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97 posts categorized "Business and Culture"


Business + Culture, Fall 2017, Newsletter I


Fall semester has just begun and Business students are getting to know the city and its culture. Since they’ve arrived they have been busy with orientation sessions, getting to know CIEE staff and getting ready for the beginning of their classes. This semester we have a group of Business students who attend the Universitat de Vic-BAU campus in Barcelona (Design College of Barcelona). BAU was born in 1989. Located in Barcelona, in 2003 BAU commits itself to a move to the 22@ district, now the innovation and design district of the city. BAU has consolidated its proposal by affiliating itself with the University of Vic-Central University of Catalonia (UVIC-UCC).

The orientation session for BC-UVic students took place at BAU campus where students will attend classes very soon. During the academic welcome carried out by Joan Albert Garcia, Coordinator of the Stud Abroad Program Business, Design and Innovation, students received a backpack with useful information about their classes at UVic-BAU and an insight of the classes they are taking.

The classes offered this fall semester are: Design Thinking, Digital Business, Global Marketing, Leadership, Business and Society, Brand Design, Marketing and Fashion and Start-UP Creation.

After the academic session students had a tour around the premises. They were happy to see such a unique and modern campus.

In a few days classes will start!


First Day of Class

Spain is known for its outdoor life. In their free time locals hang out in terraces and cafeterias. In order to survive in Barcelona one must know how to order a café con leche. During their first Spanish class at CIEE, John (BC-UVic) and Kyle (BC-ESCI) did an activity (called survival Spanish) in the whereabouts of CIEE. They had to talk to clients and waiters and ask them some questions. It was fun and they learned a lot!




Summer Programs, 2017, Newsletter II

The World is Our Classroom

As the CIEE slogan says, our students have the chance to experience a different academic perspective while abroad, in which the local component and first-hand experiences are extremely valuable. An intercultural perspective is often included in our courses—where students learn much more than facts—in the sense that they can experience what they are studying and better understand the local culture and history and therefore, be able to recognize, adapt to and understand other cultures and other realities.


In our Language and Culture program, students can experience the history of Barcelona and Spain through different site visits that enrich their experience. Here are some examples:


Students visiting a bomb shelter of the Spanish Civil War


Students visiting a bunker for the Spanish Civil War

Also, students in the Business and Culture program go on different company visits, such as to the Museu de la Xocolata, and benefit from other innovative projects and group techniques. For instance, those in the Sustainability and CSR class participated in an “Escape the room” activity, putting their skills and ability to cooperate and solve problems into practice while working in groups.


Student of beginning Spanish, practicing their skills in the “real world”


Also, students in the Business and Culture program go on different company visits, such as to the Museu de la Xocolata, and benefit from other innovative projects and group techniques. For instance, those in the Sustainability and CSR class participated in an “Escape the room” activity, putting their skills and ability to cooperate and solve problems into practice while working in groups.





Spring semester has nearly finished! Business and Culture students are very sad to leave and they are making the most of their time left in Barcelona. Here some details.



John, an Economic student from Bucknell University, and William, a Business student from University of Wisconsin-Madison, watched one of the most important basketball games in the US, the NCAA Tournament.

William, John and their local flatmate, Abel, ordered some pizzas and had a lot of fun watching the event. 



Barcelona is a city high on life, a city of beach worshipers, football, and Carnival. In Catalonia, people dress in masks and costumes and organize a week-long series of parties, pranks and outlandish activities to welcome the arrival of Sa Majestat el Rei Carnestoltes ("His Majesty King Carnival").

At the CIEE Study Center the Cultural Activities team organized a Carnival photocall. Some Business students had a go at the photocall and here´s proof!


Abby (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Joshua (Indiana University-Bloomington), Alejandro (Indiana University-Bloomington) and Nicholas (University of Wisconsin-Madison).


Hope, CIEE´s Study Abroad  Advisor in Portland (Maine), paid us a visit and, along with other members of the staff and some Business students, posed in a group Carnival picture.


