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8 posts from December 2014

12/31/2014

Architecture and Design, Newsletter Fall 2014, Issue III

The Barcelona Architecture and Design Fall 14 semester has ended, and the year is very close to its end too … in Spain –as in so many other places- it is a tradition to review the best moments of the year on December 31st, and this is exactly what we have decided to do!

12/19/2014

ADVANCED LIBERAL ARTS, NEWSLETTER FALL 2014, ISSUE III

NEWS

As the end of this term falls upon us, the days of this year having passed by almost imperceptibly, we wanted to make a holiday toast with all the students participating in the CIEE Advanced Liberal Arts program in the University of Barcelona to celebrate all the new friendships made, the old friendships made stronger, to remember the good moments shared, but also to reflect on these experiences in Barcelona. If there is something that they all share, it is that they are all going home a different person. As this is one of CIEE's main objectives, I think that we have accomplished our mission.

ALA1Because it is true that living and studying in another country and in another language contributes like no other experience in broadening horizons and incorporating new perspectives on life. If you have also had the fortune to be able to do volunteer work, your local knowledge about the city and the Spanish culture is multiplied. And this is what happened with some of the ALA students this term. One of them, Rebecca, wants to explain to us (in Spanish!) something that we all know: one always gives what they receive and sometimes they receive even more than they give.

Thank you so much Rebecca for sharing with us your Intercambio de Experiencias

¡Feliz Navidad y próspero año nuevo! 

Mi voluntario con ASSIS: Un intercambio de experiencias

Rebecca Henríquez, Northeastern University

            Mi llegada aquí en Barcelona vino acompañada con la sensación de oportunidades infinitas. Una de las primeras semanas tuve la oportunidad a asistir la reunión de voluntario. Ya tenía una idea en mi mente de qué quería hacer. Laura mencionó ASSIS como una posibilidad para mí. ASSIS es una organización que ayuda a las personas sin hogar. Los voluntarios trabajan con la organización para crear un ambiente de tolerancia y seguridad donde los clientes pueden ir, comer y reencontrar su dignidad.

Foto 3            Mis primeros días con la organización fueron un gran éxito y comencé a acostumbrarme al sistema y a la gente. Roger, el director de ASSIS, me ayudó mucho y siempre me preguntaba si necesitaba algo o si tenía preguntas para él. Yo empecé ayudando en la cocina y sirviendo el desayuno. Así, conocí a mucha de la gente regular de ASSIS. Hay hombres de varias partes de España y Europa, pero también conocí a un hombre de Kansas, EE.UU. y cada persona tiene una historia impresionante. Para mí el servicio funciona en dos direcciones. Estoy allí ayudando porque es importante en un sociedad apoyar y dar una mano a mis prójimos. Me llena de felicidad cuando veo que estoy parte del cambio de una vida. Por otro lado, estoy aprendiendo mucho. Es una forma muy buena para practicar castellano. Hablo con la gente y compartimos nuestras experiencias y lenguas. Ahora cada martes paso la mañana con algunas de las personas que asisten a ASSIS y sencillamente no sentamos y hablamos. A veces creo que lo que más me gusta es la compañía de ellos, pero seguro que es un intercambio beneficioso para cada de nosotros. Hablamos de sus vidas o de mis estudios y de los Estados Unidos. Uno de mis conocidos, Jesús, le encanta la poesía entonces hablamos de literatura y poesía mucho. Hablamos de su hija y de la vida. Otro hombre con quien yo hablo le gusta traducir canciones inglesas a castellano para practicar su inglés. Es un viaje de aprendizajes para mí. Cada persona tiene un personalidad única y cada vez que yo voy, experimento algo diferente.

ALA3            Una vez, experimenté un aprendizaje que nunca voy a olvidar. Llegué temprano un martes y me pusieron en un departamento nuevo, la distribución de la ropa. Me enseñó cómo organizar la ropa y cómo entregársela a la gente. Con las primeras personas fue muy fácil y tuve confianza. Un hombre acercó la mesa y comenzó a hablar, pero no entendí lo que quería. El empezó a gritar y lanzar sus brazos al aire. Yo nunca había visto a aquel hombre y no sabía su caso. Me sentí muy mal porque no supe cómo ayudarle. Empecé a sentirme incómoda. Después hablé con Roger y él me explicó la historia de ese hombre. También me ayudó a poner la experiencia en un perspectiva positiva. Ahora entiendo la importancia de la paciencia con otros y conmigo misma. Específicamente, en una institución como ASSIS, es cierto que vas a encontrar a gente con problemas mentales y otros problemas. No es que tengo que temer algo, sino que lo importante es estar preparada y actuar de forma profesional cuando me enfrento a una situación adversa.    

            Me siento como una parte de una familia allá. Observo la gente cada vez que yo voy a trabajar y cada vez me fascina la cantidad de cariño y de compasión que los otros voluntarios tienen para estas personas. Y estas personas encuentran allí un hogar, mucho 

Viaje a Sevilla

Name: Stephanie
CIEE Barcelona Program: Liberal Arts
Semester: Fall 2014
Home School: Elon University 

Uno de mis viajes favoritos con CIEE fue la visita a Sevilla y Córdoba. El viaje duró un fin de semana: llegamos el viernes 17 de octubre por la mañana y volvimos el domingo 19 de octubre. ¡Me encantó Sevilla y Córdoba!

