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Most Cost Effective MBA Programs in Europe for Indian Students

MBA is one of the worlds most sought after degree programs. Whether you are looking for a jump in the ladder of a corporate career or a career change, an MBA could be more than practical. A majority of students and seasoned professionals in India are considering an MBA at some point. 

But let’s face it; a main concern of many prospective MBA applicants is cost. It’s not always inexpensive to study, especially in MBA programs that have international accreditation. Not to mention the fact that many accredited MBA programs in Europe are found in big cities, where cost of living can add significantly to overall expenses.

For Indian Students, there are a number of countries they can study MBA. The cost of studying MBA includes not only tuition fees but also hostel and transportation expenses. According to a survey, a majority of north Indian students prefer to do MBA from Europe as it is cheaper than studying in the U.S. or Canada.

But across the continent, there are values to be found. The following is a list of the top MBA programs in Europe for those on a budget.

  • Central European University (Vienna, Austria) 

CEU’s MBA program is one of the least expensive full-time, AMBA-accredited MBAs in the world, due to an endowment from the school’s founder, George Soros. As an added bonus to value-hunters, the school is located in Budapest, which generally features lower living costs than major cities in other parts of Europe.

  • Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers International Institute of Management (Paris, France)

Paris is not a cheap city, by any means. So budget-minded students looking to study for their MBA in the City of Light might want to do it as inexpensively as possible. CNAM’s Paris-based International MBA program had be had for less than half the cost of other programs in the city.

  • MIB Trieste School of Management (Trieste, Italy) 

Tucked away in the picturesque northeast corner of Italy, MIB’s Trieste location is hard to beat in terms of natural beauty. But the school also offers one of the least expensive AMBA-accredited MBA programs in Europe. But don’t be mistaken: low cost does not mean low value—MIB is listed by FIND MBA as one of the best European business schools off the beaten path.

  • Athens University of Economics and Business (Athens, Greece)

The International MBA program from Athens-based AUEB is one of the few AMBA-accredited MBA programs in Greece, at a very reasonable cost. The school’s full-time MBA can be completed in 14 months.

  • Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (Madrid, Spain)

Students looking for a value MBA program in Spain will find it at UC3M. The school’s full-time, AMBA-accredited MBA is a fraction of the cost of other programs in Madrid, and indeed, in most of Europe.

  • Zagreb School of Economics and Management (Zagreb, Croatia)

Zagreb School of Economics, which, as of 2016 is the only AACSB-accredited business school in Croatia, offers an MBA program with classes scheduled in the afternoons. Although the program can be completed in one year, students can also choose to take classes during a second year as well, for no additional fee.

  • Hochschule Pforzheim (Pforzheim, Germany)

Today, those wishing to pursue an internationally-accredited MBA in Germany have no shortage of options. However, few German business schools can provide an AACSB-accredited program at the price point of Pforzheim’s MBA in International Management. Those who have a bachelor’s degree in business or economics can shorten the program by six months (and pay even less.)

  • Koç University – Graduate School of Business (Istanbul, Turkey)

The only EQUIS-accredited business school in Turkey (as of 2016), the Istanbul-based Koç University offers an Executive MBA program that is currently ranked in the Financial Times. In addition to offering a modular MBA program, the school also offers an intensive MBA program that can be completed in 12 months (on a budget).

  • Poznan University of Economics (Poznań, Poland)

Since it’s delivered on a part-time basis, Poznań’s MBA program is perfect for students in Poland and other parts of the region who want to come to Poznań just for modules. The school’s MBA is AMBA-accredited and is offered through a partnership with Georgia State University’s Robinson College of Business.

  • Univerza v Ljubljani – University of Ljubljana (Ljubljana, Slovenia)

The University of Ljubljana’s modular MBA program is popular with working professionals who don’t want to take a lot of time off work. As of 2016, the school is the only one in Slovenia accredited by AACSB and EQUIS.

More European countries to consider

  • United Kingdom

The UK is one of the leading banking nations, and top MBA students are recruited from major banks across the globe. Different students from distinct parts of the world come here to pursue an MBA study in the UK and its top universities. GMAT and TOEFL / IELTS scores are generally considered when applying for admission to UK colleges. All the MBA programs offered in the UK come with multiple internship programs aimed at preparing the students industry through practical exposure.

