Not sure what program is right for you? Click Here
CIEE

© 2011. All Rights Reserved.

Study Abroad in

Back to Program Back to Blog Home

103 posts categorized "Language and Culture"

04/30/2018

Language + Culture | Spring 2018 | Newsletter III

Header_newsletter

Spring semester is gone and students are back home. In our last newsletter, you can learn about student’s volunteer and intercultural experiences. We hope students now are better global citizens after their enriching cultural experience in Barcelona!

“The hour I spent volunteering was always the highlight of my week “

Foto Jake

Jake from Vanderbilt University volunteered as English Teaching Assistant at Escola Pía  16-17 year old kids.  Jake commented "I had an amazing experience with my estudiantes at Escola Pia! They taught me so much about everything from culture to language to reggaton. The hour I spent every Tuesday was always the highlight of my week, and I am so grateful to CIEE, Escolar Pia, and the group of 25 fantastic 17-year-old Spanish students for such an amazing opportunity."

Here you can find some of the digital videos students made for the CIEE class Intercultural Communication and Leadership about their intercultural experience in Barcelona.

“Being born Mexican, a goal of mine had always been to completely immerse myself in a Hispanic Culture”

Miranda from Cornell University talked about being born Mexican and grown up not learning much Spanish. Being in Barcelona helped her to improve her Spanish a lot and to appreciate her own culture.

“Going abroad shaped my perspective on how our cultures are distinctly unique”

Adam from Cornell University focused his storytelling project in going beyond the pictures. He commented: “Studying abroad rounded my understanding for what my culture deems normal, while others sincerely question.” 

04/18/2018

Advanced Liberal Arts, Spring 2018, Newsletter II

6a010536fa9ded970b01b8d10b2fe0970c-800wi

S2-1
Exchange

Exchange is one of the cornerstones of any experience abroad. The American students that participate in the CIEE Advanced Liberal Arts program exchange with the local youth: ideas, languages, conversations, moments, food, class notes, dances and kisses… Ultimately, they exchange diverse ways –yet always complementary– of understanding life. 

The cultural and academic clash that our students experience is considerable. Even though we try to pave the way during orientation, when we warn them of the most frequent difficulties that a person will always encounter while living in new country, it is only first-hand experience of this new reality that may permit assimilation and incorporation into our cultural background.   S2-2

(Adam –Columbia University–, CIEE and UB Prof. Mar Forment, Cecilia and Lilla –Tufts University–,  Marcella –Saint Edward's University–, Eva –Williams College–, and Quinn –Vanderbilt University–)

Acting on professional bias –and why not admit it as well, a certain ethnocentrism–, we tend to focus on the perspective that American students have of the country and the chosen city and of its people so much that we forget the other variable of the equation: the local students. How do the University of Barcelona students perceive the CIEE students? What do they think and feel about them? What do they learn about and from them? Do the friendships that emerge in these months help to better understand the United States, its people and the values that they represent? These are difficult questions to answer. We know that some of these friendships that begin through these exchanges endure in time and that is when mutual comprehension between young American and Spanish students grow and become profound. We know this because the friendships –and many times also love relationships– that develop in these few months in Barcelona are translated in various two-way visits. For example, it is very common to find local Spanish students who have just come back from visiting their friends from CIEE in the United States or CIEE alumni that, years later, come back to Barcelona to solidify a friendship that distance has obliged to make virtual.

SP-3

(Robert –University of Barcelona–, Jane, Nick and Sydney –Vanderbilt University–, and Daniel –Bowdoin College– taking a selfie and eating "churros")

For ten years now, we have had a tool at CIEE Barcelona that helps us respond to many of the questions that University of Barcelona students might have about American students and the United States. And it is for this reason that CIEE Barcelona started to collaborate with the Language Scholar Program at Reed College. Thanks to this extraordinary linguistic, cultural and academic program, every year a student from the UB is given the opportunity to live, study and work on an American campus. Thanks to Reed College, we can better understand the other side of the exchange between American and Spanish students. It is an honor and a source of pride for CIEE Barcelona to be able to contribute to and strengthen this exchange.

