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9 posts from December 2013


Economics & Culture, Fall 2013, Issue III


Dear Study Abroad Advisors,

We have had much to be thankful for during this Fall Semester and with the final week coming to a close, we wanted to highlight in this newsletter what some of the students themselves have shared with us that they are grateful for!

Happy Holidays and may the new year bring you joy, health and prosperity!


Thanks Received and Given


As during every Fall semester,  this November we had organized once a again a special Thanksgiving dinner for some 100 students, professors, host institution partners and the CIEE staff  at a well-known restaurant “Brasserie Flo” to celebrate this very important US traditional celebration.

Everybody came very well dressed and we all shared a good time, eating turkey with mashed potatoes and cranberries sauce, taking photos, talking, laughing, and enjoying the festive ambience. And of course, we wanted to provide an opportunity for students to give thanks and here is a representative sample of what was on their mind.

 “ I am thankful for my life, family, friends and all the experiences that have made me who I am today”

“I am thankful for the opportunities I have had and all of the friendships I have made”

“I am thankful for my family and friends that always support me”

“I am thankful for all the people I met on this study abroad program, my friends here. Having an amazing time in Barcelona and my awesome host family”


CIEE Barcelona Study Center

Christel, the CIEE Barcelona Study Center receptionist, is one of the our staff members who has the possibility to view first-hand, day in and day out, how our students' cultural integration changes during the semester.  What follows is her personal account on what she perceives: 

“With each passing week, I see how these young students change, first from being shy and doubtful students to becoming more outgoing and self-confident people. I take it as my personal commitment to make them feel like at home by: welcoming every day with a friendly and sincere smile, being available to assist them, caring about how they are and how they feel, inquiring about their weekend plans and about their adaptation in Barcelona. I believe my interest and genuine concern helps them to become more comfortable and with time, they often would come to the reception desk to talk, either practice their Spanish or just to spend some time with me to explain to me their experiences.

The closeness that I eventually have with them makes the last weeks of the program to have a real “bittersweet” atmosphere. It's a feeling of mixed emotions because they feel excited to go home to see their family and friends but they also feel sad for leaving a city that they love, their teachers, the guardian angels, their host-families, their new friends that they have made at the host institutions, and all the CIEE Barcelona staff members. I share the same type of feelings: a happiness to see that they have lived an unforgettable experience, have learned new things, have engrossed in our way of life, our habits and traditions and at the same time I feel sad to see them depart. So, for that reason, when some alumni students choose Barcelona as a tourist destination for their holidays and decide to return back to CIEE to see us, we feel so proud of the work we do daily.

Based on this experience, the students have convinced me to believe and understand that it is the small gestures and details that we have with them are the ones that make an important impact.”

CIEE Barcelona Reception

Liberal Arts, Fall 2013, Issue III


It has been a wonderful semester!  We are very proud of this outstanding group of students who have been very engaged in their academic, cultural and learning experience while in Barcelona. Thanks for a great semester and we hope they keep practicing their Spanish!!!

Museo Chocolate LA 007

These are some of the last activities students did:

Hiking and Calçotada

The best evaluated daytrip among students is the hike and calçotada. LA students went to the hills of Barcelona where they hiked for 1.5 hours and then were compensated with a traditional Catalan meal: the calçotada. Students learned the skill of dipping the calçot (a kind of leek) in romesco sauce and then ate it with their hands.  They really enjoyed the day and this gastronomic adventure.



Chocolate Museum

Quijotes students attended a chocolate workshop at the Chocolate Museum of Barcelona. We had a great time and students enjoyed making different products like chocolate bars, lollipops, or bonbons using various techniques. Students showed their creativity and made funny and some extravangant shapes.

Museo Chocolate LA 065
Museo Chocolate LA 067

Re-entry Workshop

LA students participated in the Re-entry Workshop, a session dedicated to reflect on their experience studying abroad in Barcelona, to understand the re-entry process and challenges, to learn strategies for adjustment and ways to stay globally engaged and to incorporate their experience into their daily lives. One of the activities consisted in sharing their best memory of the semester forming a web between them symbolizing their interconnection. Some of the best memories of our students were related to their experience with their host family; their volunteering; or their travelling.


