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99 posts categorized "Language and Culture"

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

Desktop11Students enjoying Tapas Night with their Guardian Angels

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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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04/22/2016

LIBERAL ARTS, SPRING 2016, NEWSLETTER III

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Our spring semester has come to its end. Students have learned and enjoyed their stay in Barcelona and we hope they have gained intercultural knowledge after four months of living in a different culture. We wish them a good and safe return home!  Here you have some of the last activities they did. 

Students get inspiration through Service Learning

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Liberal Arts students participated in a service learning/community engagement activity as part of their CIEE Advanced Grammar, Composition and Conversation II course.

Lauren from University of Iowa read and sang “The Wheels of the Bus” to the 5 years old kindergarten kids; Sara and Taylor from Vanderbilt University talked about animals and animals sounds to 1st and 2nd graders; Alex from Cornell University and Larkin from Colby College did an oral presentation about Thanksgiving in 3rd grade; Kyle from University of Minnnesota and John from Fordham  talked about Thanksgiving to 4th graders; Anna from Vanderbilt and Caroline from Fordham explained 4th of July celebration; and Zach from University of Iowa did a presentation about rock guitar to 6th graders.

Children were thrilled and they were very interested in asking questions about the American society. “Do you live in Hollywood”, “Do you have music in the States” or “What is your favorite food” were some of the curios questions children asked.

After their volunteering, students interviewed the school principal and the Academic Team to learn about the educational system and compare it to the American one.

We love Granada!

We went to Granada in our program weekend trip.  We toured the traditional muslim neighborhood, Albaicín; visited the number one momunent in Spain, the Alhambra; attended a flamenco show and saw the Catholic Kings (Isabel and Fernando) tombs at the Capilla Real.

Students really enjoyed the trip and some of them even dared to dance some flamenco!

When playing soccer brings people together

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Alex from Cornell University played soccer in his neighborhood on Saturdays

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This is what he wrote about his experience: “Playing soccer in Gracia has been a great experience so far in that it has allowed me to feel much more a part of Gracia as a neighborhood and experience local culture and language through another means. There is a mixture of Spanish, Colombian, Chilean, Argentinian, and other spanish-speaking players who are incredibly outgoing and interesting to talk to. For instance, two weekends ago I met a man from Santiago, Chile, and we talked about a bit about Patagonia and South American politics. Also, it's quite a different experience from our regular classes at Pompeu Fabra or CIEE in that the players and locals speak incredibly quickly--especially in vastly different accents if they come from South.

CIEE also organizes soccer matches with locals that way our students get to practice sport and meet local people to better integrate in the society.

LANGUAGE + CULTURE, SPRING 2016, NEWSLETTER III

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Fall semester has come to its end. We wish our students have had an enriching cultural experience studying abroad in Barcelona. These are some of the last activities they have done.

Spanish Mosaics: from Seville to Barcelona

At the CIEE course Catalonia and Spain Through the Arts, students need to do three visual essays, as one of the most important aspects for the art knowledge is observation and visual relation skills. Natalia from University of Scranton chose mosaics. She compared the straight lined, predictive patterns of mosaics such as those found in Sevilla with the ceramic, broken, and seemingly random patterns of Gaudi found across Barcelona.

Joshua from Vanderbilt University did his visual essay about arches comparing their practicality with their aesthetics.

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https://es.pinterest.com/nataliakucharsk/visual-essay-2/

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Cultural learning through volunteering

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Sara from Vanderbilt University with her group of students at Escola Pía

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Sara from St. Catherine University volunteering with middle schoolers

A total of five students from the Language and Culture Program volunteered at a local high school, Escola Pía, as English teacher assistants. They helped local students to improve their English with conversational sessions where they led debates related to the cultural differences between Spain and United States. 

Sara from Vanderbilt University commented: “Students are all so engaged in our discussions with topics that range from Spanish politics, music festivals in Barcelona, the upcoming US election, fútbol, traveling the world, and so much more! It has been such a great experience overall, and I would recommend it to anyone!

Sarah from Catherine University said: “The thing that I have liked the best is being able to learn about the culture here in Barcelona through the perspective of students.”

Jasmine from University of Iowa also said: “The students were very welcoming and friendly and I was often surprised at how deep the conversation can go for individuals that I had not known an hour before. I would highly recommend to any incoming students.”

Weekend trip: going south

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LC students enjoyed the weekend trip to Sevilla and Córdoba. In Sevilla we visited the cathedral with its famous mudejar tower, La Giralda, we toured the old Jewish center, Santa Cruz neighborhood, and the Reales Alcázares (Royal Palaces) scenario of some Game of Thrones episodes! In Córdoba, apart from visiting the Mosque-Cathedral and the old town, students got to enjoy the local traditional tapas: flamenquín, salmorejo and fried eggplants with honey.

03/15/2016

Language + Culture, Spring 2016, Newsletter II

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We have already passed the mid-semester! Language and Culture students have been very busy with classes, cultural activities, and doing sports. Find here some details.

