Not sure what program is right for you? Click Here

© 2011. All Rights Reserved.

Study Abroad in

Back to Program Back to Blog Home

16 posts categorized "Gastronomy"


Advanced Liberal Arts, Spring 2018, Newsletter III


In and out of the classroom

In CIEE we believe that the learning experience should be polyhedral and should not limit itself to two weekly sessions in class during the term. The acquisition and assimilation of ideas, opinions and content that is produced strictly in the academic setting must be extended into the other spheres of the life of a student. Said in another way: that which is learned in class should be complemented – and on occasion refuted – out of it.

The CIEE Advanced Liberal Arts Program in the UB has many tools to make this possible: spaces for open debate about current socio-political issues mediated by our professors who help contextualize the contents of the courses, the “Diálogos” (open classes to all students of the program where two of our professors have a dialogue about a subject from the perspective of their specialization), museums visits, art expositions, conferences, cinema sessions, or our Cultural Week are only some examples. But without a doubt, one of the best examples of this effort of CIEE to expand and complement the academic experience out of the walls of the classroom is the trip that we organized at the beginning of May to the North of Catalonia and to the South of France.

The first leg of our trip brought us to the Exile Memorial Museum (MUME), an interpretation center which recalls the exiles brought about by the Civil War in Spain, a conflict inseparably linked to the Europe of the ascent of totalitarianism and which was the prelude to the Second World War. This museum is located at the same border crossing where most of the exiles fled, and our students had a perspective that links the past with the present, since the conflicts that cause exiles have been a constant in the history of the 20th century and continue to be so today. Thanks to this visit, our students taking “Contemporary Spain”, “Masterworks in Catalan Art”, or “Literature & Cinema in Spain” could understood much better some of the content explained during the term in those CIEE courses.


Another leg of our journey was to the French city of Colliure, a beautiful place next to the Mediterranean Sea and which was the inspiration of great artists of the past century such as André Derain, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, James Dickson Innes or Tsuguharu Fujita. in Colliure, our students were able to walk along the cobbled streets and enjoy a pleasant day by the beach, in addition to visiting the cemetery that contains the tomb of Spanish poet Antonio Machado, who fled to Colliure to escape advancing Francoist troops at the end of the Spanish Civil War in 1939, and where he died.

SP3-C(Colliure, France)
SP3-C(ALA students reading poems by Spanish poet Antonio Machado in front of his tomb at the Colliure cemetery)

This academic and personal experience that our students live during their stay in CIEE Barcelona would not be possible without the work and the solid commitment of our professors. The latest to be incorporated onto the team of professors of the ALA program has been Dr. Manel Risques, who teaches the CIEE course "Contemporary Spain".

Jack & Daniel about Dr. Manel Risques

When we first came to Barcelona and we were registering for courses, we both had not planned on taking the CIEE course "Contemporary Spain." Due to changes in our schedule, however, we ended up joining this class, and the experience more than exceeded our expectations. The ability to learn and understand the history of this beautiful country and the nuances of its government have been extremely rewarding. Taking this course allowed us to better appreciate the city we lived in and the sociopolitical climate its people are currently experiencing. Not only was the class itself an incredible immersion into Spanish politics, which allowed us to gain a richer global understanding that we can now apply to US/International Relations, but the opportunity to have met Dr. Manel Risques and been taught by one of the leading experts in Contemporary Catalan/Spanish politics was one of the best aspects of our study abroad experience. Having him as a professor inspired and motivated us, and although we now part ways, we are thankful to have gained Manel as a mentor and most importantly, a friend. 

SP3-3(Jack –Columbia University– and Daniel –Bowdoin College– with UB and CIEE professor Dr. Manel Risques)


Meet Our Faculty

Dr. Manel Risques has been a Professor in the History Department at the University of Barcelona since 1978. His research has been focused on the Catalan social movements, general Franco’s dictatorship period, and the Spanish transition process to democracy. He has published numerous articles in specialized journals such as "Recerques" and "L'Avenç", and he has curated important exhibitions such as "Catalonia Under the Franco Regime” (Universitat de Barcelona, 1985), "1939. Barcelona, Year Zero” (Museu d'Història de la Ciutat, 1999), "Franco’s Prisons” (Museu d'Història de Catalunya, 2003), and the international congress "The Concentration Camps and Prisons in Spain During the Civil War and the Dictatorship Period” (Museu d'Història de Catalunya, 2002). Among his extensive bibliography are remarkable titles such as “The Civil Government of Barcelona in the XIX Century” (1995), “History of Contemporary Catalonia” (1999, with Àngel Duarte, Borja de Riquer and Josep M. Roig), “Process to the Civil Guard: Barcelona 1939” (2001, with Carles Barrachina), “Amnesty Time: The Demonstrations of February 1st, 1976 in Barcelona” (2001, with David Ballester), and “Democratic Identity or Spanish Unionist Tradition” (2003).