Advanced Liberal Arts, Fall 2013, Issue III


This week ends the classes of the CIEE Advanced Liberal Arts program in the University of Barcelona. We celebrated a wonderful term at the beginning of the week with a farewell event where we shared memories (always in Spanish!) of these past months.

Darcy 3

This fall, of the 31 CIEE students enrolled in UB, 55% were attending classes in the Hispanic Philology Department, 19% in Geography and History, 13 % in Law, 6% in Psychology, 4% in Economics and Business, and 3% in Fine Arts. Many of them took classes in more than one department, thus completing the academic requirements for the majors and minors of their universities and colleges. For this reason, the CIEE Advanced Liberal Arts Program has broadened its course offerings with these departments: Biology, Business, Classics, Chemistry, Economics Sciences, Education, Fine Arts, Geography, History, History of Art, Hispanic Philology, International Affairs, Law, Mathematics, Modern Language and Literatures, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology.

This variety of academic departments involves a double advantage: on the one hand, the students encounter a greater quantity of courses that satisfy their academic interests; and on the other hand, this will facilitate student integration in the host institution, since they are taking classes in departments that traditionally enroll very few US students.

In this newsletter, we have the collaboration of our students: Michaela M. Wetter (Vanderbilt University), Tahil Sharma (University of La Verne) and Sean McCarthy (University of Colorado at Boulder), who have written about their experience during this fall term.

And last but not least, I am proud to share an example of the film adaptation class exercise that some students of the CIEE course “Literature & Cinema in Spain” made as a final project, adapting the screenplay “Viaje a la luna” (Trip to the Moon), that the Spanish poet Federico García Lorca made during his time in New York in 1929-30 after having been shocked by the work of his two close friends Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí. I am sure that you will enjoy this short movie:

Darcy 2


Tapas with friends, dancing until dawn and Europe as my backyard, are just the beginning of my list of why my time in Barcelona this fall was absolutely remarkable. The ability to utilize my Spanish to connect with a culture so full of Catalan pride, urban energy and beach ease was incredible. With the Advanced Liberal Arts program I was able to have the independence to truly make this experience my own, travel with the program, as well as on my own, and have the opportunity take a range of classes that I was interested in. Taking classes at University of Barcelona was an enlightening experience allowing me to improve my Spanish, as well as my understanding about Catalan culture. Furthermore, the ability to live with a host family allowed me to truly feel like I lived here and was not just a visitor. I lived with a Dominican family and next to a Swedish family and although neither is from here originally, they all moved here after studying; giving me the confidence that maybe one day I could do it too.

I cannot wait to return to my new home across the Atlantic and check even more off my list.

¡Hasta pronto Barcelona!

Michaela, Vanderbilt University


The Advanced Liberal Arts Program of CIEE Barcelona gave me the opportunity to explore the heights of my linguistic ability while providing the atmosphere of acculturation and independence. Classes through the program and through the Universitat de Barcelona provided me with a greater understanding of the cultural, historical and philological contexts of a country I have never been to, including many activities and excursions that help us take a more in-depth look at the ancient and modern world. With my focus on culture, religion and language, my goals to enrich and diversify my understanding of the world were meet with numerous opportunities to expand my knowledge and experience first hand the splendor and power of some of the greatest empires. From exploring cathedrals and mosques to Sevilla and Córdoba, to walking the hills of Tibidabo and Montserrat, to mingling with locals while tapeando, the ALA program and their amazing staff have provided all the means necessary to provide the utmost comfort, academic rigorousness and fun that really made the best of my experience while abroad.

What made the problems probably most worthwhile was the addition of Guardian Angels, fellow UB students who took time of their schedules to welcome us to Barcelona. While allowing us to practice our Spanish, we ended up building friendships with them and getting to spend a lot of great time together creating memories that would last a lifetime. 