A novel scenario visit: Spanish Civil War bomb shelter

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Students at the CIEE course Literary Images of Catalonia and Spain are reading the novel The Time of the Doves written by the Catalan writer Mercè Rodoreda. The novel is set in Barcelona before, during and after the Spanish Civil war and pictures a young woman's struggles in life. Students went to visit one of city’s bomb shelter build by locals during the wartime, to see in firsthand one of the novel scenarios. 

Carly form Cornell University commented on the visit: “I found it very interesting to learn about how Barcelona residents coped with wartime struggles firsthand”

Picasso´s Barcelona

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As part of our study center activities, we offer a tour of the importance of Picasso´s Barcelona. This tour focused on his formative years in Spain - that is, his first artistic steps, his academic education, his inspirations and of course, the influences of Barcelona and its bohemian circles at the turn of the 20th century. A lesser known side of Picasso became visible, showing how the city left its mark in his work as well as how he left his mark in the Catalan capital. 

Christina from Elon University; Daniel from University of Colorado Boulder and Sydney Duettra from Texas Christian University participated in the tour and they even went to the famous restaurant 4 Gats where Picasso used to expose his paintings. 

Master Zumba Class!

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To keep students moving we offered them to join a Master Zumba class in a local gym. Some of our students participated in this activity with one of our Spanish Guardian Angels. They had a lot of fun and it was a good activity for group bounding!

01/28/2016

LIBERAL ARTS, SPRING 2016, NEWSLETTER I

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It has been almost a month since Liberal Arts students arrived to Barcelona! They have been very busy with their intensive Spanish language class, getting to know the city and participating in a lot of cultural events such as guided city tours; day trips, an intercambio (language exchange event) or playing soccer with locals.

Here there are some details:

Orientation, city tours and the Three Wise Men Parade

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

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Mary Margaret from University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and Regan from Vanderbilt University; John (Jack) from Fordham University meet their host families

Use your Spanish in context

Liberal students took a 3 week intensive Spanish class in which they refreshed their Spanish, got ready to their Spanish academic experience at the local institution, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, and started to use their Spanish.  Two of the out of class activities consisted in going to a local market to buy food and eat it later in the classroom; and do a scavenger hunt around a traditional neighborhood asking questions to the locals. Students enjoyed the opportunity to practice the language in a useful context.

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Language Exchange Event

Students participated in the first Language Exchange Event organized by CIEE where they met Spanish students and they practice Spanish/English language conversation. Our students had to interview the Spanish students as an assignment for their intensive Spanish classes: Advanced Grammar, Composition and Conversation or Advanced Spanish Grammar for Academic Discourse.   

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LANGUAGE + CULTURE, SPRING 2016, NEWSLETTER I

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Bienvenidos, Welcome to Barcelona!

Language and Culture Program students have already been in Barcelona for almost a month and they have already done a lot of activities! We held orientation; they participated in tours and excursions; attended the host institution Pompeu Fabra (UPF) Welcome session; took their Spanish placement test, and started their UPF and CIEE classes. Here there are some details:

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Welcome to Pompeu Fabra University

Language and Culture students attended the host institution Pompeu Fabra University Welcome session. They had an introduction to the university; learned about academics, cultural activities and student’s resources; and they took their Spanish placement test. Students had a tour of the university to get familiarized with the campus. Students also enjoyed a welcome lunch with CIEE and their Spanish Guardian Angels.

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What is your goal studying abroad?

As part of CIEE orientation, students participated in a talk titled: “How to break the American Bubble”. Students learned tips on how to get immersed in the Spanish society;  levels of engagement; and about the cultural reflection on their own culture. At the end of the session students write a letter to themselves with their own goals studying abroad.

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Visit to the Roman town of Tarragona

Students participated in the day trip to the Roman town of Tarragona. Today, evidence of its Roman past can be found in the many well preserved ruins within the city. Because of their cultural significance, the Roman ruins of Tarragona have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000. Students toured all the Roman remains which include city walls, circus and amphitheater.

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12/23/2015

LANGUAGE + CULTURE, FALL 2015, NEWSLETTER III

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Fall semester has come to its end. These are some of the last activities they have done.

When eating with your hands is a must!

One of the most popular day trips is our hike to the Barcelona hills, Collserola,  and the traditional Catalan lunch, Calçotada, where they eat Calçots, a variety of green onions.  Calçots are barbecued and dipped in romesco sauce and are accompanied by pieces of meat and roasted bread slices. Calçots are eaten with your hands and you need to wear a bib. Students had a lot of fun with that!

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A War Chronicle for a literary final project   

At the CIEE class Literary Images of Catalonia and Spain, students had to do a research or creative paper as their final project about what they have learned in the class. Alexandra (Ally) from Elon University did a War Chronicle: “The Diary of a Spanish Civil War” after visiting a famous photographer exhibit about the Spanish Civil War, Carlos Pérez de Rozas.  Here it is her project!

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It´s time to say goodbye!

