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5 posts from July 2014

07/29/2014

LANGUAGE AND CULTURE, NEWSLETTER, SUMMER 2014, ISSUE II

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Hi there!

The Session two in Seville went great! We had the best of luck having a lot of wonderful students with us in this second session.

Orientation went really well and students were placed in the class they were interested in.

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We finally offered ten classes in this session and we create an additional section for the Advanced Spanish class due to the high number of students who wanted to improved their Spanish, and we love that!

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All the students had the opportunity of getting to know beautiful places in Spain in the daytrip and overnight trips organized by CIEE-Seville. Cordoba was the first trip of the session and the Alcazar and the Mosque-Cathedral were visited. The second trip was Granada, where the students could spend a night in that wonderful city and get to know the Alhambra, one of the most charming monuments in the world.

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Finally, students participated actively in the Actividades de Apoyo Lingüístico (AAL). These are fun activities led by local students and they do different activities, like going to a picnic, to an outdoor cinema, to ride a pedal boat. In these activities locals are invited to assist so that our participants can meet people from Seville.

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I wish you a great summer!
Jorge Rodríguez

07/25/2014

SUMMER INTERNSHIP 2014, NEWSLETTER, ISSUE II

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THE END

It is hard to say goodbye at the end of each program. We hope that our students keep fond memories of their time with us and feel confident that they are taking away something very important from their many experiences in addition to their increased knowledge and new business experience. Students were extremely satisfied with their internship experiences that began with the Internship Forum. We are confident that it helped them to gain very valuable practical work experience and cultural insight.

With regards to the academics, Spanish for Students of Business was a hands-on course that empowered students with an increased business vocabulary and the ability to understand and analyze documents common to the business world. Many of the students rated this course as very challenging and rewarding. A new seminar has been included this summer:  The Spanish Business Sector and Morocco and its economy: relationship with Spain led by a professor in the CIEE´s BS program.

To make the program more attractive and interesting for student an activity with the participation of a group of Portuguese students were organized this semester "Negotiation across cultures".

To give the students an inside look to a Spanish business and to help them to learn some of the differences between the work environment of the US and Spain we organized two company visits. Summer Internship Program students visited Xtraice and Sevilla FC.

A special feature of the Summer Internship Program is our trip to Morocco. During this trip, students visited local businesses and organizations which helped them to compare, and contrast Spanish and Moroccan work settings. During the trip, students visited the “Tetouan State Vocational School” where students learned how to work with the typical wood, leather, silver and gold crafts from the area. Students enjoyed their free time to go shopping with in the local markets in Tangier.

But Morocco has not been the only trip that we take. Discovering Andalusia is an important part of the Summer Internship Program as well. During their first weekend in Seville, participants had the chance to join us on a trip to Cordoba, a city that was once one of the largest and most important in all of Western Europe. Under Muslim rule, during the 10th century, Cordoba was a cultural, economic and architectural marvel.  During our visit, students toured its 14-century synagogue, as well as Cordoba’s Mezquita, a beautiful and fascinating 8th-century mosque, which now has a somewhat peculiar baroque cathedral built inside of it.

In June, students visited Cadiz, the oldest city in Europe that offers a highly interesting mixture of history, culture, architecture and landscape. Another important trip was the overnight to Granada. Students had the possibility to experience the Islamic historical legacy that makes Granada a hot spot among cultural and tourist cities in Spain. Students were given a tour of the Alhambra, the Royal Chapel, Generalife and enjoyed free time to explore the city.

We believe the students have enjoyed every single aspect of their experience in the program and in the city and we hope to be reminded a longtime.

In closing, we’d like to thank everybody for supporting the CIEE Summer Internship Program. 

07/17/2014

My volunteer experience

This post is by María Alatorre, a Spanish major at Indiana University. During the Fall 2013 semester she was participating in the the CIEE Liberal Arts program.

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One of my main reasons for studying abroad was to completely immerse myself in a different culture and make connections with people from all over the world. While simply being here has given me the opportunity to do both of these things, I wanted to have a deeper connection with the community of Seville and not feel like a tourist all the time. Volunteering seemed like a great way to achieve these goals!

