BY ISN STAFF | April 30, 2019

IES Abroad, a leading not-for-profit study abroad and internship organization based in Chicago, has announced that it is fully funding the first-ever study abroad program offering at Arrupe College of Loyola University of Chicago.

Arrupe College is a two-year college of Loyola University Chicago that continues the Jesuit tradition of offering a rigorous liberal arts education to a diverse population, many of whom are the first in their family to pursue higher education.

The study abroad program, called “Culture & Regionalism in Spain,” was developed by IES Abroad’s Customized & Faculty-Led Programs team, based on the Arrupe College sophomore seminar “Finding Purpose and Identity: A Journey in the Spirit of St. Ignatius.” It will take a group of ten students and three faculty to Spain May 19-29, 2019 for a 10-day tour of the route of St. Ignatius, beginning with a trip to Navarra and the Basque Country and ending with an extended stay in Barcelona.

Arrupe College participants with the upcoming IES Abroad program. 

IES Abroad and Arrupe College share a commitment to diversity and experiential education making the collaboration a perfect fit for such a program, which is also the first of its kind for IES Abroad. Strengthening this connection is Arrupe College’s affiliation with Loyola University, a valued member of the IES Abroad Consortium that is made up of more than 260 top-tier U.S. colleges and universities.

“This is an opportunity to give back to our community and collaborate with an institution that is truly and authentically dedicated to broadening access to education to the most diverse generation of students to date,” said Dr. Mary Dwyer, president and CEO of IES Abroad. “IES Abroad’s long-term commitment to Arrupe College will benefit several underrepresented students each year who will participate in experiential learning, cultural immersion, and self-discovery. This collaboration is a direct reflection of IES Abroad’s mission to ensure as many students study abroad as possible regardless of race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic class, and supports our goal to cultivate a diverse community of global leaders.”

To be considered for one of the 10 spots on the program, students were asked to write a reflective essay on how they would benefit from the study abroad experience.  A committee, made up of Arrupe College faculty and staff, reviewed the submissions and carefully selected the students.

The program will serve as a version of Arrupe College’s sophomore seminar, which gives students an opportunity to explore and practice Ignatian spirituality. This study abroad program in Spain was developed to reflect the intentions of the seminar, as well as the uniqueness of the Jesuit principles. The students will earn credit for their seminar taken abroad.

During the program, and in keeping with Loyola University’s Jesuit tradition, Arrupe College students will follow the route of Saint Ignatius throughout northern Spain and in the city of Barcelona. The route includes visits to Loyola, San Sebastian, Pamplona, and Javier, as well as the Loyola Sanctuary, Santa María de la Antigua, Arantzazu Sanctuary, and Javier Castle.

[Barcelona Sagrada Familia Steven Wolthusen]

IES Abroad is providing its full support and quality resources to make this program possible. Everything from the students’ airfare and housing to stipends and meals are covered.

In preparation for the program, members of the IES Abroad Customized & Faculty-Led Programs team recently visited Arrupe College. During the visit, students conveyed their excitement about and intentions for their time in Spain. Students demonstrated enthusiasm for expanding their horizons by learning and experiencing new things in a new place, exploring a new culture, and experiencing the Spanish language in a new way. IES Abroad also provided instruction and funds for students to obtain or renew their passports.

Once the students arrive in Barcelona they will participate in an on-site orientation that will cover travel schedules, housing, the local IES Abroad Center and staff, daily life in the city, a cultural and diversity overview, and information on health and safety. Additionally, the students and accompanying faculty will have access to the IES Abroad Barcelona Center and staff, as well as cultural events and site visits, day trips and field trips, and 24/7 emergency support.

Father Stephen Katsouros, S.J., dean and executive director of Arrupe College, who will be accompanying the students on the program, said: “IES Abroad’s partnership with Arrupe is extraordinary, substantive, and multi-faceted. First, IES Abroad is providing our students with a study-abroad opportunity—a game changer for any student. In addition, IES Abroad is supporting our mission and helping Ignatius and Jesuit history come alive for our students, for my colleagues, and for me. This will positively influence the Arrupe College community when we return.”

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