Study Abroad Programs for Finance

Hello WSO users. This is my first post here in WSO, but I've been active on the site for quite some time (i.e. reading articles, comments, etc.)

Currently, I am an undergraduate sophomore at a semi-target school (USC Marshall) studying Business Admin. with an emphasis in Finance. I plan on studying abroad next year (Spring 2013) and I was wondering which schools offer the best finance courses.

Here's a link to all the schools abroad and programs:
http://classic.marshall.usc.edu/undergradprogram/i...
My goal is to eventually enter the iBanking field with bulge bracket/middle market firms.

Would you recommend taking finance courses at any of the above locations abroad? or would you recommend staying at Marshall to take my finance courses?

Thanks in advance.

Note: I am only allowed to take finance courses abroad, so I can't go there and take elective/GE courses. And if I take finance courses abroad, I won't be taking them at USC Marshall.

Comments (37)

Nov 30, 2011

Go to Copenhagen Business School in Denmark or ESADE in Barcelona. Both have decent selection of finance courses. DEFINITELY study abroad but you should be doing it in the FALL semester as to not miss opportunities in your junior year for a summer internship unless you think you can lock something down before you go.

Nov 30, 2011

I'd go for Universitat St. Gallen (HSG). You can't go wrong with Switzerland and CBS (Copenhagen) doesn't have too many difficult finance courses.

Nov 30, 2011

HEC Paris if you can get in. They offer all classes in English and are continuously ranked #1 in Europe. #2 HSG, #3 CBS. I heard that St. Gallen (the village were HSG is locted) is pretty ugly though. Can't say that about Copenhagen, its a beautiful place. HEC is on a campus outside of Paris.

But it seems like you are more looking for relevant coursework. I'd take HEC then.

Nov 30, 2011

you'll learn the most at WHU and St Gallen.
you'll have the best cities at Esade and HEC.
you'll meet the most beautiful women at Copenhagen and Bocconi.

Nov 30, 2011

I would strongly suggest reconsidering a switch to fall instead. Study abroad is great to put on the resume, but you will be putting yourself at the bottom of a tall hill for SA recruiting if you go in spring. Is it still possible? Yes, but much more difficult. Was in the same situation myself, and I understand it sucks missing fall (football season, everyone coming back from summer break and a more exciting atmosphere, etc), but you'll have a blast abroad either way.

Also, go wherever you find most interesting. Generally, the fact that you studied abroad will be what makes you a more compelling candidate, rather than the particular school where you "studied" 5 courses for 3ish months.

Nov 30, 2011

The thing about studying abroad in Fall is that I won't be able to take a required class to study abroad until my Fall Semester 2012.. So I won't qualify for the program until Spring 2013... Would you suggest studying abroad my senior year then? As opposed to Junior year?

I'm more or less looking for a school that will have a better (or just as good) finance curriculum as USC. Being in a great place is an added bonus, as I don't want to study in a miserable, boring atmosphere.

Nov 30, 2011

I would first go to you school's admin office and explain your situation and see if they can make an exception. Sometimes all you need is to ask... especially if you spin it the right way they might not care if you take that course later. You can plan to study abroad for the fall of your senior year but if you don't get a SA position and then a return offer you will be pretty screwed because you will miss OCR in your senior year. That being said I imagine if things don't go your way there probably won't be too many issues if you just back out of studying abroad last minute. But yeah if you study abroad in the winter you will really be screwed for getting a summer internship. Many European schools don't end until the end of June as well.

Nov 30, 2011

I'm heading to LSE this fall and would recommend it to anyone! It's definitely tough to leave for a year but I think the experiences and network you'd gain (and hopefully that I'll gain) will be really valuable. Plus, I think you can try to recruit in London

Nov 30, 2011

CIEE has a program at the Getulio Vargas Foundation in Sao Paulo, Brazil. It's an English-speaking program/school and I have a friend that studied with me who now works for JPMorgan in NY. Also, Sao Paulo is SO fun. Good luck!

Play games and get a finance job or internship with ConnectCubed

Nov 30, 2011

All of the CEMS schools offer courses in English and are generally quite well-respected:
http://www.cems.org/academic-members/our-members/l...
As you'll notice, LSE and Bocconi are the respective members of their countries.

Nov 30, 2011

While the CEMS schools are a good indication there are qualitative differences between the partner schools. Yes, they all offer English courses (although not necessarily exclusively) but as a non-CEMS student the curriculum is less standardized.

In my opinion top programs in the EU include (in no particular order): Oxford, Cambridge, LSE, HEC Paris, Bocconi, St. Gallen, ESADE, Instituto de Empresa, RSM, WHU, SSE, CBS (Copenhagen)

Those above probably won't be very different from what you could find in the FT European Business School Ranking. ;) If you need more info concerning a particular school, ask here or feel free to PM me.