Tahil, University of La Verne, Senior - International Studies, Minors in Japanese and Spanish


Before I arrived in Barcelona I was unsure of what to expect. I had studied abroad before but I still had doubts it would be the same type of experience. Upon arriving I immediately fell in love with the city and the culture of Spain and Cataluña. After the program started I started making friends but was upset about the housing situation because most of my classmates were not staying in the residence, which is what I chose to do. The residence was empty and felt oppressive at first because of the rules they have set in place. However, CIEE Barcelona has helped give me the best experience I could have ever hoped for. I allowed time to pass to see if the residence would get better and it did. I ended up meeting some of my best friends here in Spain, including my roommate who is like a brother to me now. I wouldn’t have ever had the chance to meet and become friends with so many Spanish students if I did not live in the residence. I overheard many incidents from my classmates that they were having difficulties meeting Spanish students, so I think overall I made a great choice.

The professors from both the CIEE program and the University of Barcelona did wonderful jobs helping me resolve my problems and issues with school and my personal life. A friend of mine from the states past away in October and the staff of both institutions attempted to help me and were always there to talk to me when I was upset. They truly helped me feel welcome and cared about.    

If I could give anyone a word of advice, it would be to study abroad with CIEE. They are wonderful people who really do care for the well being of their students. They also provided amazing resources to help us make the best out of our experiences.

Sean, University of Colorado at Boulder

Darcy 1



Name: Jenna
CIEE Barcelona Program: Liberal Arts
Semester: Fall 2013
Home School: Johns Hopkins University

IMG_1675Supe que Montserrat sería una montaña bonita y me sentí emocionada por subirla.  Sin embargo, cuando llegamos, la mayoría de nosotros decidimos subir y la vista fue más increíble de lo que podíamos imaginar.  A la hora de volver al autobús tres amigos y yo decidimos que queríamos subir a lo alto.  Esta ha sido una de las mejores decisiones que he tomado desde que estoy aquí en Europa.  

    Subimos a la cima y durante el camino paramos para escalar algunas piedras, admirar la vista y tomar fotos.  Cuando estábamos casi en la cima de la montaña había una vista increíble.  Paramos para tomar una foto del paisaje.  También decidimos escuchar música, beber cava y disfrutar de la experiencia. Fue un momento increíble e impresionante.  Finalmente, subimos a lo alto y pudimos verlo todo.

            Muchas de mis experiencias favoritas de mi tiempo aquí han sido fuera de la ciudad.  Soy monitora de actividades de tiempo libre y quería hacer cosas como subir montañas, hacer kayak, y otras actividades que hay en España o en Europa.  Aunque soy monitora de kayak en aguas rápidas y no he podido practicarlo aquí, he subido a Montserrat, he hecho una Via Ferrata, y he hecho kayak (pero no en aguas rápidas).  Estas actividades han sido las mejores experiencias de mi estancia en Barcelona.

    IMG_1702 IMG_1706


Business & Culture, Fall 2013, Issue III


Wait! Is he doing what I think he’s doing!?

Christmas in Catalunya wouldn’t be the same without this little guy: the infamous “Caganer.”  Yes, he is doing what you think he’s doing.  The Caganer can be found in almost every home in Catalunya tucked quietly in into the nativity scene. 

Caganer en belenThere are numerous theories of where this little guy came from and his significance, but no one knows for sure what the true history is, only that it’s believed to have existed since the 18th century.  When asked, Catalan families will tell you they always have a Caganer in their nativity scene for various reasons ranging from simple tradition to just a bit of humor for adults and children alike. 

Other theories involve stories of that of the Caganer, by creating feces, is fertilizing the Earth. According to the ethnographer, Joan Amades, people believed that this “deposit” fertilized the ground of the nativity scene, which became fertile and ensured the nativity scene for the following year.  A more religious theory is the idea that God will manifest himself when he is ready, without regard for whether we human beings are ready or not. And one of our personal favorites, some say the Caganer represents the equality of all people: regardless of status, race, or gender, everyone defecates.


Peter (Elon University), Laura (Babson College), Katherine (Elon University), Joshua (Babson College), Sarah (Elon University), and Sindhu (Georgetown University) react to the Caganar.

Interns test their Entrepreneurial Ideas at Barcelona Activa

Interns from Business + Culture (along with Architecture + Design and Advanced Liberal Arts) got an inside tour of Barcelona Activa and a private presentation with their Economic Advisor, Francesc Mirón.  For the last 25 years, Barcelona Activa has promoted Barcelona’s economic growth, fostering businesses, entrepreneurship and employment, while promoting the city internationally.