María and Lizara, two students from the University of Barcelona, tell us in first person what their experience in the United States has been like.

SP2-4
(María and Lizara, UB students, with Owen, Reed student and former participant of the CIEE ALA program in the UB)

University of Barcelona students at Reed College

We are María and Lizara, this year’s Spanish Language Scholars at Reed College, Portland. Now that we are at the end of this adventure, we look back and we find it difficult to put into words just how beautiful this experience has been. Studying abroad implies many complicated decisions; the most obvious one is the willingness to be far away from all things familiar as well as your closest ones. Nonetheless, in retrospect, we feel extremely lucky to have been granted this opportunity.

Since the day of our arrival, Reed College made us feel at home. The faculty, the students, and especially the Spanish Department introduced themselves and helped us discover the genuine details that make Portland such a special city. “Keep Portland Weird” is a motto that made us fall in love with this rainy but charming place since the very beginning. We will have a hard time forgetting Reed’s campus, with the canyon that divides it, the Greek amphitheater, its gorgeous nature, magical red buildings, moss-covered trees and even its squirrels.

SP2-5

Furthermore, this experience has also been an opportunity to grow both personally and professionally. We have developed a set of skills in a demanding but supportive environment. It has been a pleasure and a challenge for us to bring our language and culture (the Balearic and Aragonese, in particular) to America and be able to share it in an atmosphere as special as the one created in La Casa Hispana. We will hold dear good memories: movie nights, cultural parties, game board evenings, Cafecitos… with all the residents and reedies; and of course, we will remember all the classes where we have seen our students surprise even themselves with their growing knowledge of Spanish.

Nowadays, being so close to the end, we just have words of gratitude. Thanks Reed College and CIEE for making this dream come true.

03/22/2018

Language + Culture, Spring 2018, Newsletter II

Header_newsletter

We have already passed the spring mid-semester point. Students have been very busy with their classes, cultural activities, internships, and volunteering. Here it is some of their experiences:  

Mastering Paella cooking in Valencia

Foto paella 2
Foto paella 2
Foto paella 2
Foto paella 2

Language and Culture students went to Valencia for their weekend trip. They toured the old town, went to the modern Ciudad de las Ciencias y las Artes and participated in a paella cooking class. In there, they learned how to cook the traditional Valencian paella which is the mother of all paellas! Students really enjoyed it and they commented it was one of the highlights of the trip.

“An internship allows you to feel like you are living in a foreign land, not just studying/travelling”

Foto Ari

Ari, from University of Washington is doing an internship in a travel agency, Stoke Travel. He is doing marketing for the company; rewriting sales documents; and contacting other business in the travel space for potential partnerships. Ari commented: “ I really like my experience, I am learning a lot. An internship really allows you to feel like your living in a foreign land, not just studying / traveling.  You will make local friends, go to more native events and do many of the activities that interest you / what residents do.  By the end, you will be able to create a whole new life for yourself, which in the long run, will help you grasp who you truly are.”

Volunteering in a soup kitchen

Foto comedor social

We offer students different volunteering opportunities to be able engage with the community and get a more immersed experience while in Barcelona. Christine from Vanderbilt University and Kelaiah from Cornell University participated in a soup kitchen in one of the neediest neighborhoods in Barcelona, the Raval. The soup kitchen provides breakfast and lunch to the needy people: most of them homeless or people with social exclusion problems. Christine commented: “Volunteering was great, I am glad I had the opportunity to partipate! 

02/07/2018

Language + Culture | Spring 2018 | Newsletter I

Header_newsletter

It has been a month since Language and Culture Arts students arrived in Barcelona! They have been very busy with their classes, getting to know the city and participating in a lot cultural events such as diverse tours to get to know the city, gym classes or day trips.

