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27 posts categorized "Economics and Culture"


Economics + Culture, Fall 2017, Newsletter III


Bye, Bye Barcelona! Our students are sad they must leave us and astonished to see how time flies, but also excited to go back home to their families and friends to share their amazing Spanish adventure. CIEE EC students have been very busy finishing their final projects and exams, packing their belongings and preparing for the happy holidays that are awaiting them ahead with their loved ones.

Before the starting of the finals students celebrated Thanksgiving and many enjoyed having their families over to visit. At CIEE we celebrated with some cakes and pies so the students could gain strength to challenge the forthcoming exams.


Benefiting from being in a city with so much cultural challenges some of the Economics students have taken this semester Arts and Culture classes with such a wonderful outcome. They enjoyed living Barcelona’s cultural vibe while learning so much! Some of the projects they had to work on include Research Projects under the form of Posters, as the one made by Claudia on Gaudí, or the creation of web pages as the one created by Nicholas on La Alhambra.



La Alhambra by Nicholas Alfaya on Exposure

After a thrilling semester full of new experiences students shared their last hours in Barcelona at the CIEE farewell party, where they talked about how have they changed during the last few months, the many new skills they have accomplished and how much they are going to miss their Spanish journey!


Adiós Barcelona!!



Economics + Culture, Fall 2017, Newsletter II


In Barcelona the dry weeks and beautiful sunny days already belong to the past and Fall season has begun with all its splendor. Tree leaves turning yellow and red, spiraling around the feet of the passing by, with temperatures slowly falling. Meanwhile our students have become fully acclimatized and are now part of the daily city life of Barcelona. They assist their classes, work on their assignments and have even taken their midterm exams! 


However not all is work and the season was greeted by making the typical Catalan dessert ‘Panellets’ and roasting the traditional ‘Castañas’. The students cooked the Panellets helped by our staff and later shared their delicious experiment with other students at the Study Center!



One of CIEE main efforts is the student’s immersion in the local culture and ways of life, believing that this will enrich their life experience and help them shape their future in better ways. This is why we confer such importance to the activities with locals. There are many ways for CIEE students to practice this immersion, they can participate for example in the ‘Castellers’ workshop, were local students teach them how the typical Catalan Human Towers are built (these are traditionally performed during major Catalan festivals at many locations within Catalonia).


Although EC students are very busy practicing cultural Immersion, studying for midterms and doing class assignments, they also have plenty of weekends for travelling around Spain and Europe! This Fall EC students visited Granada, the beautiful southern Spanish city, were they enjoyed visiting the Alhambra and the popular neighborhood of ‘Albahicín’. They learned much form the local culture and food, tasting the delicious southern ‘tapas’ and even danced some Sevillanas!



Economics + Culture, Fall 2017, Newsletter I


First day: Orientation

The students participating in the CIEE Economics and Culture Program arrived the first week of September to Barcelona. After a long flight they headed towards the orientation hotel where CIEE staff was happy to welcome them. What a thrill was to meet students from other programs! They were happy to chat with their flat mates or compañeros de residencia. Students in homestay had their first encounter with their host families. Their adventure had just begun!


CIEE students during the orientation session. 

Getting to know Barcelona

CIEE students still had some days before the beginning of classes. In order to make better use of their time they went out with their Guardian Angels who took them out to explore the city.  Some of the touristic sites they visited were: The Cathedral, and The Montjuic Castle.


At the Cathedral.

EC-3Montjuic Castle

Exploring Cataluña

Catalonia (Cataluña in Spanish) is located on the northeastern extremity of the Iberian Peninsula. It has four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. The cultural richness of Catalonia is well known and CIEE students wanted to discover it for themselves. On their first weekend CIEE staff organized several day trips.


The Roman Amphitheatre in Tarragona. 

The UPF Campus (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

Classes are about to start at the UPF, and Economics and Culture students attended their academic orientation. They got their identity cards, visited the University Library, had a campus tour and they got a little taste of their academic life in Barcelona!





