My name is Miguel Amengual and I am a first-year Data & Business Analytics student at the Segovia campus of IE University. I was born and raised in Spain and, until a few years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to explain what diversity actually means to me.
As my parents are both Spanish, I never learned any new languages growing up and I spent most of my educational life at the same school where there weren’t many international students. However, I have always been naturally curious and eager to learn about other cultures and languages. So, at the age of sixteen, I moved to the United States as an exchange student to attend an international high school in Upstate New York.
Although it was challenging to adapt to a new educational structure in a second language, going abroad was a life-changing experience. The USA was where I had my first contact with a global setting, meeting people from different countries and learning a lot from them. I realized that I always wanted to be immersed in diverse environments with people from different cultures, backgrounds and nationalities. This was the reason I chose IE University, and it is probably the best decision I have ever made.
After a few months at IE University, I’ve had the opportunity to meet people from all over the world and experience several cultures at once. If you asked me four years ago, I would have probably described diversity as merely being in a multicultural setting. Nowadays, I’d classify it as a way of life—a lifestyle based on exchanging ideas, experiences and knowledge with people that have a lot to teach you. When you walk around the IE University campus, you can witness diversity everywhere, with a huge range of languages and people from different countries always present.
Diversity at IE University is about more than different languages and cultures. In the Bachelor in Data & Business Analytics, every in-class forum, debate or group activity turns into a sharing of countless approaches and opinions on the same topic. I never thought that people could have such different perceptions about certain topics that I always took for granted. In my degree, I also get the chance to attend lectures from probably the most diverse faculty in the world. The professors have different cultural and educational backgrounds, nationalities and innovative teaching methodologies. That, to me, is diversity.
And it’s not only limited to the classroom. When it comes to extracurricular activities, clubs and any other kind of activity that IE University offers, I always get to see that diverse environment that pushed me to choose this as the university where I wanted to get my bachelor’s degree.
Before, I lived in my own bubble, only focusing on what was going on directly around me. Now, with every day that passes, I feel more like a citizen of the world: learning from my classmates, interacting with different cultures on a daily basis and building lifelong friendships with people from across the globe.
I have already noticed huge personal growth in the four months that I’ve been here. I am becoming progressively more open minded, and am always ready to adapt to different circumstances by adopting a more global vision. I am grateful for having the opportunity to study here, surrounded by people with very diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds.