Colombia Purdue Initiative — CPI

Did you know...?

The close bond between Purdue University and Colombia began decades ago.  It has sustained and grown stronger over time, but especially in the current decade, since Purdue launched its Colombia Purdue Initiative in 2010.  In six short years, hundreds of individuals from all across Colombia and Purdue have crossed the Caribbean to explore and implement collaborations that matter to our collective futures. 

Our greatest joint asset, however, is you – our alumni  – you share a deep, lifelong attachment to your beloved country of Colombia and to your university family here at Purdue (and around the world!).

This section is an opportunity for us to feature and appreciate the stories of our common history and to acknowledge the contributions of those who have built the Colombia Purdue legacy.


The only risk in studying in Medellin is that you will never want to leave!


Through a study-abroad partnership, Purdue and EAFIT has been inspiring the next generation of engineers to embark on a journey that offers a great learning experience. Set in the modern city of Medellín, Colombia, EAFIT University provides coursework in English and immersion in Spanish language and Latin American culture. Students get to know Colombia and its culture through socializing with the locals and traveling through the country.

Students complete coursework at one of the finest schools in Colombia in an atmosphere conducive to an amazing learning experience. "Your credits actually transfer back and they mean something. They're not just general electives, they are courses for your major," says Marissa Berns, a student in the Industrial Engineering program at Purdue. Similarly, Civil Engineering student Nadia Aljabi says, “One of my favorite parts of being here has been my classes.” And she adds, “[There are] maybe 10 to 20 [people in a class], maybe 30 max. Because of that, the teachers talk to you, look at you, give you attention, and everybody in the class itself talks to each other and discusses the topic. It makes you feel passionate about what you are studying.”

Even though participation in the program can be completed in English, studying in Medellín is an exciting way to improve Spanish proficiency. The accent of people from Medellín is known for being clear and easy to understand, important for students eager to improve their Spanish skills. “Spanish is not necessarily a requirement, not at all. But it would help a lot. And everyone's willing to help you learn. I came here with not too much Spanish experience but I have picked up quite a bit on my own,” said Computer Engineering student, Paul Krogmeier. There is also an option to take courses entirely in Spanish. Civil Engineering student Rebekah Miller says “The classes taught in Spanish have been very difficult, but I'm enjoying learning a whole new vocabulary for civil engineering.”

Medellín’s year-round warm weather, its nice and modern views, and its happy and welcoming people enhance the students’ experience in ‘The City of the Eternal Spring’. “The weather [in Medellín] is so nice! It's always warm. Especially being from the Midwest, I love having springtime weather all the time. The views are also great! We're surrounded by mountains, but not the snowy mountains you see in Colorado. They are tropical mountains. There are pine trees and palm trees which is the neatest thing,” says Marissa. Engineering student Mark Adams also sums up his experience by saying, “The people are just fantastic. They help you with anything you need. And it's a very nice environment in the city and there are a lot of opportunities to do different things. I would highly recommend anyone coming to Medellín and specifically EAFIT. It's a great university. I loved all my time here and I would do it again. Definitely.” Additionally, Medellín has rich cultural traditions and a growing economy, which makes it a very appealing place to study for students of all majors. “One of my favorite things to do in Medellín is to go salsa dancing because not only can you experience the culture but you also get to experience all the parts of Medellín as well”, says Corey Beck.

Aside from Medellín, students get the chance to travel and enjoy Colombia’s ecological and cultural diversity. From the snowcapped peaks of the Andes Mountains to the biodiversity of the Amazon Rainforest, there is plenty of natural beauty to discover. Colombia has a diverse fusion of cultures, dialects, landscapes, food and seemingly unlimited amount of natural resources. “My favorite experience is being able to travel throughout all of Colombia. Being able to travel and see the culture in the coast, in Medellín, as well as in the capital, and even being able to experience a little bit of the indigenous people,” says Corey. “When you are in the middle of the country versus the outskirts there are different foods, people speak at different rates, and they have different ways of speaking; it's really cool,” adds Nadia. “Every day, everywhere you go, you will learn something new. It’s not a static place,” concludes Oluwatoni Adetayo. Other students have also had the chance to explore out of Colombia. “This past semester has been an absolutely incredible experience for me. Being able to travel around different areas in South America has been such a rare opportunity that not a lot of the other students get to experience” says Desarae Diedrich, a junior studying Mechanical Engineering.

Summing up, Colombia is an amazing destination for students that wish to experience Latin America, improve their Spanish skills, or simply complement their coursework. Check all the short videos produced by EAFIT to learn more about the students’ experience with courses, outdoor activities, safety, and Colombian food and culture. For program details please visit Purdue Study Abroad page.







Help us build our Colombia Purdue history!


We found this photograph within the  Purdue Library’s Archives and Special Collections. It was taken September 1969 in BOGOTA during a Purdue Alumni Club meeting. However, we do not know the people or story of this image -- do you recognize someone (maybe yourself) in the picture? What is your story? Or your friend’s story? What is the history of the Purdue Bogota Alumni Club? Who organized it? What did they do and why did it stop?

Por Favor, HELP us build the story of the Colombia Purdue legacy and SHARE what you know about this picture. Click HERE to write to us and to upload other photos and stories that you saved from your Purdue adventures as a student and your family and life experiences after Purdue.


Copyright Purdue University Libraries. All rights reserved.


Go back to newsletter

Go to archive "Did you know"