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93 posts categorized "Liberal Arts"

07/25/2017

Summer Programs, 2017, Newsletter II

The World is Our Classroom

As the CIEE slogan says, our students have the chance to experience a different academic perspective while abroad, in which the local component and first-hand experiences are extremely valuable. An intercultural perspective is often included in our courses—where students learn much more than facts—in the sense that they can experience what they are studying and better understand the local culture and history and therefore, be able to recognize, adapt to and understand other cultures and other realities.

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In our Language and Culture program, students can experience the history of Barcelona and Spain through different site visits that enrich their experience. Here are some examples:

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Students visiting a bomb shelter of the Spanish Civil War

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Students visiting a bunker for the Spanish Civil War

Also, students in the Business and Culture program go on different company visits, such as to the Museu de la Xocolata, and benefit from other innovative projects and group techniques. For instance, those in the Sustainability and CSR class participated in an “Escape the room” activity, putting their skills and ability to cooperate and solve problems into practice while working in groups.

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Student of beginning Spanish, practicing their skills in the “real world”

 

Also, students in the Business and Culture program go on different company visits, such as to the Museu de la Xocolata, and benefit from other innovative projects and group techniques. For instance, those in the Sustainability and CSR class participated in an “Escape the room” activity, putting their skills and ability to cooperate and solve problems into practice while working in groups.

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05/10/2017

Liberal Arts, Spring 2017, Newsletter III

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Spring semester is gone and we wish students had an enriching experience in Barcelona. Here it is some of the activities they did at the last part of the semester.  

Students get inspiration through Service Learning

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.

Students at the he service learning project is part of the CIEE Advanced Grammar, Composition and Conversation II class, participated in a service learning project at a local elementary school, Escola Collserola with children from 1st -6th  grades.  

Jon from Vanderbilt University brought his guitar and sang songs with 2nd graders; Nopell from Fordham University practice vocabulary and sang songs with 1st graders; Cate from Lehigh University did an oral presentation 4th of July for 4th graders; Grace from Vanderbilt University showed 5th graders her abilities in cheerleading; and Gaby from Occidental College talked about California to 6th graders. 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. This project is also part of the intercultural competence component that CIEE embraces in our program.

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Re-entry Workshop to learn strategies for adjustment back in the States

The last day of the semester, LA students participated in the Re-entry Workshop, a session dedicated to reflect on their experience studying abroad in Barcelona, to understand the re-entry process and challenges, to learn strategies for adjustment and ways to stay globally engaged and how to incorporate their experiences into their daily lives. One of the activities consisted in sharing their best memory of the semester while forming a web between them, symbolizing their interconnection. Some of the best memories of our students shared were related to their experiences living with a host family, meeting new friends and travelling.

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In Barcelona, students learned how to appreciate art

Students at the Catalonia and Spain Through the Arts class had to do a video project about their appreciation of art in Barcelona. Professor Raquel Crisóstomo had a contest called BANART and selected the best 3 videos. Here it is an example:

 

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03/20/2017

Liberal Arts, Spring 2017, Newsletter II

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This semester we are very proud to offer students  three new cultural experiences: a visit to  an Almazara, in the Granada area, where they produce the extra virgin olive oil; to learn about the traditional methods of fishing in the Mediterranean in the Fishing Museum; and a visit to a dairy farm that ensures social labor to people with mental disabilities.  Here there are more details:

The taste of Extra Virgin Olive OilNewsletter LA2

As part of our weekend trip to the south of Spain, to Granada, Liberal Arts students had the opportunity to visit an Almazara, where the traditional process of making extra virgin olive oil from the fresh olives brought from the thousands of olive trees that decorate the Andalusian fields.

Students enjoyed the olive oil tasting where they tried three different:  the Premium Extra Virgin (from the first fresh olives picked in October); the Virgin or the regular olive oil.

Traditional fishing methods in the Mediterranean

Newsletter LA21Foto-Palamos-3What lies behind a plate of fish? Tradition, hours of work and a lot of skill!
Our students visited the Fishing Museum in Palamós, in the Costa Brava, a place where you can get to know the skills, marine species, how this art developed and the fishing of the future. The museum, the only one of this kind in the Mediterranean, aims to provide a place for dialogue between the people of the sea and the rest of society.

Students learned had a tour where they learned the traditional methods of fishing and afterwards they participated in a fish cooking class. They cooked the “fisherman dish” with fresh fish and rice or noodles.

A dairy farm to integrate people with mental disabilities

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Foto Fageda 4Students had the opportunity to visit for the first time, La Fageda, a cooperative that primarily produces yogurts and dairy puddings and employs mentally challenged population. The propose of La Fageda is to take  people with mental health problems out of psychiatric hospitals, to offer them a real job –in an enterprise- and through this help to restore their self-esteem.

Students visited the farm, fed the baby cows, learned about the cooperative and its project and afterwards they did a guided hike at the beautiful beech forest.

02/06/2017

Liberal Arts, Spring 2017, Newsletter I

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It has been almost a month since Liberal Arts students arrived to Barcelona! In this first issue we want to talk about the different housing options students have while in Barcelona: homestay, shared apartment or residence hall.

