Spanish native Miguel Serrano completed the first part of his studies at Brains International School in Madrid, where he graduated in 2020. He immediately went on to pursue his higher education, choosing IE University as the place where he wanted to study his Bachelor in Economics. Now in the third year of the program, he’s currently enjoying a unique exchange opportunity in the US.

I like to think that I’m a true madrileño through and through. I grew up in Alcobendas, a thriving municipality in the northern part of Madrid. That’s also where I went to school—specifically, around the La Moraleja area. I finished secondary school with a pretty good GPA and decided to turn my attention to pursuing my bachelor’s degree.

I was glad to join IE University because, apart from allowing me to stay close to family and friends, I would also get the chance to explore my interest in finance and economics right in the financial heart of the city. Being part of such an international institution also meant that I’d have the perfect opportunity to brush up my proficiency in English and French too. And so I decided to enroll in the Bachelor in Economics and I’m enjoying all the opportunities it has brought my way. Right now, I’m at the tail-end of my four-month study abroad experience at the University of Michigan.

What motivated you to embark on an exchange semester abroad?

As a student in the Bachelor in Economics, I think it’s important to be exposed to various global perspectives in order to understand the big picture. That’s one of the main reasons why I wanted to take part in IE University’s Undergraduate Exchange Student Program in my third year. From my point of view, it’s a great opportunity to learn and grow, both personally and professionally. I also believe that international experiences like these give students exposure to different people and cultures while teaching many important lessons that add a lot of value to your career.

For my study abroad experience, I chose to travel to the US and to study at University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business. I’m spending my semester there making global connections and learning the intricacies of economics in one of the biggest economies in the world.

How did IE University help you in aligning this exchange opportunity with your goals for the future? 

Since joining IE University, my goal has always been to build on the strategic, analytical and leadership skills that I have gained here. I believe this study abroad period is the perfect time to do so. The university has partnerships with more than 200 reputable academic institutions in over 50 countries around the world; they helped me through the process of finding the right place to achieve my objectives. All in all, I’m grateful that IE University gave me this unique opportunity.

What resources did IE University offer to guide you through the process? 

Honestly, even though there were a lot of information sessions and comprehensive documents about the whole process, some things were quite confusing to me. IE University provided me with all the resources I needed to make a smooth transition. They were very patient as I did need to ask many questions, which they helped me work through in several extra voluntary information sessions.

How do you think IE University’s exchange program helps shape a student’s personality, academic experience and future? 

IE University’s connections with other leading academic institutions means that students have the opportunity to go on exchange to practically any part of the world. This gives you unlimited options to help you achieve your unique goals, whether it’s picking up vital regional insights in a country you hope to work in one day or simply experiencing a culture that you’ve always been interested in. In my opinion, it’s a great way to not only enhance your professional skill set but also become more knowledgeable, adaptable and independent.

During this period, what do you miss the most about IE University? 

I really miss my classmates! We are a very friendly, diverse cohort that I enjoy being a part of. I also appreciate the chance to learn from their experiences and perspectives as we’ve managed to establish a very collaborative environment. Since I’m coming to the close of my exchange period now, I look forward to studying with them again for the rest of the program.

In your opinion, why should students take this opportunity? 

A semester abroad will not only look really good on your resume, but will also give you the opportunity to learn and grow a lot. It only lasts four months, but you will meet incredible people and experience what it’s like to work in a different environment. It is definitely a great experience!