New Quinlan degree program spans continents
By Travis Cornejo | Student reporter
Two business degrees, two continents, three countries. All in four years.
That’s the promise of Quinlan’s newest undergraduate degree program. The U.S./Europe Double Degree program offers students the unique opportunity to earn a U.S. bachelor’s degree from Loyola University Chicago and a bachelor’s degree from Universidad Loyola Andalucía in Spain.
Students in the program will gain a deep understanding of both American and European business through two semesters in Seville, one semester in Rome, and five semesters in Chicago
Work in the European Union
Loyola University Chicago is one of the only U.S. universities that offer this degree option.
“This program is for students who think they may want to work in the European Union,” said Susan Ries, assistant dean for undergraduate programs. “This degree is their credential from the get go. Without sponsors, it may take an American years to become credentialed and fully employable in Spain. The double degree gives a student the ability to work in the EU right after graduation.”
Ries said the double degree program is also a good option for students who think they want to study abroad for more than the typical single semester. An added perk of the program is that students will have guaranteed admission into the John Felice Rome Center for the semester they’re scheduled to study in Italy.
Loyola’s Quinlan School of Business is now recruiting the first cohort of students from the current freshmen class, and for the second cohort of students from the fall 2017 applicants. Students do not need to know Spanish at the outset of the program. However, if a student does not have the level of fluency of at least one full year of college study in Spanish, they may have to go through a Spanish language immersion program prior to studying in Spain.
The Student Perspective
While Quinlan recruits its first cohort, the first 16 students from Universidad Loyola Andalucía arrived in Chicago this fall. Among those students is Ignacio Garrido Cruz.
“I think the Double Degree program is a great opportunity both for Loyola Chicago students and Loyola Andalucía students,” Cruz said. “It’s a mind opener. In four years, you get degrees recognized by both continents. I know when I finish I’ll have a wide range of possibilities. I’ll probably work in the States for a few years, as I’d like to experience the U.S. work culture.”
But that’s not the only benefit, he said. A student will be exposed to three different languages in four years.
“I bet that if you’re living with a host family in Spain, totally immersed in the culture and language, you’ll probably know a lot of Spanish by the end of the year,” Cruz said. “And if you know Spanish, Italian is really easy. So in four years, you get two degrees, three languages, and three countries.”
Although American students won’t head to Universidad Loyola Andalucía until the fall of 2016, Quinlan did send a trial balloon last spring when senior Ally Ryder became the first Loyola Chicago student to study abroad at Universidad Loyola Andalucía.
Ryder, an International Business & Finance major, spent a semester taking classes alongside the Universidad Loyola Andalucía students who are now in Chicago. For her time abroad, she wanted a truly immersive experience. She said it was a great chance to not only “drastically improve” her Spanish and learn more about international business, but it was also an opportunity to travel across Europe.
“And, if anything, I’d say I felt more connected to the Jesuit values while abroad,” Ryder said. “We as individuals made the choice to come to a Jesuit school. So when you’re having everyday conversations with the [Universidad Loyola Andalucía] students, you always end up mentioning some social justice issue or how you want to make a difference in the world around you.”