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IE University - Segovia (Spain)

Ever wondered what it would be like to study in a 13th century convent in an ancient Spanish city -- a UNESCO World Heritage site perhaps?


IE University in Segovia can make that a reality.


First built in 1218, the Convent of Santa Cruz la Real has seen its fair share of history in the hundreds of years since.


It has been monastery, a prison, an orphanage, a hospice, and most recently, it's now home to IE University.


This campus is a must-see, so here are some of the highlights from my trip to campus in February 2024!


IE Segovia campus
IE Segovia campus

City of Segovia


With about 55,000 residents, Segovia is known for its Roman aqueduct, winding streets and fairytale castle, once home to Spain's most famous queen, Isabel.


It's the perfect escape from the hustle of Madrid, just 25 minutes on the high-speed train.


City square
City square

The Alcázar is one of Spain's most visited castles.


Alcazar Castle
Alcazar Castle

The aqueduct, however, is the city's main feature.


With two tiers, standing 92-feet tall and featuring 167 stone arches, it dates all the way back to 50 BC.


Segovia acqueduct
Segovia acqueduct

Segovia is also a great place for anyone who loves nature, as it's on the doorstep of the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park, a biodiversity hotspot.


Near the acqueduct

Segovia campus and academics


The Convent of Santa Cruz was the first Dominican convent in Spain, first built in 1218.


Rumor has it that Saint Dominic of Guzmán chose this exact spot because it’s where he used to repent his sins.


The monastery started flourishing during the reign of the Catholic monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella, who granted it 'royal' status.


Exterior of IE Segovia

Flash forward to the 20th century, and the building unfortunately suffered a series of fires before becoming ultimately abandoned.


However, IE University took over in 2006 and renovated it to what it is today, tastefully mixing modern study spaces whilst preserving its historical aspects like the gorgeous archways.


How's that for a mix of old and new!? Starbucks
How's that for a mix of old and new!?
The beautiful hallways
The beautiful hallways
An archaeological dig
An archaeological dig

In terms of academics, IE has to be one of the first universities you'd consider if wanting to study business in Spain.


In fact, approximately five percent of all IE students graduate with their own company, which is quite high given business is not the only discipline.


Imagine studying here
Imagine studying here

With the launch of the School of Humanities recently, there are now six schools at IE, offering a total of 22 bachelor programs (4 or 5 years) and 66 master's.


In the new humanities degree, there is a huge emphasis on ethics and how to implement technology into the corporate world with an ethical and human being approach.


Students can also study degrees in applied mathematics (new in 2023), architecture, communications, computer science, data analytics, design, economics, environmental sciences, international relations, law and PPLE (philosophy, politics, law and economics).


Design space
Design space

The new fashion design degree launching in 2024 is focused on manufacturing, producing, operations and sustainability.


IE also offers 5-year double degrees for students wanting an even stronger employability profile.


Design space

Here, the learning methodology has a practical focus and includes discussions, debates, skills, group projects, case studies, challenges, practicums and partnerships.


Students don't study in a vacuum; on the contrary, they are required to work with and connect with those from other disciplines.


And it's easy to do in the small Segovia setting.


Beautiful hallways
Beautiful hallways

For example, all IE students take participate in the IE Impact program, which equips them with skills to address some of the world’s most complex challenges.


IE is ranked #1 for net zero teaching (Financial Times MBA Ranking, 2023), and within the IE Impact program, students take courses in the Humanities, Technology and Entrepreneurship, centering on Diversity and Sustainability.


The program culminates with the IE Challenge, where they will work in teams as Innovation Consultants for participating enterprises.


In this challenge, they consult with and brief their clients, receive ongoing mentoring and support and pitch them proposals to amplify or scale their sustainability-driven missions.


Courtyard
Courtyard

Although every degree is taught completely in English, students do have to graduate with a B1 level of Spanish.


And it's worth knowing that some programs can be studied fully in Madrid, some fully in Segovia and some with two years at each campus -- which is an incredibly unique opportunity.


Approximately 30 to 40 percent of students start in Segovia.


Exterior
Exterior


At IE, the faculty are all working professionals, and this means they share what happened in their workplaces with the class, for example, often asking advice from students as to how they would handle certain situations.


Like the diverse student population, the professors are also international: 44 nationalities from 88 women, 123 men and 1,700 adjunct members.


Library
Library
Library

Worldwide, IE has 75,000 alumni, and career preparation is embedded in IE university degrees.


All students have to participate in an exchange program or internship in their third year, and students are also required to have contact with a career advisor from as early as Year 1.


There are also IE Labs, which are mini 3-month internships available in the first two years of the degree.


View from library
View from library

The facilities and amenities available at this small campus were impressive, including a Fab Lab with tons of 3D printers and even some heavier machinery, too.


IE Fab Lab with 3D printers
IE Fab Lab with 3D printers
Heavy machinery too
Heavy machinery too

There are a number of places to eat on campus, and the prices are student-friendly.


Cozy cafe space
Cozy cafe space
Bookshop and cafe
Bookshop and cafe
Another cafe spot
Another cafe spot
Cafe

IE Segovia students are surrounded by history and nature; you just have to step out the back door to find plenty of green space and gorgeous views.


Outside green space with amazing views
Outside green space with amazing views

And in terms of housing, a key benefit of the Segovia campus is the fact that there are two IE residence halls here, one of which is right on campus.


In fact, the building is also historical; in May 1843, the convent became an orphanage, and the orphans lived right here.


On-campus residence hall
On-campus residence hall

Outside of class, students like to stay active.


There are more than 100 clubs available to join, from the Photography Club to the Culinary Club to many sports teams.


Sports facilities
Sports facilities

Regardless of the campus where a student wants to start their degree, however, the admissions process is the same.


For more information about IE University admissions, check out my blog post for IE University Madrid.

Summary: IE University - Segovia


The IE University campus in Segovia is incredibly unique.


Surrounded by history and nature, it's the perfect place to study architecture, design or environmental science.


It also makes for an easy transition to life in Spain, allowing students to get their feet wet in a small town before moving to one of Europe's most populous cities in Year 3 potentially.


I really can't think of another institution offering a comparable study experience.


IE is not only one of the top universities in Spain, but it's also a well-known brand internationally.


And if you're still not sure, just think -- when will you ever have the opportunity to study at a university with a castle view?


View of the castle from a classroom
View of the castle from a classroom

 

Interested in applying for college or grad school in Spain?



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G'day! My name is Sara, and I'm the founder of College Apps Abroad and a Certified Educational Planner (CEP), one of only 40 CEP's in California and 300 worldwide. I have more than 10 years of experience working in international recruitment and admissions, and I've studied and lived overseas myself in the UK, Ireland, Australia and Brazil for almost a decade. I've also worked for some of the world's top institutions, including The University of Edinburgh, the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and The University of Western Australia (UWA)!

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