oops .. missed this one ...
work in Asia (preferably Japan or Singapore) for a few years after my MBA, and move back to Europe later while still being able to "profit" from my degree when back in Europe
If your goals are only within these 2 countries, then you should target schools inside them. However, getting into the Japan market is extremely difficult if you haven't got Japanese language skills OR previous living experience in Japan. Note that its is an OR not an AND. Secondly for Japan, without near fluent Japanese, you are mostly restricted to 3 industries, Finance, Teaching and recruiting, in finance you will be competing with bi-lingual Japanese.
[I currently consider the following schools]
- International University of Japan, Japan (great school, internationally known, but in Niigata - the worst location possible)
- Waseda University, Japan (currently my favorite choice, great reputation in Japan, but I am afraid about the international reputation)
- Hitotsubashi University, Japan (again, great reputation in Japan, but internationally it is virtually unknown)
- Nanyang University, Singapore (great school, international reputation, but with an average of ~640 + GMAT points, so I am not sure how my chances are)
GMAT is not a concern, assuming you are European or N.American. The number of applications from these parts to Asian schools means it is a less competitive pool. It is important to emphasise your interest in Asia and previous experiences in Asia. Interms of the actual schools you propose to apply to :-
Waseda - great reputation in Japan for the Japanese, as a foreigner in Japan, it will depend on your Japanese skills. If you are to go there, I highly recommend you spend a lot of time studying Japanese as well as the MBA. Very locally focused
Hitotsubashi - Same for above, even less well known internationally.
IUJ - Probably the only 'international' MBA in Japan. However not a great recruitment ground for Japanese companies. It Ranks higher than the other 2, mainly due to diversity. They have a lot more international students there and their MBA therefore reflect the more international flavour in their teaching.
Nanyang - On a par with NUS, in Singapore, no real differentiation in MBA level, Although I would say that NUS are opening a new business school building and IF they leverage their excellent undergraduate business program and make their MBA as respected they could certainly become a much better school. But as it is, i don;t see any competitive advantage in applying for either school. Singapore uses English, languag will not be a main issue although a lot of post-MBA jobs will require you to have an Asian language due to lots of regional work within Malysia, Indonesia etc.
General things to note :- Internships are not common in Asia, there isn't an internship culture like the USA. Be prepared to battle it out to find a meaningful internship.
After your first few years after the MBA, where you got your MBA is less important than the actual job/role you completed. The MBA gives you leverage straight after completion and afterwards depending on how string the Alumni are.
Lastly, the stronghold in Asia is China, there is plenty of opportunity there, even under the current economic situation. So you may want to consider some 'China' focused MBA's e.g CEIBS, HKUST