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


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!


Entrada 6_PEND


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.



Living with my US flatmates! By Sergi Velasco

It was a Friday night and Liron, Ben and I decided to cook something homemade together for dinner. But we are not professional chefs, and what we knew best was “typical and topical student food”, so we got ready to cook the typical Student meal. J

We went to the supermarket to buy the ingredients, we put some background music to cook and we did some ¡¡TACOS!! It was very fun and the truth is that the tacos were really good.

3During the month of November, in the apartment we have organized some movie sessions with the Halloween theme. We prepared ourselves properly: we put some popcorn in the microwave, we fixed the technical difficulties with the computer, we closed the lights and action!

The first movie that we saw was Halloweentown, a horror movie which is a classic in the USA.  After that we saw the movie Los Otros, by Alejandro Amenábar, which is a horror and mystery movie.





Spanish Dinner in our Flat! By Javier Marban


On September 27th, our Flat buddie Javier organized a Spanish dinner with typical Spanish dishes in the apartment with his flat mates Elliot, Brandon and Jack. In the dinner there were well-known homemade Spanish dishes. CIEE students knew most of them: Paella, Canelones, Tortilla de patatas, Arroz con leche and Pà amb tomàquet

There were some additional typical Spanish products like Chorizo and Queso Manchego


Even though the typical national dishes are already internationally well-known, other products like chorizo or queso were completely unknown for the students, and of course they had a great welcoming! In the dinner there were more students of the CIEE program (students from other apartment).



Name: Hilary
CIEE Barcelona Program:
Liberal Arts
Spring 2014
Home School
: Vanderbilt University

Durante mi tiempo en Barcelona, he tenido muchas experiencias nuevas y divertidas que voy a recordar para el resto de mi vida. Un recuerdo que es muy bonito para mi es cuando mi programa y yo fuimos a una caminata a las colinas de Barcelona y después tuvimos una comida tradicional catalana. Este viaje fue el primer viaje con mi programa nuevo y con las personas que no conocía muy bien. Fue una oportunidad para conocer mi programa mejor y formar amistades duraderas.


Primero, caminamos durante una hora y media al punto más alta de la colina y vimos una vista espectacular. Me quedé muy sorprendida por la belleza de Barcelona y de la capacidad de ver vistas hermosas tan cerca de mi casa en Barcelona. Conecté con la gente de mi programa mientras caminábamos por la colina hasta el restaurante catalán.

Quijotes2Cuando llegamos al restaurante, nos sentamos en una mesa larga en una habitación que tenía una vista espectacular de Barcelona. Los dueños del restaurante trajeron enormes cantidades de comida a nuestra mesa y muchos porrones con vino. Teníamos que aprender a verter el vino para apuntar a la boca en lugar de a la ropa. Fue una experiencia muy divertida y todos se rieron mientras tratábamos de dominar los porrones.

Quijotes3 El primer plato era los calçots que son como una cebolla a la parilla y son delicioso. El próximo plato era un plato grande de carne que incluye cordero, varios tipos de embutidos y carne de res. Nuestro postre era la famosa crema catalana hecha con yema de huevo, leche y azúcar. Todos estábamos llenos al final de la comida y listo para ir a casa a dormir una siesta. ¡Fue una experiencia magnifica en Barcelona!


Comfort Food

Name: Crissy
CIEE Barcelona Program:
Liberal Arts
Spring 2014
Home School
: Colby College

Me encanta la comida y siempre ha jugado un papel muy importante en mi vida. En los Estados Unidos cocinar y la comida me hacen pensar en pasar tiempo con mi familia y con mis mejores amigos, y siempre me produce una sensación de felicidad y un tipo especial de cariño, que sólo existe cuando estoy rodeada de mis personas favoritas y de algunos platos deliciosos.

Durante mi tiempo aquí en Barcelona, y en Europa por lo general, he tenido muchas ocasiones de continuar persiguiendo mis intereses en la esfera de la comida. Sin duda, Barcelona es una ciudad perfecta para los sibaritas de la cocina (“foodies”), porque está llena de restaurantes de cualquier tipo de comida, pastelerías, y mercados (como la famosa Boquería y el precioso mercado de Santa Caterina).