Language and Culture students enjoyed our Farewell party where they had the opportunity to say goodbye to their fellow students, CIEE staff, professors and guardian angels. During the party, we gave the prizes for our Study Center Photo Contest.  We wish them all the best in their future and we hope they had an enriching cultural experience while in Barcelona!

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11/18/2015

LANGUAGE + CULTURE, FALL 2015, NEWSLETTER 2

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Visual Essay Assignment

One of the most important aspects for the art knowledge is observation and visual relation skills. The camera is a usual tool for the art historians to comprehend, document and explain. In order to reach this goal, students must do a continuous work during the field trips to elaborate and post, afterwards, three visual essays. This is what Grant from Vanderbilt University did: “Each note of European currency reflects a different art style of though history. Barcelona hosts a multitude of architectural exemplars for each of these art styles. The pictures feature a Barcelona building in addition to the corresponding Euro note.”

Abby from Cornell University title her assignment “Looking through the glass” as she captured glass work and reflections in Barcelona buildings.

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Game of Thrones scenarios

LC students enjoyed the weekend trip to Sevilla and Córdoba. In Sevilla we visited the cathedral with its famous mudejar tower, La Giralda, we toured the old Jewish center, Santa Cruz neighborhood, and the Reales Alcázares (Royal Palaces), the scenario of the Water Gardens of Dorne, in Game of Thrones! In Córdoba, apart from visiting  the Mosque-Cathedral and the old town, students got to enjoy the local traditional tapas: flamenquín, salmorejo and fried eggplants with honey.

See the video about the trip

 The Block of the Discord

LC students at the CIEE course Past and Present in Barcelona had to choose four Modernista  buildings and make a comparison between them. They had to present a video and do an oral presentation in class. This is the project presented by Grant and Angelique from Elon University, Debora from Northeastern University and Abby from Cornell University about the Block of the Discord in Barcelona.

10/05/2015

LANGUAGE + CULTURE, FALL 2015, NEWSLETTER I

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Bienvenidos, Welcome to Barcelona!

Language and Culture Program students have already been in Barcelona for a month and they have already done a lot of activities! We held orientation; they participated in tours and excursions; visited the Guadí Park Güell with their Guardian Angels; attended the host institution Pompeu Fabra (UPF) Welcome session; and started their UPF and CIEE classes. Here there are some details:

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Exploring Barcelona with Guardian Angels

 Guardian Angels (GA) are local students who help our students to get familiarized with the city, they accompany them, participate with them in cultural activities and incorporate them in the society.  LC students already shared a Tapas Night with their GA´s and toured the host institution Pompeu Fabra.

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Biblioteca UPFHow to get immersed: soccer, castellers, cook and taste!

Students were able to choose between several day trips around Catalonia with the rest of Barcelona CIEE students. They have been also participating in several cultural activities to immerse with locals and to better understand cultural aspects such as a Picasso tour, a casteller practice, or soccer matches with Spanish students.

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Don Quixote, first edition: 1506

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

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04/23/2015

LIBERAL ARTS, SPRING 2015 NEWSLETTER, ISSUE III

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Our spring semester has come to its end. Students have learned and enjoyed their stay in Barcelona and we hope they have gained intercultural knowledge after four months of living in a different culture. We wish them a good and safe return home!  Here you have some of the last activities they did. 

Students get inspiration through Service Learning

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At the re-entry workshop students were asked to share their best memory of their study abroad experience. Several students assured it was their service learning/community engagement activity they did as part of their CIEE Advanced Grammar, Composition and Conversation II class.

Kata from Vanderbilt University brought her guitar and sang songs with the 3rd and 5th graders; Kyle from University of Wisconsin-Madison did an oral presentation about Prom for 4th graders (children enjoyed it a lot!); Bianca from Rice University and Tian from Barnard College read and sang “The Wheels of the Bus” with 4-5 years old kindergarten; Joseph from Vanderbilt did an oral presentation about American Football with 5th graders, among others. Children were thrilled and they were very interested in asking questions about the American society.

After their volunteering students interviewed the school principal and the Academic Committee to learn about the educational system and compare it to the American one.

Chocolate Easter Traditions

La3One of our delicious traditions in Catalonia is the “mona”, a cake with some chocolate eggs to decorate that godfathers give to their godsons and goddaughters for Easter. Nowadays, that cake has turned into any kind of chocolate figure, from SpongeBob, all Disney characters to Barça football players. Our students participated in a Chocolate Workshop at the Chocolate Museum of Barcelona where they made all kind of different lollipops. They demonstrated their high creativity and had all the chocolate they wanted!!! After that, they visited the museum and were able to admire all the big chocolate statues such as a representation of Guernica by Picasso, or la Sagrada Familia.

Blogging in Spanish

Several students of the Quijotes Club wrote an entry for our blog in Spanish! They shared their study abroad experience such as their weekend trip to Sevilla and Córdoba, day trip to Girona or a volunteer experience serving food in a Raval’s neighbourhood soup kitchen or in the Barcelona Marathon. Find their posts here