IEU Experience

19/02/2024

We make it a point to keep the humanities at the heart of our educational approach. To foster this value, we push our students to cultivate creativity and sharpen their critical thinking skills through classes, clubs, competitions and immersive activities.

At IE University, we work relentlessly to ensure our students receive a well-rounded education. The humanities can often get lost behind the bustle of our tech-driven world—but we emphasize just how beneficial it is to learn from the complexities of the human experience. By studying where we came from, we can equip ourselves for what’s next. 

Each of our programs includes a humanities module as part of our comprehensive curriculums. What’s more, the School of Humanities hosts a wide variety of extracurricular activities and events spanning the realms of art, philosophy, history and more. Bachelor in Philosophy, Politics, Law and Economics student Ida Nydelius and the Bachelor of Economics’ Sydney Caron Wulf recently shared some insights into their experiences with the humanities at IE University. 

Why did you decide to get involved with the humanities at IE University?

Ida: When I was searching for an ideal university, I was drawn to the IE Creativity Center. Even before stepping foot at IE University, I knew that I wanted to join the transversal activities of the IE School of Humanities. The IE Art Club became my platform for pursuing my passion for art and increasing the club’s presence. I felt strongly that students needed to have a creative outlet—and the IE Art Club does just that.

Sydney: On top of the courses that are part of my program, I chose to participate in the “Ethics of Emerging Technology” course to increase my awareness and knowledge of today’s rapid technological growth and subsequent ethical challenges. 

Sydney Humanities Center

What unique perspectives have you gained from participating there?

Ida: The IE School of Humanities has played a crucial role in my education. Studying the humanities has helped me better understand our society. Culture, as viewed through the humanities, provides context for the changes we experience and their effects. The humanities mirror how society feels, thinks and moves, in turn showing me the underlying reasons and rationale behind other disciplines like politics, law and economics.

Sydney: I’ve gained valuable insights into topics that are relevant for society, particularly things that aren’t part of my program, including the effects of emerging technologies on democracy and how a changing incentive structure is influencing journalism. My increased awareness of these issues will help me prepare to navigate them in the future.

How has your involvement with the IE School of Humanities enhanced your academic studies?

Ida: I have gotten involved in many ways. My experience in the IE Art Club has been immensely rich, for instance. IE University has given me the space to meet with like-minded individuals to dive into more than painting; I’m able to connect to others and reconnect with myself. Plus, the club won the Best Arts & Humanities Award two years in a row—further proof of how it influences the IE Community. 

I also took advantage of a summer course at the Prado Museum. This ever-growing passion for the arts has complemented my academic studies because I’m able to further understand society and the rationale behind human choices.

Sydney: The opportunities presented by the IE School of Humanities have encouraged me to engage in critical and independent thinking when looking at real-life issues both inside and outside the classroom. Developing a humanistic approach to my program has taught me to form my own opinions instead of taking things at face value—a useful skill in my field of study.

Tell us about your favorite activity hosted by the IE School of Humanities.

Ida: I loved taking part in the art sessions by the IE Art Club because they provided me with a space where I could practice my painting. I also discovered a new passion: organizing exhibitions. During my time at IE University, I’ve organized five exhibitions with the support of the IE School of Humanities and IE Campus Life. Each exhibition was a unique and visually stunning experience that allowed us to showcase talented club members.

Sydney: Mine was when I had the chance to witness a live debate between my professor Theodore Lechterman and ethical strategy advisor Oliver Smith on the ethical implications of the public release of ChatGPT and their contrasting opinions on the “Pause Giant AI Experiments: An Open Letter.” The event, hosted by IE University, gave me a unique chance to learn about the difficult task of regulating emerging technologies from two leaders in the field. 

Ida Humanities Center

What are your main takeaways from these activities?

Ida: I’ve been able to see how art has played a significant role in providing both an outlet for relaxation and a platform for discussion, even in this business-oriented university. People can come together to reflect on themselves and society, engaging in meaningful conversations and exchanging ideas. In my opinion, it has been an essential part of my IE Experience, helping to bring people together and fostering a sense of community.

Sydney: For me, one of my biggest takeaways is the experience I’ve gained in addressing ethically complex issues that do not have a simple solution. I learned to gather various opinions and analyze topics from multiple perspectives before making decisions. I was also reminded that every innovation and corresponding policy carries far-reaching and enduring consequences that must always be considered.

How do you think the humanities will change today’s world?

Ida: The humanities are essential to explore and engage with, not only as a form of entertainment but as an invitation to reflect on society as a whole. They are imperative to help us practice compassion, emotional intelligence and analytical thinking. I hope that students take advantage of the numerous activities on offer in the humanities realm because they are beneficial.
Sydney: Every decision we make—from politics and business to our personal lives—can benefit from an understanding of philosophical concepts, history, creative methods and other disciplines found in the humanities. Providing students with humanitarian concepts will create future leaders who can implement positive change responsibility, creating a better society.