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96 posts categorized "Business and Culture"

07/25/2017

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.

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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:

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Students visiting a bomb shelter of the Spanish Civil War

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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.

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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.

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05/09/2017

BUSINESS + CULTURE, SPRING 2017, NEWSLETTER III

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.

SPENDING TIME WITH LOCAL FRIENDS AT HOME

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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. 

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CARNAVAL 2017 AT CIEE

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!

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

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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.

02/20/2017

Business + Culture, Spring 2017, Newsletter II

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CATALONIA AND SPAIN THROUGH THE ARTS

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:

INTERCAMBIOS

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.

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02/01/2017

Business + Culture, Spring 2017, Newsletter i

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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!

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WEEKEND TRIP TO SEVILLE

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.

WHAT´S NEW

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!

12/12/2016

Business + Culture, Fall 2016, Newsletter II

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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.

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¡¡¡¡¡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.

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09/30/2016

BUSINESS + CULTURE, FALL 2016, NEWSLETTER I

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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.

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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.

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

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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. 

06/15/2016

SUMMER PROGRAMS, 2016, NEWSLETTER I

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Getting familiar with the city

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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!).

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Jhoalmo, Nels and Cosi meeting their host mothers

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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.

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Arrival at Generator Hostel 

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Students from CIEE Lisbon in the main entrance of Park Guell

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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.

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04/20/2016

BUSINESS + CULTURE, SPRING 2016, NEWSLETTER III

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Living with American Housemates, Cristina, Barcelona native

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“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

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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

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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

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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.

03/07/2016

Business + Culture, Spring 2016, Newsletter II

THE HOMESTAY EXPERIENCE

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!

 

“WE DON’T HAVE ANYTHING REMOTELY LIKE THIS BACK HOME!”: HIKING AND WINE-TASTING IN THE COUNTRYSIDE

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.

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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.

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

01/29/2016

BUSINESS + CULTURE, SPRING 2016, NEWSLETTER I

BARCELONA IN THREE WORDS

We asked our Spring 16 Business and Culture students to sum up their experience so far in Barcelona and we got some interesting responses.  Check it out!

“I COULD STAY HERE ALL DAY!” STUDENTS DIVE INTO THE HEART OF BARCELONA’S CONTROVERSIAL NEIGHBORHOOD

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Stepping out of their comfort zone, students sample some of the weird and wonderful foods in the Boqueria market.

The CIEE orientation week gave everyone a perfect introduction to the city of Barcelona, but during one afternoon activity some students had the chance to delve a little deeper, beyond the polished statues and leafy plazas into what has always been the most animated yet controversial part of the city: El Raval.  Originally located just outside the old city walls, this area has historically been a cultural melting-pot due to its proximity to the port area - and all the sorts of characters and venues that usually entails.  On an ‘observation walking tour’ we took a stroll through its winding streets taking in the ethnic diversity of the local businesses, community spaces, and the Dickensian characters selling exotic jewelry. The classic marketplace of the Boqueria epitomizes this mix, offering up freshly made snacks and dishes from all over Spain and the world. We spent a lot longer there than expected! “I could stay here all day!!” said Kaeli from Indiana University “…can we just stay here a few more hours and have dinner too?”

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Group shot with the infamous Botero cat on the Rambla de Raval.  Jesse from Oberlin College sneaks in a kiss! 

FLAMENCO. SUN. SIESTAS. TAPAS

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Flying the flag for CIEE Barcelona way down in Seville.

Andalusia is picture postcard Spain at its most exotic and the Business & Culture group spent a weekend exploring Sevilla and Cordoba. The south of Spain is in many ways like a different country, and for most it was a first chance to see Spain beyond Barcelona. 

For the past few weeks they’ve been learning all about the country’s ancient and colorful past, and nowhere is it more notable than in this region.  Hercules and Julius Caesar left their mark here, followed by centuries of Muslim rule right up until 1492. So the group had a chance to see the architectural mix that all this left behind, and some of the oldest things they’d ever seen: “The Mesquita in Cordoba blew my mind - in the US there might be a 120 year old farm, but this is like 1200 years old, I can't even fathom that!” says Jack from Indiana University.  Courtney from Cornell University noted the melting pot of architectures– “There’s this amazing cathedral with an old mosque minaret right next to brand new apartments”.

Soon after arriving in Sevilla one group checked out the Alcázares – the Royal Palace recently doubling up as the kingdom of Dorne in Game of Thrones. This was the high point of the trip for Brandon from Skidmore College, with its Moorish architecture: “I was blown away by the Alcázar, the intricate way they cut out every tile hundreds of years ago”.  He also noted the definite change of pace compared to Catalonia:  “The south of Spain is definitely quainter and visually appealing, and has more of a small town feel and slow pace. I mean, Barcelona is slow but here seems super chilled.”

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Aaron (Brandeis), Brandon (Skidmore), Abdi (Babson), Taylor (Indiana) and Julia (Babson) taking some sun in the gardens featured in Game of Thrones

On the last morning we met up with some of the guys at CIEE Sevilla for a Sunday stroll around the Plaza de Espana.  This included a chance to work off the vast amounts of tapas consumed with a leisurely row in the lake in front of the huge building used as a set for the Planet of Naboo in Star Wars.

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Left: Michael and Catherine rowing for the Wisconsin team in the bright January sun. Right: around Plaza España, in good company.