What is an Exchange MBA?
An exchange MBA is where part of your course is delivered to you at a different business school. Someone from that business school will have part of their MBA course delivered at your business school. Hence the term "exchange" is used. Although it is possible to do this within your own country, it is far more likely that an exchange program will take place between students from different countries.
Students who go on exchange programs do so for a variety of personal, academic and professional reasons. American students will often go on an exchange program so that they can have the opportunity to study business topics with a non-American perspective. They also may want to polish up their language skills and their intercultural skills. Some people like the opportunity presented to establish friendships with both other exchange students from countries around the world and local students. Others will use that time to conduct a proactive job search amongst the local firms in the hope of securing a job outside their country.
Something you should know is that you must complete the core curriculum at your "home" school. You can then go and take your electives at your exchange school. After that some business schools can make conditions for you. Perhaps your grades need to be of a certain standard, or you must be a solid citizen. Your business school sees you as an ambassador for them, and will want to keep their exchange relationships viable, so they may reserve the right to turn your exchange application down in order to protect themselves from having their students barred from going on exchange at your target location again. If you are turned down and you don't know why, you should ask - it's likely something is wrong!
It's worth pointing out that if you absolutely cannot speak another language than English you can still get by on an exchange program. The language of the MBA is English, and so your courses will be taught in English. However, you may find that life is hard at your exchange location, as you are reliant on the kindness of others to help you communicate outside the business school. But, don't let that stop you - we just advise you to take lessons in the local language before you go.
As far as cost is concerned, you will usually need to pay your normal business school fee. You should trust your school that the exchange program will be sending you to a school of similar quality. Other costs include travel to your exchange location and your living expenses there. One bit of advice is to find out which students are coming to your school and trade housing with them.