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8 posts from December 2015




Brian (Northeastern University) goes with his local flat mate and CIEE roommate for their final activity of the semester.  They decided to have a boy’s night and go see the new James Bond film a few weeks ago.  Brian lived with two other CIEE students and his local flat mate Marc throughout the Fall15 semester.  Brian said, “I really enjoyed having the opportunity to not only live with other CIEE students from other programs, but with a local student as well. Marc was always there to help us out whenever we needed anything.”



Alice (Barnard College) and Sarah (George Washington University) enjoy a wonder around Hospital Sant Pau after their field trip for their Catalunya and Spain through the Arts class.  Sarah and Alice became great friends here in Barcelona as they shared many classes and clearly enjoy each other’s company.

Alice and Sarah

Fall15 CIEE students tell us what they know about the local Caga Tío and its traditions. Alice (Barnard College) takes a selfie with him and Jacob (George Washington University) wants to take Caga Tío home with him.





Andrew (Babson College) tells us all about his experience volunteering at the local school, Ernest Lluch as the highlight of his semester:

“During my visits at the school, I would help the students with some grammar, but mostly just spoke/interacted with them about what life is like in the United States. I genuinely enjoyed every moment that I spent with the students, they were such a great group of kids. They were hilarious and so well-behaved. I highly recommend any incoming study abroad students to participate in the volunteering program that CIEE set-up. It was something that I looked forward to each week. Being around students like them makes you feel rejuvenated and younger again. The students surprised me on my last day with photos and a nice note. Thank you so very much for setting me up with this opportunity, it was certainly a highlight of my time here in Barcelona!”

Andrew 1

Graham (Occidental College) won the Fall15 photo contest. He was the overall winner across all 7 Barcelona programs.  He gladly accepted his prize last week at the Fall15 farewell party and said he was looking forward to spending his Amazon prize money as soon as he could.  His photo is of the spectacular view from Montserrat during one of our many day trips this semester.  Graham said that going to Montserrat “was one of the best days he had in Barcelona.  I love to hike in general when I’m home, but this mountain was really something special.”

Graham Garzon_BC_Montserrat

Fall15 Business and Culture students tell us what they know about the local Caga Tío and its traditions:




Fall semester has come to its end. These are some of the last activities they have done.

When eating with your hands is a must!

One of the most popular day trips is our hike to the Barcelona hills, Collserola,  and the traditional Catalan lunch, Calçotada, where they eat Calçots, a variety of green onions.  Calçots are barbecued and dipped in romesco sauce and are accompanied by pieces of meat and roasted bread slices. Calçots are eaten with your hands and you need to wear a bib. Students had a lot of fun with that!

Newsletter III LC2

A War Chronicle for a literary final project   

At the CIEE class Literary Images of Catalonia and Spain, students had to do a research or creative paper as their final project about what they have learned in the class. Alexandra (Ally) from Elon University did a War Chronicle: “The Diary of a Spanish Civil War” after visiting a famous photographer exhibit about the Spanish Civil War, Carlos Pérez de Rozas.  Here it is her project!

Newsletter III LC  

It´s time to say goodbye!

Language and Culture students enjoyed our Farewell party where they had the opportunity to say goodbye to their fellow students, CIEE staff, professors and guardian angels. During the party, we gave the prizes for our Study Center Photo Contest.  We wish them all the best in their future and we hope they had an enriching cultural experience while in Barcelona!

Newsletter III LC3



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

Bon Nadal! Catalan Christmas Market visit

Liberal 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!

Newsletter III LA1

Yummy Chocolate Creations!

Newsletter III LA3

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 Christmas and funny shapes.

Newsletter III LA2

English Teaching Assistant Internship

Claire from Occidental College talked about her internship experience as English Teaching Assistant at a 3-K12 school, Escola Montseny. She said: “My experience at Montseny is amazing! The kids are all very sweet and lots of fun. I work with small groups of 7-11 graders talking to them in English so that they can practice their speaking. They're all super excited to practice their English and have a lot of questions about the US, so it's really fun! This experience has helped me get more immersed in the culture because I get to ask them questions about growing up in Barcelona and hear about the differences between here and the US. I've also gotten to learn about what young people here think and know about the US which is really interesting. 

Newsletter III LA




The Fall ’15 semester has already come to its end and it has been time for wrapping up all the experiences lived in the last four months. As one of her assignments for the class “The city in visual culture”, Hannah (Tulane University) made a project in which she proficiently used the signs where visual culture is produced in Barcelona. Her work encapsulates really well her degree of immersion in the city and works as a perfect summary of this semester that has quickly come to an end.

In Hannah’s own words:

“I wanted to create a spin-off of the 10 B4rc3l0n4s by imaging how the districts of Barcelona could be represented in a museum. I thought it might be interesting to portray them like different rooms, similar to the way in which Gaudí’s buildings are turned into museums. I chose to represent district 1, 6 and 10 (The old city, Gràcia and Sant Martí). In order to create the rooms, I used images that I felt had a strong visual identity when I experience and navigate throughout the districts”.

Here you can check the original 10 B4rc3l0n4s promotion and Hannah’s spin off:


The Old city, Gràcia and Sant Martí districts in the "10 B4rc3l0n4s"




Hannah's Old city, Gràcia and Sant Martí rooms


Advanced Liberal Arts, Fall 2015, Newsletter III




A new term has just ended and many of the participants of the CIEE Advanced Liberal Arts program in the University of Barcelona are now heading home to celebrate the holidays with their families; others, however, are taking advantage of these last days of 2015 and will greet their families and friends visiting them to celebrate Christmas and New Years traveling through Spain and Europe. 

