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

189 posts categorized "Newsletters"

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

Liberal Arts | Spring 2018 | Newsletter II

Header_newsletter

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

Students visit the Fallas Festival in Valencia

Valencia 1
Valencia 7
Valencia 7
Valencia 7
Valencia 7

Valencia 6
Valencia 5
Valencia 8Valencia 7Liberal Arts students travelled to Valencia for their weekend trip. In there, they had the opportunity to experience a local festivity called Las Fallas, a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage of humanity.  It is a traditional celebration held in commemoration of Saint Joseph. People build monuments out of wood and paper-mache, a lot of times with a satire, political meaning, and they burn them on Saint Joseph day, March 19th.

Students also toured the old town, did a street art tour and went to the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias. They also learned that this year, the main Falla (monument) was made by a famous Spanish street art artist, Okuda San Miguel.

“My project is unique in that I have the opportunity to work with people from other countries”

Foto Laura
Foto Laura

Laura from University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is doing an internship in a public hospital, Vall d’Hebron research institute on a project called MyHealth. The project aims to improve the healthcare of immigrant communities throughout the EU. She commented: “I have been given the task of writing the first drafts of some of the documents which is great and shows me that they have a lot of trust in my work. The experience has been amazing. The people I work with are really nice and patient with me learning Spanish. My project is unique in that I have the opportunity to work with people from other countries. We have a weekly video conference with our partners from all over the EU and I learn a lot about their working culture from those interactions.

How to grill calçots
Foto calçotada 3
Foto calçotada 3

As one of our new day trips, students grilled a traditional Catalan meal, the calçotada. Calçots, are variety of green onions that are barbecued and dipped in romesco sauce. They 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!

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! 

03/15/2018

Global Architecture + Design, Spring 2018, Newsletter II

Header_newsletter

REFLECTIONS AFTER THE END OF THE WORLD

In the context of the the Future Cities Design Studio, the students had the opportunity to do a site visit to the exhibition "After the End of the World" at the CCCB. During the exhibition, CIEE students had an immersive experience on how the earth of 2017 has irreversibly transformed into the Anthropocene planet after two centuries of human impact on natural systems. It was an exhibition about how we will reach the world of the latter half of the 21st century, and about our society’s responsibility to the generations who will be born and grow up in it. The result was a hypnotic and startling experience, that on the one hand exposes the traumas caused by the magnitude of the crisis and on the other speaks of the opportunity for change and of the pressing need for an intergenerational pact.

WhatsApp Image 2018-02-06 at 18.19.46 (1)
WhatsApp Image 2018-02-06 at 18.19.46 (1)
WhatsApp Image 2018-02-06 at 18.19.46 (1)
WhatsApp Image 2018-02-06 at 18.19.46 (1)
WhatsApp Image 2018-02-06 at 18.19.46 (1)
WhatsApp Image 2018-02-06 at 18.19.46 (1)
WhatsApp Image 2018-02-06 at 18.19.46 (1)
WhatsApp Image 2018-02-06 at 18.19.46 (1)
WhatsApp Image 2018-02-06 at 18.19.46 (1)
WhatsApp Image 2018-02-06 at 18.19.46 (1)

Sketching Abroad

One of the most valuable experiences for an architecture student while abroad is the prospect of appreciating some of the highlights of the history of architecture on-site and then sketching them. Sketching may be a good way to better understand architecture, shapes, colors and proportions. Rohan, from CalPoly San Luis Obispo, spent last semester in Rome where he worked extensively on his sketches. Of course, now in Barcelona, he is still improving his technique and getting the most out of his experience in the city. In fact, Rohan spent some time sketching during our weekend trip to Valencia at the end of February. For now, have a look at his drawings from Valencia! More sketches from Barcelona will be included in the next newsletter.

2r
2r

03/08/2018

Business + Culture, Spring 2018, Newsletter II

Header_newsletter

Days go by so fast! We have already reached mid-semester, exams have taken place, classes have arrived their zenith and BC students have fully integrated within the city life. They are immersed in activities, classes and travelling. One of CIEE’s main endeavors is making students take advantage of the wealthy culture that Barcelona offers by organizing many of their classes and activities in the multiple museums or cultural sites scattered around the city. For example, they learn art history in the National Museum of Art, analyzing first hand the features of Romanesque Art, they immerse in local culture by going to the city markets during Spanish lessons, or even they learn about the history of Spanish Civil War by visiting an ancient air raid shelter.

Foto2

Foto2

BC students have also enjoyed their CIEE organized weekend trip, visiting the beautiful city of Valencia. We explored its history by a guided tour around its ancient remains and modern urbanism, discovering the cathedral, the medieval silk market and touring its ‘modernista’ tiled market, where the guides showed us the traditional foods of the region.

Foto3

Foto4

One of the highlights of the weekend trip was the Paella cooking workshop. Now we have excellent “maestros paelleros” to bring this delicious dish back home to delight their families and friends. 

Foto7
Foto7
Foto7

Check out the video from their amazing paella activity.

03/05/2018

Economics + Culture, Spring 2018, Newsletter II

Header_newsletter

We are now at the halfway mark of the semester and our students have already taken their midterm exams. Adaptation to the local culture and host institutions has gone smoothly and now it's time to prepare for this second half of the semester and reflect on what was experienced and learned so far. That's why Peter, from the College of William and Mary, wanted to shared his impression on the language barrier while in Barcelona. Watch his video below!

