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Jesuit connection: Loyola Andalucia students find home at Creighton

Loyola Andalucia studentsFor two students studying abroad at Creighton University this fall, Omaha may be far away from home, but Creighton feels very familiar, thanks in part to shared Jesuit ideals.

Teresa de Oriol Cebreros and Isabel Andrada-Vanderwilde are both senior law students at Universidad Loyola Andalucia - one of 189 Jesuit institutions of higher learning throughout the world - and both are from Seville, Spain, where the university is located.

Creighton's ties to Loyola Andalucia began last spring, when visitors from the university came to Omaha. In October, Creighton's president, the Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ, traveled to Loyola Andalucia for the installation of the first European chapter of Alpha Sigma Nu, the Jesuit honor society. At the ceremony, Fr. Hendrickson was honored as "Padrino de la primera promocion de Alpha Sigma Nu of Europa," signifying his role as a founding member of the chapter.

During the fall semester of 2016, both students have taken courses at Creighton in a variety of topics, including sociology and world politics.

Whereas American law students attain an undergraduate degree before commencing a course in legal studies ending in a juris doctor, in Spain, undergraduate students are able to study law from the beginning of their college careers. They receive an undergraduate degree in law, and then go on to earn a master's in the discipline.

One of the reasons Oriol Cebreros and Andrada-Vanderwilde decided on Creighton was its Jesuit values.

"The principles and values are similar to all," Oriol Cebreros said of both Jesuit universities.

"For us, it's very important to have values," Andrada-Vanderwilde said.

Classes at each university differ in the way they are taught. Homework, though commonly assigned in the U.S., is not as frequent in Spain. At Creighton, Oriol Cebreros, also felt more of a connection with her professors.

"Teachers are very easy to talk to and meet with," Oriol Cebreros said of Creighton's professors.

For Creighton students who travel to Loyola Andalucia, the two ensure they will be welcomed with open arms.

"It's a small city and people are very open," Oriol Cebreros said.

Many friends back home initially questioned their decision to come to Omaha instead of studying in a larger city. During fall break, the two traveled to New York and Chicago, and knew they had made the right decision.

"Omaha is not the typical scene when people think of America," Andrada-Vanderwilde said. "We are happy to be able to see another side of the country."

Before they leave Omaha at the end of the semester, there's still one place the two say they must see — Warren Buffet's house.

Creighton University is a Jesuit, Catholic university bridging health, law, business and the arts and sciences for a more just world.