European vs American MBA Considerations  

Posted by Dino Gane-Palmer né Ganesarajah in

 This orange will typically have about 40 calories if eaten in Europe. If you take it across to the States and eat it there, it will surely have 50 calories. Really.

I've been reflecting on my recent trip to the US, and in particular the lifestyle differences between Europe and the States. Really, I'm comparing London to Chicago and New York, but generalizing to Europe versus America makes for a more dramatic blog post. Many MBA guides and experts will compare European and American programs, but few will consider the lifestyle issues. So today, I've decided I should highlight these for anyone considering programs across both sides of the pond...

(1) Food in the US has more calories than that in Europe. In the US, it is difficult to find a sandwich with less than 500 calories. In the UK, most sandwiches will have less than 500 calories. Portions in the US are big. You could eat your entire daily caloric intake at a cheap oriental place serving Chicken Teriyaki. And whereas in most places the Teriyaki will have been just grilled, you can be sure the Teriyaki you happen to be eating has been deep fried first before grilling - to ensure you get all those extra calories for your buck that the dollar provides. Serves me right for going to a cheap oriental place.

(2) In Europe, things are spelled a little funny. It's true. Why would you spell centre with a 'r' before the 'e'. Surely center makes more sense? It gets worse: In some parts of Europe "hello" is spelled "guten tag".

(3) In the US, weird units are pervasive. At zero degrees Celsius, water turns to ice. At 100 degrees Celsius, water boils and turns to steam. Zero and 100 - simple and intuitive numbers to help anchor cold and hot. What is Fahrenheit anchored in? We're only just getting started, because there is pounds, rather than kilos and a host of others...

(4) Particularly outside London, life is just not as advanced in some parts of Europe as in the States. There are large swathes of Europe that are still struggling to get an Internet connection, let alone broadband. Whereas "Free Wifi!" is a way to attract consumers in bars and cafes in US towns such as Evanston, free wifi is just unheard in many parts of Europe. It doesn't help that the French pronounce Wifi as "wiffy", as in "something smells a bit wiffy here".

So there you have it; four points of consideration when you weigh up the likes of INSEAD, IMD and LBS against Wharton, HBS and Kellogg.

Follow any responses to this entry through the

10 comments

and another classic: in US they play football with their hands?!

23 February 2009 at 23:57

and another classic: in US they play football with their hands?!

23 February 2009 at 23:57

lol. for sure!

24 February 2009 at 12:19

lol. for sure!

24 February 2009 at 12:19

Your points;
1. Accepted - The average foreign male puts on 10 pounds within 1 year of being in the US, and then loses it within a few months of leaving the US again.

2. Because the languages in Europe are the foundation for the US simplified version. Anglo-Saxon/French words etc. As to Guten-Tag being a translation of hello, not true. Hello is hello from east to west in Europe. Guten Tag is Good Day.

3. As with the languages, a simplified, somewhat less accurate, version.

4. I think you'll find that there are more "swathes" of internet free zones in the US than Europe. Plus, whoever said that one must have broadband to be "advanced"? Much of the population in the US still have no roads, healthcare, electricity etc, but are conveniently "forgotten" by society.

As to your final point, and list of schools, I don't think any of the US schools you mention could come near to competing with the European schools on lifestyle. Wharton - too close to the dangerous hood of West Philly; HBS too close the the Boston Hood-also dangerous, and boring Cambridge Square, more dangerous; Kellogg, OK, not bad.

What you perhaps ought to compare is the saminess of the US schools. The US Ivy league's poor softskill curriculum coupled with the over-educated, over-competitive, under-experienced, immature preppy types who attend them, all makes for expensive, poor learning compared to the experienced diversity one gets with the European schools.

9 March 2009 at 05:12

Your points;
1. Accepted - The average foreign male puts on 10 pounds within 1 year of being in the US, and then loses it within a few months of leaving the US again.

2. Because the languages in Europe are the foundation for the US simplified version. Anglo-Saxon/French words etc. As to Guten-Tag being a translation of hello, not true. Hello is hello from east to west in Europe. Guten Tag is Good Day.

3. As with the languages, a simplified, somewhat less accurate, version.

4. I think you'll find that there are more "swathes" of internet free zones in the US than Europe. Plus, whoever said that one must have broadband to be "advanced"? Much of the population in the US still have no roads, healthcare, electricity etc, but are conveniently "forgotten" by society.

As to your final point, and list of schools, I don't think any of the US schools you mention could come near to competing with the European schools on lifestyle. Wharton - too close to the dangerous hood of West Philly; HBS too close the the Boston Hood-also dangerous, and boring Cambridge Square, more dangerous; Kellogg, OK, not bad.

What you perhaps ought to compare is the saminess of the US schools. The US Ivy league's poor softskill curriculum coupled with the over-educated, over-competitive, under-experienced, immature preppy types who attend them, all makes for expensive, poor learning compared to the experienced diversity one gets with the European schools.

9 March 2009 at 05:12

Interesting comment, J Edgar. Thanks for your contribution.

9 March 2009 at 22:36

Interesting comment, J Edgar. Thanks for your contribution.

9 March 2009 at 22:36

What about the fact that in Euopre you can just get "coffee" or "tea" and the waiter will understand you, whereas in the US is has to be
"tall decaf skim milk latte with no cream on top and leave some room for soy, and make it extra hot" . Not to mention the fact that it doesn't taste as good...?

11 March 2009 at 03:33

What about the fact that in Euopre you can just get "coffee" or "tea" and the waiter will understand you, whereas in the US is has to be
"tall decaf skim milk latte with no cream on top and leave some room for soy, and make it extra hot" . Not to mention the fact that it doesn't taste as good...?

11 March 2009 at 03:33

Post a Comment