3 Reasons Why China Is A Top Destination For International MBAs In 2024

Publisher : MBA Office       Feb.20,2024

When it comes to choosing where to study your MBA, the unique culture and ever-expanding business environment in China make it stand out among other locations in Asia and across the globe. 

Home to top global business schools, as well as leading multinationals and innovative startups, MBA students in China can access an abundance of cross-sector career opportunities after graduating. 

With the Covid pandemic and lockdown restrictions now firmly in the past, students who choose to study in China today can make the most of a variety of cultural opportunities while they study.

To find out just why China is a top study destination for 2024, BusinessBecause spoke with two MBA students at Shanghai Jiao Tong University Antai Business School, who traveled from Thailand to study on the school’s International MBA program. 

Here are the top three reasons they provided.  

1. A challenging, rigorous learning experience 

As the world’s second largest economy and a commercial powerhouse, it’s no surprise that China is home to world-renowned business schools. 

Studying on a top local program, such as the Antai IMBA, provides a highly rigorous learning experience that challenges you to develop as a professional. 

Attracting a diverse cohort of high-achieving professionals each year, the IMBA class provides an environment that helps students excel. For Purita Worapornchai, who joined the IMBA program in 2023, this has been fundamental to her experience so far. 

"It is a very competitive class and everyone has to interact," she explains. "This environment has really pushed me to focus more." 

The two-year degree covers the fundamentals of business, ranging from financial accounting to international marketing. Students graduate with a holistic business acumen and well-rounded skill set. 

Tadsika Tharanachetda joined the IMBA program in 2022, she feels a key part of her professional development has been enhancing the skills that you don’t necessarily learn from a textbook. 

“The program has not only enhanced my academic knowledge but also honed my soft skills, including communication, leadership, problem-solving, teamwork, and critical thinking,” she explains. 

To further enhance their development, Antai IMBA students can also attend a variety of extracurricular activities, including guest lectures, networking events, and recruiter sessions. These provide the opportunity to explore different career paths and uncover new opportunities. 

As Tadsika considers her career options after graduation, she feels that having access to a combination of academic rigor and experiential opportunities at a top business school in China has enhanced her career prospects. 

“The resources have provided me with a solid foundation to launch my career in the corporate world, whether in Thailand or China,” she says. 

2. A unique business landscape  

Being one of the world’s major commercial hubs means there are myriad benefits to be gained from learning the intricacies of business practices in China. The country’s influence is far-reaching, and learning more about the commercial sphere in China was a key driver for Tadsika in applying to study the Antai IMBA. 

“I felt that my knowledge of China needed to be improved and this presented an opportunity to bridge that gap. I wanted to understand China more deeply, especially regarding business traditions, mindset, culture, and the overall environment,” she explains. 

Through various core modules that cover managerial and business concepts in China, she was able to expand her understanding. But studying an international MBA program also provides the additional benefit of learning business from a global perspective, as well as through a local lens. 

Modules include case studies from across the globe and cover international theories in areas such as business ethics and corporate social responsibility, as well as business law and general management practice. 

Likewise, alongside local experts there are Antai IMBA faculty who hail from international backgrounds, often with academic or professional experience in other leading Western countries such as the US. 

“It’s allowed me to delve deeper into understanding China and why it holds the place it has today. The program also goes beyond the borders of China providing a distinct opportunity to learn from a global perspective,” Tadsika adds. 

3. A dynamic, multicultural environment 

All Antai IMBA students benefit from learning in Shanghai, a highly multicultural city that contains both traditional Chinese and Western influences.

Unlike other Chinese cities, English is widely spoken, alongside Mandarin and the local Shanghainese dialect. This blend of East and West makes for an interesting cultural experience when immersed within the city during an MBA. 

For Purita, who left Thailand to study her bachelor’s in Beijing and then opted to study the Antai IMBA in Shanghai, the unique multicultural environment provides an accessible yet immersive experience for international students. 

“Not only is Shanghai one of the most developed cities in China, but also at the same time it gives me a feeling of diversity that’s very strong,” she says.

That diversity is also true of the Antai IMBA classroom, which includes students from multiple countries. Studying in this multicultural environment and learning alongside students from diverse backgrounds helped Purita expand her cultural awareness, while she could also gain insights into the local culture from her Chinese classmates. 

As a hub of entrepreneurship, innovation, and culture, Shanghai also offers a diverse experience outside of the classroom. Students can make the most of events in sports and nightlife, and have access to a wealth of restaurants, bars, cafes, and event spaces. 

“It’s very innovative, this is a very creative city,” Purita adds. “Competition within industries is very high, but at the same time from the consumer perspective it’s very beneficial for us.”

So, if you’re considering an MBA in 2024, studying in China can offer you a diverse learning experience while also providing opportunities for professional development and career growth. The global perspective that you can gain from an international MBA can also set you up to make the most of opportunities both in Asia and beyond.

Written by Matt Kefford