Even though core engineering courses are taught in English in all of our Latin America/Spain LEAPs, many of our partner institutions offer intensive Spanish courses before the semester starts or semester-long Spanish courses (in some cases, free of charge). Employers of Purdue engineering graduates value the ability of engineers to speak Spanish as well as having a deeper understanding and appreciation of the Hispanic culture. Bilingual workers earn up to 20% more than whose who speak only one language. 1

In addition, Future Work Skills 2020 has global and intercultural learning as one of the key skills needed in the future workforce. The custom pre-departure courses for the Latin America/Spain LEAPs plus the time you spend abroad support the development of those skills. We also have a signature Colombia-STEP Abroad program that is exclusively designed to develop professional, intercultural, and global skills.

New for Spring 2019! Purdue's School of Languages and Cultures is launching a new course specially designed for Engineering students: SPAN 398, Spanish for Engineering and Technology. See more details here or contact Cecilia Tenorio for more information.

Latin American Programs are partially funded by a Department of State Initiative

STEPs and LEAPs in Latin America are partially funded by the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund grants sponsored by Exxon Mobil. This is the White House’s premiere education initiative for the Western Hemisphere.

Read more: Purdue receives ExxonMobil grant at White House kickoff.

There are many reasons to study abroad in Latin America. Approximately 40% of U.S. exports go to Latin America, and Latin American exports to the U.S. are even higher. In addition, the Hispanic population of the U.S. has surpassed 50 million, making it the second largest concentration of Spanish speaking people next to Mexico.

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People might assume things about Colombia based on TV and movies... but today's Colombia is peaceful, thriving, and according to Lonely Planet, the #2 travel destination in the world in 2017. From the mountains to the Caribbean coast, there is so much to explore in this South American country.

LEAP to EAFIT, Medellín

EAFIT and Purdue have had a longstanding relationship. One of EAFIT’s founders Peter Santamaria accredited his Purdue experiences in the 60’s as being a major influence in the establishment of engineering programs in Medellín. The city offers modern transportation systems and efficient infrastructure, which earned it the title of “Innovative City of the Year” in 2012. Medellín is the second-largest city in Colombia and the capital of the department of Antioquia.

LEAP to Universidad del Norte, Barranquilla

Purdue and Universidad del Norte (Uninorte) have partnered on several initiatives, including the 2014 Fulbright-Uninorte Catedra on Sustainable Development which was co-organized by the two institutions. Uninorte is ABET-accredited in all of its engineering programs and it is the top-3 institution in the country. Barranquilla is a gateway to Latin America. Located in the Caribbean, it is only a two hour flight from the United States and one hour from Panama. It is Colombia's fourth largest city and it was named the American Capital of Culture in 2013.

SURGE to Universidad de los Andes , Bogotá

Universidad de los Andes (Uniandes) was founded in 1948. It was the first private higher education institution in Colombia that was non-denominational and independent from social or economic power groups. Uniandes is ABET-accredited in most of its engineering programs and it is the top-1 institution in the country. In addition, this is the first institution in the country to offer state-of-the art dorms at affordable prices. Bogotá, the capital city, was founded in 1538 and provides a wide range of entertainment that includes around 50 museums, fine dining, lively nightlife, and nearby nature reserves. It is the geographic, administrative, political, and industrial center of the country. With a population of more than nine million, Bogotá is one of the largest cities in South America. Read about summer research opportunities at Uniandes here.

Now taking applications for Summer 2021!

Spain LEAP

Spain is a melting pot of history, culture, and beauty. From the cosmopolitan streets of Madrid to the Mediterranean coasts of Valencia, Spain offers a fascinating glimpse into European life. Around 40 engineering students participate in SPAIN LEAPs every year. Spain provides educational opportunities of the highest standards with competitive cost of living 8 and an attractive lifestyle. 9

LEAP to UPV (Universitat Politècnica de València), Valencia

The quality of the UPV is proven and recognized, with first-rate teaching, modern facilities, and excellent services. It was recently ranked as the best polytechnic institution in Spain and the top-1 in the region. In addition,UPV is ABET-accredited in four of its engineering programs. Valencia has seen a variety of different cultures throughout its long history: The Romans, the Visigoths and the Moors made the city an important center of culture and finance. Today, Valencia is Spain’s third largest metropolitan area, just after Madrid and Barcelona. Museums, beaches, and cafes are at your doorstep. Take advantage of the opportunity to live and learn in this vibrant Spanish city!

LEAP to UC3M (Universidad Carlos III Madrid), Madrid

UC3M is located on the southern edge of Madrid and is made up of five campuses. Purdue students spend most of their time at Leganes (School of Engineering) and Getafe (School of Law and Social Sciences; School of Humanities, Communication, and Library Sciences). Students have the opportunity to take classes in English while living alongside local students to fully immerse themselves in Spanish culture. Students attend an orientation program at the start of the semester; these “Welcome Days” are an opportunity for you to settle in at UC3M and meet other international and Spanish students.

LEAP to UPC (Universistat Politècnica de Catalunya, BarcelonaTech), Barcelona

UPC is a featured study abroad destination for EE students! See the EE course equivalencies here. UPC offers students the opportunity to work on hands-on projects with multinational corporations, like HP Barcelona. Live alongside locals and form lifelong relationships. Barcelona is the capital of the autonomous community of Catalonia and it is the country’s second largest city. Barcelona is a melting pot of cultural treasures, artistic brilliance, and natural beauty, not to be missed. Explore all this city has to offer! Las Ramblas, Museu Picasso, and Gaudi’s architectural wonders are at your doorstep when you study in Barcelona.

Featured STEPs and Summer Internships

STEP to Colombia

STEP to Spain

SURGE UniAndes