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3 posts from September 2013


Economics & Culture, Fall 2013, Issue I


Welcome Presentation at Host Institution

Our host institution, the UPF (Universitat de Pompeu Fabra), hosted a full day of useful and interesting presentations to welcome its 400 international exchange students for Fall 2013.  CIEE Economics and Culture students gathered with other mainly American, European and South Americans students to learn what they can expect during their study abroad experience with UPF:  the services and support that they will receive; its academic offerings; its intramural sports, cultural activities and volunteering opportunities that are organized for this semester.  A representative from the American Consulate was also present to provide students with additional safety tips, particularly focusing on instructions about losing of passports, robberies, etc.  Participants who plan to take classes in UPF´s Economics and Business Administration Departments were given a specific break-out session to cover with topics purely pertaining to these mentioned departments.  By the end of the day students had received an abundance of information and guidelines to initiate a challenging yet surely fulfilling semester.

Field Trip to Girona and Calella

Girona calella

For the first one-day trip this semester, our EC students headed north of Catalunya to the emblematic city of Girona and the beautiful coastal town of Calella.  They were given a tour by a professional tour guide through the historical sections of Girona and then were given free time to roam on their own, to which some students took to test the warm water of the Mediterranean sea.  Given the smiles on their faces, we guess that an important highlight of the trip was the stop to the ice cream parlor "Rocambolesco", a relatively new establishment initiated by the international recognized team of three brother restauranteers of "El Celler de Can Roca". EC students Peter and Matias, from Fordham and Georgetown University, respectively, shared their love of chocolate ice cream and gave a double "thumbs-up" upon munching down their tasty treats.

Scavenger Hunt

IMG_0398A fun joint activity with students from the Architectural and Design Program (AD) and Language and Culture Program (LC) turned very fruitful for three of our EC students, who had formed part of the team which won the scavenger hunt competition through "Gracia", one of the quaintest and most authentic neighborhoods in Barcelona.  Students had approximately 90 minutes to find the most emblematic sites in Gracia, including its "city hall", open food markets, local food dishes/items, etc.  Upon submitting their written "report" and photographs as proof that they actually had reached the designated locations, the first group to do so were awarded a free lunch for each member of the team.  Overall, some 40 students came to the event and many claimed it was "a really wonderful way to discover a new neighborhood" and several also mentioned that they had picked up many business cards of the locations along the way and will be back for a visit.

Advanced Liberal Arts, Fall 2013, Issue I


Dear colleagues and friends, 

These last two weeks have been very intense for the students participating in the CIEE Advanced Liberal Arts program at the Universidad de Barcelona (UB). Last week, right after the mandatory “Advanced Writing & Stylistic” course ended, the CIEE and direct enrolment classes at the UB started. This term, our students are taking classes in ten different Departments in disciplines and courses as varied as Cellular Biology, Macroeconomics, Sociology of the Future and Socio-Political Perspectives, Photography, Aesthetics and Ideology of Spanish Romanticism, Latin American Literature until Modernism, Byzantium and Islam, Geography of Europe, Private International Law, Literature & Cinema in Spain, International Organizations…

But during these first weeks in Barcelona, our students have also had time to practice the language, to explore their new city and university with local guides and professors, and to meet local students through the linguistic exchanges with the goal of familiarizing themselves with a new culture, but also with a new academic tradition that is quite different to their own back in the States. That is why this term we have introduced a new Intercultural Development Program. Because simply living abroad and speaking a foreign language is not always synonymous to total immersion and does not guarantee the success of an experience so radical and exciting as living and in a new culture. In order to understand and be a participant in what happens around you, it is necessary to develop certain intercultural competence. This program aims to facilitate a series of tools necessary to obtaining competence that, without an element of observation and personal reflection, is not easy to obtain.

After this non-stop beginning, we deserve a break… And what could be better than a weekend trip to Seville and Cordoba to discover Andalusian art and history during the first days of the fall season in Spain? We promise some pictures of this trip in the next Newsletter.

La foto 1
La foto 3
La foto 4


Architecture & Design, Fall 2013, Issue I



This term, three Architecture and Design students are participating in CIEE's internship program, gaining practical experience at a Barcelona architecture firm while pursuing the AD academic program. The offices collaborating with CIEE in the AD internship program are award-winning firms AV62, Domingo-Ferré Arquitectes and Frediani Arquitectura (located moreover in the famous Casa Planells designed by Josep Maria Jujol in 1924). 


A photo of Frediani Arquitectura studio


Barcelona has just added a new highlight to its many architectural wonders: el Born Centre Cultural. This is a unique and exceptional place that brings together three centuries of our history. Below the cast-iron structure of the iconic 19th century marketplace lies the Barcelona of 1700, and the timeline that naturally emerges in this memorable space invites us to look into the past, the present and the future.


National Day of Catalonia

September 11th is the National Day of Catalonia, and while celebrations abound, the day is actually the anniversary of the end of a long siege that resulted in Catalonia losing its independence back in 1714. This year was marked with a human chain of protesters that ran from one end of the region to the other… 400km in total of people holding hands, wearing Catalan flags, singing and cheering. It was a very unique opportunity for our students to be able to witness!!

Below, Ally from the University of Florida and Paige from the University of Massachussets, Amherst already are showing off their Catalan pride after less than 2 weeks here!

What else have they been up to?

A few photos that Emily, from Tufts University, shared with us from her first two weeks!

Doing a photo scavenger hunt through the neighborhood of Gràcia.

Students quickly found Conesa, a popular spot among local students to get a great sandwich.

Visiting one of Barcelona's most famous architecture hotspots - The Sagrada Familia!

Enjoying the last few days of beach weather before fall sets in.