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5 posts from February 2018

02/13/2018

Advanced Liberal Arts, Spring 2018, Newsletter I

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Libertas perfundet omnia luce
When new students arrive at the Barcelona airport after a long transoceanic journey and make their way to the CIEE Advanced Liberal Arts program orientation, upon arrival they find students wearing CIEE shirts that welcome them, help them with their luggage and accompany them on the bus to the orientation location. These students, of the same age as the recent arrivals, are in fact, students of the same institution that will host the participants of this CIEE program: The University of Barcelona. Minutes later, after the bus has taken them from the airport to the center of the city, the students will get off at Hotel H10 Universidad, situated on the corner of Plaza de la Universidad. The hotel and plaza are named Universidad because both are in front of the historical University of Barcelona building. Founded in 1450, it is an institution without which you could not easily understand the history of this city or the country over the past 568 years. At CIEE, we want our students in the program to familiarize themselves with their new university from the very beginning. On the second day, they undergo the academic session and language assessment, which are administered by professors of the Philology Department at the UB.

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(ALA students visiting the UB Old Main with Dr. Anna Vallugera, Professor of the CIEE course "Masterworks of Catalan Art"

What I’m trying to say is that for CIEE the relationship that we want our students to establish with the host institution is key for many reasons: it guarantees quality and indisputable academic rigor while also guaranteeing the level of integration and immersion of our students for whom, in any other way, it would be much more complicated. The professors that teach the ALA program courses are also professors of the UB. The university students that attend the linguistic exchanges are the same students that our students will cross paths with and share classes with in the different departments of the UB. And through the possibility of internship positions, or volunteer programs, our students may further strengthen their sense of belonging and expand their circle of contacts.

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(Students after taking the Spanish language placement test in the UB Philology Department during the orientation)

The motto of the UB is “Libertas perfundet omnia luce” (Liberty fills everything with light). A few days ago, I wrote a brief message of gratitude to our new students for their attention and excellent behavior during the orientation. To it I attached this picture that I took during our visit to the UB Old Main, in the Rector’s office, where the Barcelona winter light was shining down on them. I sincerely wish them a term where libertas perfundet omnia luce…

SP181a(CIEE ALA students in University of Barcelona Rector's office)

 

 

02/12/2018

Liberal Arts | Spring 2018 | Newletter I

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It has been a month since Liberal Arts students arrived at Barcelona! They have been very busy with orientation, getting to know the city and their local institution, Pompeu Fabra and participating in a lot of cultural events. Here there are some details:

How millennials tell their experience through blogging

A lot of students share their study abroad experience through their blogs. Emily from Fisk University shared with us her amazing blog where she posts her views and pictures of her experience. This is what she wrote about the CIEE day trips to Tarragona or Girona: “I love this city! If you are a history buff- you would too! Filled with gorgeous little streets, ancient Roman ruins along the Golden coast, Tarragona is one for the books.” "The Arab baths were one of my favorite findings in Girona! These Arab baths are Romanesque construction (12th century) inspired by Roman baths, its most outstanding elements include the entrance, which was used as a changing room and relaxation area and is covered with a barrel vault, and the cupola covering the central pool, which is supported by slim columns with gorgeously capitals”.

You can check her blog in here: http://www.emilyannephotoart.com/blog/

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Blog 5

Know the city with your skate

Gavin from University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and Madeleine from Barnard College are skaters that didn´t leave behind their hobby when they came to study abroad. They are getting to know Barcelona, its plazas, parks, trendy neighborhoods with their skate.

Here is Gavin´s testimony:

Skating

Visit to the Music Museum

We offered almost 30 different cultural activities students can do with our Guardian Angels  (local students) to get to get acquainted with the city the first weeks. These include among others: museums visits and tours; going to parks, open markets; historical landmarks, and trendy neighborhoods.  Some students visited the Music Museum in Barcelona. The museum exhibits around 500 music instruments from different ages and cultures and it’s considered as one of the most important music exhibition of Spain. Students learned about the history of instruments and had the opportunity to play some of them.   Foto música
Foto música

02/07/2018

Language + Culture | Spring 2018 | Newsletter I

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It has been a month since Language and Culture Arts students arrived in Barcelona! They have been very busy with their classes, getting to know the city and participating in a lot cultural events such as diverse tours to get to know the city, gym classes or day trips.

