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Liberal Arts | Fall 2017 | Newsletter III


Fall semester is gone and we wish students had an enriching cultural experience in Barcelona. Here it is some of their experiences:  

 “In my internship, I have gathered new strategies to promote equality, through legislation and daily interactions”

Foto Rachel

Rachel from Duke University at her internship at the NGO Fundación Mujeres Felices

Rachel, from Duke University did an internship with an NGO called Fundación Mujeres Felices, that works to promote gender equality in Spain, in Burkina Faso, and around the world. The foundation also works to prevent Female Genital Mutilation in Burkina Faso and organizes an annual women’s summit in Madrid. She commented: “I’ve enjoyed interning at FMF so far because it’s given me the opportunity to learn more about gender roles and sexism in different countries. I’ve also gathered new strategies to promote equality, through legislation and daily interactions, that I plan to bring back to the United States. The most interesting part so far is seeing the foundation’s goals to increase gender equality in Spain and comparing them with goals for gender equality in the United States.”

One of the projects in which Rachel worked was translating videos that promote gender equality from English to Spanish. Here it is one or her jobs:

“Volunteering at the school allowed me to expand my network and immerse into the city of Barcelona”

Foto Ilan

Ilan from Columbia University volunteering at Escola Pía

Ilan from Comlumbia University volunteered as English Teaching Assistant at Escola Pía  12-13 year old kids.  Ilan commented: “ I loved my experience volunteering at Escola Pía. In the United States I have worked as a soccer coach, and love doing it because I like working with kids. This opportunity was fantastic because I was able to continue working with kids, even if I was teaching them a language instead of a sport. 

In truth, what I liked most is that the experience made me think about how I learn languages. All of the kids I worked with knew Catalan and Spanish (Castilian). Therefore, English was, for most of them, their third language! In the different games we played they would give each other clues and hints in English, Catalan and Spanish. It made me realize how interconnected all languages are, and has only enhanced my own interest in learning more and more languages. Volunteering at the school allowed me to expand my network and immerse into the city of Barcelona.   

Catalan Christmas Traditions

Foto Tió 2
Foto Tió 2

Liberal Arts students made their final presentations at the CIEE Advanced Spanish Grammar, Composition and Conversation class about a Spanish/Catalan cultural aspect.

Rachel from Duke University, and Emily and Annie from Elon University talked about the Christmas celebration in Barcelona and Spain in compare with the United States. They presented the Catalan Christmas tradition of Tió. The Tió de Nadal is a character in Catalan mythology relating to a Christmas tradition widespread in Catalonia and some regions of Aragon. The story goes that in the days preceding Christmas, children must take good care of the log, keeping it warm and feeding it, so that it will defecate presents on Christmas Day.


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