Barcelona Activa has helped and supported more than 2,400 new projects in 2011, with 139 companies using their business incubator facilities and Technology Park.  We learned that nearly 14,000 people took advantage of Barcelona Activa’s programs and more than 21,000 people participated in training programs focusing on entrepreneurship.

During their visit, students shared their ideas for new businesses with Francesc and tested their business models on the Barcelona Activa website to see if they could be on the right track for starting up a company in Barcelona. 

Top left: students at the presentation. From left to right, Valeria (Babson College), Claudia (Babson College), Aubrey (Tulane), Gabrielle (Indiana), Delia (Cornell), and Emma (Indiana University). 

International Marketing Students visit Mango

Students got out of the classroom last week for a private visit of the fashion empire, Mango.  The class got a special tour of Mango’s headquarters, also known as the Hangar Design Centre in Palau Solità i Plegamans.  Mango has over 8,600 employees, 1,850 of whom work at the Hangar Design Center.  Accompanied by their professor, Jordi Garolera, students got to see their case study come to life.  It wasn’t all business however, as students not only got to see the financial and commercial hub, but got an exclusive look at some of next year’s collection.  The class was invited to sit in on a fabric selection meeting as well as walk around the model store. 

IMG_2772The group heading into Mango headquarters including Monique (University of Colorado Boulder), Aaron (College of William & Mary), Marisa (Elon University), Revathi (Georgetown University), and Christianne (Babson).

  IMG_2769Christianne (Babson), Mrinal (Babson), and Bria (Elon) during the company visit.  

Architecture & Design, Fall 2013, Issue III

NewsletterBannerBarcelonaLIVING THE CITY


As part of the class “The city in visual culture,” AD students visited a graphic design studio. The Spanish section visited “Outline Studio” a young studio composed by three designers (from Barcelona, Italy and Sweden) whose work always is based on handmade designs. During our visit, they showed us some of their artwork, but one of the most interesting parts was the renovation of their studio, which had been an engine factory (settled in the new high tech district 22@), and even they gave us as a present of t-shirts and cups.

AD1We had the opportunity to talk to them and know how everyday life in a design studio in Barcelona is. On the one hand they had their passion for design and the excitement of three design students (and friends) starting a new project together, but on the other hand, they explained the difficulties and level of energy the project involves in order to keep doing what one wants and loves…

AD2 The English section visited “Hamo Studio,” another design studio, settled in Gracia neighborhood. They welcomed us into their amazing studio and we sat around a table, between the studio and the kitchen, where they showed us some of their latest projects. They are based more on digital design, and discussed the importance of collaborating in very different projects and networking.

In the pictures, it is possible to see all this. In the first one, there is a low budget poster for a play in a local theater which depicts and criticizes  the behavior of the police in the lastest demonstrations this year. In the second one, there is a project for the Catalan Government. The design of CD covers for “Catalan Music”, including jazz, pop rock or electronic, is based on contemporary music.



After the class some of the students took advantage of what the city offers and they went to the presentation of the new book by Conrad Musete called “Muses.” Conrad Rosed is a local illustrator whose carreer is rising. He has worked for international trade marks as Coca Cola, Oysho and Adidas. After the official presentation in a fantastic visual culture bookstore, Loring Art, we had the chance to talk a little bit with him. He was glad (and surprised) to meet American students interested in his work.




Sam, from Macallester College, studied in ELISAVA, one of the host institutions and the oldest design school in Spain. For one of his classes, Graphic Communication, Sam started a project on Japanese bookbinding. Sam recreated the passage that CIEE is located on (a quiet oasis in the city center) by making a collage. Each page is a step along the passage where one can feel that you are not in the middle of the city.


Step by step, page by page, he depicts what happens after you pass through “the iron fence”: one feels transported to another time, surrounded by flowers, that life is calm… BUT it finishes too soon!  Cleverly, Sam shows us how to connect his own experience in Barcelona and his project to ELISAVA, and how to express in a very creative way his own ideas through his designs.



Language & Culture, Fall 2013, Issue III


Workshop: Learning Shop! 