Spring semester has gone by fast! Economics and Culture students have been very busy with classes, cultural activities and academic trips. Here some details.

SUPER BOWL by Javier (local flatmate)


One of the most important worldwide sports events took place on February 5th, the Super Bowl (Patriots vs Falcons).

No one wanted to miss the event so most students headed to a local bar to watch it together. Patrick (Villanova University) and Min Soo (Occidental College), two Economics students at CIEE Barcelona, also went to see the game with their local flatmate, Javier. Together, they saw the future champion of the NFL.

The students had explained all the rules to Javier so that he could understand the game. Then he was able to feel the excitement with them; and he began to feel the intensity at the unexpected turn in the two last quarters, when the Patriots started to make their comeback. They all celebrated together with their hands up in the air when the Patriots ended up winning.



Ryan, an Economics student from Occidental College (Los Angeles, CA), explains us how he got admitted into the UN (New York Headquarters) for an internship next summer and how CIEE helped him to achieve his goal.


Economics + Culture, Spring 2017, Newsletter II



Economic + Culture students have been busy with classes, daily routines and weekend trips, but they have also had time to take care of their body and mind. Some participated in a CIEE-organized yoga class at a local gym, which was fun and healthy. Namaste!



Students also wanted to move their body so they went to a Zumba class.


Eating Tapas means eat little portions of too many things and taste small delicious dishes with some drinks. Going out for "tapas" with old and new friends is quite the custom in Spain and EC students make the most of it.



Economics + Culture, Spring 2017, Newsletter I

6a010536fa9ded970b01b8d10b2fe0970c-800wiSAFETY FIRST

It has been more than 3 weeks now since the Economic and Culture students arrived in Barcelona. They have been busy getting to know the city, the subway system, their new classes…During orientation week, students had the opportunity to attend a safety talk held by Barcelona´s local police.EC1


During the first weeks while classes were just getting started, students already felt at home. Eliza (Colgate University) was happy to start running around the city just like locals like to do.


Students stay with host families, in residences or in shared apartments.  They live with other CIEE students, and soon after arriving, they have already made good friends. These are lifetime friendships!



A group of EC students went to Morocco for the weekend. They stayed in a typical Moroccan house and even went on a camel ride. It was so much fun!




Economics + Culture, Fall 2016, Newsletter II


We are already past mid-semester! Economics and Culture students have been very busy and stressed with classes, midterms, cultural activities, meeting locals or volunteering. Find more details below.

This semester students have travelled more than ever to different European cities every weekend.

Jerry from Duke University and Stephan from Colby College share their apartment with Alex, their Spanish flat-mate. Native roommates provide a great opportunity for our students to get more immersed in the culture, practice their Spanish and of course, live with a local.

Alex has gotten along so well with Jerry and Stephan that they have become really good friends and have travelled to the Basque Country to visit Alex´s family and friends. They even went to the World Surf League Event in Hossegor where they surfed for the first time in their lives.


Making American Bullfighters

For this semester´s excursion, EC students had the best experience ever visiting the cattle farm La Dehesa, where they learned more about how to run a cattle farm of bullfighting bulls. They also got to learn the art of “toreo” as you can see in this short video.





All of the Economics + Culture students arrived a couple of weeks ago and were all deeply immersed in the new culture from the very beginning. They met our Guardian Angels and became inseparable from them. As we can see here, Ieva, from Occidental College, and Guardian Angel, Farners, are preparing one of the typical Spanish dishes, la tortilla.


Trips outside Barcelona

Students also took advantage of the different day trips and excursions we offer, and they saw firsthand some of the things they’ll be learning in the classroom—as they did on the day trip to Besalú during their first weekend in Barcelona.


