We’re two weeks into our Spring 2017 semester and all students participating in the Communication, New Media and Journalism CIEE program (CNMJ) are fully involved in their new life in Seville. We're very pleased to welcome students from Elon University, the University of Tulsa, the University of Oregon, University of St. Thomas (MN), Elon University, Villanova University, Indiana University-Bloomington, Denison University, Mount Holyoke College, University of Vermont, Spelman College and University of Colorado Boulder.
Following a rather intense week of onsite orientation, all students are now immersed into their two-week Intensive Session courses in Spanish Grammar or Cultural History of Spain, which will help them tune into their Spanish language and intercultural skills to start their semester abroad with greater confidence. I want to thank our two orientation guides, Salud González and Allach Mohammed, students from the University of Seville, for having accompanied our students during their most exiting yet perhaps most challenging days in Seville. Salud and Allach have helped them acquire the necessary confidence to navigate the city as locals.
During the next few months, CNMJ students will be part of multiple social and cultural events and activities in and out of Seville. It is our hope that their curiosity, fueled by the academic work and projects they will develop, assisted by their professors, will help them be all the more alert and active about the world around and their responsible place in it.
As part of our onsite orientation, students met the highly motivated professors of the CNMJ program, who discussed with them the program's academic components, experiential learning opportunities, and strategies to create links of reciprocity with their host community.
The onsite orientation ended with an inspiring visit to the Royal Palace and gardens of the Alcazar, one of Seville’s UNESCO’s World Heritage sites, for a tour guided by one of our favorite historians and professors, Carlos Sánchez.
This Spring 2017 semester, we will continue hosting our courses at the Centro de Iniciativas Culturales de la Universidad de Sevilla (CICUS), a first-rate cultural institution located at a 2-minute walk from the CIEE study center. In addition to continuing conducting CNMJ's core and elective courses at its media lab, the Digital Video Reporting in Context and the Magazine Reporting and Writing courses, taught respectively by professors Carlos Pineda and Óscar Ceballos, will again be part of CICUS’ formative offer, which will bring several students from the University of Seville into our academic activities, as peers of CNMJ students.
Amongst many other activities, our students and professors will be visiting the town of Cádiz this coming Saturday and the Moroccan town of Chefchaouen at the end of March, where they’ll be hosted by the families of local students.
Our website of student projects, masmenos.es, is undergoing a total renovation with full versions in English and Spanish (the update will conclude within the next couple of weeks). However, it is operational and you can access it to read, watch and listen to all our students’ final projects from the Fall 2016 semester. Their videos, written articles and photos tell stories about individuals from their host community and are their gift to them, their “thank-you” note to a city which has been their home. I have two projects to illustrate this newsletter: “Voces del Huerto” by Grace Hashiguchi (University of Oregon) and “Plaza del Pelícano” by Molly Flerlage (Macalester College). Their contrasting views about the life and the faces of their neighborhood will give you a wonderful idea about their most immediate social environment, in all of its diversity and familiarity. I hope you enjoy them.
Don't miss the opportunity to "like" and start following our Facebook page for regular updates on the program's activities and students’ projects.
At the end of this newsletter, I've also embedded a video we've recently recorded, counting with the collaboration of some of our Fall 2016 students, where we talk about the structure of program, the challenges and opportunities that our students enjoy while creating media projects within the community, living and learning in Seville. I hope you find it comprehensive of our program.
Let's wish our students, professors and staff in Seville good luck at the beginning of this new semester, which I’m sure will be filled with memorable experiences.
Óscar Ceballos, CNMJ RD