Ignatian Global Network in Technology and Engineering

The Parks College Ignatian Global Network in Technology and Engineering (IGNITE) program is a unique international experience allowing high-achieving first-semester engineering students to begin their university studies at Saint Louis University—Madrid Campus.

Engineering work today increasingly takes place in international marketplace dominated by multinational companies. Engineers not only need broad technical skills but also the ability to tackle global problems and participate in a multicultural community. International engineering education at SLU-Madrid provides students the tools they need to become entrepreneurs and leaders who can successfully innovate, manage, develop and implement technology to find solutions to global challenges and needs.

In Madrid, IGNITE students complete their first semester of study, earning the same credits as Parks College first-year engineering students at the St. Louis campus. With the exception of language classes, all coursework is completed in English. During their sophomore or junior year, IGNITE students may choose to study abroad for another semester or year, or take part in international internships or research projects in summer. They may also participate in the Grand Challenge Scholars and Global Gateway programs.

The tuition rate for IGNITE students is the same as that of Saint Louis University. Room and board fees and mandatory activity fees are paid in euros directly to the Madrid Campus.

Features of the IGNITE 2021 Program

Special Events and Excursions

  • Group excursions to historical sites, from Roman civilization in Spain to the present: El Escorial, Segovia, Aranjuez, Monasterio de Piedra, and Salamanca.

  • Field trips to industrial and research sites in Spain and elsewhere in Europe:

    • Nuclear Power Plant, Trillo, Guadalajara. Students will have the opportunity to visit most recently built nuclear power plant in Spain. At the visitor center, students will learn about plant operation and nuclear technology in Spain.

    • National Cancer Research Center in Madrid (CNIO), Madrid. Students will visit different departments of the public institution responsible for providing pioneering research and innovative technologies to the Spanish National Health System.

    • Airbus, Toulouse, France. Toulouse is a European city known for the aerospace and technology industries. Students will spend two days visiting the Airbus aircraft assembly lines, a historical hydroelectric plant and a wastewater treatment plant. Students will also have time to discover French culture and the historic and modern monuments of Toulouse.

  • Three-day retreat at Loyola, the birthplace of St. Ignatius.

Guest Lectures

Guest lectures are held several times per semester. Talks are presented by experienced engineers, scientists and information technology professionals on varying topics related to technology and leadership. Guest lectures provide an opportunity to gain fresh insights into current science and engineering issues.

Orientation Activities

  • New Student Convocation
  • Madrid Campus Welcome Sessions in the Guadarrama Mountains
  • Safety and Security Sessions
  • One-on-one meetings with Parks College faculty members and SLU-Madrid faculty

Room and Board

IGNITE students live with SLU-Madrid host families. The homestay allows IGNITE students to experience the warmth and hospitality of Spain while improving Spanish language skills. In the homestay, students enjoy breakfast, evening meals, and weekly laundry. Students have their own or shared room (single-sex) within the Spanish family's apartment. Students commute approximately 30 min by bus or metro from their homestays to the SLU-Madrid campus.

Student Services

  • Academic Advising
  • Counseling and Disability Services
  • Campus Chaplain
  • 24-hour Emergency helpline staffed by the SLU-Madrid Student Life Department


  • Participants meet in St. Louis to attend orientation at Parks College before travelling to Madrid on a group flight. The SLU-St. Louis Parks College faculty mentor will travel with the group. Additional charges for airfare apply.

  • In addition to on-campus Academic Advising services, the Parks College faculty mentor will return to Madrid at the end of the semester to celebrate the conclusion of the program, advise students, and accompany them on the return flight.
  • Farewell Banquet

Madrid, located at the very heart of the Iberian Peninsula, has been the capital of Spain since 1562. It's the third largest city in the European Union, with a population of 3.2 million in the city and 6.4 million in the metropolitan area. The Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas International Airport, Europe's sixth busiest airport, connects the city to the world.

Madrid is the major financial and business center of the Iberian Peninsula. It is a hub that hosts the head offices of the majority of Spain's companies including three of the world's largest multinationals: Telefónica, Repsol-YPF and Banco Santander. Home to 17 universities and over 30 research centers, Madrid is also a known for technical innovation. 

For more information contact Dr. Taieb Gasmi at SLU-Madrid at taieb.gasmi@slu.edu, or Chris Penberthy at Parks College in Saint Louis at chris.penberthy@slu.edu.

Higher purpose. Greater good.
© 1967 - 2017  SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY - MADRID CAMPUS   |   Avenida del Valle 34 28003 - Madrid, Spain
admissions-madrid@slu.edu   |   phone: (+34) 915545858   |   Disclaimer   |   Mobile Site
St. Louis   |   Madrid