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12/22/2017

Advanced Liberal Arts, Fall 2017, Newsletter III

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F3-0(CIEE ALA and UB students in the streets of Barcelona)

End of the term
Owen, Reed College
I will always remember my semester abroad with CIEE in Barcelona as a time of great personal growth.  As a study abroad experience, having to overcome the challenge of adapting to a whole new culture comes with the territory.  But in addition to that, having to conduct my personal and academic lives in a second language (and sometimes even a little of a third) proved to be a significant complicating factor at first.  During my first few weeks of classes at the University of Barcelona, I’d leave each class deeply concerned that I wouldn’t be able to pass the classes because I couldn’t understand the professors.  However insurmountable it all appeared at first, I discovered that with time came more comfort.  Now at the end of my semester, I feel almost like I’ve always been running around the city and taking my classes at the university with the friends I’ve made here.  It’s strange to remember that, in reality, I’ve only known them all for four short months.  Building a whole new life in a completely different country and language was something that all of my study abroad classmates and I have mentioned to one another as an incredible rewarding accomplishment.

F3-01(Owen –Reed College–, Florencia –University of La Verne–, Allison –Vanderbilt University–, and Lucía –Wellesley College– riding a bike...)

Give and Receive

Living and studying in another country inevitably involves being exposed to something different: a new language (of course), new customs and time tables that could be radically different from what one is used to, a different way to understand life, education, or even human relationships. The students of the CIEE Advanced Liberal Arts program in the University of Barcelona (UB) have the opportunity – and the good fortune, I would say – to be exposed to these differences from the very beginning of their stay in Barcelona: in their regular classes in the different departments of the UB, as well as in many diverse activities organized by CIEE through the term such as linguistic exchanges, cultural or volunteer activities, or through study groups at the CIEE Barcelona site led by UB local students. These personal relationships between American and Spanish students are not always easy, nor do they necessarily appear spontaneously. Like other aspects of life, personal relationships require time and dedication; it is necessary to accept from the first moment that what you give is also what you receive, but also that a person naturally receives what they give. It is the magical balance between giving and receiving.

F3-1(Sasha –George Washington University–, Nicole –Tulane University–, Maya –UC San Diego–, Kassandra –University of La Verne–, and Ralitsa –Columbia University–, in front of Bilbao Guggenheim Museum during the CIEE weekend trip)

When Samia and Dani, two students from the Philology department of the University of Barcelona, started their academic internships in October at CIEE Barcelona, I knew that, in their contact with the American students from our different study programs, they would quickly find this balance of giving and receiving. The tasks and goals of these two students were quite clear: take their first steps as educators taking the hands of some students that specifically needed these other “local” hands to guide them, and to improve their comprehension and integration into this new life and new educational system. But, I am not sure if Samia and Dani were aware during those first days of October that their generosity and fantastic work with the students would go in two directions. As I said before, they face the fortunate cycle of giving and receiving. These testimonials will better explain what I am trying to say…

Dani, UB Student
My name is Daniel Cuní Díez. This semester I collaborated with CIEE during my external curricular internship. I am currently seeking study a Master’s degree in Spanish as a Foreign Language in Professional Environments at the University of Barcelona. Because of my connection with the UB, I participated in some activities for the Advanced Liberal Arts program.

I have been able to improve my teaching practice by organizing tutoring sessions for the students that were taking Spanish language courses in CIEE Barcelona, but also leading study groups for the ALA students that were taking direct enrolment courses in the Spanish Philology Department at the UB. I assisted them, most especially on literary themes, since many of them do not have academic training in this area. In addition, I presented them with a general panorama of literature in Spain and in Europe, and I also resolved specific doubts they had about the topics. In my case, I focused on Spanish Illustration and I explained the contents through text analyses.

My experience has been really positive in several aspects, given that the relationship with the students was really close and rewarding. I have increased my overall competence in relation to Spanish as a foreign language and, most importantly, I learned new things about the American educational system, which is really different from the Spanish one.

F3-2(Alicia –Carnegie Mellon University–, Rocio –Wingate University–, and Emma –Columbia University– with Dani)

Samia, UB student
My name is Samia Aderdouch and I am a student intern seeking a Master's Degree in Spanish as a Foreign Language in Professional Environments at the University of Barcelona. I have completed my internship at CIEE and my experience in tutoring American students of the ALA program has been fantastic.

Typically, the tutoring sessions covered subjects that I had already studied while majoring in Hispanic Philology, so I was able to explain my own experiences with the subjects and professors and give them lots of advice as well. It has also been a great opportunity to see how American students are and what aspects are more difficult for them. For example, when discussing literature, they often did not know all the historical or literary context of the novels.

And since I had never given classes before, I discovered how they work, what things I have to improve on and what subjects are easier for me... And I've always tried to do my best by getting involved a lot and helping them to the fullest. My goal was that they pass their exams successfully–something I think I have achieved.

Additionally, the students were always very nice, so during the various classes I always felt very comfortable and that I had a good rapport with them, likely because our ages were very similar.

F3-3(Sophie –Princeton University–, Haley and Allison –Vanderbilt University–, and Emma –Columbia University–, with Samia)

Emma, Columbia University
Samia’s and Dani’s “tutorías” completely eased my transition into Spanish academic life. The classes I enrolled in at the University of Barcelona – Spanish narrative in the 20th Century and Spanish Enlightenment literature – took some adjusting to, especially because Spanish isn’t my native language. During the tutorías, I was able to ask Samia and Dani questions I hadn’t been able to pose in class, as well as have engaging discussions to supplement the UB’s more lecture-oriented style. Samia and Dani were quite knowledgeable about the subject matter and they were able to explain complex literary and philosophical concepts in a way that I could understand despite the language barrier. It was also nice to spend time with Spanish students whose interests are similar to mine. Overall, the tutorías were an academic highlight of my time in Barcelona!

F3-4

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.

Paraninfo Nueva

(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.

 

 

09/22/2017

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.

Diada Castellers ALL students Castellers Laura

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.

Jordina foodtracks Jordina cena

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!

Cocinar Sara

Sara Martín_lunch

Sara Martín_dinner Marc_dinner

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!

Todos_pizza

Entrada 6_PEND

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!

Fotos entrada 6

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!

Fotos entrada 4

02/06/2017

Liberal Arts, Spring 2017, Newsletter I

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

Here there are student´s opinions about it:

Homestay: “I really wanted the full cultural experience”

Nopell from Fordham University

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

Taylor from Vanderbilt University

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

Haley from University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

01/30/2017

Global Architecture + Design, Spring 2017, Newsletter i

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Barcelona Global AD students have been in the city for almost four weeks now, and we would like to share with you one of our Spring ‘17 students’ impressions. Curran (Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo) talks in this short video about his thoughts and challenges for an adventure that has recently begun: how the Barcelona Global AD academic program is pushing him outside of his comfort zone and into areas he had never explored before, and how it is making him reconsider what architecture is and what technology can do. As it couldn’t be otherwise, in the video Curran also discusses his cultural and linguistic adjustment to Barcelona, and how Sagrada Familia, Gaudí’s masterpiece, left him speechless!

 

11/29/2016

Having fun with my new friends! by Marta Delgado

I have shared lots of good moments with the girls of my apartment Sydney, Erica and Margaret since their arrival to Barcelona. We shared panellets and chestnuts during the typical festivity of la Castañada in Cataluña.

We have done other things together: we shared moments in the kitchen preparing delicious food and having lunch or dinner together in the apartment. We also like going to eat tapas together and to try new things. 

What we like doing the most is sharing moments when we are together at home having a tea or an ice-cream.

I hope they feel as if they were at home.

Pictures