Ya había visitado Sevilla antes, cuando estaba en secundaria, pero con este viaje viví una experiencia completamente diferente. Nuestro hotel estaba en una zona muy agradable y estaba muy cerca de las atracciones turísticas y de los lugares históricos. Cuando llegamos a Sevilla, tuvimos tiempo libre para comer y descansar. Mis amigas y yo fuimos a un lugar precioso para comer. Pedimos tapas para compartir: patatas bravas, croquetas y tortilla de patatas. Después de la comida, fuimos a un tour por la Catedral de Sevilla y subimos a la Giralda desde donde se puede ver la ciudad entera.

Vista-Giralda1Esa misma noche, vimos un espectáculo de flamenco que me gustó muchísimo. Los bailaores eran fantásticos. No quería que se acabara. El flamenco es un tipo de baile muy cautivador y emocionante. Además, me gusta mucho la música porque se toca en directo mientras los bailaores bailan siguiendo el ritmo.  Juderia-Cordoba1Al día siguiente fuimos a Córdoba para ver la Mezquita y la Catedral, que se construyó alrededor de la Mezquita. Es un edificio increíble y hermoso con mucha influencia árabe. Me encantó Córdoba porque tiene mucha historia y una gran cantidad de lugares culturales preciosos. Más tarde volvimos a Sevilla para visitar la Plaza España que resultó ser un lugar maravilloso y muy bonito.

Mezquita-Córdoba1El  tercer y último día, fuimos a los Reales Alcázares. Era muy emocionante porque justo el día antes, en ese mismo sitio, se estaban grabando capítulos de la serie de televisión “Juego de Tronos”. Los Reales Alcázares son inmensos y los jardines tienen una belleza espectacular. Fue una visita inolvidable.

Al final del viaje estaba muy triste por tener que marcharme de Sevilla, pero estaba contenta porque pude degustar comida muy sabrosa y lo pasé genial con mis amigas. Puedo decir, sin lugar a dudas, que me encantó poder visitar Sevilla y Córdoba. 

ECONOMICS + CULTURE, NEWSLETTER FALL 2014, ISSUE III

NEWSEC Students Take Home the Local Catalan Christmas Traditions

Christmas in Catalunya wouldn’t be the same without these two characters: the “Caganer” and the “Caga Tio.”  Yes, the caganer figurine 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.  There 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. 

The “Caga Tio” is a much simpler tradition based on feeding your baby log scraps until he grows into a big log, ready to “pass on” his presents.

Anirudha (Georgetown) and Connor (Colby College) show off their Caganers and Caga Tios at the EC final lunch.

CaganerandTioThe Last Supper

We couldn’t send the EC students home without teaching them how to make a Spanish tortilla, paella and a crema catalana.  Anthony (Williams College) and Tina (University of California) listen in intently on instructions from the chef.  There were rumors Anthony failed several times while trying to successfully flip his tortilla, but we unfortunately don’t have any photographic evidence.

Cook & TasteWe say goodbye to the Fall 2014 Students!

It’s been an amazing ride this semester full of ups and downs, but our students ended on an up as they finished up the semester with brunch and their re-entry session.  We met where it all began, at the orientation hotel, where student got to share their experiences, learn how to incorporate the skills they have acquired into their professional careers, and simply have the chance to say goodbye to each other.  The morning was full of smiles, stories, and tears.  Please take moment to see just a glimpse of their experience this semester in the highlights video below:

BUSINESS + CULTURE, NEWSLETTER FALL 2014, ISSUE III

NEWSGo Big or Go Home!

Jonathan (Babson College) decided that he wasn’t just going to be any old American student during his semester here in Barcelona.  He joined the Barcelona Bandits Lacrosse Club and was invited to go and compete in the Spanish Cup in Bilbao!  Here he is giving it is all on the field in Bilbao.  Go Jonathan!

Jonathan LacrosseOutstanding Performance Award Given

Lila (Skidmore College) decided to spend her free time volunteering at the local high school throughout the entire semester here.  The school was so impressed with her they wanted to hire her fulltime!

She shares with us that, “Volunteering has been really great in many ways. I am able to get to know an age-group in Spain that I wouldn’t otherwise interact with (high-school students), and so it’s fun helping them with their English communication and writing skills while also getting a candid perspective about culture here in Spain. It is still so impressive to me how they are taught in three different languages (Catalan, Spanish/Castellano, and English) at school. An easy and entertaining way to help them practice their English is by answering questions they have about American culture, which most of them only know about from movies.  Also, when I first got here and was adjusting, it definitely helped me feel like I was becoming a little more a part of the Spanish community, and not just being an American student in Spain.”  Check out Lila there in the middle of her class of teenagers.

Lila ClassroomWe say goodbye to the Fall 2014 Students!

