Liberal Arts, Spring 2016, Newsletter II
We are already passed mid-semester! Liberal Arts students have been very busy with classes, cultural activities, meeting locals or volunteering. Find here some details.
“We couldn´t have asked for a better flatmate”
Taylor, Sara, Zoe and Riley from Vanderbilt University share their apartment with Berta, a Spanish flatmate. Spanish roommates are a great opportunity for our students to get more immersed in the culture, practice their Spanish and get to live with a local.
This is what Taylor said about her flatmate: “We adore Berta. She has been such a wonderful addition to our apartment. When something goes wrong, she is there to help at a moment notice. She has been extremely accommodating and flexible and has always made sure we feel comfortable. Aside from playing the role of our quasi-mother while we are in Spain, she has become a great friend and someone to look for advice in. She's is very trustworthy and relaxed, and gives us our space but is also involved in our daily lives. We couldn't have asked for a better flatmate!
Volunteering in a local school: “This experience has been the most immersive way for me to understand Spain and Barcelona”
Liberal Arts students have the opportunity to volunteer as English Teacher Assistants at a local school, Centre d’estudis Montseny, for two hours every week. This is what they say about their experience.
Isabel from Cornell University said: “The first few weeks in a new country are always nerve wracking and stressful as one must learn to adapt to a new culture, take in unfamiliar surroundings, and work in a foreign language. Volunteering at Centre d’estudis Montseny was one of the ways that I made those first weeks more comfortable and how I have made my whole experience in Barcelona unforgettable. Working with different students every week who ask questions about my life, give me insight into theirs, and genuinely want to play the games I have prepared has been wonderful. I look forward to my weekly journey to Selva del Mar because I not only meet and work with wonderful children, but also explore a new part of the city.
This experience has been the most immersive way for me to understand Spain and Barcelona. We have workshops, Guardian Angels, and professors who gladly answer our questions, but no one is as honest as a child.”
Lauren from Universiy of Iowa assured: “My favorite part about volunteering here is the variety! I love the conversations I have with the older children. I also love that they teach me things as well. I even got to learn a few words in Catalan! I really feel like I am making a difference for the kids and they are making one for my experience too!
This experience has really immersed me in the culture since I get to see first hand day to day school life for these kids. They tell me stories of their families, weekends, travels, etc. and it really allows me to see how every day life is here in Spain. As a student abroad you often feel like a tourist, but this really lets me feel like a member of a school community.”
Students have been participating in our “Intercambio Nights”, language exchange events where they meet local students to practice their Spanish. Students also had to interview the local as part of their language classes at CIEE.