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Business & Culture, Spring 2014, Issue II


Chocolate with Churros Goes International

While on their weekend trip to Madrid, students got the chance to satisfy their chocolate cravings during their walking tour around the city.  Students had a pit stop in the famous chocolatería, San Gines.  Chocolate con churros have become a staple snack in Spain packing enough calories to get you through a cold winter’s day (or two). 

Edited bc1mad-002Not only has this specialty food picked up followers in Spain, Japanese entrepreneur, Hideto Maeda, has opened a franchise of San Gines in downtown Tokyo. Closer to home, Comaxurros company in Barcelona has started a new trend on the classic churro, by offering churro-tapa fusion foods.

The rest of the weekend in Madrid included local company business with the chance to try other local products as well, such as Jamon Iberico and the traditional marzipan in Toledo.

IMG_2370Juliana from Babson College, with a plate of Jamon Iberico.

  Edited bc1mad-001
 Students jump for joy (and to burn off all the food-tasting calories) in Toledo

Barcelona Is Our Classroom:

Learning Spanish isn't just something we do inside a classroom.

You can memorize verbs and conjugations and vocabulary until your head aches, but the real way to learn the language is by using it. We are so fortunate to have an entire cosmopolitan city at our fingertips - a playground in which to practice the language.

Whether in an intercambio night, where CIEE students meet local students and spend one hour speaking in English and one hour in Spanish (we often send them with assignments from Spanish class to complete with the help of their partner), exploring local markets to figure out new food vocabulary, or going on tours of local sites in Spanish - students get to put their new skills to use, and really develop their abilities to use the language!


Students ask local vendors questions during a Spanish class outting to the market.

All students in the Advanced level Spanish classes recently visited the Centro Civico de Sant Agostin in the Born neighborhood.  Professor Pedro Gras says “we wanted to focus on vocabulary based on cultural heritage, while students had the opportunity to learn about the cultural activities and events available to them only a block away from their host institution, ESCI.”


Advanced Spanish students visiting the Centro Civico de Sant Agostin

Guardian Angels, Local Student Guides

One of the unique features of the Barcelona program is our wonderful team of local Spanish student guides who are each assigned a small group of CIEE students.  They do everything from picking them up at the airport the first day to giving city tours and taking them to local events and festivals.  At a minimum this helps our students integrate with local students and culture, but often leads to lifelong friendships and extraordinary experiences.  For example this Spring, one of our Guardian Angels took a group of students to her home town in Mallorca.  Looks like they had a fabulous time!


Students with their Guardian Angel in Mallorca


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