Architecture + Design, Fall 2017, Newsletter II
Part of CIEE’s mission is to make active and responsible Global Citizens and prepare them for the changes and challenges of future generations to come. They must be able to understand cultural differences, and therefore, developing soft skills which allow them to be flexible and adaptive are key points for students studying abroad. Through all of the academic obligations and cultural activities that the Architecture + Design students have been experiencing this semester, some have found the time to reflect on their soft skills and thoughtfully rethink what it means to be abroad.
Samantha, from Tufts University, is an excellent example of how to be proactive and motivated while abroad. Besides focusing on her classes at ELISAVA and CIEE, Samantha has taken a very active role in learning the local language. Even though she was not able to take any Spanish classes, her interest in learning it has driven her to expand her limits and take advantage of her experience. In order to further immerse herself in the community, she speaks Spanish with her host family and even volunteers at a local school. Recently, Samantha participated in a language class with 14-15 year old students—a project that was more than satisfactory for all of them.
Another student, Giang, from Temple University, embodies the spirit of awareness and adaptability of being abroad. Born in Vietnam, she moved to the US while in high school and has been living there since. Her time now in Barcelona is her third experience abroad, after Tokyo and Prague. But since her first one, she’s realized the potential of being abroad to improve her soft skills, level of adaptability and to be more aware about intercultural aspects and mutual understanding. Check out this video!