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11/27/2017

Liberal Arts, Fall 2017, Newsletter II

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Fall semester is going fast! In this issue, we would like to talk about students participating in sports while in Barcelona and the visit to a primate rehabilitation center. Find here some details.

“Fencing here allows me to use my Spanish while continue training for the NCAA season”

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Ilana from Columbia University practicing fencing with a Spanish team

Ilana from Columbia University is at the fencing team back home. She didn´t want to miss her practices so she joined a local fencing team. She commented: “Fencing here has been one of the highlights of my trip. Going to practice allows me to use my Spanish while continue training for the NCAA season when I return back to school. The other fencers are very nice, and have found it a great way to meet local people and become friends.

She travelled with the Barcelona fencers to compete in a tournament in France. She said: “We took a 6-hour car ride together across beautiful terrain to get there, and during the competition I was part of the camaraderie of Barcelona fencers, so when I was competing I had people cheering and coaching me, and I was able to reciprocate. This made the tournament very fun and I also learned the words to cheer and support athletes.”

“It has been so much fun playing with the UPF team”

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Carla from Lewis and Clark College plays at the soccer UPF team

Carla from Lewis and Clark University joined the fútbol 7 (soccer) team at the local university Pompeu  Fabra. She assured: “It has been so much fun playing with the UPF team. The girls are all really welcoming and so nice! My favorite part is going to hang out with the team after practice!”

Visiting a primate rehabilitation center

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Fundación Mona
Fundación Mona

Students had the opportunity to visit the MONA foundation, a rehabilitation center for abused chimpanzees and macaques that are recovering from their previous lives as circus artists, television actors, and even pets. MONA gives these primates a second chance at a life free of pain and abuse.  They provide the primates a curative, nurturing, and restorative environment in a group of their own kind within a spacious and natural installation.

Students enjoyed the visit and afterwards they visit the medieval town on Besalú.

11/22/2017

Advanced Liberal Arts, Fall 2017, Newsletter II

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Poetry and education

We live in an accelerated time and are led by the technological changes that are impacting our lives in many ways: from human relationships and communication to work and the easy access of information; and these are only a few examples. Education in general, and the university in particular, is not immune to these profound changes that have pushed our institutions toward a deeper revision of the ways and methods of teaching.

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(University of Barcelona Old Main)

It is easily verifiable that in these past years, the university has diverted its focus toward professional learning and the development of applied investigation. Its primary objective these days seems to be professional training in the diverse and specialized areas of the job market. But we cannot ignore that there are also many voices that have recently been raised alerting and asking us if we want, and if we can afford, a university that is mainly dedicated to professional development, therein marginalizing another type of intellectual training that permits us to educate committed citizens –those capable of understanding the present, judging it critically and thinking about a future for themselves and those around them– in a society that should be more free and reasonable. An important number of books and articles reminds us these days that without a solid understanding of history, anthropology, art, literature, philosophy and ethics, –these spaces of reflection that humanities can teach us– only with great difficulty can our youth be prepared for the complexities of the adult world. A few months ago, my colleague and friend, Dr. Paul DeYoung, Director of International Programs at Reed College, mentioned that our work as educators is “bringing new and important opportunities to young engaging minds that will lead our future.” Yes, Paul is right: we are educating our leaders, and we want –and need– the best leaders. Excellence, integrity, respect, collaboration: these are CIEE’s core values.

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(ALA students in front of CIEE Barcelona)

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The students of the CIEE Advanced Liberal Arts program at the University of Barcelona (UB) are a good example that this indispensable equilibrium between technical training and a solid knowledge of humanities is not only possible but recommendable. To illustrate this point with a couple of examples, this term Sophie, from Princeton University, is taking the course “Artificial Vision” in the UB Computer Engineering Department and also the courses “The Spanish Narrative in the 20th Century” in the UB Spanish Department and “Literature & Cinema in Spain” at CIEE Barcelona. Meanwhile, Julio, from Columbia University, is taking courses at the UB such as “The History of Economic Thought” and “Philosophy of Law” along with “Photography” and “Masterworks in Catalan Art.” This combination of scientific and technical courses with humanities permits our/your students to incorporate these necessary and complementary perspectives during this important formative period of their lives.