Here there are more details

Orientation, city tours and Three Wise Men parade

During the first three days of orientation, students attended different talks about health and safety, bystander intervention workshop, academics, cultural activities, intercultural competence and volunteering opportunities. It was also the time to meet their host families; get around the city with their Guardian Angels (Spanish students); and even enjoy de traditional Three Wise Men Parade that celebrates Epiphany in Spain. 

Foto tour

Foto tour

Getting to know Catalonia

CIEE is offering a wide range of weekly day trips so students get to know other parts of Catalonia. Students are enjoying their trips to the mountains of Montserrat, the Roman city Tarragona; or the city of Girona and the Dalí Museum.

Foto tour
Foto tour
Foto tour 

Neuroscience for Humanities course

Our host institution, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, offers a class called Neuroscience for Humanities. This class is specially addressed for Pre-med or STEM students.  The course starts with a general overview of the brain to then review how the sensory systems build up a representation of the world, with particular reference to the visual and auditory systems.  Christopher, a STEM student from Vanderbilt University commented: “This class is very interesting because it connects neuroscience with humanities. We are going to visit the National Catalan Art Museum to look at the paintings from the neuroscience point of view.”

12/21/2017

Language + Culture, Fall 2017, Newsletter III

Header_newsletter

Fall semester is gone and students are back home. In our last newsletter, you can learn about student’s internship experiences and last field trips. We hope students now are better global citizens after their enriching cultural experience in Barcelona!

Street Art in Barcelona

Students at the CIEE course Urban Culture in Contemporary Barcelona had the opportunity to attend a street art tour around Barcelona. The tour showcases Barcelona’s historical neighborhoods of El Borne and the Gothic Quarter highlighting many of the classical, earlier examples of Barcelona street art found all over its walls with some remaining for years, and some even decades. Many students highlighted this field trip as their favorite one!

Some students made their final presentation about graffiti in Barcelona. Here it is an example:

When class takes you to a Bomb Shelter

Foto bomb shelter 2

Foto bomb shelter 2

Students at the Past and Present in Barcelona CIEE course got to visit a bomb shelter built by the locals during the Spanish Civil War. There they learned about when Barcelona was bombed by the Italian army who helped Franco’s troops in 1938, when around 1300 people died. Students learned about the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) and got to explore the bomb shelter where locals protected themselves from the bombs. Students commented: “I think the fieldtrips are helpful for understanding the concepts taught in class”.

Farewell party

Students had the opportunity to say goodbye to their program mates, CIEE staff and professors at the farewell party. They enjoyed the occasion and we wish them a very successful future.

Foto farewell


11/27/2017

Language + Culture, Fall 2017, Newsletter II

Header_newsletter

Fall semester is going fast! Language and Culture students have been very busy with classes, some internships, cultural activities, and academic trips. Find here some details.

“I love that I have been set such different tasks, from making videos to interviewing cool bands!”

Rebecca 2
Rebecca 2
Rebecca 2

Rebecca from Northeastern University is doing an internship in Lamono, a lifestyle magazine based in Barcelona.  She is working as a video editor, animator and article writer. She is currently working on a promotional video for the new issue, 'Voyeur', showing viewers where abouts they can pick up a printed copy around the city. 

Rebecca commented: I absolutely love working at Lamono, it's a super cool vibe and the stuff the company produces is right up my street! It's hip, fresh and innovative in their field. Everyone who works there are amazing and the amount of work they produce for such a small team is truly impressive! I love that I have been set such different tasks, from making gifs to interviewing cool bands! I think that's my favorite part of working there, the range of cool stuff that I get to do and the freedom that the company allows me to do! 

For example, I got to write an article on Rave culture in Britain, and presenting different photographers along with it!  I learnt so much and it was awesome to discover these photographers.

You can find her articles here: http://lamonomagazine.com/treinta-anos-despues-los-britanicos-siguen-enamorados-cultura-rave/

http://lamonomagazine.com/lamonochats-hus-y-el-renovado-sonido-nordico-de-kakkmaddafakka/

Don Quixote, first edition: 1605

Foto Biblioteca Nacional 3
Foto Biblioteca Nacional 3
Foto Biblioteca Nacional 3
Foto Biblioteca Nacional 3

Students taking the CIEE course Literary Images of Catalonia and Spain did an onsite class at the Catalonian National Library. There, they saw the first edition of the Don Quixote by Cervantes dated on 1605! and had a tour of the Library. 

