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From Melbourne to Madrid - VU sports students touch down in Spain

Aerial view of Real Madrid stadium, Estadio Central, at sunset

A group of 10 students from Victoria University’s (VU) Master of Sports Business and Integrity – including three international students – are about to embark on a Spanish study trip of a lifetime.

Accompanied by students from the Master of Sports Science (Football Performance), the VU clique is making its way to the Spanish capital of Madrid to begin a two-week residential program from 28 August with the Real Madrid Graduate School Universidad Europea, a joint venture between the world-famous Real Madrid Football Club and the European University of Madrid (UEM).

During their stay, students from both degrees will join classes at UEM and participate in various off-campus activities – including a tour of the Santiago Bernabeu stadium and spectating a Real Madrid game – to learn first-hand how the soccer club runs its sport business and high performance sport science operations.

In addition to behind-the-scenes tours of Real Madrid City (the club’s training facilities), the program will extend beyond the club to include; meetings with Spain’s soccer federation, basketball organisations and fitness centres; a trip to watch a bull fight in action and discover the multipurpose uses of a bull ring; and an excursion to Caja Magica to learn about the inner workings of the Madrid Open tennis tournament.

A compulsory part of both degrees, the program counts towards two units of study, with students receiving a travel grant to cover the cost of their airfare, accommodation and meals. The program runs Monday to Friday over the fortnight, allowing ample free time to explore Spain and beyond.

Master of Sport Business and Integrity course coordinator Dr Eric Schwarz says students get the opportunity to explore the global nature of sport business from a cultural perspective.

“It allows students to experience sports facilities and events that they wouldn’t normally experience on a regular basis, such as a bull fight or a European soccer match, which is very different to a soccer match in Melbourne,” Dr Schwarz says.

“It broadens their minds to the international nature of sport business and offers an opportunity for students to expand their knowledge base and their global networks,” he says.

Established in 2014, the VU-Real Madrid Graduate School Universidad Europea partnership involves not only the residential program in Madrid but also online webinars and guest lectures delivered at VU by Real Madrid Graduate School Universidad Europea lecturers.

While the organisation has similar partnerships with universities around the world, VU was selected as the first Australian partner university because of our leadership in sport education and research.

Professor Hans Westerbeek, Dean of the College of Sport & Exercise Science, says the partnership is testament to VU’s reputation as a leading sports university in the sports capital of the world.

“Our partnership with the Real Madrid Graduate School is an excellent example of how VU connects to leading global sport brands, and offers students and staff a truly embedded study and learning environment,” Professor Westerbeek says.

Watch this video to discover why international student Neil MacDougall chose VU’s Master of Sport Business and Integrity.

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