This semester we implemented a new structure for two of our CIEE courses: Catalonia and Spain through the Arts and Spain in Translation, both taught by the RD of the Language and Culture Program. The last three sessions of class have been dedicated to a unique workshop, with the aim of exploring topics and concepts analyzed in class from different and complementary perspectives. Students have participated in the workshop sessions with enthusiasm, creativity and intellectual curiosity. The format for these three sessions has been specifically designed in order to host and maintain a comfortable atmosphere for students to explore and critically analyze the Arts and Spanish Culture from a broad point of view, strongly integrated into the city’s life and identity. Students have worked together, asked and answered questions together, they have learnt together. The workshop has truly been a learning shop, for the students and, moreover, for the instructor!

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 12.16.20 PM

Catalonia and Spain through the Arts

As you will be see below, our students created a mini art magazine, focusing on three interrelated topics: Art Collection, Art Exhibition and Art Criticism. The professor proposed, for each topic, a specific location and insight, providing materials and resources for discussion. This way, the city itself (for example the Rambla de Catalunya) has been interpreted as an Art Collection. An Art Exhibition has been critically analyzed at the MACBA, while students converted themselves into Art Critics at the CCCB. Their art magazines are fantastic! Enjoy!

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 12.13.34 PM

Download Online Art Magazine

Download Art Magazine 2

Spain in Translation. Spanish Cultural Studies

Following class topics and with the aim of continuing translating their own culture into the local one, our students investigated the relationship between culture and languages, while interviewing two bilingual (and very kind) CIEE staff members. The result was a long conversation through which students interacted with Laura and Laia, debating on relevant and personal issues. The second session explored the relationship between culture and society, using the MACBA and the famous Ramblas as the perfect references for analyzing and interpreting the link between the city and its very own culture.
Get a taste of local culture!


Newsletter1Artin (Rutgers University), Isabelle (University of Colorado), Layla (Eckerd College), Elizabeth (Vanderbilt University), Caroline (Rutgers University) &  Marisa (Colby College) with Laia.   

Laia, the cultural activities coordinator for CIEE, is from Tarragona, Spain and has lived in Barcelona for 10 years. She was kind enough to participate an in interview about her opinions and experiences of being Catalan. The following is the interview we conducted and the answers are a summary of her responses:

Did you speak mostly Catalan or Spanish growing up? Depends who I was talking to. My parents spoke Catalan with me, but I spoke mostly Spanish with my friends in both Barcelona and Tarragona.

Do you think/dream more in Spanish or Catalan? Catalan.

What language do you follow the news in? I watch the news in Catalan, but I prefer to read the newspaper in Spanish.

What language do you prefer to communicate in? Catalan. I believe that Catalan is my mother tongue.

Do you identify yourself more with Catalonia or Spain? Catalonia because my family is from Catalonia and I celebrate Catalan traditions.

How do you raise your children focusing on Catalan and Spanish language and culture? I speak to my daughter in Catalan, but she watches TV/movies in Spanish or English. She will be speaking both Catalan and Spanish in school, but will probably speak with her friends mostly in Spanish.

How do you feel about the independence movement? That’s a complicated question. The problem is of communication between governments. The Spanish government needs to understand what Catalans are asking for before addressing any issues. If this occurs, the governments may find another solution other than independence.

How has the independence movement effected the language in Barcelona? It has caused people to speak more Catalan due to the fear of losing the language. When I was in school everything was taught in Spanish (excepted Catalan language class). Now, school is taught in both languages. Bacelona used to be more prevalent in Spanish (menus, signs, etc were in Spanish), now Catalan is used significantly more than in the past. As Catalan generations increase, the use of Catalan language and traditions increases.


Stuart (Vanderbilt University), Keaton (Vanderbilt University), Patrick (Vanderbilt University), Chelsea (Elon University), Amelia (Elon University), Hans (Elon University) & Carolyn (Elon University).

Given the unique opportunity to interview someone who has not only grown up in Barcelona her whole life, but also having two parents who are both Catalan, our group was ecstatic to interview Laura Mora. Laura, the Students Services Coordinator at CIEE, was happy to answer all of our questions surrounding the Catalan culture, language, and her past experiences with bilingualism.

What languages do you speak? Portuguese, English, Spanish, Catalan

Where are your parents from? Barcelona. Dad spoke Spanish with his siblings. Mom’s parents spoke Catalan. Great grandparents spoke Spanish.

