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98 posts categorized "Liberal Arts"

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!

Newsletter III LA1

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. 

Newsletter III LA

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. 

¡Me encanta el chocolate!

Name: Becca
CIEE Barcelona Program: Liberal Arts
Semester: Fall 2015
Home School: Rice University

QuijotesChocolate. Chocolate. Chocolate. Mi postre favorito. Me encantan todos los tipos de chocolate en todas las variedades, así que podéis entender cuando os digo que uno de los días mejores de mi vida fue cuando mi clase de marketing fue al museo de chocolate en Barcelona.

Fuimos al museo para estudiar todo el mercado del chocolate. Aprendimos sobre el museo, el chocolate, el marketing, las ventas, la producción, la competición, los vendedores, los consumidores y mucho más. Recibimos una guía no solo del museo, sinó también del campus, las oficinas, el almacén y las cocinas. Durante nuestra visita, hubo un exposición de la asociación del Gremio de Pastelería. Vimos muchos vendedores de chocolate, pastelerías, panaderías y restaurantes. Fue muy interesante y aprendimos sobre el mercado y los negocios del museo.  Quijotes2

Sin embargo, el recorrido no fue la parte mejor de la visita. Durante nuestra visita, participamos en un taller de chocolate. ¡Aprendimos muchas maneras de cocinar chocolate!  Tenemos la oportunidad para cocinar chocolate negro, blanco y con leche.  Hicimos nuestras propias tabletas de chocolate, trufas y piruletas de chocolate con ingredientes especiales (como frambuesas, almendras, coco, sal, frutos secos, kiwi y muchas más). Fue muy divertido y el chocolate estaba delicioso. Salimos con bastante chocolate para todo el tiempo que vamos a estar en Barcelona. 

Nunca había hecho nada como esto. Fue una experiencia fantástica que voy a recordar siempre. Para una amante del chocolate como yo, fue el paraíso.   

11/13/2015

LIBERAL ARTS, FALL 2015, NEWSLETTER II

Swinging abroad and making local friends!

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Paige from Univesity of Colorado Boulder is a swing dancer who didn´t want to stop dancing during her study abroad experience. This is what she did to meet local people to continue dancing and getting more immersed in the local culture.

“Before I came to Barcelona, I was really worried about not being able to dance while I was here. One of my friends knew a Catalan girl named Georgina who she had met when she was living abroad. My friend put me in contact with Georgina and when I arrived, Georgina messaged me. Georgina invited me to one of the plaza dances in Gràcia where I spent the majority of the day dancing. The best thing was that I didn't have to know the language to communicate. Lindy Hop is its own language, all I had to do was show up and dance. Georgina then educated me about the scene here and gave me limitless resources to access dances, special events, shoes, and so much more! Now, Georgina and I are very good friends and we dance together at least once a week and usually meet up to grab lunch or enjoy a drink the other times. 

My first intense immersion with the locals here was the Barcelona Lindy Exchange. The entire population of Barcelona Lindy Hoppers came out, dressed as posh as ever alongside many people from Italy, France, Germany, and other European countries. During this weekend long event, I was able to meet a lot of different people and get established with a few with whom I dance on a regular basis. Now I feel that I can walk into one of the many wonderful schools in Gràcia and not feel afraid to go up to anyone and ask for a dance. This, of course, usually leads to them finding out that I am a foreigner, which then leads to a million questions of how I know how to dance, and wah-la! I just made a new friend.” 

Baking traditional All Saints Day pastries

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LA students partipated in the “panellets” workshop where they learn how to cook this tradional pastry for All Saints Day (November 1). Panellets are small cakes or cookies in different shapes, mostly round, made mainly of marzipan(a paste made of almonds and sugar). The most popular are the panellets covered with pine nuts, consisting of the panellet basis rolled in pine nuts and varnished with egg whites. But there are a wide range of flavors you can add: strawberry; lemon; almond; cherry, etc…

Discover Barcelona on skates

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For lovers of rollerblading, there is no better option than to see the city on wheels. Throughout the year, free routes are organized every Friday night by the Barcelona Skaters Association.  LA students participated with our Spanish Guardian Angels in one of the tours and discover a different way to tour the city while skating.

10/05/2015

LIBERAL ARTS, FALL 2015, NEWSLETTER I

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Welcome to LA Fall Semester!

Students have been very busy the first month in Barcelona!. We held orientation, they finished our CIEE Spanish intensive classes and started UPF and CIEE extensive courses, students participated in tours and excursions, and they started to shake it at the Salsa class!. Here there are some details:

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Orientation and UPF Welcome Session

During the three-day orientation, students had the opportunity to meet the group; attend the Welcome, Safety , Academics and Cultural Activities talk, start to get familiarize with the city, meet their Guardian Angels and tour the Gothic Quarter.  In our effort to engage students in a intercultural competence experience, we held our first session and talk titled: “How to break the American Bubble”, in which we give them some tools and advice to get out their comfort zone in order to have a more successful and enriching experience.