On other side of the coin, as part of their academic experience, students traveled to the city of Valencia and, besides participating in a paella cooking class and visiting the most relevant areas in the city center, they were fortunate enough to also revel in one of its most popular local events. Known as Fallas, the city festival is basically a celebration of fire and pyrotechnics, symbolizing the concept of starting over, a fresh start for each year—and fire is the element used to clean up the past. One of the most popular activities of Fallas is the Exhibition (and contest) of the Ninots (a group of sculptures that usually criticize different aspects of society). The main idea is that all these figures are burned to symbolize the destruction of what they represent. Only one—the ninot indultat— is saved each year as the winner of a popular vote. This year, the Economics + Culture students not only went to see the exhibition but also joined in on the voting process. What was very curious to them was the fact that these sculptures often depicted politicians and celebrities, and of course, President Trump was widely represented there from both sarcastic and critical perspectives. Check out 3 ninots representing President Trump... Will any of them be saved or will all they all burn to the ground?

WhatsApp Image 2018-03-05 at 10.44.40 (2)
WhatsApp Image 2018-03-05 at 10.44.40 (2)
WhatsApp Image 2018-03-05 at 10.44.40 (2)

02/13/2018

Advanced Liberal Arts, Spring 2018, Newsletter I

6a010536fa9ded970b01b8d10b2fe0970c-800wi

SP181f

Libertas perfundet omnia luce
When new students arrive at the Barcelona airport after a long transoceanic journey and make their way to the CIEE Advanced Liberal Arts program orientation, upon arrival they find students wearing CIEE shirts that welcome them, help them with their luggage and accompany them on the bus to the orientation location. These students, of the same age as the recent arrivals, are in fact, students of the same institution that will host the participants of this CIEE program: The University of Barcelona. Minutes later, after the bus has taken them from the airport to the center of the city, the students will get off at Hotel H10 Universidad, situated on the corner of Plaza de la Universidad. The hotel and plaza are named Universidad because both are in front of the historical University of Barcelona building. Founded in 1450, it is an institution without which you could not easily understand the history of this city or the country over the past 568 years. At CIEE, we want our students in the program to familiarize themselves with their new university from the very beginning. On the second day, they undergo the academic session and language assessment, which are administered by professors of the Philology Department at the UB.

SP181b
SP181b
(ALA students visiting the UB Old Main with Dr. Anna Vallugera, Professor of the CIEE course "Masterworks of Catalan Art"

What I’m trying to say is that for CIEE the relationship that we want our students to establish with the host institution is key for many reasons: it guarantees quality and indisputable academic rigor while also guaranteeing the level of integration and immersion of our students for whom, in any other way, it would be much more complicated. The professors that teach the ALA program courses are also professors of the UB. The university students that attend the linguistic exchanges are the same students that our students will cross paths with and share classes with in the different departments of the UB. And through the possibility of internship positions, or volunteer programs, our students may further strengthen their sense of belonging and expand their circle of contacts.

SP181d
(Students after taking the Spanish language placement test in the UB Philology Department during the orientation)

The motto of the UB is “Libertas perfundet omnia luce” (Liberty fills everything with light). A few days ago, I wrote a brief message of gratitude to our new students for their attention and excellent behavior during the orientation. To it I attached this picture that I took during our visit to the UB Old Main, in the Rector’s office, where the Barcelona winter light was shining down on them. I sincerely wish them a term where libertas perfundet omnia luce…

SP181a(CIEE ALA students in University of Barcelona Rector's office)

 

 

02/12/2018

Liberal Arts | Spring 2018 | Newletter I

Header_newsletter

It has been 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:

How millennials tell their experience through blogging

A lot of students share their study abroad experience through their blogs. Emily from Fisk University shared with us her amazing blog where she posts her views and pictures of her experience. This is what she wrote about the CIEE day trips to Tarragona or Girona: “I love this city! If you are a history buff- you would too! Filled with gorgeous little streets, ancient Roman ruins along the Golden coast, Tarragona is one for the books.” "The Arab baths were one of my favorite findings in Girona! These Arab baths are Romanesque construction (12th century) inspired by Roman baths, its most outstanding elements include the entrance, which was used as a changing room and relaxation area and is covered with a barrel vault, and the cupola covering the central pool, which is supported by slim columns with gorgeously capitals”.

You can check her blog in here: http://www.emilyannephotoart.com/blog/

Blog 5
Blog 5
Blog 5
Blog 5
Blog 5
Blog 5

Know the city with your skate

Gavin from University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and Madeleine from Barnard College are skaters that didn´t leave behind their hobby when they came to study abroad. They are getting to know Barcelona, its plazas, parks, trendy neighborhoods with their skate.

Here is Gavin´s testimony:

Skating

Visit to the Music Museum

We offered almost 30 different cultural activities students can do with our Guardian Angels  (local students) to get to get acquainted with the city the first weeks. These include among others: museums visits and tours; going to parks, open markets; historical landmarks, and trendy neighborhoods.  Some students visited the Music Museum in Barcelona. The museum exhibits around 500 music instruments from different ages and cultures and it’s considered as one of the most important music exhibition of Spain. Students learned about the history of instruments and had the opportunity to play some of them.   Foto música
Foto música

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.”

02/01/2018

Economics + Culture, Spring 2018, Newsletter I

Header_newsletter

A new semester has begun and this new group of Economic + Culture students has already had the chance to get adapted to the city, their courses at CIEE and their host institution, UPF. Dan, from Colby College, wanted to participate in an interview to explain his thoughts on the first weeks of the semester, the excitement of this new time in his life and the differences that he’s experienced so far. Check out his video:

Also, as an assignment in the CIEE Art History class, Catalonia and Spain through the Arts, students must record a video in front of a monument in Barcelona. The goal of this task is to have students explain a local landmark to the “average American public”, based on general information about it and also on two analogies with an American cultural artifact. Thus, students are able to make connections between the two cultures and bridge ideas between them. Justin, from George Washington University, wanted to share his videos about "El Gato del Raval", by Fernando Botero, Check out his project in the following link: 

 https://youtu.be/YOSLv2n6Z6Q

1