Double Business Degree Enables International Career

By Rory Dayton and Almudena Rincon |,

After three years of being partnered with Universidad Loyola Andalucía in Spain, Loyola has started the double business degree program, allowing students to earn general business degree from both schools.

The partnership with Loyola Andalucía now includes five programs: a sustainability program, the Ignatian Pilgrimage, a semester exchange program, a summer language culture program and now a double business degree program.

The Double Degree Program allows students to get a general business degree from both Loyola Chicago and Loyola Andalucía. The students spend one year studying at Loyola’s Chicago campuses, a year in Andalucía, a semester in Rome and then the remainder of their education in Chicago. This makes it easier for students to pursue careers both in the U.S. and Europe, where employment and education standards differ.

Students who want to be part of the program need a strong academic background. With academic transfers, the program costs the same as regular tuition. The Double Degree Program does not currently have an enrollment cap, according to senior Ally Ryder, 21, a student ambassador for the program.

Ryder said the opportunity is too good to pass up for business students who want to get international experience and are considering working abroad after graduation.

“The world is an ever-growing global place so I think that having those unique study abroad experiences is very important and is something that employers look at,” said the international business and finance double major.

Ryder, who studied in Andalucía last spring semester, appreciated learning how to analyze the U.S. from an outsider’s point of view.

“When I was in Spain, I was able to actually look at things from a European perspective and hear what they had to say about the United States versus what the United States says about [itself],” Ryder said.

The program isn’t only for U.S. citizens to study abroad. It’s designed to encourage students at Loyola Andalucía to come the United States. To date, the partnership has brought 15 students from Spain.

Ignacio Garrido, a senior from Spain, was the first student to participate in the Double Degree Program. This semester, he returned to Chicago and said his experience with the program was fulfilling and widened his global perspective.

“In four years, we’re going to experience three [American, Spanish and Italian] totally different cultures,” said Garrido. “It’s a mind-opener.”

Garrido said he is able to work much more competitively after studying in the United States and working as a student ambassador for Loyola Andalucía.

Loyola Chicago students, such as Elizabeth Salgado, 19, have expressed their interest in the program.

“I would definitely [be interested],” said the sophomore human services major. “I think it allows you to see different cultures and [teaches you] how to relate with other people in other cultures.”

Esteban Solis, a 21-year-old human services major, said he thinks that first-years should strongly consider the program.

“I think if I was a freshman I’d be more interested,” said Solis. “It’d be more of an incentive to study abroad, especially in Europe. I always wanted to go to Spain, so [studying abroad would] be really cool.”

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