We are now at the halfway mark of the semester and our students have already taken their midterm exams. Adaptation to the local culture and host institutions has gone smoothly and now it's time to prepare for this second half of the semester and reflect on what was experienced and learned so far. That's why Peter, from the College of William and Mary, wanted to shared his impression on the language barrier while in Barcelona. Watch his video below!
On other side of the coin, as part of their academic experience, students traveled to the city of Valencia and, besides participating in a paella cooking class and visiting the most relevant areas in the city center, they were fortunate enough to also revel in one of its most popular local events. Known as Fallas, the city festival is basically a celebration of fire and pyrotechnics, symbolizing the concept of starting over, a fresh start for each year—and fire is the element used to clean up the past. One of the most popular activities of Fallas is the Exhibition (and contest) of the Ninots (a group of sculptures that usually criticize different aspects of society). The main idea is that all these figures are burned to symbolize the destruction of what they represent. Only one—the ninot indultat— is saved each year as the winner of a popular vote. This year, the Economics + Culture students not only went to see the exhibition but also joined in on the voting process. What was very curious to them was the fact that these sculptures often depicted politicians and celebrities, and of course, President Trump was widely represented there from both sarcastic and critical perspectives. Check out 3 ninots representing President Trump... Will any of them be saved or will all they all burn to the ground?