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102 posts categorized "Business and Culture"


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!




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!


Raval - boqueria

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?”

Raval -  cat

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


Flying the flag

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.”


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.

Sevilla plaza composite

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




Andrew (Babson College) tells us all about his experience volunteering at the local school, Ernest Lluch as the highlight of his semester:

“During my visits at the school, I would help the students with some grammar, but mostly just spoke/interacted with them about what life is like in the United States. I genuinely enjoyed every moment that I spent with the students, they were such a great group of kids. They were hilarious and so well-behaved. I highly recommend any incoming study abroad students to participate in the volunteering program that CIEE set-up. It was something that I looked forward to each week. Being around students like them makes you feel rejuvenated and younger again. The students surprised me on my last day with photos and a nice note. Thank you so very much for setting me up with this opportunity, it was certainly a highlight of my time here in Barcelona!”

Andrew 1

Graham (Occidental College) won the Fall15 photo contest. He was the overall winner across all 7 Barcelona programs.  He gladly accepted his prize last week at the Fall15 farewell party and said he was looking forward to spending his Amazon prize money as soon as he could.  His photo is of the spectacular view from Montserrat during one of our many day trips this semester.  Graham said that going to Montserrat “was one of the best days he had in Barcelona.  I love to hike in general when I’m home, but this mountain was really something special.”

Graham Garzon_BC_Montserrat

Fall15 Business and Culture students tell us what they know about the local Caga Tío and its traditions:


Guardian Angel's experiences


This past weekend some students went to Madrid, accompained by four GA and some of the staff of CIEE. During those days we visited the city and even went to visit Toledo one day. We had a tour guide to show us some of the most important things about Madrid. During the tour we had the oportunity to eat jamón serrano and churros con chocolate, typical food of Spain. We visited the Prado museum and Las Meninas, the incredible Velazquez painting. We also had a lot of free time to visit the city on our own, visiting places like the Retiro Park or El Palacio Real. It was a really great trip.

Xavi Ortega


"To have the chance of working meeting people from the U.S. is one of the best experiences in my life. But if a normal Wednesday someone from the CIEE calls you to give the news you’ll have the opportunity to travel with your group of american students to Madrid, makes the experience even better! For most locals (including myself), Madrid doesn’t seem a big deal, but this travel made me feel like I was part of this american group, as if I was from New York, Boston or wherever, which was awesome. To interact with the students for 3 whole days and visiting Madrid and Toledo most beautiful places, was a constant fun! Honestly, I wish I could go back to the past and live those days again."

Irene Altozano


This past weekend in Madrid has been amazing! We have done a lot of things in just 3 days, from visiting the Prado museum to going to Toledo, a beautiful city just one hour far from Madrid city. We have also enjoyed a guided tour in the city center, a visit in Reina Sofia museum and also in the Royal Palace, a stroll in El Rastro Market, some of the typical Spanish food (jamón, churros con chocolate, mazapán...) and the lively vibe of the capital in general. I'm very happy I got to know all the students and I'm sure it has been a great experience for them too :)

Andrea Palau


An unexpected journey

PostsI'm a Spanish student working part-time as Guardian Angel of CIEE, and I had the unexpected opportunity to travel to Madrid the first weekend of October with American students of Business + Culture program, with other 3 GAs.  I already visited Madrid in other occasions, but it was the first time I did tourism in the city with lots of guys of my age. We've been hanging all day around the city, and one day in Toledo, and we lived great experiences:  eating at a delicious Churros bar, going dinner Tapas at Madrid old district and laughing in a charming square, etc.  The best way I could have ever imagined to visit the capital of Spain.

Marcos Rodes




CIEE Students Try Catalan Food!

Many of our Business and Culture students came out to participate in our first CIEE video of students trying Catalan food and snacks for the first time.  A big thanks goes out to those who participated including Andre, Stela, Paris and Andrew (Babson College), Elaine (Purdue University), Brett (Elon University), Jack, Bryar and Lizzie (University of Minnesota), Matthew (University of La Verne), Felicia (Rochester Institute of Technology), Amanda and Alex (University of Colorado Boulder), and Kira (George Washington University).  A special thanks to Zach (Elon University) for doing all the editing.  Enjoy!

And PS it’s just apple juice…

CIEE Students Try Catalan Food from Elizabeth Pogoloff on Vimeo.

Visit with the Director of the Barcelona Museo de Xocolata

This semester the CIEE Barcelona Study center welcomes the Director of Barcelona’s Museo de Xocolata and Business Professor, Francisco Gil.  Francisco is currently teaching International Marketing in Spanish and decided to take his students to see where all the magic happens! Elaine (Purdue University), Hannah (Elon University) and Brian (Indiana University) enjoying a hands-on and a behind the scenes look at the Museum’s activities. 

International Marketing museo de xocolata

Wait! It rains in Barcelona!?

While we’ve been enjoying the end of our typical sunny Barcelona summer, students were caught by surprise when the skies opened up during the first week of class and they were trapped in the study center totally unprepared.  But that’s what we’re here for, right?  Mathew (University of La Verne), Carl (University of Colorado Boulder), Kavish, Connor and Naman (Babson College) looking adorable in their impromptu raincoats:

Tendencia RAIN COATS! (2)