IE Madrid Business School : from a student’s viewpoint

Expat Student caught up with former client Sasha, who is in her first year at the prestigious IE Business School in Madrid. IE Madrid offers a wide range of Business degrees for students with varied ambitions and goals. The degrees offered include double diplomas, and subjects range from Business to PPLE (Philosophy, Politics, Law and Economics).

Read on for Sasha’s first-hand experience of studying at IE, how she has adjusted to university life, and what her favourite things are about Madrid.

IE Madrid students

Learning at IE

Sasha’s academic background has been in the humanities, but she has made the transition to Business Administration easily, supported by her tutors. Going from arts and philosophy to learning economics and corporate finance was an adjustment that Sasha was prepared for and has found rewarding. Even studying Maths again, which was not Sasha’s strongest subject before starting university, has been exciting. Sasha says, “Maths is now one of my favourite classes and I’m doing well in it.”

Along with Maths lessons, Sasha has also started Spanish lessons at IE, which are provided to help integrate students into the country. The aim is to get students to B2 level (CEFR), and classes are usually in the evening, after students’ main classes have finished. There are three levels of classes for different abilities; Sasha was put into the highest level because of her fluency in French and Italian. Once at B2 level, students are no longer required to take Spanish classes.

Sasha’s favourite class at IE is called Building Powerful Relationships, which focuses on public speaking. She says, “It was quite scary at first because you have to speak in front of lots of people that you don’t know and who are going to be in your classes for the next two years, but my confidence grew so much and we had a lot of fun. I also really like my financial accounting classes. However, learning how to code on python is very hard but a lot of fun, and you feel so cool when your program actually works.”

Attendance to classes is tracked at IE, which Sasha found unusual at first. She says, “It first felt weird but it’s actually really good because it helps a lot with getting used to a new way of learning in a new city and a new university. You don’t feel like you’re completely lost in all the new students. I have friends studying in other countries and if you don’t want to come to class you don’t have to, which has its advantages sometimes but means it is very easy to get lost in classes. Having to come to class has helped me stay on track with both my academics and with managing my time for my social life.”

Making friends at IE

Attending every class has also meant that Sasha has found it easy to make friends on her course. There are around 60 students per class. Sasha says, “We are quite close within our classes, we know each other well. Everyone has their group but we mingle between them. The people at IE are really nice, and the majority of them are very down to earth.”

Making friends at university can sometimes feel different to making friends in school, but Sasha has found that the style of learning at IE has helped her form close friendships, and she is friendly with lots of her classmates and fellow students, despite not living in university accommodation.

IE Madrid Business School campus at the IE Tower

Living in Madrid

All of Sasha’s lessons are on campus, in the IE Tower, which she says is “very cool – there is a good view and it is well designed”. Sasha lives about half an hour by public transport away from the Tower, in the centre of Madrid. Travel between Sasha’s home and the IE campus is very easy, all on one line on the metro, with lots of other IE students. Sasha told Expat Student, “Madrid is such a nice city to study in, it’s so underrated. The weather is so nice, everyone is super chill and happy and smiling all the time. It’s so lively and there is always something to do. Everything is super walkable, it’s a good lifestyle.”

Sasha lives in private accommodation, and rents a room through an agency. She chose this option because it was cheaper than living in IE accommodation, but has lots of friends who enjoy living in the residences. The residences allow you to meet students studying at different universities and on different courses. Next year, Sasha is moving into an apartment with two of her friends.

Studying in Segovia

IE students can choose between two locations for their first two years of study. Sasha chose to live in the centre of Madrid and study at the IE Tower, but she could have chosen to live in Segovia, in the Convent of Santa Cruz la Real, a historic building and heritage site. All students live in the centre of Madrid for their third and fourth year, but for those who want to experience a quieter, less urban environment for their first two years, Segovia is the perfect option. Segovia is a historic town in the centre of a beautiful natural landscape, and is only thirty minutes from Madrid by high speed train.

Sasha has plenty of friends who live in Segovia. She says, “The people I know there are really enjoying it and it seems like it becomes very homey very quickly. A lot of people get apartments in Segovia rather than living in the residences and visit Madrid on the weekends. A lot of the IE events are in Segovia, so the students from the two campuses definitely mix.”

Work experience and careers at IE

There are plenty of opportunities to get work experience at IE, and to network with industry professionals. IE hosts what they call ‘labs’ where you are able to do internships through the university. Students work in a team and are given a brief or problem by a company, and work with that company to find a solution, and write up a report on their work at the end of the internship, which usually lasts a couple of months.

Sasha wanted an internship in the arts, so searched for an opportunity independent of her studies. She is currently working for an art gallery as an intern, and gaining transferable skills she can use in both her future studies and career.

Studying abroad with IE Madrid

Second year at IE is when students can apply for their third-year study abroad placement. Sasha is planning on studying abroad, and wants to go to a far-flung location like Australia or Argentina. The options for study abroad are varied, but if IE doesn’t offer the location a student would like to study in, students are able to submit a request to the university.

How it is like to study at IE Madrid and study in Spain

Study in Spain

Among the most popular study destinations in Europe, Spain stands out for its rich cultural heritage, its pleasant climate and its quality education system. Whether you plan to study in Madrid, Barcelona or Seville, you will discover a wealth of study programs to suit your career aspirations. Expat Student tells you everything about veterinary studies or health studies in Spain and guides you through the process of enrolling in Spanish universities. We help you understand the visa requirements and give you valuable tips for adjusting to life in Spain. In addition, we offer you a section dedicated to the testimonials of students who have chosen to continue their studies in Spain. Their experience will give you valuable insight into what student life in Spain is really like.


Expat Student can help you achieve your IE ambitions

IE Madrid Business School is a prestigious school perfect for those with goals in the business industry. Expat Student can provide individual guidance and support at every step of your application, tailored to your strengths and weaknesses.

The application criteria for IE are holistic, not just based on your academics or grades. This allows you to show off every quality that makes you a great student, but can also be daunting for an applicant. Expat Student can help you prepare for IE’s assessments, including the video, interview and entrance test, and make sure you are able to put your best qualities forward.

For those interested in IE Madrid, more information can be found in the following article, along with a look at other business schools in Spain.

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