Business + Culture, Spring 2017, Newsletter II



One of the most popular culture classes for the Business + Culture students is the art history class “Catalonia and Spain through the Arts”. By combining lectures, discussions and class activities with field trips, students are able to gain a better understanding of the history of art in Barcelona and Spain and also, to apply this knowledge when travelling in Europe. In one of the sessions, students visited one of the many hidden jewels in Barcelona: the Monastery of Sant Pau del Camp, a Romanesque construction in the city center which dates back to the 9th century AD. Besides the visit to the church and the tiny, cozy cloister, which was often visited by Picasso when he was living in Barcelona, the students were lucky enough to enjoy the magnificent acoustics of the old structure. Jordi-Xavier, the coordinator at the monastery, put on a performance by singing Gregorian chant to illustrate the reverberation and projection of sound in the ancient temple. As if transported back in time, the students were immersed in the perfect atmosphere to better understand the Romanesque art. Check it out in this video:


It has been almost two months since Business + Culture students arrived in Barcelona! They have been very busy with their classes, getting to know the city and participating in a lot of cultural events such cooking classes, gym classes, day trips and intercambios (language exchange events).

Nicholas (University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business) and Rose Ann (Cornell University) attended an intercambio for their Spanish class with all their classmates along with other Spanish students and Guardian Angels. They had the chance to practice their oral Spanish skills and make new friends. These events are held several times each semester, and they are a great opportunity to meet locals.



Business + Culture, Spring 2017, Newsletter i


The semester had only just begun and Business and Culture students already enjoyed one of the most famous Catalan traditions. The CALÇOTADA is a popular feast (first held in 1896) made with calçots, a type of onion that is produced only in Cataluña. Calçots are usually eaten in January, February and March, roasted over a wood fire and accompanied by a special romesco  sauce.  Traditionally customers need to wear a bib to eat them.

BC students followed the tradition, when in Rome,…do as the Romans do!





A group of BC students went on a trip to Seville (in Andalucía) with CIEE staff members.  Their Resident Director, Sandra Rodríguez, accompanied them. Sandra is a native from Seville and the perfect companion to travel with. They visited a cattle farm where a professional bullfighter showed them how to make a pass. Bullfighting was originally done on horseback and was a sport reserved for the aristocracy. Spain´s first bullfighting figures are well known in Andalucía. 

Caroline (University of Madison-Wisconsin) had the opportunity to practice the art of bullfighting and she was actually quite good at it.


This semester we started working with the University of Vic in Barcelona. Vic is the capital of the comarca of Osona, in the Barcelona province. It is located 69km from Barcelona and is home to one of the best private universities in Barcelona.

For the first time, a group of Business and Culture students are taking classes from the “Business, Design and Innovation” program, offered by UVic at their Barcelona campus (a short metro ride from the CIEE Study Center). The program, taught in English, is meant for international students. They love the international environment of the program in the trendy neighborhood of Poblenou!


Business + Culture, Fall 2016, Newsletter II


We are already past mid-semester!!! Business and Culture students have been busy with classes, cultural activities, meeting locals, volunteering and travelling all around Europe.

Read on for more details.


¡¡¡¡¡Best experiential excursions ever!!!!!!!

This semester BC excursions have been modified to better fulfill the economic facet of the program, immersing the students in cultural activities related to both business and economics. They visited one of the oldest potteries in Seville where they learned a bit more about the profession – a centuries-long tradition in Seville, which has an entire area of the city dedicated to it. The students loved it as they got to make their own tile pieces to bring back home as a souvenir.

The Shared Apartment Experience

Students staying in shared apartments have given great feedback on their experiences living with local students. They’ve gotten to learn more about the culture through their local flat-mate who not only helps them but also provides a younger perspective of the Catalan way of life.

Elliot from Elon University and Brandon and Jack from Providence College share their apartment with Javier, a local student. Their flat is like a family house and they are having the best experience ever sharing with him.

In the picture below you can see them at one of their multiple get-togethers at the house eating paella, canelones, tortilla de patatas, arroz con leche and pà amb tomàquet, as well as some typical Spanish products like chorizo and queso manchego.





All of the Business + Culture students arrived a couple of weeks ago and went into a very informative orientation in which they learned everything they needed to know in order to immerse themselves deep inside the city, the culture, and to get acclimated to and learn their way around the city.

IMG_0219Orientation Session

What's new

We have some new additions from our great team of professors: Strategic Management with Jesús Abellan, Marcel Vergel, implementing an additional course to the fall curriculum, offers Strategic Issues of International Manufacturing, and last but not least, Uriel Bertran, who takes care of the second session of a course that has become very famous among students this semester, leads Spanish Economy in the European Union.