Here there are student´s opinions about it:

Homestay: “I really wanted the full cultural experience”

Nopell from Fordham University

Shared apartment. “I love living with a Spanish flatmate”

Taylor from Vanderbilt University

Residence Hall. “It’s neat to meet Spanish students and to get closer to some of the American students”

Haley from University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

01/17/2017

Liberal Arts, Fall 2016, Newsletter iii

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Fall semester is gone and we wish students had an enriching experience in Barcelona. Here it is some of the activities they did at the last part of the semester.  

Re-entry Workshop to learn strategies for adjustment back in the States

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The last day of the semester, LA students participated in the Re-entry Workshop, a session dedicated to reflect on their experience studying abroad in Barcelona, to understand the re-entry process and challenges, to learn strategies for adjustment and ways to stay globally engaged and how to incorporate their experiences into their daily lives. One of the activities consisted in sharing their best memory of the semester while forming a web between them, symbolizing their interconnection. Some of the best memories of our students shared were related to their experiences living with a host family, meeting new friends and travelling.

Volunteering with kids with hearing disabilities

Foto LaurenLauren from Vanderbilt University volunteered once a week with a local non-profit T-oigo that works with people with hearing disabilities. Lauren helped a 7 year old boy with his English practicing with him phonetics and vocabulary.

History of Rebel Women in Barcelona

Ruta-Barcelona-guerra-y-revolucion-440x330Foto mujeres revolucionariasStudents at the CIEE course Past and Present in Barcelona not only did the traditional field trips around the city and the visits to different museums but for the first time, professor took them in a tour about the social movements and revolutionary processes in Barcelona from 1909 to 1979 and the specific role played by women. Students enjoyed a route about some historical events such as the women´s right to vote, to abortion or to get divorce.

11/21/2016

LIBERAL ARTS, FALL 2016, NEWSLETTER II

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We are already passed mid-semester! Liberal Arts students have been very busy with classes, cultural activities, meeting locals or volunteering. Find here some details.

“From the six-year olds, I have learned how to better pronounce certain words”

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Kayla from Wellesley College volunteers in a local school as an English teaching assistant

Liberal Arts students have the opportunity to volunteer as English Teacher Assistants at a local school, Centre d’estudis Montseny, for two hours every week. This is what they say about their experience.

Kayla from Wellesley College commented about her experience:

“On Tuesdays, I work with 14 year-old students.  Since they have been studying English for a while now, we focus on discussion and conversational skills.  Usually, there is a group of 6 to 10 students and we talk for an hour about certain topics that the teacher and I have previously come up with.  On Thursdays, I work with six year-old students.  Because they are younger, they are exposed to English during Arts&Crafts time.  I help the teacher in instructing the children on how to make the certain crafts of the day.  Along with saying the directions in English, I usually spend most of the time going from table to table, speaking with the children, asking them basic questions to expose them to more English.

The best part about volunteering at Escola Montseny is that I get to learn things from the students.  I have learned a lot from the older students about Spanish culture, how growing up in a household in Barcelona is different from in the US, and which good, local restaurants are a must-try.  From the six year-olds, I have learned how to better pronounce certain words, and they have also taught me some basic Catalan (which has been very useful!).”

Bomb shelter visit: “I think the fieldtrips are helpful for understanding the concepts taught in class”

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Students visited a bomb shelter built during the Spanish Civil War  

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”.

Syrian Refugee in Barcelona explains his experience to our students

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Mayar Skita is a Syrian refugee from Alepo who is studying a Master’s Degree in 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 a lot of 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.

10/04/2016

LIBERAL ARTS, FALL 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:

When class takes you to the groceries!

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. LA

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 walking tour and a beach volleyball afternoon with their GA’s. LA1

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 class Advanced Grammar, Composition and Conversation. LA2

 

03/15/2016

Liberal Arts, Spring 2016, Newsletter II

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We are already passed mid-semester! Liberal Arts students have been very busy with classes, cultural activities, meeting locals or volunteering. Find here some details.

“We couldn´t have asked for a better flatmate”

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Taylor, Sara, Zoe and Riley from Vanderbilt University share their apartment with Berta, a Spanish flatmate.  Spanish roommates are a great opportunity for our students to get more immersed in the culture, practice their Spanish and get to live with a local.

This is what Taylor said about her flatmate: “We adore Berta. She has been such a wonderful addition to our apartment. When something goes wrong, she is there to help at a moment notice. She has been extremely accommodating and flexible and has always made sure we feel comfortable. Aside from playing the role of our quasi-mother while we are in Spain, she has become a great friend and someone to look for advice in. She's is very trustworthy and relaxed, and gives us our space but is also involved in our daily lives.  We couldn't have asked for a better flatmate! 

Volunteering in a local school: “This experience has been the most immersive way for me to understand Spain and Barcelona”

 

IMG_6526Isabel from Cornell University volunteering at Escola Montseny

LA1Lauren from  University of Iowa volunteering at Escola Montseny

Liberal Arts students have the opportunity to volunteer as English Teacher Assistants at a local school, Centre d’estudis Montseny, for two hours every week. This is what they say about their experience.

