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The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Suffolk announces development of plan to ‘wind down operations’ at Madrid campus

The program will remain fully operational through the upcoming year as discussions continue
Suffolk+Universitys+Madrid+campus
Grace MacDonald
Suffolk University’s Madrid campus

Suffolk University President Marisa Kelly announced that, as part of an ongoing assessment of Suffolk’s study abroad portfolio, the university will be developing a plan to “wind down” operations at its campus in Madrid, Spain.

In an email sent to university faculty and staff Tuesday obtained by The Suffolk Journal, Kelly said the primary goal of the assessment was to make study abroad more accessible to students. 

“This planning takes into consideration a number of factors, including an increasingly crowded and competitive landscape in Spain,” said Kelly. “… It has become clear that in order to compete in this environment the university would need to make significant investments in a range of areas to provide the educational experience Madrid students demand and deserve, including a dramatic expansion of four-year degree programs in Spain, facilities and personnel, which does not align with our larger institutional goals.”

Suffolk senior Jailene Colón felt this need for change at Suffolk’s sister campus during her semester abroad in spring 2023. 

“I definitely felt a lack of supportive departments [at Suffolk Madrid] which are a big influence in the community as a whole. Things like Counseling, Health and Wellness or the Division of Student Success, you can’t find that out there, and it’s hard,” Colón said. “We’re sister campuses, but it feels like really long-distance cousins.”

Kelly said the Madrid campus will still be fully operational for the 2023-24 academic year, and the decrease in operations will not happen until the end of the spring semester at the earliest.

Despite the room for improvement Colón noted during her time in Spain, the political science student found comfort in her abroad experience by being at an alternative campus of her own university rather than at a partnership school. 

“I think it’s important for the transition because a lot of students who go abroad are going abroad for the first time and I think it’s just important to know you have a safe place to go,” Colón said. 

University spokesman Greg Gatlin said students studying at the Madrid campus this upcoming year will not be impacted, and emphasized that the university is still in the planning process. He added that it is not clear when a final decision regarding the campus’ future will be made.

Kelly assured the Suffolk community that Suffolk’s possible shift away from its Madrid campus will not limit students who intend to study abroad.

“We have begun discussing an expansion of our weeklong Global Gateway Program for first-year students,” said Kelly in the email. “For those students who are able to study for a semester or longer, we will add additional options in Spain to the study abroad locations around the globe that we already support.”

According to the email, Suffolk has already worked with over 50 institutions to offer study abroad opportunities in 30 countries.

A broader announcement will be made to students upon return to campus in the fall, said Gatlin.

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About the Contributors
Shealagh Sullivan, Editor-in-Chief | she/her
Shealagh is a senior majoring in journalism with a minor in international relations from Ashby, Massachusetts. She has previously worked as a co-op for the Boston Globe on the homepage desk and as an intern for GBH News and Boston Public Radio. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, finding a new favorite coffee spot and exploring Boston. She is a huge art lover and wants nothing more than to see the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. After graduation, Shealagh hopes to be a political journalist in Washington D.C. Follow Shealagh on X @ShealaghS.
Maren Halpin, News Editor | she/her
Maren is a sophomore print/web journalism major with a minor in political science from Milford, Massachusetts. When she’s not in The Journal office, you can usually find Maren in Suffolk’s orientation office or at an on-campus event. In her free time, she loves to go to her favorite coffee shops, listen to Noah Kahan, Hozier and Taylor Swift on repeat, explore the city and spend time with family and friends. Maren is passionate about politics and hopes to go into political journalism in the future. 
Grace MacDonald, Graduate Copy Editor | she/her
Grace is a graduate student from Seekonk, Massachusetts, majoring in communication with an integrated marketing communication concentration. Besides having a passion for writing, she enjoys listening to Taylor Swift, watching movies and exploring the city. She loves to travel and rock climbs in her free time. After graduating, she hopes to work in corporate communications. Follow Grace on X @GraceM123456

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  • C

    Cameron BroderickMar 25, 2024 at 9:03 pm

    Bad move, Suffolk. Everyone loved the Madrid campus. It was the only part of Suffolk that made me ‘loyal’ to the school. It was the element that attracted me to Suffolk in the first place. The best education I got at Suffolk was there. Thanks to all the faculty and supporting staff—you all were outstanding. Suffolk Boston was a disappointment after returning from Madrid. No camaraderie with other students and clases were far less challenging. Que pena.

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  • O

    OliviaOct 2, 2023 at 9:53 pm

    One of the most formative experiences in my life was living in Madrid for two years while attending Suffolk University Madrid. This is extremely disheartening news!! The experience was enriching, challenging, and engaging thanks to a well-designed program and stellar staff. They would go out of their way to support any student. My heart breaks that such a unique opportunity won’t be available for future Suffolk students, being that it was so monumental for me and the friends I made there. ¡Que lastima y pena más grande!

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  • D

    DanielOct 1, 2023 at 10:18 am

    My three semester spent at SUMC were quiet the contrary to what is being negatively described in this article. I witnessed first hand a highly dedicated and competent staff. This article lacks any depth of comprehension about Spanish culture, services offered in Spain and feels extremely one sided. Shame on Suffolk Boston for winding down operations at SUMC and shame on the writer of this article for pursing a one sided narrative!

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Suffolk announces development of plan to ‘wind down operations’ at Madrid campus