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5 posts from July 2013


Summer Language & Culture. Hasta luego.


It is always hard to say goodbye but most of the Language & Culture students just told us “hasta
. They are already thinking in returning to Seville to teach Spanish or have new experiences in the city.

They have had a great experience with the classes, that they have defined as “an unique offer” and “incredibly educationnally experience”. The Camino Class has exceeded all expectations again this year including the wonderful evaluations after the one week pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela
with their professor. Students in the Flamenco class have had the opportunity to learn about the hisstory and the main trends at the present of the most traditional music in Spain. They have also attended dance workshops to learn the basic steps of the sevilllanas.

Wonderful evaluations of the Spanish Culture & Civilization students for the visit to a 19th century bull farm. They were able to see the peasantry quarters, olive press, pig pen, the farm office and a final tour on the back of tractor to the bull pen.

This Summer CIEE staff has worked again to reinforce the language commitment for those students willing to. Weekly activities with Spaniards have been organized in every session and attendance has been very significant. Outdoors sports in the river, bike rides, visits to local companies or movies in Spanish have been some of their activities to facilitate their integration to the local society.

Bullfarm- Culture and Civilization Class





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.

Sin título

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. Four new seminars which have been highly rated by the students have been included in the Business Internship course: The Local Economy: Spain and Andalusia, The European Union and the role of Spain, The Spanish Business Sector and Morocco and its economy: relationship with Spain led by professors in the School of Business at the University of Seville and CIEE´s BS program.

To make the program more attractive and interesting for students two different activities with the participation of local students (Help me revise my resume) and a group of Portuguese students were organized this semester (Negotiation across Cultures)

We have implemented a company visit system in order 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. Summer Internship Program students visited X-Traice and Seville F.C.

 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 Larinor, an important clothing manufacturing company because of to its main Spanish clients: Zara, Mango, Massimo Dutti, etc. They also 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 Cadiz, the oldest city in Europe that offers a highly interesting mixture of history, culture, architecture and landscape. 

In June, students visited 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.

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 think 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. 



My “firsts”

This post is by Katherine M., an Accounting and  Finance major and Spanish major student at the Indiana University. During the summer 2013 she is participating in the CIEE Summer Internship Program.

For me coming to Spain and studying in Sevilla has been everything I expected and so much more. I’ve been struggling with what to write for this blog because I have been extremely pleased with CIEE, this program, and this beautiful city and I know my words can’t do it justice. This is frustrating to me because the level of satisfaction I am at with everything leaves me feeling obligated to shout from the highest of mountains “COME TO SEVILLA, STUDY WITH CIEE, WATCH YOURSELF GROW! GO! GO! GO!” and convince “todo el mundo” to study here (with zero monetary compensation for my efforts).

I’ve decided that the best way to give a snapshot of my experience is to include a list of “firsts” that I experienced and that are quite possible for you to experience. I’m including some of the good, bad and the ugly but don’t worry, I will still leave some mystery to the experience. Disclaimer: some of these firsts are due solely to my stupidity.  

You’ll always remember…

“Firsts” Related to Language:

  • The first time you realize it is impossible to become fluent in 8 weeks and die inside.
  • The first time you successfully tell a joke or funny story to a Spaniard and they actually laugh!
  • The first time you go to a bar and think you ordered a bucket of beer only to realize you actually ordered a meat and cheese platter.
  • The first time you laughed at something you thought you understood but turns out the topic of discussion is not funny at all and you’re actually talking about a murderer…
  • The first time you make a successful phone call in Spanish
  • The first time you call an airline that only speaks Spanish
  • The first time you have an intellectual conversation in Spanish. Mine was about politics/abortion/religion.
  • The first business presentation you fully grasp.
  • The first time you get yelled at from hotel staff in Spanish (and actually understand)
  • The first time you realize people are talking about you in Spanish… and you can call them out on it!
  • The first time you successfully argue with a restaurant to get some ridiculous charge off your bill
  • The first time you have absolutely no idea how to express yourself 



“Firsts” Related to Your Homestay:

  • That moment the taxi driver leaves you at your homestay and gives you this look of “You’re on your own, Lady!” and you just want to scream a little.
  • Your first time getting lost on the way home (and you’ll probably remember you’re third and fourth….)
  • The first time you finally know how to get home but still cannot figure out how to open all of the doors/locks to your apartment
  • The first time you realize your senora will in fact have to wash your dirty underwear (for the benefits of everyone, don’t try and avoid this one…)
  • The first time you see your underwear hanging outside your apartment for all the neighbors to see.
  • The first meal you have with you’re host family
  • The first meal you are served and you have no idea what you’re eating
  • The first meal love
  • The first time you realize you never want to leave.
  • The first time you’re invited out in public with your family!
  • The first time you actually feel comfortable going..
  • The first time you think you might actually melt from the heat here
  • The first 5 shirts you sweat through…. Just kidding its really not that bad

“Firsts” Related to Social Life:

