Study Abroad at SLU - Madrid
Saint Louis University is a Catholic, Jesuit institution dedicated to providing excellence in teaching, research, healthcare and community service. Established in 1818, ours is the first institution of higher education founded west of the Mississippi River, and is the second oldest of 28 Jesuit colleges or universities in the United States. The University educates more than 11,000 on its three campuses: two in St. Louis, Missouri, and one in Madrid, Spain - ours, that is!
Established in the late 1960s, our campus in Madrid is the oldest U.S. university in Spain and the first U.S.-based university to have its own free-standing campus in Europe. As the Madrid campus is fully dependent on our home campus in St. Louis, Missouri, the same academic goals and values - with a distinctive international dimension - apply there as in St. Louis.
So why does a university located on the banks of the Mississippi maintain a campus in Madrid?
- U.S. universities are increasingly looking to establish links abroad to promote and prove their commitment to "international education" - whatever that means these days. The advantage, though, of our campus in Madrid is that it wasn't created for that purpose! Meaning, therefore, that you have access to a most unusual environment, perhaps the most "international" of any U.S. university anywhere, but without the excess baggage of a branch campus created to "internationalize" the home campus. Our campus is international by its very nature, not merely because the home campus is seeking to expand its offering abroad, but because interesting students from all over the world find the Madrid / St. Louis undergraduate program most attractive. And we're sure that you will, too.
- The Madrid campus facility, unquestionably the best in Madrid of any U.S. program, and far beyond the standard for study abroad programs anywhere, allows interesting exchanges to take place that normally wouldn't happen. For example, the School of Business on the home campus sends faculty over to teach two-week intensive MBA courses in late May and June; the law school offers courses for first-year law students from the middle of May through the end of June; a faculty member from the communications department traditionally teaches one elective course during the first summer session; and so on. It's not so much a question of internationalizing the curriculum, as it is in globalizing the approach to learning. That can really only happen effectively abroad.
- This kind of interchange enhances the links between the two campuses, providing, as well, a unique environment to learn and think about the global dimensions of what are often thought to be fairly U.S.-centered course offerings.
- A Jesuit, Catholic university education is, by definition, and in practice, universal. Jesuit high schools and universities are found throughout the world. It makes sense, then, that a Jesuit university education would provide a global vision, as well.
- It's a terrific feeder of outstanding international students to undergraduate and graduate programs on the home campus. (And you thought we wouldn't be honest, eh?) That top international students from all over the world can spend at least one-half of their careers at our campus in Madrid, learn one of the world's most important languages, and pay a reduced tuition; there is an attractive package. To pay four years of private U.S. university tuition is beyond the dreams of many terrific students from lower- and middle-income countries. Our Madrid campus gives these whizzes a chance, which is also most consistent with the mission of a Jesuit university.
You should understand that residence or apartment living in Spain is not the same as dorm living in the U.S. Some students are used to a living environment with few rules. That is not the case here. Living environments are expected to be quiet and tranquil. The rules that apply to the host family assignments and residence halls reflect this philosophy. You may come and go as you please. However, you are expected to follow common courtesies and not disturb others after hours. Host-family students should ask permission to bring visitors into host-family pisos; overnight guests are not allowed. Visitors are allowed in the common areas in the residence halls, but not in individual rooms. You are not allowed to bring alcoholic beverages or prohibited substances into any living area.
Phone service in Spain is expensive. Local calls are charged on a per-minute basis. Students may receive calls on the host family phone, but should use a public phone or mobile phone to make outgoing calls. Students can purchase reasonably priced mobile phones with international access and calling cards from the University upon arrival.
The University and all university housing (residences and host family assignments) are closed for Spring Break. (Please see Schedule of Classes for dates.) Most students take the opportunity to travel, but alternative housing can be arranged in a nearby hostal for the holiday period. You should budget 250 euros for this expense.