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(CIEE "Contemporary Spain" class at the Catalan Parlament)

In my opinion, amongst all the humanities studies, few better facilitate the spiritual mission of education like poetry. It is because of this that at CIEE we offer our ALA program students the unique opportunity to attend a conference and poetry recital given by Joan Margarit, one of the most important poets in recent Spanish literature. Margarit’s recital and lecture was the inaugural act of our Semana Cultural (Cultural Week). His poetry teaches us that “culture is not decoration, it is as serious as penicillin, energy or electricity.” He believes that a poem is “an instrument with the same effect of science, which creates structures so that we do not suffer cold nor hunger and that we are cured of our disease.” For Margarit, “there is an inclemency that is not physical, but moral, which makes reference to loss and love, and where there exists no button like those in a furnace that we can push when we are cold”. In the face of this moral inclemency "there are few things that can help except perhaps poetry, paintings, fine arts, philosophy and, for some, religion. It is not much, but we have nothing else.” We can only say thanks to Joan Margarit for visiting CIEE Barcelona and for sharing his words, poems and wisdom with the CIEE ALA students.

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(Renowned poet Joan Margarit lecturing and reciting to the ALA program students)

Allison, from Vanderbilt University, wanted to share her impression of Joan Margarit’s recital with us:

Alison, Vanderbilt University

It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to hear Joan Margarit recite his poetry. The poems themselves are so rich in both personal and historical context, but they took on even greater meaning for me when I could hear his inflections and the emotion in his voice. Margarit made it clear in his discussion after the recitation that he feels poetry is an incredible outlet for the expression of impossible human emotions. We were then able to ask questions and engage with him and his writing on another level, asking about his inspirations, unintentional meanings, and the experiences that led him to write. I am so grateful to have met a poet who is a part of living Spanish literary history and who took the time to speak with us about his life's work. 

Three poems of Joan Margarit (with the authorization of the author):

IT WASN’T FAR AWAY OR DIFFICULT
The time has come
when life that is lost no longer hurts,
when lust is a useless light
and envy is forgotten. It is a time
of wise and necessary losses,
it is not a time for arriving, but for going away.
It is now that love
finally coincides with intelligence.
It wasn’t far away or difficult.
It is a time that leaves me only the horizon
with which to measure solitude.
The time of protective sadness.

TOAST
Closer through that which no one will ever know,
we raise our two glasses.
We see our light, each in the eyes of the other.
A man and a woman, in an instant,
can be wrong.
But the instant will never come back

(translated by Anne Crowe)

LA ÉPOCA GENEROSA
Nuestros, como canciones
que nos hacen llorar, son esos días
que fueron la verdad de los anocheceres
sonrientes y del baño de los niños.
El alegre cansancio de la cena.
Las caras que no han vuelto
a confiar como entonces.
La vida se alimenta de días generosos.
De dar y proteger.
Si se ha podido dar, la muerte es otra.

 

 

11/21/2017

Architecture + Design, Fall 2017, Newsletter II

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Global Citizens

Part of CIEE’s mission is to make active and responsible Global Citizens and prepare them for the changes and challenges of future generations to come. They must be able to understand cultural differences, and therefore, developing soft skills which allow them to be flexible and adaptive are key points for students studying abroad. Through all of the academic obligations and cultural activities that the Architecture + Design students have been experiencing this semester, some have found the time to reflect on their soft skills and thoughtfully rethink what it means to be abroad.

Samantha, from Tufts University, is an excellent example of how to be proactive and motivated while abroad. Besides focusing on her classes at ELISAVA and CIEE, Samantha has taken a very active role in learning the local language. Even though she was not able to take any Spanish classes, her interest in learning it has driven her to expand her limits and take advantage of her experience. In order to further immerse herself in the community, she speaks Spanish with her host family and even volunteers at a local school. Recently, Samantha participated in a language class with 14-15 year old students—a project that was more than satisfactory for all of them.

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Another student, Giang, from Temple University, embodies the spirit of awareness and adaptability of being abroad. Born in Vietnam, she moved to the US while in high school and has been living there since. Her time now in Barcelona is her third experience abroad, after Tokyo and Prague. But since her first one, she’s realized the potential of being abroad to improve her soft skills, level of adaptability and to be more aware about intercultural aspects and mutual understanding. Check out this video! 

