Liberal Arts, Fall 2013, Issue II
Sports at UPF
This semester some Liberal Arts students are participating in sports at the Pompeu Fabra University. There are students on the basketball, soccer (Fútbol 7 and Fútbol sala), and volleyball teams. Teresa, from Lewis and Clark College said: “I love playing soccer, but that’s not the best thing about playing for UPF’s futbol sala and futbol-7 teams. I think joining a sports team was the best thing I could have done to actually get a taste of Barcelona’s culture. It’s a great immersion program... even if sometimes you accidentally agree to be on two soccer teams when really you were saying 'si, si, si!' because you thought it was friendly. I’ve made some great local friends through the soccer team that I’m definitely going to keep in contact with once I leave. And my only regret is that I’m leaving so soon. I highly recommend for anyone studying abroad to join a sports team, even if it’s a little intimidating at first, because you get to do something you enjoy and a chance to try and find a niche for yourself within Catalan and Barcelona culture.”
Arthur, from Minnesota State University, who plays basketball for the UPF said, “My experience has been really fun. I have been able to practice my Spanish in a new environment and meet some really cool Spanish people who share a similar interest.”
Gil-Marie, from Gordon College, plays volleyball and she commented: "My experience practicing sports at UPF is very different than what I was used to at home. Here we practice only once a week but it is a lot of fun. My teammates are really friendly and are quick to translate something for me when I don't understand the Catalan or Spanish instructions.”
Volunteering at a local school
We offer students different opportunities to volunteer while in Barcelona. Some students are volunteering in a local school, Escola Montseny, as English language assistants. “I work with 8-year-olds and 5-year-olds in English classes at Escuela Montseny," explains Teresa. "When I walk in everyone shouts 'Ello Esa!', and I say 'Hello!' and wipe the sweat off my face. They’re pretty young and they don’t speak much English so we communicate in 'Castecatalish' (Castellano, Catalan, and English) and manage to understand each other, but these interactions are my favorites because I get to see how they deal with situations in which words don’t always work in communicating the idea so you have to use motions or descriptions (kids are really good at this). I love talking to them and they’re always excited to see me and are always down to have impromptu dance parties. And when I leave to go home I’m always smiling.”
Jenna, from John Hopkins University, is volunteering with high school students. This is what she said about her experience: “I am enjoying my volunteer work at Montseny. The kids can be a bit loco sometimes but I have had some really interesting conversations and each time we seem to be more comfortable around each other. I have been asked some interesting questions about the United States but because of this I have been able to give these kids more incite into how another culture is and how stereotypes are not always correct. I am impressed with the level of English that these high school students have and, although they are a little rowdy sometimes, their ability to have intellectual conversations and ask thoughtful questions.”
Students in the Club Quijotes are participating in extra cultural activities to get the chance to practice their Spanish and to get more deeply immersed in the Spanish culture. One of the activities is that they need to see a Barça football game at the Camp Nou or in a local bar with Spaniards. O’Neill, from Vanderbilt, had the opportunity to attend the “clásico”, a game of Barça versus Madrid. You can read more about it at his post.
Quijotes students also went for a picnic at the Labyrinth Park in Barcelona. They had the opportunity to “get lost” in the maze and to enjoy the nice walk through the park.
Another assignment for Quijotes is to write a post for our blog. Here are some of the posts we have recieved so far: Elizabeth, from Elon University writes about a visit to Cavas Codorniu, O'Neill from Vanderbilt about Barça, Sophia from Elon about volunteering, Shannon from George Washington about her love of "futbol", Anna from University of Colorado Boulder about living with a host family, Mary-Lloyd from Vanderbilt about our visit to Cordoba, and Emily from Elon about Cook & Taste!
Weekend trip to Sevilla and Córdoba
LA students travelled to Sevilla an Córdoba for this semester's weekend trip. In Sevilla we toured the historical neighborhood of Santa Cruz, visited the Cathedral and the Reales Alcázares, Plaza de España and attended a flamenco show. In Córdoba we toured the old town and visited the Cathedral-Mosque. You can find more about it in Mary-Lloyd's (Vanderbilt University) post in our blog.