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School Visits for the Long Distance Applicant

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Intern
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Joined: 09 Jul 2010
Posts: 20
Location: San Diego, CA
Schools: University of San Diego
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School Visits for the Long Distance Applicant [#permalink] New post 14 Jul 2010, 20:27
It seems that there are smatterings of posts here and there about how to swing a school visit when you don't even live on the same continent as the programs you're applying to, but nothing comprehensive as far as I could tell. So I'd like to clear off some cyber-space and start a thread to address it.

As for me, I'm a 27 y/o F in the US (California to be exact) and I've got my eye on the prize in either the UK or Continental Europe. For various reasons, I have no desire to earn my MBA domestically.

But what's an MBA-hopeful to do when it comes to picking a school from 7,000+ miles away? The requisite college tour that many of us did as undergrads was probably comparatively local and in the same country, at least. The heart and the passport are willing, but the bank account can't keep up right now.

Those of you in the same boat, do you have plans to go abroad for a week and tour schools before or during the application process? Or perhaps an interview would prompt you to get out there?

Or are you waiting for admits from one or more of your top choices?

Or even nuttier still, will you go to a school sight unseen? (Of course let's assume you've thoroughly done your homework in every way possible so you have a good idea of what you're getting!)

Shared experiences from MBA students or alumni who have been through this would be most welcome! I'm curious if anyone went to a school without a visit and it ended up being a disaster because of it, or perhaps it didn't matter. Considering how I have several friends and colleagues who studied abroad as undergrads without a pre-visit, I tend to think that in the end, no, it ultimately doesn't matter. Where it might get tricky, I suppose, is if a school highly encourages or flat out requires an in-person interview...but my sensibilities tell me that they'd be limiting their pool an awful lot to operate that way because of the high mix of International student bodies in European MBA programs.

As an aside, I've been to Europe a handful of times over the last 15 years--most recently to Germany in '09. So it's not like I've never been across the pond. I do plan on vacationing with my parents in summer '11. However, I would certainly hope to have chosen a school long before then for financing reasons, so I really wouldn't consider that a viable school visit trip.
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Schools: HBS - Class of 2012, INSEAD,
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Re: School Visits for the Long Distance Applicant [#permalink] New post 15 Jul 2010, 03:50
RiaLucia wrote:
Or even nuttier still, will you go to a school sight unseen? (Of course let's assume you've thoroughly done your homework in every way possible so you have a good idea of what you're getting!)


For me, it would depend on how well known the school is and how confident I am that I'll have a great time. I'll go to HBS this fall, and I've never visited the campus nor have I ever been in Boston. Personally, I didn't feel like visiting since 1) would have been a logistical pain given I could only fly in for 2 or 3 days from Europe and 2) I feel like I know enough about HBS to be pretty sure I'll have a great time. Maybe I would have visited if I was less confident about the b-school, but even then I'm not sure. Internet research would probably have been enough for me ...
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Re: School Visits for the Long Distance Applicant [#permalink] New post 15 Jul 2010, 09:18
I'm not a b-school applicant but I talk to lots every week and it's certainly a financial strain to visit far-flung schools... I remember when I was thinking about b-school I spent a wkd in Boston and NYC with my friend but it ended up as more of restaurant visit than really an organised attempt to get 'under-the-skin' of each school. I now do some writing for a b-school news site - http://www.businessbecause.comand there's recently been a story post about a Dutch school offering FREE flights for talented MBA applicants to visit their campus near Amsterdam - surely this must be tempting! http://www.businessbecause.com/schools/nyenrode-organizes-second-campus-weekend-mba-experience.htm - let me know if you want more info - I can probably put you in touch with the admissions team. Best wishes and enjoy your travel planning:)
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Re: School Visits for the Long Distance Applicant [#permalink] New post 15 Jul 2010, 10:26
I am in the same boat as well- I'm located in the middle east and planning to apply to a number of schools in the UK and US. Some of them (e.g. NYU Stern) does not offer any alumni interviews at all- you have to pay a visit to the admissions in NY city- as far as I know.
Besides, I have been thinking if I arrange some pre-application campus visits that would also look good on my application- just a thought... it might give the right impression that I am really dedicated to attend that program daring to go that extra 6,000 miles of trip worth 3,000 USD. Would really love to hear interview stories for any other applicants like me-
Re: School Visits for the Long Distance Applicant   [#permalink] 15 Jul 2010, 10:26
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