Archive for the ‘Diary of a MIR Student’ Category


Hi everyone! Saludos a todos.

I’m sitting here in my apartment in Madrid, munching on the famous Spanish mandarins and Canarian bananas, writing this post after finishing the notoriously difficult 2nd term of the program. I feel mentally and physically exhausted, but very accomplished, accompanied with a sense of excitement for the MIR program’s upcoming Brussel’s trip. We will visit key EU Institutions and even NATO and have the opportunity to attend an EU Parliamentary session. I’ve officially passed the half way point of the program and it’s crazy to think that I’ll be done in just a few months. It is within this context that I begin writing to you all today.

My name is Calvin, a student of the Masters in International Relations program at IE. I’m from Sunnyvale, California, USA in the heart of all things technology-related in Silicon Valley. Most of my friends and family work in technology, many as engineers or programmers. It seemed natural that I too, should pursue a career in tech. After starting my undergraduate as a major in Computer Science and taking my first programming course, I immediately knew it was not for me. I noticed I lacked the enthusiasm and interest that my classmates had as they typed away on their laptops and spent weekends holed up in the basement level computer lab.

At age 20, I went to participate in a summer Japanese intensive study program in Kyoto, Japan because of a strong recommendation from a friend. That trip really changed my life by opening up the world to me. I felt like a fish that had finally left its fishbowl and had discovered the ocean with its vast unknown, yet exciting possibilities.

That event spurred me to begin to pursue further international opportunities during my undergraduate and post-graduation through interacting more with international students at my home university and also via studying, volunteering, traveling, and working internationally.

By the time I was applying for the IE School of International Relations, I had lived in several countries already. I was sitting in my Japanese tatami style room in Taipei, Taiwan with the table was covered in Chinese books and piles of papers with sketches of Chinese characters. My laptop was on the table with an application open for the MIR in Madrid, Spain. I felt that an International Relations program would have been the perfect match for me.

Fast forward 9 months later and now I am living in Madrid, Spain.

On a concluding note, I will be keeping a running blog of our Brussels trip so stay tuned for updates!


Best Wishes,


This will be my last post…

I said last week that I would explain why IE Business School is such a great option; so, I will begin with that. The main reason why I chose to study at IE was because it was much cheaper than graduate schools in the U.S. This reason may not be understood by all – especially if you if you are not from the States; however the following reasons certainly can resonate with all. The programs at IE are very short, and very intense — a preferable method to many over the long, slow-paced programs in the U.S. and in most other countries. I believe the best thing about IE, though, is the international student body and professors, from whom you can learn much. Lastly, IE desires for you to have a balance between study and personal life/fun/relaxing, and also a balance in class concerning the teaching method and material.

My year and a half (I did two programs) at IE Business School was one of the best periods of my life and I highly recommend embarking upon this memorable experience to all. Good luck to all of those who will study at IE Business School in the future, and I know that your experience here will be just as unforgettably great as mine was.


2 weeks remaining…

2 weeks to go! In the next two weeks, we have four intense courses to finish and our thesis to submit. Additionally, I´m sure most of us are still searching for jobs; or at least, preparing to move and start fresh in a new location.

The next 3 weeks for me will be mostly focused on school (along with looking for jobs). The week after classes end we have to defend our thesis, which understandably, is also very demanding. Immediately following the program, in addition to packing and preparing to move, I expect to spend time with my close friends before I leave.

I don´t know how many more times I will write in this blog, but just in case next week is the last, I will write about why IE Business School is such a great option for pursuing a degree and why it should be considered by all…


3 weeks left…

3 weeks to go! I have really enjoyed my time here in Madrid and consider it perhaps the best year of my life. I have already accepted that my time here will soon come to an end and I am doing my best to see all of my friends here and enjoy my life here as much as possible before I go.

I am still considering many options concerning jobs. I am weighing factors such as position, pay, lifestyle, location, language, friends, and family.

Regardless of what I end up doing and where I end up going, I will always remember and be grateful for my year in Madrid at IE Business School.



I went to London last weekend to check out the city and future possibilities. The reason for going was business, but I did enjoy myself some as well. I have friends there, and we chose to have dinner on the 32nd floor of a hotel building with a spectacular view. We also went to Richmond, a small town located just outside of London with a relaxing environment and a beautiful country scenery.

We finished the last term on Tuesday and we have already begun with the elective period. We have 4 courses and each of my four I find interesting. But still, my priority lies in landing a good job. I have been interviewing quite a bit and I´m weighing my options carefully. I still want to work in London, but because of the visa issue, I am beginning to realize I may have to go back to the U.S.  I will continue to try my best to stay and work over here, however, because I am not ready to leave my friends and my life that I have here.

We have just over a month left in the program…

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