Madrid Program Celebrates 50 Years
In May 2017 Indiana University celebrated the golden anniversary of one of its most successful study abroad programs and globally focused collaborations. The Madrid program has made an important contribution to IU's effort to increase the number of its students studying abroad and heighten its overall international engagement.
IU President Michael A. McRobbie and other members of a university delegation traveled to Madrid to mark 50 years of the program and to recognize the consortium of U.S. universities, known as the Universidades Reunidas, that has enabled thousands of students to study abroad in Spain's capital and largest city.
A partnership initiated between IU and Purdue University in 1965-66 for advanced students of Spanish and joined by the University of Wisconsin in 1970, the Madrid Program, also known as the WIP (Wisconsin-Indiana-Purdue) Program, has proven to be an enduring effort for a half-century. Nearly 3,000 students have participated in the program during its 50-year history.
For the last two decades, IU has managed the wider university consortium that enlists students in the program, which is based at the Complutense University of Madrid, Spain's most prestigious academic institution and one of the oldest universities in the world, dating back to the late 13th century.
"The remarkably successful and enduring Madrid study abroad program reflects the best of Indiana University's longstanding tradition of international engagement and continuing key institutional emphasis on developing the global literacy of our students," McRobbie said. "For a half-century now, this program has been a hallmark of our efforts to provide IU students with meaningful and immersive international experiences that can be life-changing and that, increasingly, our state's employers are seeking as they recruit new talent."