Liberal Arts, Spring 2014, Issue III
Our semester is coming to an end. The students have enjoyed their stay in Barcelona and we hope that they have gained intercultural knowledge after spending four months living in a different culture. We wish them a safe return home and many trips back to Barcelona in the future! Here you have some of the latest activities we've been doing with them:
Chocolate creations for Easter
One of our delicious traditions in Catalonia is the “mona” a chocolate cake creation that godparents give to their godchildren for easter. Nowadays, the cake is made into many different chocolate sculptures... from SpongeBob Squarepants, Disney characters and Justin Beiber to Barça football players. Chocolate makers display their "monas" in the windows of their shop during the Easter week and try to outshine each other with sheer creativity and inventiveness. Our students participated in a Chocolate Workshop at the Chocolate Museum of Barcelona where they made chocolate lollipops. They demonstrated their high creativity and were able to eat all the chocolate they wanted! After that, they visited the museum and were able to admire all the giant monas such as a representation of Guernica by Picasso, or la Sagrada Familia.
Starting last semester we have incorporated a new method of assessing students' language progress during their study abroad experience. They take a Spanish placement test before coming and another one a week before leaving. The results should be able to give us a better understanding of students' language outcomes.
Watching a Barça-Madrid game with locals
Club Quijotes students went to local bars around the city to watch the most important Spanish football game of the season: “El Clásico” between Barcelona and Madrid teams. The idea is to experience the game along with Spaniards in a local environment. Caitlin from University of Iowa said: “I loved to see the football culture in a bar during a game. Go Barça!!"
One of the most enriching experiences while abroad is to live with a host family. Bridget from University of Iowa was shocked when her host family prepared a special birthday dinner for her. She wrote for our blog: “When I saw everything they did for me I thought, my host family really has become my family in Barcelona. Despite being far from my home, I realized their house is a place where I can be in good company and enjoy life with these people that I can call my family.” You can read about her special day here: Mi Feliz Cumpleaños.