10/05/2017

Language + Culture,. Fall 2017, Newsletter I

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It has been almost a month since Language and 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 as guided city tours; day trips, activities with their Guardian Angels; and their weekend trip among others.

Here there are some details:

Enjoying local traditions at the Barcelona Patron Festival

Students had the great opportunity to enjoy the 4-day festival of Barcelona in honor of its patron: Mercè. Some of the local traditions they participated were: castellers (human castles); correfoc; gegants (giants) or the famous fireworks with music and a water fountain show.

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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 beach volleyball game, a flea market visit or a tour to Montjuïc Castle, among others.

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Basque Country: Gastronomy, Art, and Game of Thrones scenarios

Language and Culture students travelled this semester to Bilbao-San Sebastián in the Basque Country in northern Spain. The visited the world-famous Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, toured Bilbao and San Sebastian old towns, did a local tapas workshop and recreated scenes of the Game of Thrones in San Juan de Gaztelugatxe. Students learned about the differences between regions in Spain and they really enjoyed the trip.

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Liberal Arts, Fall 2017, Newsletter I

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It has been almost 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:

Orientation and UPF Welcome Session

During the three-day orientation, students had the opportunity to meet the group; attend the Welcome, Safety and Security talk, Academics and Cultural Activities talk, start to get familiarize with the city, meet their Guardian Angels and tour the Gothic Quarter. 

Students also attended the host institution, Pompeu Fabra, welcome session where they learned about the university; academic offerings; the presentation of the Hispanic and European Studies Program; and a tour to campus.

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Practical Spanish: let’s go grocery shopping!

In order to practice the language in a useful context, CIEE Liberal Arts Spanish classes took students to the groceries! We went to a local market and students had to buy something using idiomatic expressions, and they had to interview a clerk and a customer to get to interact with locals. They enjoyed the activity and we had a picnic afterwards with all the goods students bought!

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Independence Referendum: What’s happening in Barcelona?

Due to the current political events in Barcelona, we organized a Talk-Debate about the Catalan Independence Referendum in our Study Center. The talk was conducted by three CIEE professors: Jesús Marchán, History professor; Eduard Tunyí, Politics professor; and Ferrán Macipe, Economics professors. Students had the opportunity to understand the situation from different perspectives. They also asked a lot of questions and there was a very productive debate afterwards.

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10/03/2017

Architecture + Design, Fall 2017, Newsletter I

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EXPERIENCE(S)

A new semester for Architecture + Design has begun and students, aside from adapting to the city during the first days of orientation, have already started classes. In the core course, “The City and the Visual Culture”, students are learning first-hand about the urban development of Barcelona. In a combination of class lectures and activities, they visited some key places in the city to better understand this transformation, like Ciutadella Park and Montjuïc Mountain, where the Universal World fair took place in Barcelona in 1929.

Besides viewing some of the major constructions and facilities, such as the National Palace or Plaça de Espanya, students also had the chance to visit one of the most important historical structures from that World Fair: the German Pavillion by Mies van der Rohe. Considered one of the four main buildings of the Modern Movement, the magic and relevance it holds in the history of architecture is more than well-known due to its symbolic significance and the revolutionary design of its time. In fact, all the students had already studied it in some of their classes. Even though it was dismantled after the fair, a replica was built in 1986 by three Catalan architects in order to emphasize its architectural importance. 

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Also, Jessica and Jack, from Tulane University, wanted to highlight some of their first impressions of the program. Check them out in this video!

10/02/2017

Global Architecture + Design, Fall 2017, Newsletter I

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It’s already been a month into the program and the Global Architecture + Design students are fully immersed in their classes and their projects at the IaaC. This semester, one of the first activities that took place in the Future Cities Studio was a class presentation and debate called “What is architecture?”. Its purpose was to give them a deeper understanding of the discipline and their own personal perspectives. They needed to define how they understood architecture in ten words and select one of their previous projects to explain their ideas. The result was a wide approach to architecture, a first step in expanding their conception of this art.

Alice, from the University of Massachusetts Amherst explained her vision to us in the following video. Check it out! 