Visit to the Catalan Parliament

Fotos Parlamento

Students at the CIEE Past and Present in Barcelona course had an on-site class at the Catalan Parliament. The visit was especially interesting due to the current political situation in Catalonia with the independence movement. Students had the opportunity to be at the parliament seats and learned about the reestablishment of the Catalan Parliament in 1980 after the dictatorship. 

10/05/2017

Language + Culture,. Fall 2017, Newsletter I

Header_newsletter

It has been almost a month since Language and 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 as guided city tours; day trips, activities with their Guardian Angels; and their weekend trip among others.

Here there are some details:

Enjoying local traditions at the Barcelona Patron Festival

Students had the great opportunity to enjoy the 4-day festival of Barcelona in honor of its patron: Mercè. Some of the local traditions they participated were: castellers (human castles); correfoc; gegants (giants) or the famous fireworks with music and a water fountain show.

Merce 1

Merce 2

Merce 3

Local budies for local integration

Our Guardian Angels (GA’s) are Spanish students that help our students to get familiarize with the city, to manage practical matters the first weeks, and to get integrated better in the Spanish culture. LA students already enjoyed a Tapas Night, a beach volleyball game, a flea market visit or a tour to Montjuïc Castle, among others.

GA 1

GA 2

GA 3

GA 4

Basque Country: Gastronomy, Art, and Game of Thrones scenarios

Language and Culture students travelled this semester to Bilbao-San Sebastián in the Basque Country in northern Spain. The visited the world-famous Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, toured Bilbao and San Sebastian old towns, did a local tapas workshop and recreated scenes of the Game of Thrones in San Juan de Gaztelugatxe. Students learned about the differences between regions in Spain and they really enjoyed the trip.

Bilbao 1

Bilbao 2

Bilbao 3

Bilbao 4

Liberal Arts, Fall 2017, Newsletter I

Header_newsletter

It has been almost a month since Liberal Arts students arrived at Barcelona! They have been very busy with orientation, getting to know the city and their local institution, Pompeu Fabra and participating in a lot of cultural events. Here there are some details:

Orientation and UPF Welcome Session

During the three-day orientation, students had the opportunity to meet the group; attend the Welcome, Safety and Security talk, Academics and Cultural Activities talk, start to get familiarize with the city, meet their Guardian Angels and tour the Gothic Quarter. 

Students also attended the host institution, Pompeu Fabra, welcome session where they learned about the university; academic offerings; the presentation of the Hispanic and European Studies Program; and a tour to campus.

Welcome 1

Welcome 2

Welcome 3

Welcome 4

Practical Spanish: let’s go grocery shopping!

In order to practice the language in a useful context, CIEE Liberal Arts Spanish classes took students to the groceries! We went to a local market and students had to buy something using idiomatic expressions, and they had to interview a clerk and a customer to get to interact with locals. They enjoyed the activity and we had a picnic afterwards with all the goods students bought!

Mercado 1

Mercado 2

Mercado 3

Independence Referendum: What’s happening in Barcelona?

Due to the current political events in Barcelona, we organized a Talk-Debate about the Catalan Independence Referendum in our Study Center. The talk was conducted by three CIEE professors: Jesús Marchán, History professor; Eduard Tunyí, Politics professor; and Ferrán Macipe, Economics professors. Students had the opportunity to understand the situation from different perspectives. They also asked a lot of questions and there was a very productive debate afterwards.

Referendum 1

Referendum 2

Referendum 3

05/10/2017

Language + Culture, Spring 2017, Newsletter III

00

Spring semester is gone and students are back home. In our last newsletter, you can learn about student’s internship experiences and last field trips. We hope students now are  better global citizens after their enriching cultural experience in Barcelona!