A little more than halfway into the semester, Olga Merino, Resident Coordinator of Sevilla CIEE Liberal Arts, sent an email about volunteering at Escuela Cultura de Paz. Since I was enjoying my time volunteering at the hospital so much, and I still had some more free time to spare, I decided to volunteer with the school too.

Escuela Cultura de Paz is located in Amate neighborhood. Nora Marti, another CIEE student, also comes to the school. I really love this voluntariado because I get to interact with students ranging from ages 12 to mid-40’s. Most of them are so eager and excited to have us, that you too feel excited to share your knowledge of the English language and American culture. The students are muy graciosos and hard-working, the teachers are so dedicated and friendly, and it’s just fun! I look forward to every Monday and Wednesday. Amate is described as one of the “more disfavored zones in Sevilla”. One of the teachers there described the neighborhood as “depressed” and in need of a lot of help. For the people on the outside looking in, it seems as if many of the kids have
no dreams or hopes of leaving the neighborhood to do bigger and better things. I think that’s all hogwash. Every kid wants to be successful; they just might not have the means or resources to do so. It reminds me of the school system in my hometown, in which public schools were looked down upon and private schools were seen as the best of the best. Since I went to a public high school, I guess I feel like I can relate to these kids. But without making this a political thing, bottom line is, these kids want to learn English, and how to pronounce the words correctly. Their grammar is great, but because they hardly practice actually speaking the language, they do not feel comfortable speaking English. There is actually a need for them to practice speaking English and as a student, I could fulfill that need! The students curious about the world, about life in the United States, and by talking to us, they can get some of their questions answered. What I personally really hope they get from us going there once or twice a week is the concept that the world is theirs for the taking. When I was in middle and high school, numerous people inspired me to set my own dreams and work hard to achieve them. They’re a huge reason why I believed enough in myself to apply to college and to hope for something bigger and better than myself. These children have their whole futures ahead of them, and I want them to have nothing but a positive view on what their lives can and will be.

I highly encourage you to volunteer at Escuela Cultura de Paz. The teachers are really hoping for more American students to come in and simply talk to these children. I keep hearing from Spanish students our age that even though they learned English grammar and vocabulary in school, they didn’t receive enough practice speaking the language. You can help fix that, even if just a lit
tle bit! Seriously, they just want to hear you speak, so that they can hear the correct pronunciation of words and phrases, and then they want to practice. For example, the first day, we just introduced ourselves, literally spending a whole class answering questions about ourselves and the American lifestyle. The second day, we did an exercise in which I would read one or two
sentences at a time, have them repeat it and translate the text, and then work on words that would give them pronunciation problems. If you’re looking for what Olga Merino describes as the “whole Spanish experience”, then start volunteering! It’s a great way to gain an inside look into real-life Spanish culture, makes you feel a bit more connected to your current community, lets you practice your Spanish, and lets them practice their English. If nothing else, you’ll get some great memories. And hopefully brighten one person’s day

07/06/2014

Sherry Wine (Part II) - Wines from Spain Interest Group - CIEE Liberal Arts Program

BodegaslagitanalogoLast Spring the Interest Group "The wines from Spain" from the CIEE Liberal Arts Program in Seville  held two sessions about one of the most popular wines in Spain: Sherry Wine.

The first session was offered at our Study Center, (click here for more details), but for the second session we visited one of the only 3 cities in the world that can produce Sherry Wine: Sanlúcar de Barrameda.

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In this beautiful coastal town, we visited one of the main Sherry producer wineries, La Gitana, where we learned about the history of this old winery, established only 16 years after the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America.

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During the visit it was awesome to get to know some business numbers as well as some production data, but the best part was when we tasted the amazing wines that they produce in that winery: Amontillado and Manzanilla Sherry. The special weather in Sanlúcar during the whole year, due to the characteristics of the Town, that it's built at two levels, one at sea level and the other a little bit higher, the Guadalquivir River, the Atlantic Ocean and Doñana National Park makes the wines from this Town so unique.

