Applying to INSEAD without International Experience

Applying to INSEAD without International Experience

INSEAD is one of the most Global business schools and has a representation from more than 77 countries. People from different nationalities are a part of the INSEAD cohort as it appreciates a lot of diversity. Hence, an international experience for any applicant is significant even though it is not mandatory.

The key reason INSEAD looks for this experience is that it wants potential students to be comfortable in this multi-cultural environment and also contribute strongly to their own experiences in shaping perspectives for a class that will take up roles across the world after it graduates. International experience helps the applicant better collaborate with the other people in the cohort as part of any classroom activity or project.

What constitutes an International Experience?

  1. Working in a country other than your home for anywhere from a few weeks to years.
  2. Collaborating with international clients or customers on a project for a significant period of time.
  3. Trips as a part of a volunteer organization where you spend time doing some socially useful work in another country.
  4. Taking part in an international exchange program while you were still pursuing education.

How to spin your application with little International Experience?

Most applicants demonstrate international experience in one form or the other. Most of the time international experience means work experience in some other country or with an international client. However, a lot of people do not have the opportunity to work outside their home country. They need to demonstrate that they have interacted with people of different backgrounds or cultures.

A different way to go about it is to demonstrate that you have interacted with people online, and worked with clients, customers, partners, or vendors who are based in a different location. At the end of the day, the applicant has to prove that even without working in a different country, they have that international exposure and experience, understand different cultures, and work etiquette. You can also include other languages that you know (other than English, or your mother tongue) and how you have fluently interacted with others in those languages.

Many candidates assume that INSEAD would never seriously consider their application with little international experience, but we have worked with many clients who got into global business schools with such an application. Ultimately, you have to prove that you would bring a different perspective and be comfortable with the diversity of the INSEAD cohort.

Why is International Experience important?

When you go into a global program such as INSEAD, your peers will come from all sorts of different backgrounds, cultures, languages, countries, and regions. Their professional etiquettes, likes/dislikes, everything will be diverse. The variety can be mind-numbing and it is not difficult to see why it can be intimidating to many. It all boils down however to what you learned and what impact you delivered during your time outside the country. Schools like INSEAD are really looking for any impact you have created on yourself and/or your surroundings during this sojourn.

Contact us at to get insights into how you can maximize the impact of your International Experiences in your application for the INSEAD MBA Program.

Our Founder, Mr. Arijit Biswas, captured his thoughts on how you could approach your INSEAD Application Essays for 2023 MBA Admissions. You can find the video on our Youtube Channel. Go straight to it via this link 🔗 Analysis of INSEAD Essays for 2023 MBA Intake.

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