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03/24/2017

Advanced Liberal Arts, Spring 2017, Newsletter II

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Our Faculty

This week the students from the CIEE Advanced Liberal Arts program at the University of Barcelona (UB) are taking their midterm exams. These are days of a certain general nervousness given that, for the first time since our students have arrived, preparing for exams has completely eclipsed the rest of their activities in Barcelona. It is a time for studying –long hours reading in the different libraries of the UB or in the “Sala de Lectura” of the CIEE Study Center, searching through class notes, dictionaries, reference books, and online resources, and meeting with classmates or professors to resolve their last remaining doubts before the exam.

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(One of the reading rooms of the University of Barcelona's main library)

A study abroad experience with CIEE is many things all at once: the perfecting of the Spanish language, the direct contact with new realities, landscapes and ways of thinking, and the inevitable realization of that which differentiates us, but also which unifies people from different places. To live and study in another country is, in short, to open your eyes to the world and to yourself. And this can all be achieved through our various cultural activities, contact with host families and locals, organized excursions and trips within and outside the city, linguistic exchanges with local students, etc.

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(Elizabeth and Alexandra –Columbia University–, Bailey and Alexandra –Vanderbilt University– taking the CIEE “Advanced Writing & Stylistic” midterm exam)

But these many elements that make up our programs and which our students experience through CIEE, pivot around the same axis: the academic component. One example of this is the linguistic exchange meetings that we organize for the ALA program during the term. For these meetings, we only invite students from the University of Barcelona because we want our students to not only practice Spanish with them, but also so that they have “point of reference” in the day-to-day life on campus. These are new friends that, in the end, will ease the adaptation process into the new university and are people that our students can share their classes with, or prepare for their exams with, like they have been doing during this week. One of these students from the UB, specifically from the Hispanic Philology Department, is Marta, who is doing her academic internship at CIEE. Marta spends four hours a day at CIEE doing different academic and administrative tasks. Thanks to Marta, our students can count on a UB graduate student to conduct language or content tutoring sessions, or they can join one of the different study groups that we organize weekly in our Study Center that she leads.

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(Risa –Tufts University–, Sara –Vanderbilt University–, and Sally –Washington University– surrounded by UB local students in the second linguistic exchange)

And, like we mentioned before, since the academic component is the center of all our activities, the professors of the ALA program are an essential part in order for everything to work smoothly. Our faculty are a bridge between two academic cultures (Spanish and American) –so different and occasionally contrasting. They not only help our students grow intellectually, but also contribute enormously to the adaptation process to the new academic atmosphere. This spring term, we have had the privilege of incorporating two new professors to our ALA program team: Dr. Mar Forment and Dr. Paolo Roseano, professors in the Philology Department at the University of Barcelona, the host institution of our program.

I would like to end this newsletter by sharing their profiles with all of you which, in my opinion, embody the excellence of our program:

Mar Forment, Ph.D.
CIEE Course Taught: Advanced Spanish Writing and Stylistics

Dr. Mar Forment Fernández is a professor of Spanish Language in the Spanish Philology Department at the University of Barcelona, where she earned her Ph.D. in 1999. She has taught courses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, as well as Spanish as a Foreign Language classes at different higher education institutions. Her research area covers Spanish semantics and phraseology, on which she has authored numerous articles, books and reviews. Since 2001 she has been directing the academic activities related to Spanish as a Foreign Language at the Menendez Pelayo International University (UIMP) Barcelona campus. She is also an accredited examiner for DELE exams at the Instituto Cervantes. Currently, she is involved in a research project that aims to clarify Spanish legal language.

Paolo Roseano, Ph.D.
CIEE Course Taught: Spanish for Heritage Learners

Paolo Roseano earned a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Trieste (Italy) in 2004 and a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Barcelona (UB) in 2012. His expertise includes prosody of Romance languages, forensic phonetics, language contact, phonology and morphology. He works in the Phonetics Laboratory at the University of Barcelon and is a professor in the Department of Spanish Philology at the same institution, where he has taught several subjects (Sociolinguistics, Historical linguistics, Syntax and Spanish Grammar for foreign students). Paolo also teaches acoustic phonetics in the MA program in Phonetics at the CSIC (Madrid, Spain) and Learning Difficulties and Language Disorders at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Spain. Previously, he was a professor of Sociology of Ethnic Relations at the University of Trieste and worked as a researcher at the International Sociology Institute of Gorizia (Italy).



03/22/2017

Living with your Local Flatmate, Ñam ñam!

by Lidia Llovera and Carlos Gómez (locals Flatmates Sp’17)

Lidia Llovera and her flatmates have a dinner together at least once a week! This way they get to enjoy each other’s company while enjoying a great meal made by them! Carlos Gómez, another local flatmate, also organized with his students a dinner night! And they decided to make delicious pizzas! The result looks really yummy! They sure enjoyed the preparation and the delicious result! Cooking and eating is a really nice and funny ac-tivity so what better that do it all together!

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Language + Culture, Spring 2017, Newsletter II

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

A Syrian Refugee tells his story to our students

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

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

Don Quixote, first edition: 1506

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

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.

02/23/2017

Living with your local flatmate, by Cristina Bernal

Happy dinners by Cristina Bernal (local Flatmate Sp’17)

Either is a pizza or a salad these girls enjoy each other company while having fun! Have you ever tried a Nutella and Oreo pizza? They already have taste it and it’s worth it!

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Living with your local flatmate, by Jordina Casals

Cooking chefs by Jordina Casals (local Flatmate Sp’17)

Jordina Casals and the two students living with her decided to become chefs and cooked delicious Brownies and another day they had the typical Mexican meal: fajitas. As you can see the result looks delicious! They had a lot of fun cooking together.  Not only they are a really good cooks, moreover they have become really good friends as they share together special dates as birthdays and lovely nights having dinner and talking about their experiences and new life in Barcelona. 

