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IGNITE Program

The Ignatian Global Network In Technology and Engineering (IGNITE) program is a unique study abroad experience for high-achieving first-semester engineering students to begin their studies at Saint Louis University at its Madrid Campus in Spain.

Engineers need to have broad engineering skills and know-how, be flexible and mobile, and have the skills to work internationally. After all, many of society’s largest challenges are global in scope. Engineering is often performed in an international marketplace dominated by multi-national companies, which are increasingly globally integrated. The ability to tackle global problems and participate in a global community is essential for today’s engineering graduates.

 IGNITE will prepare you for an exciting global engineering career by fostering cross-cultural understanding and a providing a global perspective.  SLU-Madrid’s campus offers the same courses—in English—as Saint Louis University and meets all requirements for the engineering curriculum. Therefore, upon their return, IGNITE participants will be on track in their programs, having earned the same academic credits as students in St. Louis.  IGNITE participants will also have additional opportunities during their sophomore or junior years to participate in another semester abroad, or in international internships or research projects. They may also participate in the Grand Challenge Scholars and Global Gateway programs, both of which lead to special recognition for international experiences.

Program Details

Pre-Departure Orientation

In June, participants will meet in St. Louis to prepare for their academic and international experience, including placement in classes and meeting their academic advisor from Madrid.

Group Flight

Participants may choose to travel together to and from Madrid. Their Parks College mentor will accompany them to Madrid.

Group Housing

The international engineering students will live together in single-sex apartments through the Madrid Campus’ “Host Family” program, with a full meal-plan.

Orientation Activities in Madrid

The Parks faculty mentor will remain in Madrid during the first week of the semester, to advise and support students to ensure a successful start to their College careers. There will be several special orientation activities and events, including:

  • Group excursions to sites of important engineering feats, from Roman civilization in Spain to the present
  • New Student Convocation
  • Madrid Campus Welcome Sessions
  • Safety and Security Sessions
  • One-on-one and group meetings with both the Parks College faculty members and SLU-Madrid faculty.
  • Special Events throughout the Semester, including guest lectures, research and industrial site visits both in Spain and other parts of Europe, and social activities.

Advising and Registration for the Spring Semester in St. Louis

Students in Madrid will be advised by their Parks College faculty mentor throughout the semester and will work with him or her to schedule their spring classes in St. Louis.

Program Costs


Tuition is the same as the main campus in St. Louis with a $3,000 grant for participating in the SLU-Madrid study abroad program. U.S. students may apply their financial aid to their studies in Madrid.

Housing and Board

Housing and board fees are paid directly to the Madrid Campus in Euros: the fee includes half room/board with a host family as well as Billiken bucks for lunches in the on-campus “Unity” cafeteria.

Activity Fee

The activity fee covers the cost of special excursions (to sites in Spain and Europe) and events in Madrid. The fee will be based on the number of students who enter the program. The estimate for this feel is 1500 euros to be paid directly to the Madrid Campus.


Flight arrangements will be made by Saint Louis University.  Students will depart together from St. Louis to Madrid after attending the St. Louis campus’s Fall Welcome activities.  Students will then return to the city of their choosing upon completion of their semester in December.  Costs will vary depending on location of return city.


Click here to apply for the IGNITE Program. 


  • Application Deadline: February 1
  • Notification of Acceptance: Rolling
  • Paperwork and passport photo for SLU to handle visa documents: March 1
  • Program Deposit Due: May 1

Learn More Through SLU Madrid