From Fontainebleau, France to Buona Vista, Singapore, Wharton MBA and doctoral students will once again have no shortage of options when it comes to studying abroad.
Earlier this month, Wharton and INSEAD, a leading international graduate business school, announced that they have renewed their educational alliance for an additional three years. This marks the third time both schools have agreed to renew their partnership.
Although the alliance was renewed for a variety of reasons, the program’s track record so far played a central role.
“Over 1,000 MBA students have participated in the exchange over the years it has been in effect,” Executive Director of the Wharton-INSEAD Alliance John Kimberly said. “It was renewed because both schools felt that the alliance has been very successful and continues to be an attractive option for our students.”
The alliance allows MBA and doctoral students from both campuses to study at either university for a short-term or long-term period of time. INSEAD students have the option to study at Wharton’s campuses in Philadelphia and San Francisco, while Wharton students can study at INSEAD’s campuses in France and Singapore. In addition, the program aims to cultivate relationships between alumni from both schools.
While MBA students in the program may seek career and networking opportunities in Europe and Asia, for doctoral students the program facilitates the research process.
“For Ph.D. students there are a lot of faculty that you can collaborate with because you aren’t restricted to just one institution,” fifth-year Wharton doctoral student Philipp Meyer-Doyle said.
Meyer-Doyle, who participated in the program last year in Fontainebleau, also had the opportunity to visit INSEAD’s Singapore campus during the time he was abroad.
“Being at two academic institutions during my Ph.D. also gave me the chance to experience two different intellectual environments which I believe broadened my mindset,” he said.
The Wharton-INSEAD alliance was created in 2001 by then-Wharton Dean Patrick Harker and then-INSEAD Dean Gabriel Hawawini. Both administrators wanted to create a program that would enable their students to engage with other business students in different countries and explore new environments.
“Up until then, the kinds of partnerships they had with other schools were primarily partnerships that existed on paper only,” Kimberly said. “It was much more productive to have a relationship with a single other partner that would engage students and faculty and lead to collaborative research.”
Kimberly added that both schools have established relationships with other universities since the alliance’s inception, but that the “strategic importance of the alliance continues to be there.”
For Wharton MBA student Nadim Gharios, who is finishing his last semester in Fontainebleau, the opportunity to network with people from different backgrounds through the program at INSEAD was what appealed to him.
“It’s great if you want to live or recruit in Europe and for people who want an international background,” he said. “Instead of having one network [at Wharton] you have access to both networks.”
Anis Harb, a second-year MBA student who is also studying in Fontainebleau, noted the program’s flexible structure.
“The first two periods of class are very hectic but toward the end you mainly take electives,” he said. “They are very open and you can sign up for whatever class you want.”
Meyer-Doyle views the program as a hybrid between the two universities’ strengths.
“Overall, the program is very interactive,” he said. “You’re getting the best of both worlds.”