Studying abroad is the most effective means for students to develop the necessary skills because it pushes them to get out of their comfort zone and experience another culture, language and education system. It teaches students to appreciate diversity at first hand, enabling them to recognize — and then dismiss — stereotypes they may have held about people they had never met.

To maximize these benefits of the degree, there’s much to be said for studying at an international institution, especially if you’ve decided to put your current career on hold and study full time. Likewise, when it comes to studying for an MBA abroad, the application and selection process should be undertaken very carefully – not as a separate or tangential part of education, but rather an integrated part, incorporating proper cross-cultural preparation and supporting reintegration.

Here are some key points from my experiences that can help future MBA aspirants:

01) Research your target institutions so that your chosen university and program are those which can propel your career.

02) Submit applications for the various entrance examinations in line with the admissions requirements (GMAT, TOEFL, IELTS, GRE) MIP’s admissions process is quite flexible – an application can be submitted before taking an entrance examination and the scores provided later on.

03) Check applications for errors and ensure that the motivational letter and other documents reflect your interests in your chosen course. Do provide letters of recommendation if possible. This can add a lot of weight to your application and increase your chances of selection.

04) Keep following up on the status of your applications and prepare for any separate examination or interview that may be required.

05) Enquire about visa application and Declaration of Value requirements, as these processes should be started well in advance. MIP’s International Student Office and admissions office are very prompt in providing information and offer a lot of support and guidance.

06) MIP’s student handbook offers guidelines for your future stay in Milan, including websites offering MIP student discounts on accommodation.

07) The well laid out International Full-Time MBA program offers students the flexibility to remain at home and attend the Basics in Digital session from there.

08) The Basics in Digital is also a time to come into contact with your classmates – who in my case came from 15 to 20 different countries – and start developing friendships. Some of us became friends even before we started our face-to-face sessions at MIP in Milan.

09) The most important advice I can give to future students is always to choose a university and course very carefully and try to understand if it’s the right match for their professional and personal expectations.

10) Finally, don’t be scared to approach the admissions and recruitment staff for advice on the different stages of the enrolment process like pre-selection, interview, admission etc. as they can help you formulate a strategic plan to get accepted to a program and know the school better in the process.