Students also attended the host institution, Pompeu Fabra, welcome session where they learned about the university; academic offerings; university community services; presentation of the Hispanic and European Studies Program; and a discussion with UPF local students on the UPF academic culture.

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CIEE Intensive Spanish class

Upon taking the Spanish level test, students are placed into the CIEE Intensive Spanish classes: Advanced Grammar, Composition and Conversation and Advanced Spanish for Academic Discourse. Out of classroom activities are held in this course, such a visit to a local market to practice food vocabulary and ordering expressions or a scanvenger hunt through a unique neighborhood in Barcelona, Gracia, where they have to ask the locals and even find a Civil War bomb shelter.  Besides, they have to do oral presentations in class to review a Spanish film.12

Club Quijotes and Salsa Class!

LA students can join the Quijotes Club, a club to promote the use of Spanish at all times and the intercultural competence and integration. Students need to participate in different cultural activities, such as a Salsa workshop, one-day volunteer campaigns, attend a casteller practice, or watch a Barça football game with locals, among others. Quijotes students also need to attend the Intercambio nights, where they meet local students to do an exchange conversation English/Spanish.

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Students already shook it and had a good time in the Salsa workshop! 

03/19/2015

LIBERAL ARTS, NEWSLETTER SPRING 2015, ISSUE II

NEWSSpring semester is going fast! Liberal Arts students have been very busy with classes, cultural activities, academic trips, volunteering or doing an internship. Find here some details.

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When coaching middle schoolers “it´s a blast”

ImageJoseph (Joe) form University of Minnesota- Twin Cities goes very Wednesday from 11:30 - 1:30 to Escola Montseny to help out in a gym class with children ranging from the ages of 11-14 years old. Joe gets to run around and hang out with middle schoolers while practicing his Spanish. Safe to say,” it’s a blast “ ,he assures.

Joe adds: “I love the fact that every single child in class is absolutely fascinated with this random American exchange student who is in class once a week. As soon as the students see me walk into the gym for class, I can expect to hear a loud, “¡Pepe!” from just about everyone in class within roughly five seconds. They’re truly excited to see me, and were quite concerned when I wasn’t there one week. The constant and genuine attention they give me for those two hours pretty remarkable and definitely something I will miss. Whether it’s the absolutely absurd questions they have for me, participating in class with the kids, or just the casual small talk I have with all of them; volunteering at Escola Montseny will be one of the experiences I cherish most when I look back on my abroad experience”.

Long Lunches and Hard Work

InternshipMakeda from University of Oregon is doing an internship in an event planning company: n’Eventum. She declared: “There's no better way to learn the culture of a place than by surrounding yourself with its people. My internship at n'Eventum allowed me to do just that, and I can say that I now understand what it means to live in Barcelona a lot more now. One thing I know I'll never encounter in the US is the long, leisurely lunches that occur daily at the n'Eventum office. No matter how busy the work day seems, it's always guaranteed that lunch lasts at least 1.5 hours. It's relaxed, social and always filled with talking and laughter. After, everyone resumes their day and works diligently until around 6:30 pm. It's less centered around efficiency than in the US, but I am always impressed by the amount and quality of work that is done. It's definitely a custom I'd love to take home with me when I go back to the US. “

Quijotes Club activities

21Liberal Arts students can join the Quijotes Club, a club to promote the use of Spanish at all times and the intercultural competence and integration. Students need to participate in different cultural activities, such as a Salsa workshop, one-day volunteer campaigns, attend a casteller practice, or watch a Barça football game with locals, among others. Quijotes students also need to attend the Intercambio nights, where they meet local students to do an exchange conversation English/Spanish. Our students have been participating in all of these extra activities and have been enjoying the intercultural aspect of it.

They already shook it and had a good time in the Salsa workshop! 

02/03/2015

LIBERAL ARTS, NEWSLETTER SPRING 2015, ISSUE I

NEWS

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It has been 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:

New housing option: shared apartments with a local student!

1For the first time, we added this semester the housing option to live in a shared apartment with a local student: the Barcelona flatmate! The local student not only serves as a roommate but as a part of their cultural experience of living and learning with people from a different culture. Kathryn from Vanderbilt University said:  “I'm living in a shared apartment with two american girls and one Barcelona girl. I absolutely love the new apartment option! The apartment is clean and spacious and it's really nice to feel so independent living in a new city with new friends. We have a grocery store right below our building, which is really convenient, and we cook dinner almost every night!  

Meet the host parents

11For the ones who chose to live with a host family, they met them their first day of orientation. After the first weeks to get to know each other, we conducted a housing survey and the following are the student’s opinions.  Makeda from Oregon State University commented: “Sra Llebot is an amazing host mother! She makes delicious food, does our laundry and always offers anything we might need. Her family is very kind and welcoming!” Joseph from Vanderbilt University wrote: “Food and the opportunity to learn more Spanish are the best aspects of the homestay”

Get out and use your Spanish!12

LA  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.