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
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.
A 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.