They enjoyed some of the last few sunny days at the beach before winter arrives, with their new local friends and Guardian Angels. All the students from each of the different CIEE programs here in Barcelona got to meet and share their first impressions of the city.Copia de IMG_0712Beach with Guardian Angels




Weekend trip to Seville and Córdoba

One of the highlights of the semester is the included weekend trip, where students visit other Spanish regions accompanied by CIEE faculty and staff. This time, students in the Economics and Culture program traveled to Seville and Córdoba along with the students in the Language + Culture and Architecture + Design programs. Being as they are small programs, they all loved the opportunity to mix with other CIEE students for a couple of days! Besides visiting the main historical and cultural attractions of these two major Andalusian towns and attending a flamenco performance, we arranged so that CIEE students could meet with local students from Seville, who became their best hosts during their free time.


Students in Seville: During a walking tour (1); in the rooftop of Metropol Parasol (2) and getting ready 
to take a rowboat at Plaza de EspañaDesktop9

In Cordoba, besides visiting the Mosque, one of the highlights was discovering the magic of the Jewish Quarter.

CIEE Barcelona photo contest

Each semester, students participating in all of the CIEE Barcelona programs submit photos that capture their experience abroad to the CIEE Barcelona photo contest. Even though none of the EC students won this time, we still want to share with you the winning pictures by Gabriella (University of Kansas, Architecture and Design program) and Bridget (University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Business and Culture program)!. Enjoy!

Gabby_Catedral de Barcelona_991Catedral de Barcelona (Gabriella, University Of Kansas)

Moore_Barcelona, Spain_452Turning 21 in Barcelona (Bridget,University of Minnesota-Twin Cities)





We caught up with Christina (Vilanova University) during one of her CIEE Catalunya and Spain Through the Arts classes to ask her a few questions about her overall experience taking culture classes:


The CIEE staff had the opportunity catch up over a hot coffee with Maria (Vilanova University), Lucia (Barnard College), Abigail (George Washington), and Mitch (University of Minnesota).  

Coffee 1


How has your experience been so far?

Maria: I was nervous about my university classes but particularly my Management of Sanitary Institutions Class is just so interesting – it’s a small class with local students, and I’m learning lots of new technical terms in both English and Spanish from the professor. Actually I love all my teachers here! I really lucked out.

Lucia: I've been here since September, so on the one hand it was sad to see all the first semester guys leave, but also I’ve had the chance to adapt more and totally get over the culture shock etc. Plus it was pretty special to be here for Christmas!

Mitch: All my CIEE teachers have really interesting backgrounds and so every class is full of little anecdotes and stories to pass on!  My UPF classes are great too because my Strategic Management class is only with the local students, which is great for my Spanish and getting to know the culture.

Abigail: I just love it – if I could work here I think I’d just stay.  My Spanish is improving every day too (apart from the rolling Rrrr!), some days I have all my classes in Spanish and I start forgetting English!

How would you describe the experience of being an American in this foreign land?

Lucia: It’s fun to see the stereotypes that people have of Americans and satisfying to break them and show what we’re really like. Actually, defending your country against preconceptions makes you appreciate it even more!

Maria:  As a Nicaraguan-American here I have double the preconceptions to deal with – what Spanish people think Latin America / the US is like.  One of my favorite classes in CIEE is all about discussing the Capitalist System from a European point of view, it’s amazingly interesting as an American to hear these perspectives!

How’s your life here outside the classroom?

Maria: I’m living in a homestay with four children of various ages, so there’s never a dull moment! The youngest is a cute 4 year-old and speaks a total mixture of Catalan and Spanish and doesn’t seem to notice the difference, which is interesting.  It’s also fun having dinner together every day - it definitely helps in breaking out of the bubble.

Mitch: I learn a lot of Spanish in the classroom but find the best way of learning is out on the street and speaking with taxi drivers.

Finally, have you had the chance to travel?

Abby: I’ve been travelling a LOT this semester; I basically saved up all my money by not going last semester, and recently went to the South of France. Monaco was crazy, Rolls Royces at all the hotels etc, never seen anything like it, and I also went to Nice where my mom studied abroad years ago.

Mitch: I’ve been away pretty much every weekend – Madrid, Alicante, Sicily, and I’m off to the Canaries to catch some sun this week!