Nov 30, 2011
Nov 30, 2011

@bigcitydreamer

Are you going to be a three year LSE student or are you doing the general course?

I'm very interested in doing the LSE, but I'm worried about the usual difficulties for summer internships...

Nov 30, 2011
ashby:

@bigcitydreamer

Are you going to be a three year LSE student or are you doing the general course?

I'm very interested in doing the LSE, but I'm worried about the usual difficulties for summer internships...

I'm doing the General Course and probably doing a combination of recruiting in the states and recruiting over there, depending on how recruiting here pans out. The Visa we get for GC covers summer so we'd be eligible to work in the UK over the summer, provided you find a way to work it out with your start date for your home university.

Nov 30, 2011

Also, looking at the CEMS it doesn't look like many of them teach undergraduates...is that true?

Nov 30, 2011
ashby:

Also, looking at the CEMS it doesn't look like many of them teach undergraduates...is that true?

Most schools offer undergraduate programs, but CEMS is exclusively a pre-experience graduate program. The undergraduate programs can sometimes be in the local language but the more reputable schools will also offer them in English.

Nov 30, 2011

and HEC does, I have a friend going there in the fall from our business school

Nov 30, 2011

Thanks for the responses so far.

I really want to study abroad (maybe for the whole year), but the late end date of the LSE still has me a little worried. I'm considering some other options:

  1. Bocconi University
  2. University of Hong Kong
  3. University College London
  4. King's College London
  5. Imperial College London

I'm considering spending a year abroad spread across two schools, for example spending the fall at a school in london, and the spring in hong kong, or in some other combination.

Does anybody have any comments on any of these schools, or on the idea of spending a year split between two different schools?

Nov 30, 2011

Erase King's of that list..

Nov 30, 2011

Move Imperial to 3.

Obviously if you can organize a full year abroad, then I would do it! Chances are that if you plan your exchange terms properly you can even fit in a 2-3 month off-cycle internship. Hongkong is a great experience and workload seems to be low-ish so that you can travel through the region a lot. Hence my recommendation: European school & Asian school. Go for it.

Nov 30, 2011

Currently abroad right now in Hong Kong and so far it has been one of the best experiences of my life. Definitely really recommend it and getting in some networking here with banks. Many alumni during my networking sessions have mentioned that one of their biggest regrets in college was not studying abroad. I am now considering studying abroad at least one more time in a different area of Asia.

Dec 1, 2011

Should have mentioned, the list is in no particular order. I'm thinking either:

Bocconi/Hong Kong
London/Hong Kong
London/Bocconi

Dec 1, 2011

London/Hong Kong

/thread

Dec 1, 2011

Bocconi/Hong Kong, I think Bocconi has an edge academically over both UCL and Imperial, and Milan is not as expensive as London and quite baricentric in Europe (=easy travels).

Dec 1, 2011

LSE is fun as hell and you'll never be able to afford to live in that area except in a dorm for the rest of your life so go do that.

Dec 1, 2011

Two things:

1) Don't spend your entire junior year abroad. You're gonna fuck yourself for recruiting.

2) No one really gives a shit where you studied abroad. I did it, and it was more for the story. You should pick a place that will give you a GPA boost and have sick time. Unless of course you're nerd and actually want to learn while you're abroad. I recommend looking into the semester at sea programs.

Dec 1, 2011
Bernankey:

Two things:

1) Don't spend your entire junior year abroad. You're gonna fuck yourself for recruiting.

2) No one really gives a shit where you studied abroad. I did it, and it was more for the story. You should pick a place that will give you a GPA boost and have sick time. Unless of course you're nerd and actually want to learn while you're abroad. I recommend looking into the semester at sea programs.

IMO, the second part doesn't really seem like good advice...

As for Hong Kong: I don't speak any Chinese, does anyone think that would significantly affect my experience there in a bad way?

Dec 1, 2011

PM me if you're interested in Bocconi

Dec 1, 2011

You should consider Singapore if you are going considering going to Asia.

Dec 1, 2011

Well, after all that I'm back to leaning towards a year at the LSE. I would just cross my fingers and hope my exams get scheduled for may, and if they don't I might just have to fly back from the states to take them.

Dec 1, 2011

I would go to Universita Bocconi if I were you. It is the best university in Italy to study finance and very well respected throughout Europe.

Dec 1, 2011

Have any monkeys gone over to the UK ,LSE, and had it hard to finance there semester? Curious how easy or hard is it to find a part time work to pay ones bills while going to LSE.