 “My internship has allowed me to grow and evolve in a way that wouldn´t be possible in the US”

Stephen did an internship at WholeGenix, research and development startup focusing on whole genome sequencing and how it can help in the treatment of diseases like cancer. He commented about his experience: “I am really enjoying my internship and I think it has allowed me to grow and evolve in a way that wouldn't be possible in an internship in the U.S.  I’ve learned a lot about the workplace culture in Barcelona, the relationships are more casual and personal while still maintaining professionalism and diligence in their work, which is something I quite liked.”

Foto Stephen

Stephen from Rutgers University and his internship placement

“Being of two very distinctly different cultures I have gained a new perspective on the professional world”

Richard did his internship with the SOLIDUS project that is part of CREA, a research organization in Europe. SOLIDUS focuses on investigating how to improve the social inequality and psychological wellbeing of European citizens.

This is what he commented about his experience:  “CREA so far has been a very enlightening experience as it is my first time interning in a foreign country. I have already learnt so much no just from the nature of my research-based work, but also from simply interacting with my new colleagues. Being of two very distinctly different cultures, I have gained a new perspective on the professional world. I no longer leave immediately after work, but I wait on my colleagues. Those who also ride the metro, we take the metro back together. When there is not silence onset by our intense focus on the task, we are discussing many topics from politics to our cultural differences.  Also, we eat lunch together, all of us. It seems to me that it is a very team based approach to work; we are all in this together so let’s all try to be friends.

As it pertains to my work, I am currently summarizing the research findings of CREAU on acts of solidarity across Europe. I am assessing the political and social impact of these projects. It is a good way for me to become better acquainted with Europe and the work of my company. If have seen my interesting projects from Learning Communities trying to better the standard of educations and non-profit refugee assistance organizations.”

Foto richard
Richard from University of Washington-Seattle with his co-workers

Street Art Tour

Students at the CIEE course Urban Culture in Contemporary Barcelona had

the opportunity to attend a street art tour around Barcelona. The tour showcases Barcelona’s historical neighborhoods of El Borne and the Gothic Quarter highlighting many of the classical, earlier examples of Barcelona street art found all over its walls with some remaining for years, and some even decades. Many students highlighted this field trip as their favorite one!

Fotos grafiti

Foto grafitti 2

Foto grafitti 3

Foto grafitti 4

03/22/2017

Language + Culture, Spring 2017, Newsletter II

6a010536fa9ded970b01b8d10b2fe0970c-800wi

Spring semester is going fast! Language and Culture students have been very busy with classes, cultural activities, and academic trips. Find here some details.

A Syrian Refugee tells his story to our students

Foto Mayar

Foto Mayar 2

Foto Mayar 3

Mayar Skita is a Syrian refugee from Alepo who is studying a Master’s Degree at the Pompeu Fabra University Barcelona and came as a guest speaker to the Past and Present in Barcelona CIEE class. He made a presentation about the current war situation in Syria and explained how he got to be a refugee in Barcelona. Students asked many questions about the Syrian war and his experience leaving the country. Professor focused on Barcelona as a city who welcomes refuges and how was when people from Barcelona were refugees in other countries during the Spanish Civil War.

An art class in the Catalan National Art Museum Foto MNAC (1)

Foto MNAC (2)

Students at the CIEE Catalonia and Spain Through the Arts course had an on-site class at the Catalan National Art Museum where they learned about the Romanesque art. As part of their assignments, students have to prepare an oral presentation on-site. In this case, three students presented their work about the Romanesque art of: Sant Climent de Taüll;  Pantocrator; and The Monastery of Santa Maria de Ripoll. In this way, students are not only listeners but also active presenters.

Don Quixote, first edition: 1506

Foto Biblio 1

Foto biblio 2

Students taking the CIEE course Literary Images of Catalonia and Spain did an onsite class at the Catalonian National Library. There, they saw the first edition of the Don Quixote by Cervantes dated on 1506! and had a tour of the Library.