Lush Mediterranean vistas, stunning architecture and football fever aren’t the only things that attract foreign visitors to Spain. The country also holds a great reputation globally in higher education, with one of the most affordable tuition fee rates in Europe for international students. Many institutions are now also offering English-language degrees, opening the doors for more students into the country that is the safest to visit in the European Union amid the pandemic.
Keeping up with demanding coursework and exams can take a toll on a student’s wellbeing, especially if you’re studying abroad and away from familiar surroundings. At UCAM Universidad Católica Campus Los Jerónimos de Murcia, students in its Murcia Campus and Cartagena campuses can always decompress in the region’s sun-soaked climes at Costa Cálida, or the balmy coast, which hosts plenty of opportunities for leisure and sports.
Where Olympic champions are made
Could its seaside nature be the reason behind UCAM’s golden sporting success? This Catholic university proudly boasts the highest number of university athletes in the Olympic and Paralympic Games, thanks to UCAM’s landmark collaboration with the Spanish Olympic Committee. Even three of the 2020 Tokyo Games’s flag bearers for Spain belong to UCAM: swimmer Mireia Belmonte, canoeist Saúl Craviotto, and karateka Sandra Sánchez, who made Olympic history in Tokyo as karate’s first-ever Olympic champion in the sport’s debut at the Games.
Known as the “University of Sports,” UCAM is becoming an international benchmark for research in high-sports performance, injury prevention and anti-doping initiatives. The course choices reflect this commitment; students can opt for a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, or continue their postgraduate journey through a master’s programme in High Performance Sport: Strength and Conditioning, Management of Sport Entities with an MBA, or an MBA in Sports Management.
Anton Matinlauri is one of UCAM’s foreign students reaping the benefits of quality education and a laid-back seaside ambience. ‘‘So far I have really enjoyed my stay in Murcia. I think the people here are very welcoming to international students and I enjoy the atmosphere of the city,” says the Finnish student. “Regarding my Master’s in High Performance Sport, I have great expectations for the year. I think the professors are top-class and I look forward to gaining all the knowledge that I can.’’
Distinguished learning with a value
UCAM fares well in global rankings too. It has been awarded four stars out of five in the QS Stars Rating System for teaching, internationalisation, social responsibility and inclusiveness, while U-Multirank places its medicine-related programmes among the top 25 internationally for Innovative Assessment Methods. One of its distinguished degrees is Dentistry, a five-year programme featuring internal internships beginning from the first year, with guaranteed progression into professional internships later on. Not only are UCAM Dentistry students trained in empathetic patient care rooted in the university’s people-first Christian values, they also get to work hands-on with the latest cutting-edge technology in over 1,700 square metres of space at one of the most advanced and modern clinics in the south-east of Spain.
A 2020 global survey by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) revealed that recruiters continue to prize those with higher business degrees, with strategic thinking and communication skills valued most among graduates. UCAM’s Master’s Degree in Business Administration readies its students for critical decision-making in the corporate world, with career services assisting students in landing internship positions at renowned companies like IKEA, Siemens and Repsol. At the undergraduate level, aspiring entrepreneurs can begin their training through the Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, where students are guaranteed work experience and possibilities to launch their startups.
UCAM’s global rankings on teaching are well-earned — small groups in the classroom means each student is given their due attention through quality instruction by professors. ‘‘They all have experience in what they are teaching,” says Austin, an American master’s student in Innovation and Tourism Marketing. “They make everything very interesting to learn and it makes the learning environment much better and I enjoy everything about my classes so far.’’
The programme integrates digitisation, applied technology and innovation in tourism organisations, which are crucial for the revival of Spain’s tourism sector as borders reopen. Students will get a chance to pick up Spanish along the way, and immerse themselves in the ins and outs of the business behind Europe’s top travelling destinations
What makes UCAM one-of-a-kind among other institutions is its spirit in evangelisation, which imbues the university with strong ethics that branch into every aspect of its teachings. A deep Catholic tradition forms the locus of UCAM’s character — it is the Permanent Seat of the Catholic World University Games. But it is by no means exclusionary, as evident through the diverse international community that enriches the university.
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