What language did your parents address you in? Catalan. --if she had kids she would also speak to them in Catalan.

What language were you taught in school? Learned Spanish in school in kindergarten. Learned Spanish and English at school also at age 6.

What language do you use the most? Catalan (identifies with Catalan more) and speaks Catalan with friends--only about 10% of her friends she speaks with in Spanish. When you meet someone in one language then you continue the relationship in that language.

What language do you think in? Catalan

What language do you dream in? All the languages that she speaks

Why do you think Catalan has survived? Because of history and because it was forbidden it was important to maintain it.

The younger generation and Catalan: Speak Spanish at school; they think Catalan is “not cool.”

Are you a Barça fan? Yes--but not a huge soccer fan in general

Do you think Spanish will ever be phased out in Catalonia? No, but some places in Catalonia know little Spanish because they don’t use it and are used to Catalan.

Do you watch tv in Spanish or Catalan? Read? Both in Spanish

Is there a phrase in Catalan that cannot be translated into another language? Yes, “de mica en mica..”

Do you think people that are bilingual are smarter than those who are not? People who are bilingual use their brain differently, are not necessarily smarter. May be easier for those who are bilingual to learn more languages because of the similar Latin roots.



estoy enamorada de Barcelona

Name: Hannah
CIEE Barcelona Program: Liberal Arts
Semester: Fall 2013
Home School: Elon University

Decir que estoy enamorada de Barcelona, sería un eufemismo. Nunca he sido una chica de ciudad y estaba muy nerviosa por el traslado a una ciudad muy grande e internacional como Barcelona. Cuando llegué a Barcelona estaba abrumada. Todo era grandioso y elegante  y allí estaba esta pequeña chica rubia, con ojos azules, tratando de comprender por qué no podía entender la lengua en la que creía que era bastante competente (no entendía nada porque todas las personas hablaban catalán). Pero después de unas horas de aclimatarme a mi nuevo entorno,  sabía que iba a encantarme.

En mi programa,  hemos hecho muchas cosas increíbles en Barcelona, y también, muchos viajes magníficos a hermosos lugares como Sevilla y Córdoba. Al final de cada viaje, siempre estoy emocionada y lista para volver a Barcelona. Por eso considero que a esta ciudad la puedo llamar mi hogar. Yo quería hacer de Barcelona mi ciudad y una manera de hacerlo era explorándola. Una de mis aficiones favoritas es pasear por las calles de Barcelona. Me encanta pasear durante horas,  perderme y encontrar el camino a lugares familiares. Fue a través de estos vagabundeos que descubrí el arte en las calles de Barcelona.

Cuando la mayoría de la gente piensa en los grafitis, piensa en letras grandes pintadas en el vagón de un tren o escritas en el ladrillo de un edificio viejo. Y me da vergüenza, pero eso es lo que yo pensaba también.  Pero entonces me mudé a Barcelona. Y estás inmerso en el arte. En cada lugar al que vas, puedes ver grafitis  a  lado de una pared. Y sí, alguna vez  solo son letras grandes, deletreando el nombre de alguien o el nombre de un grupo. Pero si andas por las calles serpenteantes de Barcelona, puedes descubrir algunas obras de arte increíbles.

Si me preguntas “Hannah, ¿dónde están todos los lugares donde  sacaste las fotos de arte en las calles?”  no creo que pueda responder con certeza. He pasado horas y horas andando  por las calles y sacando cientos de fotos. En realidad, mis amigos catalanes saben que me encanta el arte en las calles y me envían  fotos de arte de las calles que ellos descubren. Uno de mis amigos incluye una imagen con un mapa de Google con un icono en el lugar del grafiti.

Esta es una de las fotos que mi amigos catalanes me envían. No he visitado este lugar, pero estoy emocionada de ir allí y disfrutar de ese arte.


Estas fotos están en una de mis calles favoritas. Los colores y los conceptos abstractos de este arte son irreales y me encantan. La idea de tomar fotos en un fotomatón, ampliándolas, y colocándolas en una pared, es una idea brillante.  Voy a encontrar una manera de poner mi foto en la pared.