Top Institutes in the United Kingdom: London Business School, University of Oxford, University of Cambridge

  • Finland

In some European countries, including Finland, EU or EEA citizens have the facility to study for free. Another way to apply without paying tuition fees would mean that exchange students do not actually have to pay tuition fees to international students. The cost of living is also reasonably affordable; the average price of studying in Finland is at least $9,300 per year.

  • Norway

Nearly all Nordic countries are affordable and are considered to be among the cheapest countries to study for Indian students. Norway’s universities offer free education for countries based within or outside the EU, making it one of the most affordable countries to study MBA abroad, but it is limited to specific programs. The programs are offered in English and many of the country’s citizens are also well versed in the language. Unfortunately, the living costs in Norway are higher than one might expect, and the food costs are manageable. The average cost of living in Norway is at least $12,000 per annum.

  • Denmark

Denmark is one of the world’s safest low crime-rate countries. The international universities in Denmark have significantly low tuition fees or no tuition fees, and students have also been able to accommodate themselves in as little as $10,200 per year.

  • Sweden

Some of Europe’s cheapest universities are also located in Sweden for international students. The nation is charming to live in; students even heartily commend the quality of education. Throughout Sweden, the financial costs of living are comparatively smaller. Students have succeeded in accommodating, educating and feeding themselves an average of at least $8,500 a year.

  • Austria

In Austria, the tuition fees are affordable to international students. Austria’s Universities provide a reliable source of education. The Austrian public transport and accommodation facilities are considerably cheap. The educational institutes for international students are considered among most affordable universities. The average study cost in Austria is at least $10,500 per annum.

  • Belgium

Belgium has many universities that offer relatively low tuition costs for education. Moreover, the programs are also taught in English, Belgium needs students to be well versed in an additional language-French, German or Dutch. You can also choose to find part-time jobs to incur your living and eating expenses. The average cost of living in Belgium is, according to the study, at least $10,700 per year.

Things to keep in mind while calculating MBA Cost

Two prime factors define any parent or student to be in the most affordable country. The first is the amount of money they’d have to spend on tuition fees, and the other, the country’s living costs. Such two aspects are strictly regulated by several features that directly affect the student’s cost of living and tuition fees.

The Tuition Fees

The tuition fee varies within a country, depending on the different universities, courses, and cities. While you would need to apply for an Education Loan while enrolling in specific colleges. Undergraduate courses that are for a longer duration will cost students more than the usual one-two years of postgraduate study. Still, the tuition fee should not be taken as a yardstick for the quality of the intuition education provided. Additionally, tuition fees are much lower for government-funded colleges than private universities.

Your Cost of Living in Abroad

A student spends an average of around $10,000–$12,000 a year on living expenses. But this amount depends entirely on where a student resides. If a student wants to live in a metropolitan city, they will pay more than a student who opts for accommodation in a hostel or suburb. In general, countries with low cost of living include accommodation, room and boarding, food, travel, textbooks, weather-appropriate clothing, and entertainment expenses.

Other expenses covered by living expenses include travel expenses between India and the country of choice during the holiday period; large purchases, such as PCs, furniture or even a rental car; medical expenses are not covered by the health insurance, such as dental care, eye care, cosmetic treatments; social outings; weekend trips and personal and variable costs.


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For over 15+ years as an Entrepreneur, and India’s Top Educationist, Jatin has led a range of initiatives in the Education Industry. In this role, he has created many successful educational services and products geared towards generating success for professionals aspiring to join IVY League and global Top Tier Universities for MBA Programs, Masters Programs, and undergraduate courses. He is the Founder and CEO of PythaGURUS Education, and has been recognized as a thought leader in the Higher education sector. Economic Times, Hindustan Times, Times of India, India Today, Business Today, Tribune, and many other national newspapers have recognized his work, and have given him numerous opportunities to be a regular columnist. He has also served as a panelist for NDTV, and other national news channels.

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