Here there are more details

Orientation, city tours and Three Wise Men parade

During the first three days of orientation, students attended different talks about health and safety, bystander intervention workshop, academics, cultural activities, intercultural competence and volunteering opportunities. It was also the time to meet their host families; get around the city with their Guardian Angels (Spanish students); and even enjoy de traditional Three Wise Men Parade that celebrates Epiphany in Spain. 

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Foto tour

Getting to know Catalonia

CIEE is offering a wide range of weekly day trips so students get to know other parts of Catalonia. Students are enjoying their trips to the mountains of Montserrat, the Roman city Tarragona; or the city of Girona and the Dalí Museum.

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Foto tour
Foto tour 

Neuroscience for Humanities course

Our host institution, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, offers a class called Neuroscience for Humanities. This class is specially addressed for Pre-med or STEM students.  The course starts with a general overview of the brain to then review how the sensory systems build up a representation of the world, with particular reference to the visual and auditory systems.  Christopher, a STEM student from Vanderbilt University commented: “This class is very interesting because it connects neuroscience with humanities. We are going to visit the National Catalan Art Museum to look at the paintings from the neuroscience point of view.”

02/01/2018

Economics + Culture, Spring 2018, Newsletter I

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A new semester has begun and this new group of Economic + Culture students has already had the chance to get adapted to the city, their courses at CIEE and their host institution, UPF. Dan, from Colby College, wanted to participate in an interview to explain his thoughts on the first weeks of the semester, the excitement of this new time in his life and the differences that he’s experienced so far. Check out his video:

Also, as an assignment in the CIEE Art History class, Catalonia and Spain through the Arts, students must record a video in front of a monument in Barcelona. The goal of this task is to have students explain a local landmark to the “average American public”, based on general information about it and also on two analogies with an American cultural artifact. Thus, students are able to make connections between the two cultures and bridge ideas between them. Justin, from George Washington University, wanted to share his videos about "El Gato del Raval", by Fernando Botero, Check out his project in the following link: 

 https://youtu.be/YOSLv2n6Z6Q

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J-Term, 2018, Newsletter

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January has flown away, and I really can’t believe it’s been already 10 days since the J-term students left. The Barcelona January Business and Culture program has been a success from the beginning, but this year —with 46 students from 13 different universities— it has reached a record level. What’s even more important than this is the mark that these students have left on us: curious and engaged, respectful and endearing, it was one of those groups that constantly reminds you why you love what you do. John, from Wofford College, really made my day last week with a totally unexpected email packed with beautiful pictures that ended up saying: “I had such a great experience, and I am very glad that I was a part of your program. Keep opening the eyes of people to the world and Spain specifically. It is an awesome thing. Thank you for everything!”

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Things went very well from the beginning: Everybody arrived sound and safe and —after two full orientation sessions— students started classes normally. The course students took was International Marketing, of which we had two sections: one was taught by Francisco Gil and the other one by Jordi Garolera —two of our more experienced teachers. Jordi was simply amazed by the amount of participation in the classroom; “Paco” said this was one of the best groups he’s ever had.

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But culture, of course, is something that goes beyond the classroom, and that’s why we’d planned several activities and trips to help our students enhance their experience. Some of the activities they took part in were: a guided walking tour around the Gothic Quarter and the old city; a “chocolate con churros” afternoon; a wonderful and intense Flamenco night; a mixer with other CIEE Students at Coco Vail Beer Hall; a hiking and picnic at the mountain range of Collserola; and a weekend trip to the city of Valencia, including a guided tour, visits to several museums and a group dinner.

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Nevertheless, if I had to choose one among these activities, one that could serve as a highlight for the whole experience we had as a group, I would choose the Paella workshop we did in Valencia. Valencia, the third-largest city in Spain after Madrid and Barcelona, is famous for many things, but one of them (indeed!) is that it is the cradle of paella. So on the last day of our trip to Valencia we visited the “Escuela de Arroces y Paella Valenciana”, where two professional chefs gave us aprons and hats and taught us how to make a real and authentic paella from scratch. Delicious!

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