Isabel Ordovás has been traveling from a young age. After growing up in her native Madrid, she and her family moved to Texas in the US. That event sparked her fierce love for international exposure—learning about different peoples, cultures and points of view. Soon, Isabel’s desire to find her own path led her back to Madrid and IE University, where she’s currently in the fourth year of her Dual Degree in Business Administration + Data & Business Analytics. We spoke to her about her semester abroad in Paris and why it serves as the perfect way to inspire personal and professional growth.
I’m Isabel Ordovás and I’m from Madrid. I’ve always loved traveling, which is one of the reasons why I wanted to go on exchange during my Dual Degree in Business Administration + Data & Business Analytics. I knew that studying abroad would be a unique opportunity for personal growth and development that would challenge me to step outside my comfort zone and adapt to new situations. It was also an adventure that helped me become more independent, as well as broaden my worldview.
How did IE University help you align your exchange program with your greater goals for the future?
IE University helped me a lot when it came to choosing courses in my host university. The IE Talent & Careers team was vital in selecting subjects that were relevant and aligned with my ambitions and goals for my future. Plus, we were given an individual exchange advisor who supported us abroad during the exchange program, which was helpful when it came to facing challenges. I felt incredibly supported throughout the process as a whole—someone was there to help at all times.
What did you miss most about IE University while you were abroad?
I missed the IE Campus and campus life! I feel incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to study both at IE Tower and in Segovia, as well as participate in activities like padel, which you can’t really find outside of Spain. I missed these opportunities the most during my exchange. Apart from campus and campus life, I missed IE University’s facilities, teaching methodologies and overall community. My host university lacked the support network and the diversity we have at IE University. I really enjoy studying alongside so many different backgrounds and nationalities, and that isn’t as common at other universities.
How do you think IE University’s Exchange Program helped shape your personality and academic experience?
The exchange program helped me develop a stronger sense of independence, as well as the ability to adapt to different situations. My personality was strongly impacted, especially because I was in an unfamiliar environment, far from my family and friends. This unfamiliarity helped me become self-confident and open-minded.
I think the program also helps open doors for the future. IE University partners with numerous universities that are very well-positioned all over the world, meaning you can explore other countries and cultures, as well as other subject areas by taking courses that may not be offered. It’s a positive experience academically and personally.
Why should students take advantage of this opportunity?
Students should be brave and take on opportunities like this! Not only for career development or cultural immersion, but for the opportunity to learn about themselves. I learned a lot about myself and I believe this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience in which students will have the chance to grow personally and professionally while exploring places and making new friends from all over the world.