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Amontillado Napoleón: Amontillado is a unique wine produced from the complete fermentation of palomino grape unfermented juice. Fruit of the fusion of two different types of ageing processes (both biological and oxidative), amontillado is an extraordinarily complex and interesting Sherry. The wines that we tasted have been aging in the winery for at least 20 years! This wine has its perfect pairing with fish or old cheese.

Manzanilla La Gitana: The unique micro-climatic conditions of the town, facilitate the growth of a film of yeast (flor, in Spanish) with very special characteristics. As a consequence, biologically aged wines produced in Sanlúcar have special organoleptic characteristics which differentiate them from those of the rest of the Region. This wine has been aging in this winery for at least 6 years and is the most popular Manzanilla in Spain and also perfect for tapas. 

Manzanilla Pastrana: The main difference of this Sherry with La Gitana is just that it's about twice the age of the previous one. Its tangy saline flavor makes it the ideal pairing for a variety of tapas including almonds, olives, manchego cheese, shrimp, etc.

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Now, we can only agree with Eric Asimov of the New York Times (2008), “To me, there is no better aperitif in the world than a glass of manzanilla, though with a seafood or sushi dinner I’ve been known to drink it throughout the entire meal.” (Click here to see the full article on NY Times)

07/02/2014

Grupo de Interés Sevilla y las Américas - Liberal Arts Program

El grupo de Interés Sevilla & las Américas visitó el pasado mes de Abril la ciudad de Lisboa como actividad final del grupo.  Todos los estudiantes y yo (Sergio Jiménez, coordinador del grupo) nos reunimos en una de las puertas del edificio principal de la Universidad de Sevilla, desde la que  partió el bus que nos llevaría directo a Lisboa.

Tras las cinco horas de viaje y dos paradas en el camino, al fin llegamos a nuestro destino. Nuestra primera parada en Lisboa fue en el Hostel, que estaba situado en el centro de la ciudad (tres minutos a pie de la Plaza del Comercio). Desde el Hostel nos desplazamos a pie a un restaurante típico Portugués donde todos pudimos probar uno de los platos típicos de la gastronomía portuguesa como es el Frango (Pollo a la brasa).

Al finalizar nuestro gran almuerzo y haber recargado bien las pilas, nos fuimos a visitar algunos de los monumentos más famosos de  Lisboa como: La torre de Belem, el monumento a los Descubridores y el monasterio de los Jerónimos… como última visita del tour, hicimos una parada en la Pastelería Belem para probar dos deliciosos pasteles de nata muy famosos en las tierras portuguesas. Desde allí el bus nos llevo al hostel donde nos reunimos a la hora de la cena para comer unas pizzas mientras hablábamos y jugábamos al billard.

Para nuestro segundo día de viaje nos levantamos temprano para tomar el desayuno en nuestro hostel y desde allí salir dirección Sintra, donde visitamos el Palacio Da Pena… las vistas de camino al palacio desde el bus fueron increíbles. Tras visitar Sintra, nos fuimos directamente al showground de la Expo’98 de Lisboa, allí hicimos un tour por los pabellones más famosos de la muestra y para finalizar, hicimos un recorrido en las telecabinas que recorre todo el recinto de la Expo. Al terminar el recorrido en el teleférico nos fuimos a almorzar a la zona de restaurantes de la Expo.

Para clausurar el día visitamos el castillo medieval de San Jorge que se encuentra en una de las colinas de Lisboa, desde la que bajamos en la línea 28 del tranvía hacia el centro de la ciudad.

Nuestro último día de viaje lo dedicamos a realizar un pequeño crucero por el río Tajo, que nos ofreció una vista panorámica diferente de la ciudad. Desde allí fuimos a disfrutar de unas horas libres para almorzar y visionar la ciudad. Tras estas horas de tiempo libre, nos despedimos de la ciudad pero sin olvidarnos de hacer una parada a la salida de la ciudad y visitar el Cristo Rei. Ya desde allí y ahora sí, nos despedimos de Lisboa y comenzamos nuestro viaje de vuelta a Sevilla