 Estas últimas fotos están en una pared cerca de la escuela donde soy voluntaria dando clases de inglés. Creo que era un parque, pero ahora las paredes  que circundan el parque están cubiertas completamente con grafitis. Los detalles en algunas de las obras, específicamente la obra del retrato en blanco y negro  y  la obra en color del zorro, son absolutamente increíbles.

Espero que os guste el arte en las calles tanto como a mí.
Besos desde BCN xxx


dos equipos de futbol

Name: Esa
CIEE Barcelona Program: Liberal Arts
Semester: Fall 2013
Home School: Lewis & Clark College

Fui a Barcelona y estoy en dos equipos de futbol. Por accidente. Pero no os preocupéis, es algo muy típico de la vida catalana. Bueno…realmente no, normalmente las personas de aquí están en tres o veinte equipos mínimo, pero mi escusa es que soy de los Estados Unidos. Esto es así debido a la influencia del ‘’World’s Fair’’ que hubo aquí en el siglo veinte, y el bario gótico de Barcelona fue reinventado. El barrio gótico es todo él una “mentira” como lo es Papá Noel. ¡Ah perdón! Estoy escribiendo un trabajo para mi clase, olvídadlo. No tiene importancia. El barrio gótico es un lugar FANTASTICO.


Pues…el fútbol. Todo empezó cuando mi madre me prohibió jugar a fútbol porque ‘’es demasiado peligroso y podrías obtener otra conmoción cerebral…” etc, etc, es decir, nada importante. Así que me apunté a fútbol sala porque es un juego más tranquilo que el fútbol once, (que jugaba en los Estados Unidos). Llegué al entrenamiento (después de descifrar el correo que me mandaron en catalán) con ‘’samarreta vermella’’ y ‘’documentació’’ y allá jugué a fútbol sala por primera vez en mi vida. Básicamente, corría y pateaba la pelota en cualquier dirección con esperanzas de que todo fuera bien. Y creo que eso es lo que pasó, porque al final del entrenamiento todas me hablaban en catalán, sonriendo, y diciendo frases al azar en inglés porque les hacía gracia. Y me preguntaban sobre el fútbol en América y si me gustaba jugar y yo decía que ‘’Sí, Sí!!! Claro!!!’’. Perooo, aquella noche me llegó un correo diciendo: ‘’Benvingut a futbol-7!!!’’ con una cara sonriente. Aunque ya creía saber lo que significaba. Puse la frase en google translate y….sí. Realmente cuando afirmé alocadamente que me gustaba el fútbol me estaba apuntando a otro equipo, y por eso, por accidente estoy en dos equipos. Y ahora no lo haría de ninguna otra manera.


Hace dos semanas tuvimos los campeonatos universitarios de futbol-7 (siete jugadores en el campo), partidos contra las otras universidades de Barcelona las cuales son una mezcla de siglas que ahora no recuerdo bien, pero sé que hemos jugado contra negro, rojo y blanco. Ganamos tres de los cuatro partidos. Y todas estaban emocionadas. Aun no sé lo que significan estas victorias—si jugaremos más, si estaremos fuera del torneo, o si nos darán mil euros y una casa de verano en las islas Canarias—solamente jugar en el campeonato ya fue muy divertido. También, viviendo siempre en este mundo de “medio entendiendo” (con el catalán), he adoptado un pensamiento bastante filosófico: Haré simplemente las cosas que me lleguen. Algo que me ha servido mucho a la hora de tomar decisiones.

600859_10202670515511027_708382196_nMis compañeras son muy majas y muy buenas jugadoras. He aprendido muchísimo desde un punto de vista futbolístico y también desde un punto de vista español/catalán/cultural. Pero más que nada, he hecho amistades que continuarán cuando vuelva a los Estados Unidos. La única cosa mala es que ahora no quiero volver…

1394404_10202670512350948_724550437_nAun así, recomiendo a todos los que vais a vivir en un país extranjero que os apuntéis a un equipo o a un club o a cualquier cosa así, porque haces una cosa que te gusta y conoces otras personas en el proceso. Creo que está una de mis experiencias favoritas de toda la experiencia perfecta que es vivir en Barcelona. La única cosa que haría diferente es apuntarme todavía a más equipos, para ser más catalana.