Barcelona´s Big Day

Students had the wonderful opportunity to see and experience the biggest day in Barcelona, La Mercé. They enjoyed concerts, experienced the “correfoc”, and of course, watched Castellers perform, one of the most emblematic symbols of the city.


They also started to learn more about the new world of Mediterranean/Catalan cuisine, thanks to their Cook and Taste classes.


Cook and Taste

UPF/ESCI welcomes Business + Culture Students

Students attended the UPF/ESCI welcome meeting where they got their final schedules and had a chance to get to explore the university.  They also met Jordi Puig, the Head of Studies at ESCI. 




Getting familiar with the city


It was very quick but the first session of our summer programs has come to an end. Students arrived almost a month ago and they had the chance to discover the wonders of Barcelona. During the very first days, during their orientation, students had the opportunity to get familiar with and know the basics about the city. After a talkon Health and Safety and meeting their host families, students had their first walking tour in the Old City to see the most historical areas of Barcelona. In addition,  many activities were planned to help them not only figure out how to navigate the city but also gather around and develop  closer relationships with their classmates. Plus, they got great views of Barcelona during a day trip in which they tried typical catalan food. See the views in the picture below (they are amazing!).


Jhoalmo, Nels and Cosi meeting their host mothers

Desktop11Students enjoying Tapas Night with their Guardian Angels


Students on Collserolla Mountain, with Barcelona in the background

ICE weekend

One of the most exciting activities for the summer programs is the ICE weekend (Intercultural Comparative Experience), in which our students visit another CIEE city and we in Barcelona host students from other CIEE destinations. This summer, CIEE students from Seville, Ferrara and Lisbon enjoyed the activities we planned for them, and for sure, took advantage of their free time to visit some of the wonders of Barcelona.


Arrival at Generator Hostel 


Students from CIEE Lisbon in the main entrance of Park Guell

Desktop12Students tasting some tapas at Mercat Princesa

Check out these videos to see what they thought about their visit!

In Prague, CIEE staff welcomed the students and presented a quick orientation of the city and its culture. Afterwards, everyone went on a walking tour of the main sites: Old Town Square, Prague Castle, Municipal House and the St. Nicholas Church. That evening, there was a buffet-style welcome dinner of traditional plates.

The following day students went on activities according to their chosen Interest Group and then met up again to enjoy a delicious authentic lunch. For those that wanted, an optional activity was organized to attend a performance of “Carmen” at the Prague State Opera House.

On the final day, the flight wasn’t until late in the evening so it was a free day for students! Everyone was off to explore the city. It was a long day (and late night) but an amazing adventure overall.







Living with American Housemates, Cristina, Barcelona native

Cristina bernal

“You’re such a brave person”. “I would have given it a second thought”. “You have a finger in every pie”… These are some of the things that my family and friends said to me when I told them that from January I was going to live with 5 American students. For the first time I would start a new phase in my life, for the first time I would become independent, I wouldn’t live with my parents for four months, I would live with 5 people from another country, I would get to know a new culture and new traditions as well as different ways of thinking.

I still remember the first time that I saw them, in the orientation hotel. We were all very nervous, excited to get to know each other and to see the new place where we would live for almost half a year. I prepared some muffins, bonbons and juices to welcome them, some sort of party for having met each other. They were really tired when they arrived, but from the very first moment we already sat all together around the living room table, we started to organize the cleaning turns and we discussed other issues in order to make the co-living easier.

The experience has been fantastic, especially for them: they have tasted a lot of traditional Spanish food and they have also learned to cook it with me! They learned new expressions and their Spanish level has improved a lot, it’s been a new experience for them to live with a Spanish girl, and everyone has grown from this experience. They even met my family! So I can say that they really enjoyed being here, they have discovered new places, traditions, habits and typical dishes… But first and foremost: they have made a good friend, and have ended up becoming a second family here.

Some of the moments will forever stay frozen in photos, but pictures are not enough to sum up this wonderful intercultural experience. I am very grateful to CIEE for this opportunity!

