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5 posts from April 2018


Liberal Arts | Spring 2018 | Newsletter III


Spring semester is gone and we wish students had an enriching cultural experience in Barcelona. Here it is some of their experiences:  

Host family bounding

Foto Matt

Foto Matt 3
Foto Matt 3

Matt from Vanderbilt University had a wonderful experience with his host family. They did activities together; excursions, day trips and even dressing up for Mardi Gras! He commented he had a great experience, he practiced his Spanish a lot and he recommends it to future students.

“A stereotype is a simplified image of a reality”

Emily from Vanderbilt University took the UPF class: “From stereotypes to transcultural dialogue: A Critical Approach to culture” where she learned about how to develop a critical perspective of a new culture. This is her final project:

Re-entry Workshop to learn strategies for adjustment back in the States

Foto re-entry 2
Foto re-entry 2

Liberal Arts students participated in the Re-entry Workshop, a session dedicated to reflect on their experience studying abroad in Barcelona, to understand the re-entry process and challenges, to learn strategies for adjustment and ways to stay globally engaged and how to incorporate their experiences into their daily lives. One of the activities consisted in sharing their best memory of the semester while forming a web between them, symbolizing their interconnection. Some of the best memories of our students shared were related to their experiences living with a host family, meeting new friends and travelling.

Language + Culture | Spring 2018 | Newsletter III


Spring semester is gone and students are back home. In our last newsletter, you can learn about student’s volunteer and intercultural experiences. We hope students now are better global citizens after their enriching cultural experience in Barcelona!

“The hour I spent volunteering was always the highlight of my week “

Foto Jake

Jake from Vanderbilt University volunteered as English Teaching Assistant at Escola Pía  16-17 year old kids.  Jake commented "I had an amazing experience with my estudiantes at Escola Pia! They taught me so much about everything from culture to language to reggaton. The hour I spent every Tuesday was always the highlight of my week, and I am so grateful to CIEE, Escolar Pia, and the group of 25 fantastic 17-year-old Spanish students for such an amazing opportunity."

Here you can find some of the digital videos students made for the CIEE class Intercultural Communication and Leadership about their intercultural experience in Barcelona.

“Being born Mexican, a goal of mine had always been to completely immerse myself in a Hispanic Culture”

Miranda from Cornell University talked about being born Mexican and grown up not learning much Spanish. Being in Barcelona helped her to improve her Spanish a lot and to appreciate her own culture.

“Going abroad shaped my perspective on how our cultures are distinctly unique”

Adam from Cornell University focused his storytelling project in going beyond the pictures. He commented: “Studying abroad rounded my understanding for what my culture deems normal, while others sincerely question.” 


Global Architecture + Design, Spring 2018, Newsletter III


Another edition of Global Architecture + Design has ended and our students have completed their academic work. On Monday, the IaaC hosted the final presentations of the CIEE Global Architecture and Design Program, with the participation of Enrich Llorach, Chiara Farinea, Mireia Luzárraga, Rodrigo Aguirre, Johana Monroy and Alex Mademochoritis as Jury members. In the next video, Mathilde Marengo, instructor of the Future Cities Studio, explains the nature of the project during the Final Presentations:

 WhatsApp Image 2018-04-26 at 14.59.45 (4)

The Studio project was oriented towards the development of a productive envelope, to be partially prototyped, with an ecological metabolism, aimed at putting into discussion the link and/or relationship between nature and artifice, and more specifically the future ecology and productivity in our urban areas. A large-scale propagation strategy was also developed, allowing for an impact evaluation of the proposal in an urban framework. 

The students explored various techniques to study the urban phenomena that are linked to digital tools in order to find site specific context-related data. They created apps or tools that were able to provide information, which can be mapped and represented through physical models, and applied this data in the formulation of parametric derived forms, which are responsive to local conditions.

With the instruction from leading designers and innovators in the field, students were able to broaden their perspective through cultural exploration, advance their academic studies with globally relevant issues, and gain a professional edge by learning advanced design techniques and cutting-edge technologies.

This term's 11 students where split in 4 groups, 2 of which focused on energy production and the other 2 on food production. Below you can check their final prototypes and final videos:


By Sarah and Jessica, from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

 WhatsApp Image 2018-04-26 at 14.59.45 (4)


By Katina from University of Massachusetts Amherst, Gabriella from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and Christine from University of Colorado Boulder


WhatsApp Image 2018-04-26 at 14.59.45 (4)

WhatsApp Image 2018-04-26 at 14.59.45 (4)


By Carla and Madison from University of Colorado Boulder and Julia from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

WhatsApp Image 2018-04-26 at 14.59.45 (4)

WhatsApp Image 2018-04-26 at 14.59.45 (4)


Joseph and Reid from University of Colorado Boulder, and Rohan from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo 

  WhatsApp Image 2018-04-26 at 14.59.45 (4)

Economics + Culture, Spring 2018, Newsletter III


The semester has come to its end. It is time for students to bid farewell to Barcelona and be conscious about their experience here. Aside from the more personal experiences they may have had, it must not be forgotten that this study abroad program is mainly an academic one. That's why some students wanted to take part in this newsletter by talking about their favorite courses in Barcelona, either at CIEE or at our host institution, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.

Check them out in the following videos:

Yvonne, from Colgate University 

Shahnoor, from Carnegie Mellon University

On the other hand, as an example of what students can give back to the city while abroad, here we see Peter (College of William and Mary), Justin (George Washington University) and Yvonne (Colgate University). They participated as volunteers in the Barcelona Marathon, clearly showing that, besides academics, studying abroad can provide a great opportunity to grow as a person.

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Advanced Liberal Arts, Spring 2018, Newsletter II



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.


(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.

(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.


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.