Isabel from Cornell University said:  “The first few weeks in a new country are always nerve wracking and stressful as one must learn to adapt to a new culture, take in unfamiliar surroundings, and work in a foreign language. Volunteering at Centre d’estudis Montseny was one of the ways that I made those first weeks more comfortable and how I have made my whole experience in Barcelona unforgettable. Working with different students every week who ask questions about my life, give me insight into theirs, and genuinely want to play the games I have prepared has been wonderful. I look forward to my weekly journey to Selva del Mar because I not only meet and work with wonderful children, but also explore a new part of the city. 

This experience has been the most immersive way for me to understand Spain and Barcelona. We have workshops, Guardian Angels, and professors who gladly answer our questions, but no one is as honest as a child.”

Lauren from Universiy of Iowa assured: “My favorite part about volunteering here is the variety! I love the conversations I have with the older children. I also love that they teach me things as well. I even got to learn a few words in Catalan! I really feel like I am making a difference for the kids and they are making one for my experience too!

This experience has really immersed me in the culture since I get to see first hand day to day school life for these kids. They tell me stories of their families, weekends, travels, etc. and it really allows me to see how every day life is here in Spain. As a student abroad you often feel like a tourist, but this really lets me feel like a member of a school community.”

Intercambio Nights

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Students have been participating in our “Intercambio Nights”, language exchange events where they meet local students to practice their Spanish. Students also had to interview the local as part of their language classes at CIEE.

12/23/2015

LIBERAL ARTS, FALL 2015, NEWSLETTER III

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Fall semester has come to its end! Liberal Arts students have been very busy in the last month. Here there are some of their activities.

Bon Nadal! Catalan Christmas Market visit

Liberal Arts students visited the traditional Christmas Market: Mercat de Santa LLúcia, where they learned about the Catalan Christmas Traditions. One of the most important is the caga tió, which is a log with a happy face painted on it. These logs bring presents but there is a tradition to get them. First, you need to sing a song and hit the log with a stick. Then, the log will ‘excrete’ presents and candies! Students also learned about the famous caganer (literally a “pooper”) which is a figurine depicted in the act of defecation appearing for the Nativity scene.  Many modern caganers represent celebrities and authority figures such as Obama, Messi or Salvador Dalí!

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Yummy Chocolate Creations!

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Students attended a chocolate workshop at the Chocolate Museum of Barcelona. We had a great time and students enjoyed making different products like chocolate bars, lollipops, or bonbons using various techniques. Students showed their creativity and made Christmas and funny shapes.

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English Teaching Assistant Internship

Claire from Occidental College talked about her internship experience as English Teaching Assistant at a 3-K12 school, Escola Montseny. She said: “My experience at Montseny is amazing! The kids are all very sweet and lots of fun. I work with small groups of 7-11 graders talking to them in English so that they can practice their speaking. They're all super excited to practice their English and have a lot of questions about the US, so it's really fun! This experience has helped me get more immersed in the culture because I get to ask them questions about growing up in Barcelona and hear about the differences between here and the US. I've also gotten to learn about what young people here think and know about the US which is really interesting. 

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12/02/2015

LA BELLEZA DE BARCELONA

Name: Julia
CIEE Barcelona Program: Liberal Arts
Semester: Fall 2015
Home School: Vanderbilt University
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Mi estancia en Barcelona ha sido la más increíble de mi vida.  Como yo soy de Miami, he crecido en una ciudad con una hermosa playa, una vibrante vida nocturna y gente enérgica y dinámica. Las dos ciudades tienen similitudes, sin embargo son muy diferentes. Barcelona es fascinante.

La moda, la comida, la arquitectura y las actividades superan con mucho las de los Estados Unidos en todos los sentidos. Barcelona es la capital del modernismo y se pueden encontrar muchos monumentos, construidos y diseñados por el famoso Antoni Gaudí.  Las obras de Gaudí más impresionantes que recomiendo son: la Sagrada Familia, La Pedrera, Casa Batlló y el Parque Güell.  Además, en Barcelona también se puede encontrar la Catedral gótica que es espectacular o la Basílica de Santa María del Mar. La cocina catalana se basa en la dieta mediterránea con muchas verduras, pan, cereales y aceite de oliva.  Se puede encontrar todo aquí, desde mariscos a fruta fresca, también muchos mercados de alimentos y restaurantes con cocina típica catalana.  Los platos famosos son llamados ‘tapas’, pequeñas porciones de diferentes tipos de alimentos, ¡que no debes perderte!

Muchos dicen que es la ciudad que nunca duerme, y por esta razón es casi imposible encontrar un bar o club cerrados durante la noche.  Los distritos de moda son El Born, la ciudad vieja y el puerto Olímpico, cerca de la playa. Todos estos lugares son ideales para caminar o andar en bicicleta.  También hay algunas partes de la ciudad que se pueden visitar sólo a pie.  En Barcelona también hay posibilidades de deportes de aventura como el surf, el kitesurf, el kayak, la vela, los paseos en globo y mucho más.

Por estas razones, Barcelona es una de las principales ciudades metropolitanas de Europa.