Images from Alice's project "Student's bridges", project selected to explain her understanding of what architecture is.Gad2Gad1

09/22/2017

Business + Culture, Fall 2017, Newsletter I

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Fall semester has just begun and Business students are getting to know the city and its culture. Since they’ve arrived they have been busy with orientation sessions, getting to know CIEE staff and getting ready for the beginning of their classes. This semester we have a group of Business students who attend the Universitat de Vic-BAU campus in Barcelona (Design College of Barcelona). BAU was born in 1989. Located in Barcelona, in 2003 BAU commits itself to a move to the 22@ district, now the innovation and design district of the city. BAU has consolidated its proposal by affiliating itself with the University of Vic-Central University of Catalonia (UVIC-UCC).

The orientation session for BC-UVic students took place at BAU campus where students will attend classes very soon. During the academic welcome carried out by Joan Albert Garcia, Coordinator of the Stud Abroad Program Business, Design and Innovation, students received a backpack with useful information about their classes at UVic-BAU and an insight of the classes they are taking.

The classes offered this fall semester are: Design Thinking, Digital Business, Global Marketing, Leadership, Business and Society, Brand Design, Marketing and Fashion and Start-UP Creation.

After the academic session students had a tour around the premises. They were happy to see such a unique and modern campus.

In a few days classes will start!

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First Day of Class

Spain is known for its outdoor life. In their free time locals hang out in terraces and cafeterias. In order to survive in Barcelona one must know how to order a café con leche. During their first Spanish class at CIEE, John (BC-UVic) and Kyle (BC-ESCI) did an activity (called survival Spanish) in the whereabouts of CIEE. They had to talk to clients and waiters and ask them some questions. It was fun and they learned a lot!

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Economics + Culture, Fall 2017, Newsletter I

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First day: Orientation

The students participating in the CIEE Economics and Culture Program arrived the first week of September to Barcelona. After a long flight they headed towards the orientation hotel where CIEE staff was happy to welcome them. What a thrill was to meet students from other programs! They were happy to chat with their flat mates or compañeros de residencia. Students in homestay had their first encounter with their host families. Their adventure had just begun!

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CIEE students during the orientation session. 

Getting to know Barcelona

CIEE students still had some days before the beginning of classes. In order to make better use of their time they went out with their Guardian Angels who took them out to explore the city.  Some of the touristic sites they visited were: The Cathedral, and The Montjuic Castle.

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At the Cathedral.

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Exploring Cataluña

Catalonia (Cataluña in Spanish) is located on the northeastern extremity of the Iberian Peninsula. It has four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. The cultural richness of Catalonia is well known and CIEE students wanted to discover it for themselves. On their first weekend CIEE staff organized several day trips.

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The Roman Amphitheatre in Tarragona. 

The UPF Campus (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

Classes are about to start at the UPF, and Economics and Culture students attended their academic orientation. They got their identity cards, visited the University Library, had a campus tour and they got a little taste of their academic life in Barcelona!

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Activities with Flatmates Laura, Georgina, Sara and Marc

Laura Montjuic

Fall has arrived and Laura and her flatmates Kristie and Annie know how to make the most of it!

The first weekend that the girls were in Barcelona, they went to visit the Montjuic Mountain. There, they went to visit MNAC, which is the National Museum of Catalan Art and they could admire the fantastic views you have of the city from there. Once they went down the mountain, they walked through Pl. España and went to the renovated Arenas shopping mall where you have also wonderful views of the Montjuic Mountain. After, they met another flatmate Cris Bernal and the four girls went together for a drink.

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On September 11th, in the region of Catalonia, we celebrate our biggest festivity, la Diada. A few local flatmates gather with the students and they went to enjoy the sun. They could admire the Castellers (real human towers) and enjoy concerts in Arc de Triomf.

They also went to eat some tapas together in Passeig de Gràcia in the center of Barcelona, and they finished the night with a delicious ice-cream.

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Georgina and her roommates spent a foody weekend. They went to a food themed event and tried food from all over the world while enjoying a nice day out in the park! To make the day perfect, they went for a cool tapas night out!

Sara and Marc, local flatmates, rather than going out for dinner, prefer to eat at home all together with their flatmates! Rachel, a student living with Sara, cooked her first chicken dish and it looked really promising; no wonder she aspires to be a real chef!

Marc and his flatmates also had dinner together but it was a home-made one! Doesn’t food taste better when you cook it yourself? It sure did for them!

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