This difficult balance between being far from home, and at the same time, enjoying the opportunities that a study abroad experience can offer, finds a happy solution on Thanksgiving day. Being far from home on this day may be difficult, especially staying in a country where the references of this holiday are scarce, and the majority of the Spanish people only have references of this holiday through movies and television. But this unfamiliarity may turn into a perfect example of the intercultural component that our students experiment with while here. Charlotte (Carnegie Mellon University) and Maddie (Barnard College) celebrate with Lorena (her local flatmate in Barcelona with whom they shared an apartment during fall term) which was her first Thanksgiving in her life. Here you have some photos and a video of the dinner.


We end with Allie's story, from Vanderbilt University, who made a balance of her time here in Barcelona as a participant of the Advanced Liberal Arts program.

¡Felices Navidades a todos!

Allie, Vanderbildt University

My study abroad experience in Barcelona has been one I will never forget. Ever since I was a freshman in college I knew I wanted to study abroad in Spain and have been so excited gearing up for this semester, but once I landed in Barcelona I was surprisingly nervous about the semester that I had ahead of me. There were several girls from Vanderbilt in the Advanced Liberal Arts program Barcelona, but I knew none of them and with the initial language barrier I felt like an outsider and was unsure how my ‘dream’ semester was going to play out. Now, looking back on my semester, I wouldn’t have changed it for anything. I had the opportunity to take classes and interact with students at the University of Barcelona, making for a challenging but very rewarding outcome, drastically improving my Spanish. Living with a family in Barcelona has given me an insight to the Catalán culture and made me feel right at home. In addition, over the course of the semester, I worked as an English tutor to 5 kids and genuinely feel like I have become part of the Vega family. But most importantly, my biggest worry was completely dissolved. CIEE gave me the opportunity to make friends from all over the United States that I never would have met otherwise. From Barça games to weekend excursions around Europe to simply sitting around a table laughing for hours about nothing, we have shared countless unforgettable memories. These are people that I can honestly say are some of my best friends. CIEE and Barcelona have given me an amazing semester that I will always treasure. ¡Viva Barcelona! 



Name: Julia
CIEE Barcelona Program: Liberal Arts
Semester: Fall 2015
Home School: Vanderbilt University

Mi estancia en Barcelona ha sido la más increíble de mi vida.  Como yo soy de Miami, he crecido en una ciudad con una hermosa playa, una vibrante vida nocturna y gente enérgica y dinámica. Las dos ciudades tienen similitudes, sin embargo son muy diferentes. Barcelona es fascinante.

La moda, la comida, la arquitectura y las actividades superan con mucho las de los Estados Unidos en todos los sentidos. Barcelona es la capital del modernismo y se pueden encontrar muchos monumentos, construidos y diseñados por el famoso Antoni Gaudí.  Las obras de Gaudí más impresionantes que recomiendo son: la Sagrada Familia, La Pedrera, Casa Batlló y el Parque Güell.  Además, en Barcelona también se puede encontrar la Catedral gótica que es espectacular o la Basílica de Santa María del Mar. La cocina catalana se basa en la dieta mediterránea con muchas verduras, pan, cereales y aceite de oliva.  Se puede encontrar todo aquí, desde mariscos a fruta fresca, también muchos mercados de alimentos y restaurantes con cocina típica catalana.  Los platos famosos son llamados ‘tapas’, pequeñas porciones de diferentes tipos de alimentos, ¡que no debes perderte!

Muchos dicen que es la ciudad que nunca duerme, y por esta razón es casi imposible encontrar un bar o club cerrados durante la noche.  Los distritos de moda son El Born, la ciudad vieja y el puerto Olímpico, cerca de la playa. Todos estos lugares son ideales para caminar o andar en bicicleta.  También hay algunas partes de la ciudad que se pueden visitar sólo a pie.  En Barcelona también hay posibilidades de deportes de aventura como el surf, el kitesurf, el kayak, la vela, los paseos en globo y mucho más.

Por estas razones, Barcelona es una de las principales ciudades metropolitanas de Europa. 

¡Me encanta el chocolate!

Name: Becca
CIEE Barcelona Program: Liberal Arts
Semester: Fall 2015
Home School: Rice University

QuijotesChocolate. Chocolate. Chocolate. Mi postre favorito. Me encantan todos los tipos de chocolate en todas las variedades, así que podéis entender cuando os digo que uno de los días mejores de mi vida fue cuando mi clase de marketing fue al museo de chocolate en Barcelona.

Fuimos al museo para estudiar todo el mercado del chocolate. Aprendimos sobre el museo, el chocolate, el marketing, las ventas, la producción, la competición, los vendedores, los consumidores y mucho más. Recibimos una guía no solo del museo, sinó también del campus, las oficinas, el almacén y las cocinas. Durante nuestra visita, hubo un exposición de la asociación del Gremio de Pastelería. Vimos muchos vendedores de chocolate, pastelerías, panaderías y restaurantes. Fue muy interesante y aprendimos sobre el mercado y los negocios del museo.  Quijotes2

Sin embargo, el recorrido no fue la parte mejor de la visita. Durante nuestra visita, participamos en un taller de chocolate. ¡Aprendimos muchas maneras de cocinar chocolate!  Tenemos la oportunidad para cocinar chocolate negro, blanco y con leche.  Hicimos nuestras propias tabletas de chocolate, trufas y piruletas de chocolate con ingredientes especiales (como frambuesas, almendras, coco, sal, frutos secos, kiwi y muchas más). Fue muy divertido y el chocolate estaba delicioso. Salimos con bastante chocolate para todo el tiempo que vamos a estar en Barcelona. 

Nunca había hecho nada como esto. Fue una experiencia fantástica que voy a recordar siempre. Para una amante del chocolate como yo, fue el paraíso.