and choose to do semesters at other campuses including Singapore, Brazil, India, Qatar, Italy and many more.

The second international option that I love is the Global Executive MBA at IESE Business School in Barcelona, Spain (16 months, CAD $194,000), which covers a lot of ground. You start off in Barcelona then you travel to Madrid, Munich, New York, Singapore and San Francisco. You also have the option to take electives in other cities like Tokyo and Sao Paolo. This EMBA focuses on leadership, entrepreneurship, tech and sustainability.

The last one I’ll talk about is INSEAD’s Global Executive MBA (14-17 months, roughly $209,000). You complete your studies over three different campuses – in Fontainebleau, France; Singapore and Abu Dhabi. It’s leadership-focused with a suite of courses on team management challenges, which is quite unique.

Before choosing a school, I always suggest that students speak to them directly. Interview the school before you let them interview you. Schools will package themselves as nicely as they possibly can through brochures, but you want to really understand the return investment of choosing that particular EMBA.

One tip is to filter through LinkedIn and find students with the degree you’re considering to see where they work and what types of positions they hold. You can even message them directly and ask, ‘How has your degree played a role in you leveling up in your career?’ We also have a rankings page for Executive MBAs in Canada, which can be a helpful starting point.

Then there is budget, of course. Larger employers may fund your EMBA. Usually it’s a negotiation – your employer will pay part or all of your EMBA and you will make a commitment to maintain employment for X number of years. Frame your request for funding in terms of what’s in it for your employer. Present a variety of options at different price points and shop around for the highest ROI for both you and your employer. Look into government grants and corporate tax incentives that could reduce your overall tuition bill.

Lastly, know how each option will affect your work schedule and plan ahead by drafting a learning plan. These programs are designed to be completed while you’re working. Present a plan for how you’ll address any scheduling conflicts and anticipate how you can help your employer feel more at ease with your busier schedule.

Submit your own questions to Ask Women and Work by e-mailing us at

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