  • The first person you met in your program
  • Your first American friend here
  • Your first Spanish friend here
  • The first time you get homesick
  • The first time you realize you’ll definitely be friends with someone after the program is over
  • The first time you realize you are way too close to the people in your program for only knowing them 7 weeks
  • The first time you realize PDA is as common as seeing a birds fly
  • The first time you decide it’s okay to participate in the previously stated activity (to be like the Spaniards, of course) but completely over do it!
  • The first time you don’t stand out as an American student but actually blend
  • The first time you look in the mirror and realize you should stop eating ice cream everyday



“Firsts” Related to Your Internship:

  • The first time you’re on your own to write an email in Spanish
  • Your first interview completely in Spanish
  • The first time you send an important email with a grammatical or spelling error
  • The moment you realize you’re not nearly as smart as you thought you were
  • The first time your co-workers invite you to come on coffee breaks with them
  • The first time you do something that has significant importance to it
  • The first time you realize your boss and co-workers appreciate the work you do and the effort you put it

“Firsts” Related to Self-Discovery:

  • The first time you realize your life is changing in that exact moment
  • The first time you evaluate your hopes/dreams and then change them

 And one moment you will never forget is the moment you realize you are a better and more well rounded version of yourself compared to the one that arrived 8 weeks prior.  





Company visit

On July 3rd, the Summer Internship visited <X-Traice, a company that is the exclusive developer and manufacturer of a unique kind of synthetic ice. Students visited the headquarters office where they learned about Xtraice’s company and also they had the chance to try this new surface skating in the ice rink that they have for visitors.



Trip to Morocco

On Thursday, June 27th, the Summer Internship students travelled to this amazing country in the North of Africa, Morocd Tetouan, Tangier and Chef Chaouen. During this trip, students had the opportunity to visit local businesses and organizations which helped them to compare, and contrast Spanish and Moroccan work settings. They visited Larinor, an important clothing manufacturing company because of to its main Spanish clients: Zara, Mango, Massimo Dutti, etc. They also visited the “Tetouan State Vocational School” where students saw how Moroccan youth are taught to work with the typical wood, leather, silver and gold crafts from the area.

A day before leaving to Morocco, they attended an informative session about the Morocco travel. In this session students received information about business, economics, culture and safety in Morocco as well as information about the company and the cities that they are visiting this weekend. 



What once seemed so strange, now is normal

This post is by Jacquelyn B., a Business Administration and Spanish major student at the University of Evansville. During the summer 2013 she is participating in the CIEE Summer Internship Program.

After spending an amazing weekend in Morocco, I returned to work today and couldn´t help but laugh at how what once seemed so strange has now become normal and routine.  For example, my day starts with breakfast of tostada (toasted bread & butter) followed by my commute via Sevilla´s bike sharing system, Sevici, and walking to work.  While I once was nervous biking in a narrow bike lane and dodging pedestrians, now I enjoy the cool temperatures of the morning while passing the Wall of Macarena-part of the city walls that once encircled the entire historic center of Sevilla.  My route takes me past the Andalusian Parliament and next to the Guadalquivir River. As I park my bike at a Sevici stand and walk the rest of the way to my building, I can see the ¨wildlife¨ of ducks and birds, a stark contrast from the business of the city center.

Group photo morocco 2

My time at work begins by greeting my coworkers (only two-I work at a very small consulting firm) and checking my work email. Getting used to a Spanish keyboard and Spanish versions of software was very challenging at first. My boss and I both hate Microsoft Word. It doesn´t matter what language it´s in, the formatting process is still a nightmare!  Today, I had emails from places all over the world as the firm is trying to build a global network of contacts. This is my favorite part of my job, minus the coffee breaks.

The coffee breaks are great, because I get a chance to talk with my coworkers and really use my Spanish.  Today, we talked about my trip to Morocco and plans for going to the beach this weekend.  We laughed at the camel pics and talked about the differences-like most Spaniards I have talked with, they have not visited Morocco.

My experience here has definitely been stretching-whether from the difference in meal times (Eating dinner after 10 is perfectly normal) to the concept of time (in the US, we do not refer to 8pm as in the ¨afternoon¨ while 2pm is ¨mediodia¨).  Watching the Spanish news has become a daily way for me to understand more about the country and connect with my host family.  If all else fails in conversation, talk about the beach. It´s everyone´s weekend respite from the intense summer heat in Sevilla.

Even simple things, like not being able to go to the supermercado on Sundays can be frustrating at first, but represent a facet of Spanish culture that I respect-the importance of family.  No one here would be required to work Thanksgiving (if they had such a holiday) and the idea of Black Friday is as foreign as a siesta would be to us.  Many in their 20s still live with their parents, and are bewildered that I live three hours away from my parents.

While I have less than two weeks left here, I know that I will miss going to tapear at night (eating one or two tapas at different restaurants) and the amazing ice cream shops.  There´s nothing like eating dinner at midnight and looking over at the table next to you and seeing kids about six years old still out with their parents, a perfectly normal occurrence here.

I hope that when I look back on my time in Sevilla, I will always have fond memories.  This experience has helped me better understand my values and the culture I grew up in while opening my eyes to other ways of thinking, living, and of course, cooking.  Where would Spain be without gazpacho?