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4 posts from September 2014




Austin from Indiana University-Bloomington jumps (climbs) right in!

While most of the Business + Culture students, who arrived a couple weeks ago, have spent their time getting adjusted and learning their way around the city, Austin decided to immediately join the Barcelona Castellers (Catalan human towers) Team. 

He says, “It's been a really awesome opportunity. I asked my Guardian Angel, Laia if I could come watch them perform during La Diada (September 11th Catalan Holiday).  When I arrived she handed me a "faixa" and a team T-shirt and said I would be in the castell.  Also, this was the main castell, right in front of the stages during the largest political rally in European history. That experience convinced me to join the Castellers de Barcelona. It's been a fantastic way to meet locals and get the real Catalan experience!”

Sounds like such an amazing experience and we just ask that you stay on the ground level, ok Austin?

Castellers Collage

History at their fingertips

One of Business + Culture’s new professors, Jesús Marchán, takes his Past and Present class into the center during the first week of class.  Why learn about the Jewish quarter and its history inside the classroom, when you can just step right out of the study center?  Past and Present is one of CIEE’s longest running and most popular courses as it is an interdisciplinary approach to the history of Barcelona, including art, history, and urban planning.Past and Present

Students also take advantage of their cultural activities to see firsthand what they’re learning in the classroom as they did on the day trip to Girona their first weekend in Barcelona.Girona

ESCI welcomes Business + Culture Students

Students attended the ESCI welcome meeting and cocktail where they got their final schedules and got a chance to meet some of the local students they would be sharing their classes with.  They also had the chance to meet with Jordi Puig, the Head of Studies at ESCI. ESCI orientation




Ciee photos1

 Students at the beggining of the semester (on site classes, talk with Pau Faus and welcome meeting at Elisava

Just a few weeks after their arrival, architecture and design students have already taken some important steps: they have settled in their new homes, started CIEE and direct enrollment courses,  participated in CIEE trips and excursions, enjoyed the National Catalan Day…  They have also met an interesting local architect, Pau Faus, who was this semester’s first guest speaker and talked about his project “The retired city”,  about urban gardens in the outskirts of Barcelona (  

Ciee photos"Breaking out the American bubble" session, at the Study Center

AD students have also started to realize that this is an adventure with the potential of being life-changing. It was life-changing indeed for Justin (from the University of Minnesota), who studied with us in 2012. He visited us this past week, on his way to Zaragoza, where he will be teaching Spanish for the next year. He has just been hired by the Spanish Government to work as an English Teaching Assistant at a secondary school. At the end of his study abroad semester, Justin promised he would be back, and he has indeed done so right after graduation!

Anna, from the University of Colorado at Boulder, also stopped by this past week. She was here with us in 2013 and she has just graduated too. She has been traveling the world these past two months, and she could just not go back to the States without paying a visit to Barcelona first, the city where she had left so many good friends…. she even stayed with her host mother, who welcomed her like a daughter coming back home.  

Ciee photos2Justin and Anna with Magda and Nando, during their visit 

Starting a new semester at CIEE Barcelona it is not just the beginning of a academic semester… it is also the beginning of something else!




Welcome to Barcelona Liberal Arts Fall Semester!

Students have been very busy in the last three weeks since they arrived. We held orientation,  CIEE Spanish intensive classes started, students participated in tours and excursions, and they started to shake it at the Salsa class!. Here there are some details:

Orientation  and UPF Welcome Session

Fotos LA Newsletter IStudents meeting their host families at Orientation 

During the three-day orientation, students had the opportunity to meet the group; attend the Welcome, Safety , Academics and Cultural Activities talk, start to get familiarize with the city, meet their Guardian Angels and tour the Gothic Quarter.  In our effort to engage students in a intercultural competence experience, we held our first session and talk titled: “How to break the American Bubble”, in which we give them some tools and advice to get out their comfort zone in order to have a more successful and enriching experience.

Students also attended the host institution, Pompeu Fabra, welcome session where they learned about the university; academic  offerings; university community services; presentation of the Hispanic and European Studies Program; and a discussion with UPF local students on the UPF academic culture.

CIEE Intensive Spanish class

Fotos LA Newsletter I2Students at CIEE Study Center | Oral presentations about a Spanish movie at the intensive Spanish class

Upon taking the Spanish level test, students are placed into the CIEE Intensive Spanish classes: Advanced Grammar, Composition and Conversation. Out of classroom activities are held in this course, such a visit to a local market to practice food vocabulary and ordering expressions or a scanvenger hunt through a unique neighborhood in Barcelona, Gracia, where they have to ask the locals and even find a Civil War bomb shelter.  Besides, they have to do oral presentations in class to review a Spanish film.

Club Quijotes and Salsa Class!

Fotos LA Newsletter I1Students at the Salsa workshop

LA students can join the Quijotes Club, a club to promote the use of Spanish at all times and the intercultural competence and integration. Students need to participate in different cultural activities, such as a Salsa workshop, one-day volunteer campaigns, attend a casteller practice, visit the Football Club Foundation, or watch a Barça football game with locals, among others. Quijotes students also need to attend the Intercambio nights, where they meet local students to do an exchange conversation English/Spanish.

Students already shook it and had a good time in the Salsa workshop! 

You can watch a video here:





Bienvenidos, Welcome to Barcelona!

Panoramica Girona

Language and Culture Program students have been in Barcelona only for two weeks but they have already done a lot activities! We held orientation; they participated in tours and excursions; took the Hop-on Hop-of tour bus to know the city; attended the host institution Pompeu Fabra (UPF) Welcome session; and started their CIEE classes. Here there are some details:

Guardian Angels

Tapas LC with Guardian Angel Fall 14Students with their Spanish Guadian Angel at the Tapas night

Guardian Angels (GA) are local students who help our students to get familiarized with the city, they accompany them, participate with them in cultural activities and incorporate them in the society.  LC students already shared a Tapas Night with their GA´s and toured the host institution Pompeu Fabra.

Girona- Calella de Palafrugell

LC newletter I1

LC students did their first day trip to Girona and the Costa Brava town of Calella de Palafrugell. In Girona they toured the medieval downtown and visit the Jew neighborhood. After that, in Calella de Palafrugell they enjoyed the beautiful beaches and did a hike on the coast cliffs to see the views.

Intercultural Seminar on Living and Learning


LC program students take the Intercultural Seminar on Living and Learning throughout the semester.  The seminar focuses on increasing cultural and personal self-awareness and awareness of others;  learning to understand and manage emotions in the face of ambiguity, change, and challenging circumstances and people , and bridging cultural gaps by learning to shift frames and adapt behavior to different cultural contexts.

Students already attended the “How to break the American Bubble” and did an observation tour around an emigrant neighborhood in Barcelona.