It’s been an amazing ride this semester full of ups and downs, but our students ended on an up as they finished up the semester with brunch and their re-entry session.  We met where it all began, at the orientation hotel, where student got to share their experiences, learn how to incorporate the skills they have acquired into their professional careers, and simply have the chance to say goodbye to each other.  The morning was full of smiles, stories, and tears.  Please take moment to see just a glimpse of their experience this semester in the highlights video below:

LIBERAL ARTS, NEWSLETTER FALL 2014, ISSUE III

NEWSFall semester has come to its end! Liberal Arts students have been very busy in the last month. Here there are some of their activities.

Catalan Christmas Traditions

LA1Liberal Arts students visited the traditional Christmas Market: Mercat de Santa LLúcia, where they learned about the Catalan Christmas Traditions. One of the most important is the caga tió,which is a log with a happy face painted on it. These logs bring presents but there is a tradition to get them. First, you need to sing a song and hit the log with a stick. Then, the log will ‘excrete’ presents and candies! Students also learned about the famous caganer (literally a “pooper”) which is a figurine depicted in the act of defecation appearing for the Nativity scene.  Many modern caganers represent celebrities and authority figures such as Obama, Messi or Salvador Dalí!

Yummy Chocolate Creations!

LAStudents 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 Christmas and funny shapes.

Club Quijotes cultural experiences

LA2Quijotes students have been participating in a lot of different cultural activities such as watching a Barça-Madrid football game with Spaniards; participating in a castellers practice or attending all the language exchange nights where they meet with Spaniards to practice their Spanish. Also, they write a blog entry in Spanish about their experiences, you can find them here: http://study-abroad-blog-barcelona.ciee.org/liberal-arts/

LANGUAGE AND CULTURE, NEWSLETTER FALL 2014, ISSUE III

NEWSFall semester has come to its end. We wish our students have had an enriching cultural experience studying abroad in Barcelona. These are some of the last activities they have done.

Mutual  Learning Experience

Escola PíaCourtney from Elon University volunteering at Escola Pía as English Teaching Assistant

A total of five students from the Language and Culture Program volunteered at a local high school, Escola Pía, as English teacher assistants. They helped local students to improve their English with conversational sessions where they led debates related to the cultural differences between Spain and United States.  Talia from Vanderbilt University declared: “I learned a lot about their culture and they learned about the American culture; it was a mutual learning experience. “ Courtney from Elon University also commented: “I found especially rewarding to hear the student´s perspectives of the United States.” Anna from Northeastern University assured: “working with students closer in age to us allowed us to have more open and candid conversations with them about cultural differences/similarities. For me, also, being able to speak Spanish helped with explaining certain concepts.”

Finding the hidden treasures

Mural arteArt panel made by Kayla from Rochester Institute of Technology

Students at the CIEE Catalonia and Spain Through the Arts class did their final oral presentation about a Spanish artist. Kayla from Rochester Institute of Technology made an art panel for her presentation. Through her panel she wanted to express that “there is more to Spain than Barcelona”. She would recommend other students “to find the hidden treasures”.

Chocolate workshop in Spanish

LCLanguage and Culture students were invited to participate in a chocolate workshop in Spanish with students from the Liberal Arts Program. After a semester in Barcelona, intermediate Spanish students were able to attend the workshop and the guided tour at the Chocolate Museum all in Spanish! They were very creative and made wonderful chocolate creations!

12/15/2014

Architecture and Design, Newsletter Issue II, Fall 2014

NEWSWe, They, Citizens

This semester’s students are getting really involved in the design scene of Barcelona. As a group, they have been visiting some very interesting local design studios. One of those is LoSiento. Their work is based on handmade or 3D design projects, a characteristic that large accounts for their success. At LoSiento,  Pablo Salas hosted us, explained their approach to design and went into what the everyday life of a small design studio in Barcelona is like.

Losiento

Another studio that students have visited through CIEE is Curro Claret’s. There, students have discussed issues of social responsibility in the area of design. Curro Claret has been working with lower social classes and homeless people, and his goal is to improve their lives through good design. In the picture you can see some chairs that are part of his project: with a single triangular piece made of recycled materials, different pieces of furniture can be created (chairs, beds, tables, etc.).

Ad news

But studying abroad not only means progress towards professional goals: it is also an opportunity to give back to the community in different ways. Joseph, from Tulane University, was determined to do this:

“I celebrated my first ‪Thanksgiving holiday away from my family; and I didn't really have a meal to serve as substitute. But it's ok because I had the opportunity, thanks to ‪CIEE, to volunteer at a local food drive. It was an organization that collected food at supermarkets throughout the city and donated to people in poorer areas. I was impacted by the willingness of my fellow volunteers to engage and the amount of generosity I witnessed from strangers during the food drive. While there, we filled 1 & 1/2 of giant sized boxes - and they did this across the entire city for two whole days. So if your encouraged in anything, it's to not let your fears or excuses from‪ ‎volunteering, ‪serving, and getting involved! God has given us such value and we ALL can be used!"

Imagen

Yes, study abroad is a give-and-take. Both -  students and the city-  can grow and improve, together.