Competitive Strategy Field Trip, Prof. Eduardo Rodes

Eduardo rhodes

Last Wednesday we took a field trip to one of the hotels in the Praktik chain. They have a very interesting business model in a very competitive industry – hotels in Barcelona. They compete with accessible pricing for a medium hotel, with 50 well-situated rooms. Their main differentiating element is themed services, integrating a high-class winery and a boutique bakery. It was really interesting to see how they complemented their different business.  We had a great time!

Off the Beaten Track for Spring Break

Jamie (Indiana University) - Senegal

Jamie senegal

The decision to travel to Senegal wasn’t an easy one - terrorism, kidnapping, and mugging were all common themes that came up in conversation when I told people of my Semana Santa plans. In reality, the best word to describe Senegal is not “dangerous,” but rather “colorful,” both literally and figuratively.  Brightly colored fabrics adorn every corner of the cities and villages, which are bustling with merchants selling fresh fruits and with children playing soccer, with goats and cows roaming the streets and with enticing smells of rice and fish… And at every turn, we were met with “teranga” (the Wolof word for “hospitality.”)

If nothing else, my voyage taught me that Senegal – and probably much of Africa, for that matter – has a PR problem. No, Senegal is not teeming with terrorists who are staked out to capture a group of foreigners. No, it isn’t filled with men who are eager to buy wives for goats. Rather, it’s friendly, it’s energetic, and from the banks of the Gambian River to the villages atop regal mountains, it’s breathtakingly beautiful. 


Jeremy (University of Wisconsin-Madison) – Atlas Mountains and Sahara Desert

Jeremy marruecos

My Morocco trip was an amazing trip that really opened my eyes to another part of the world. Whether it was walking around the souk, sleeping in the Sahara Desert, or driving through the villages hidden within the Atlas Mountains, I felt extremely lucky to be experiencing those moments with my friends and it made me appreciate what I have here in Barcelona and back home in the United States. It gave me motivation to continue my passion for traveling and explore other parts of the world that are off the beaten track.


Business + Culture, Spring 2016, Newsletter II


What happens when two cultures from across the ocean meet and spend a few months in each other’s company?

As a way of offering a glimpse into life at a homestay in Spain, we asked our Business & Culture students to send us a short dinnertime video, with some unexpected and beautiful results!  Thanks to Alexandra (Minnesota), Aaron (Indiana), Cameron (Indiana), Tyson (Wisconsin), and Will (Wofford College) for your amazing contributions!



Cavas Codorniu is the oldest continuing business in Spain, with its roots going back to the 17th century, so it was an appropriate place for the Business&Culture group to begin a weekend trip into the Catalan countryside. The champagne region of France may have become a household name, but Catalans will proudly tell you that their cava sparkling wine is equally fine and has just as much heritage as its French sibling.  Founded in 1551 in the shadow of the mythical Montserrat hills, the winery now produces 60 million bottles a year of wine and is a prime example of how to make an old family business into an industrialized giant.

During the tour of the huge grounds, we learned each stage of the process from vine to finished product, and all the subtle changes along the way. James from Scranton University was impressed “It’s amazing how the skin from a red grape can change the color of a wine to make it rose, and how they have to make sure every single bottle is rotated each day for two months to get the right end result.”  The visit, of course, had to conclude with a customary wine-tasting and some shopping for the lucky folks back home.


L-R: Zach (Cornell), James (Scranton), Thales & Taylor (Brandeis)

We later moved onto Montserrat, a small nearby national park just a short journey but a world away from Barcelona. Named for its ‘serrated’ mountain tops, it’s full of bizarre rock formations (think a grey version of Utah’s national parks), but also home to a centuries’ old Benedictine monastery perched on the edge of the cliffs.  Tyler from Brandeis was impressed by this juxtaposition of nature and history:  “We don’t have anything remotely like this in the States – our country itself is just a few hundred years old.  We have the scenery, like in Utah or Arizona, but not with the centuries of culture and history that goes with it.”  Some chose to walk off the cava with a hike all the way up to the Sant Jeroni peak, catching some much needed Sunday fresh air before heading back to Barcelona refreshed and ready for mid-term week.


L-R: Eleanor (Wisconsin), Ashley (Indiana), Zach(Cornell), Tyler (Brandeis), James (Scranton), Robert (Wisconsin) and Thales (Brandeis)  taking in the views in Montserrat!