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Living with your local flatmate, by Gemma Charro

Sagrada Familia by Gemma Charro (local Flatmate Sp’17)

Gemma, local flatmate, and two of her roommates went out this month to discover Gaudi’s masterpiece, La Sagrada Familia. They discovered the temple’s beauty and saw the monument from a handful of different points of view, as you can see in the pictures! All of them enjoyed, La Sagrada Familia, a stunning and still uncompleted Roman Catholic Church in Barcelona. After the visit they deserved a tapas night out!

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02/20/2017

Economics + Culture, Spring 2017, Newsletter II

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SOUND MIND IN A SOUND BODY

Economic + Culture students have been busy with classes, daily routines and weekend trips, but they have also had time to take care of their body and mind. Some participated in a CIEE-organized yoga class at a local gym, which was fun and healthy. Namaste!

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Students also wanted to move their body so they went to a Zumba class.

TAPAS NIGHT

Eating Tapas means eat little portions of too many things and taste small delicious dishes with some drinks. Going out for "tapas" with old and new friends is quite the custom in Spain and EC students make the most of it.

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Business + Culture, Spring 2017, Newsletter II

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CATALONIA AND SPAIN THROUGH THE ARTS

One of the most popular culture classes for the Business + Culture students is the art history class “Catalonia and Spain through the Arts”. By combining lectures, discussions and class activities with field trips, students are able to gain a better understanding of the history of art in Barcelona and Spain and also, to apply this knowledge when travelling in Europe. In one of the sessions, students visited one of the many hidden jewels in Barcelona: the Monastery of Sant Pau del Camp, a Romanesque construction in the city center which dates back to the 9th century AD. Besides the visit to the church and the tiny, cozy cloister, which was often visited by Picasso when he was living in Barcelona, the students were lucky enough to enjoy the magnificent acoustics of the old structure. Jordi-Xavier, the coordinator at the monastery, put on a performance by singing Gregorian chant to illustrate the reverberation and projection of sound in the ancient temple. As if transported back in time, the students were immersed in the perfect atmosphere to better understand the Romanesque art. Check it out in this video:

INTERCAMBIOS

It has been almost two months since Business + Culture students arrived in Barcelona! They have been very busy with their classes, getting to know the city and participating in a lot of cultural events such cooking classes, gym classes, day trips and intercambios (language exchange events).

Nicholas (University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business) and Rose Ann (Cornell University) attended an intercambio for their Spanish class with all their classmates along with other Spanish students and Guardian Angels. They had the chance to practice their oral Spanish skills and make new friends. These events are held several times each semester, and they are a great opportunity to meet locals.

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02/16/2017

Advanced Liberal Arts, Spring 2017, Newsletter i

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New classes

Three weeks ago, the students from the CIEE Advanced Liberal Arts program at the Universitat de Barcelona arrived in their new city with a vague idea as to which courses they wanted to take during their study abroad in Barcelona. Two weeks before their arrival, they received an email from us with the “Guía de asignaturas” (a course listing) that has over 300 available courses in the various departments of the UB such as Biology, Mathematics, International Relations, History, Spanish Language and Literature, and Psychology, just to name a few. Together with this guide, they also received all the syllabi of these courses. The idea was that the students would be able to discuss which courses were the most compliant with the requirements of their Majors and Minors from their home schools with their study abroad and academic advisors. Once in Barcelona, during the orientation period before the start of the courses, the students went through personal advising sessions with the Resident Director to discuss the appropriateness, or not, of their pre-selections. The purpose of this process is two-fold: on the one hand, for CIEE it assures us that the total number of credits that our students will receive will be validated by their home universities and that, at the end of the term, it will be another piece in this grand puzzle of necessary courses to complete the students’ academic requirements at home; and on the other hand, we also want assurance that this academic selection will be the most appropriate, not only from a purely academic interest but also so that it will fulfill the students’ personal expectations when they experience the Spanish university system, which is so different from the one that they are accustomed to.

The students from spring term can count on an exceptional advantage: the all-year program peers that have already lived these first days at the University of Barcelona back in September. It was for this reason that Josie from Barnard College and Nina from the University of Tulsa not only participated in the academic orientation session, but they also attended many of the activities organized by CIEE during the new students’ first days in Barcelona. Their voices, advice and recommendations were the best way to comfort our incoming students who felt, logically, a little bit scared before the start of this new academic and personal adventure.

IMG-20170129-WA0020Nina wanted to share her memories with us of that last September, in the fall term, when everything was so new for her.

Nina, University of Tulsa.

My name is Nina and I am in my second semester of the ALA program at CIEE. Although the past four months had their challenges, they ended up being truly rewarding and educational for me. Throughout the semester, classes at CIEE were engaging and manageable; the UB classes, however, did not always feel this way. When I and the other American students arrived in our UB class the first day, we noticed a few things that were very different from the way they were our American universities. We realized that it is not uncommon for a Spanish professor to be fifteen minutes late to class, or that we would be given no assignments, and most importantly that reading schedules would not be laid out for us. These differences, along with the language barrier, made our UB classes seem a little overwhelming in the beginning. Thankfully we had the help of a local UB graduate and one of our professors giving us study sessions for our midterms and finals. After the midterm, we had a better idea of what to expect and how we needed to manage our time. By the end of the semester, I saw the language barrier disappear almost completely and my reading comprehension greatly increase. My advice to incoming students would be to go to class, do a little reading every day, and just have patience with yourself because you will see improvements.IMG-20170129-WA0014IMG_3178