Frog to Dragon: HEC MBA & Tsinghua MBA Blog

The quest for wisdom, from France to China, of an HEC MBA & Tsinghua MBA dual degree student (class of 2011)

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Posted by at 27 February , 2011

Here I’ll try to cover the topic of MBA finance.
Many people asked me some info abour it but I didn’t have a good enough vision of what my finances would be like when I wrote that chunk about admissions.

I won’t give you any tips on how to find a bank loan or financing as every individual case is different. This is more a feeback after 18 months of MBA which will, I hope, help you better understand how much money you’ll end up spending during your MBA.

The major components of an MBA are: cost of studies, transportation costs, exceptional costs and cost of living.

Cost of studies

Cost of studies obviously include tuition. I also include any cost that’s directly related to school such as buying books or school medical insurance.

These costs are fairly easy to get.
Just go on the business school website and you’ll find tuition (obviously) and also costs for books.

Note: Don’t forget your chances of scholarship which can help considerably lower that cost.

Transportation costs

Here I mean major flight costs related to traveling from your home to where the business school is.

Just ask yourself: How many times do I want to go home? How many flight tickets?

Note: Don’t forget that the flights will be “high season” flights, since you’ll be travelling only during school holidays.

Exceptional costs

Business schools may organise activities which are cash intensive. For instance we had an Asia Trek to visit companies in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Singapore.

If these activities match your professional objective, you really want to take advantage of these opportunities. To evaluate their costs, you can ask the schools admission service which will direct you to the right person.

Note: In case you don’t have any particular idea in mind but would be open to do a Trek, just put in the equivalent of a return ticket home (high season). Worst case, you can take a nice holiday.

Cost of living

Everything else!
Housing, food, parties, daily transportation, shopping, etc…

Of course, it depends on everyone’s lifestyle but I noticed that most of the people I met spent about the same amount: €20 000 to €25 000 / year in France.

Note: Don’t believe the numbers written on the business school’s websites. They’re really underestimated.

Note: (I can hear you coming…) What about purchasing power ?
How to adjust according to PPP ?
I did the work for you.
Plan the following annual budget :

For France (applicable to Western Europe) €20 000 to €25 000
For USA (applicable to North America) $22 000 to $27 000
For China ¥80 000 to ¥100 000

Of course these numbers are from my own experience. If there’s anything you disagree with or would like to mention, feel free to comment.


2 Responses to “Financing the MBA”

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  1. Saket says:

    Dear Pam,

    You have no idea how grateful I am for your blog. It is do detailed! I am aspiring to start my MBA in France in 2014 and this has indeed boosted my confidence a good deal.

    Un grand merci a vous!


  2. Pam says:

    Hi Saket,

    Thanks for your kind message :)

    I’m happy that my blog is still helping people with their MBA endeavours.


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