The 13th cohort of CEU-BU Program students arrived in Boston in late August, attended Orientation, enjoyed the Labor Day weekend (which marks the unofficial end of summer in the US) and started their classes at Boston University (BU) Metropolitan College on 3 September. As one of the Academic Coordinators of the Program, I join our students in Boston at the beginning of each academic year and it is always a pleasure to see how smoothly they slot into the routine at BU.
For those not familiar with this long-running Program the basic idea is simple. While taking their CEU degree mostly in English, students on the Program participate in 3 intensive week-long Modules here in Madrid before spending 1 or 2 semesters at BU, normally in their 4th year. On completion of the 3 BU Modules in Madrid and one semester at BU students receive BU’s International Business Certificate (IBC).
The Modules? As the Program was launched in 2006-07 both the content and the format of the 3 BU Modules have evolved considerably. Current students delve into Digital Marketing in Module 1 (in their 1st year), are introduced to some of the most important current trends in the business world (such as blockchain, cryptocurrencies and technology development) in Module 2, before learning about Business Analytics in Module 3. Each Module is delivered by expert professors from BU’s Metropolitan College who spend a week in Madrid working closely with small groups (typically 12 – 15) of CEU students and even team-teaching in some cases. Students participate in a couple of online video classes before their Module and follow up by submitting an assignment directly to their BU professor.
During their semester in Boston our students take 4 or 5 courses selected from a wide range of courses in fields such as Finance, Marketing, Advertising and so on. Certain CEU subjects are then recognized and the grades obtained at BU are converted into CEU grades.
Most CEU students live in one of BU’s official halls of residence (or “dorms”) which are located all over the large urban campus alongside the Charles River which separates the city of Boston from Cambridge (home to Harvard and MIT) to the north.
Students on the Program have a variety of ways of getting involved with their Program. Perhaps the most innovative of these is the role of Teaching Assistant; each year we offer 5 or 6 students who have completed their semester at BU the chance to work alongside a BU professor while delivering a BU Module in Madrid. This really does offer final-year students a unique opportunity to work closely with a professor they have probably already met in Boston, while helping a group of younger CEU-BU students to navigate the BU Module experience successfully.
Having been involved with the Program since the beginning in 2006-07, it has been a pleasure to see how CEU’s relationship with our ‘big brothers’ at BU has grown and consolidated. Each year, during my visit to Boston, many BU professors congratulate me on the quality of the students we send to Boston; not only their academic level but also their command of English and the fact that they participate actively in classes.
So, despite the fact that the CEU-BU Program celebrated its 10th anniversary back in March 2016…..there is plenty life in the Program and much to look forward to as the relationship between CEU and Boston University matures and strengthens to the benefit of our students past, present and future!
D. Graham Jones
Es coordinador del programa CEU-BU