Con CIEE he tenido la oportunidad de participar en algunos talleres muy divertidos de cocina, incluyendo una clase de Cook and Taste y un taller de cómo hornear el pan. Además, a finales de marzo haré una clase sobre cómo preparar el chocolate. En la clase de Cook and Taste aprendimos a cocinar un menú español con una sopa de tomate fría, tortilla española, pan con tomate (pa amb tomàquet, en catalán), paella valenciana y crema catalana. ¡Qué rico! Tengo muchas ganas de intentar recrear estas recetas con mi familia en los Estados Unidos porque a ellos les encanta la comida española.

Sin título-1

Pero a lo mejor lo más importante es probar tantas comidas nuevas como sea posible durante este semestre. Durante los últimos dos meses he decidido comer cualquier comida que encuentro, incluyendo varios pescados con sus cabezas y espinas todavía intactas cuando llegan a la mesa. Confía en tu cocinero y pruébalo todo, ¡la comida siempre va a sorprenderte!

Aquí hay una lista con algunas de las exquisiteces que simplemente tienes que degustar durante un viaje a Barcelona: 

  • Mariscos frescos (de cualquier tipo)
  • Pan con tomate (¡Claro!)
  • Xurros amb xocolata (churros con chocolate, en castellano) en la calle de Petritxol en el Barrio Gótico o Sugiero que pruebes un suizo con churros, ¡es tan rico!
  • Cruasán de la pastelería Hoffman en el barrio del Born (mi favorito está relleno de frambuesas)

Sin título-2

¡Buen provecho!


Peanut Butter and other reasons I love my homestay

Name: Ellen
CIEE Barcelona Program: Language & Culture
Semester: Spring 2014
Home School: University of Colorado Boulder

Before coming to Barcelona I was really torn on which housing assignment to choose. Long story short my advisor from home convinced me to do a homestay and I can honestly say it is the best decision I have made so far. My host family consists of a single mom around the age of 65. She is the absolute cutest women in the world and from day one treated me like her own child. The first time I left the house she ran through a long list of things I may have forgotten. She asked if I had a coat, the keys, an umbrella in case it rained, money, my phone, and my metro ticket. Typical questions my real mom would ask.

A few days after we moved in she heard me talking about how much I love and miss peanut butter. Spoiler alert: they do not eat peanut butter here. The next day I walked into the kitchen for breakfast to find a jar of peanut butter sitting on the table. Not only did she manage to find peanut butter, but she also set out every possible type of bread or fruit that you could eat peanut butter with. She laughed as she watched me try it on all the different things she set out, and I eventually convinced her to try in on a cracker. She loved it.

One detail I forgot to mention, my host mom only speaks Spanish. At times this is a little challenging but we always manage to either laugh and forget about it, or find a dictionary to look up the words we don’t know. Imagine trying to explain how you blew the fuse in the bathroom with your hairdryer in Spanish. I definitely did not learn those vocab words back in the states. No matter what the situation is, it always ends in both of us laughing and eventually figuring it out.

Living in a home stay has made my transition to Barcelona so much easier. Although I am half way across the world from my real home or family, I already feel like I can call this place home. I am beyond excited for the rest of the semester with my host mom!



cafe con leche

Name: Hanna
CIEE Barcelona Program: Language & Culture
Semester: Spring 2014
Home School: University of Colorado Boulder

Whenever I drink coffee in the States I’m running to my 8 am class, hoping I have a spare $5 to give to the incredibly overpriced, yet convenient coffee shop on my way to campus.  In Spain, it’s very different.  No one rushes down the street holding their venti Starbucks as if it’s the key to their own sanity. They, instead, enjoy every taste their coffee brings, which I must say is incomparable to the states.  


I've found enjoying a cafe con leche with my new friends has been one of the most enjoyable way to spend my time here in Barcelona. A few hours becomes a combination of endless conversation with new friends and incredibly enjoyable people watching. 

TheoTheHeroOne day after orientation activities we were having cafe con leche in a little plaza in the Gothic area.  Two men came in the middle of the plaza and began playing lovely music.  Within about ten minutes about several police showed up and actually ticketed him and confiscated his chello! Apparently in the city of Barcelona it is actually illegal to play music in the streets without a permit, something this guy clearly did not have. 


It was a very emotional event for everyone in the plaza.  People were yelling "muy feo" (very ugly) at the police in disapproval.  The man knew he was going to get in trouble and attempted to give his chello to anyone besides the police.  A guy in my program actually tried to help this guy out but then figured it was probably not a good idea to get involved with anything that involves the police! The police ended up taking the man's chello away in a large van.  It is little things like that, that I have been able to while enjoying the Spanish tradition of "cafe con leche".