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8 posts from September 2013



This post is by Kathryn Boyd-Batstone, a Journalism Major at University of Oregon. During the Fall 2013 semester she is participating in the CIEE Communication, New Media and Journalism program.

This coming Monday I will have been in Sevilla for one month. That is crazy to think about. When I look back, time has gone by pretty fast, but at the same time slow. It’s an interesting paradox because the weeks go by fast, but I experience so much each day so that the days seem long. This week I finally started my classes! I think I am really going to enjoy this term. I really like my two classes at CIEE. In one of my classes, title Visual and Digital Culture in Contemporary Spain, we watched this Ted Talk about the danger in knowing just one story of a place or group of people.

We continued to talk about how media does a bad job of only telling this “one story” by generalizing and only depicting a small portion of a population rather than a whole group. While I do believe this statement has validity, I also think that the amount of time and resources and trust needed to tell a deeper story should be acknowledged. For journalists to tell these deeper stories, there needs to be a strong relationship between the journalist and the sources, a relationship strong enough so that the journalist can enter into the other culture and the source can trust him or her enough to depict the deeper story correctly. That takes time. I have been in Sevilla for almost a month and I am just starting to get a glimpse of what the real Sevilla culture is like. Last week I was at my favorite coffee shop, Red House, and I was talking to the owner about photography and videography. I told him to let me know if he ever needed any help and with that he asked me to film a skateboard art gallery opening that night at his coffee shop. When I got there I was the only American and it was great. Although I felt somewhat out of place, I had a purpose with my camera and the people there, local skateboarders, looked at me more with curiosity, rather than annoyance that I was a tourist.

Here is the link to the facebook post.

Mas Madera Facebook Photos

The video will be up soon! I don’t want to go through my study abroad experience still stuck in my own world, only looking into Spanish culture, but never experiencing it myself. I want to be a part of it, not just watch it from afar. I’m not satisfied with my only interactions with Sevillanos being when I order coffee. I want to join it.

Last Friday night at the gallery opening and this week at EUSA with my direct enrollment classes with Spaniards I started to feel the barrier between our two worlds disintegrating and I can’t wait for what is to come.

I will end with this quote from a street photography show in Malaga:

No creo en la frontera, para mi, todo el mundo es igual.” -Clara Moreno




¡Hola desde Sevilla! Liberal Arts participants arrived in Sevilla two weeks ago. After a week long (or as some students would say a long week!) of orientation, our students learn the musts about academics, health, safety and extracurricular activities while they had the opportunity to explore the city and discover the charm of tapas and the city Cine de Verano!

La foto 1
Autumn is a season full of cultural activities in Sevilla such as the European Film Festival and the Mes de la Danza (Month of the Dance) that will celebrate their twentieth edition. 

La foto 3

Our program aims at giving a deeper impact in the lives of students and in the local community. For this reason, starting this semester, we are going to better instill the community service feeling and action! Thus, the Liberal Arts program will start collaborating with the NGO Escuela Cultura de Paz who works with kids from marginalized areas of the city at aiming a better future for them. We will inform you of the next events with Escuela Cultura de Paz, other service learning opportunities and what’s going on with your students. 

La foto 5


Parque Natural de la Sierra Norte de Sevilla

This post is by Molly Thiesenhusen, an International Studies first major and Spanish second major at University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. During the Fall 2013 semester she is participating in the CIEE Advanced Liberal Arts program.

This weekend, we travelled about an hour and a half north to la Sierra Norte. We stayed at a privately owned ranch that resembled a resort. There were two rows of very quaint cabins, a common patio area, a dining hall, and plenty of wide open spaces. Though I have pictures to prove otherwise, I’m pretty sure all I did was eat all weekend. Every meal was 4 courses and took place over the span of at least an hour. My host family doesn’t eat very much (they are all super thin) so I didn’t really know what a “Spanish meal” was before this weekend. Now I do and basically it’s just pan, pan, pan, A Dios mio, todo el pan; toasted in the oven, served with every course and sometimes twice in one course, washed down very easily with cerveza y sangria.

In between meals, we had a wine tasting (my favorite ended up being a 2011 tinto called Bajoz), we cooked with the chef and made tortillas de España y paella, and spent time with the Spaniards that came along. Oh, yes… the purpose of this trip was to have a weekend of immersion in the Spanish culture with our Spanish peers. So we had activities playing paddle (I’m the worst), hiking, cow-watching, ect with the Spaniards. We also had to do a short presentation for the director of our program on any theme we wanted. I chose to educate him on the art of twerking. It went over very well, I think.

The scenery was amazing and the weather was perfect. In Sevilla, it is still quite warm; right now, it is 8:30pm and still 90 degrees. Luckily, in la Sierra Norte, it was about 20 degrees cooler and quite refreshing during the evening. I even got to bust out a sweatshirt for the first time in a couple months and it finally felt like fall for a day.

During one activity, we had to write differences we noticed between American and Spanish culture. Though I can’t remember all of them, I want to share my general impression with you.

  1. They do EVERYTHING later. They get up later, eat later, stay up later, and do work later (a.k.a. procrastination)
  2. They take more time to do everything; eating meals, enjoying their morning espresso, talking, walking
  3. They seem to enjoy themselves more; very few frown wrinkles here, people
  4.  There is a bigger religious presence 
  5. Deep friers=ovens 
  6. The men are funnier
  7. The women are more beautiful. I often find myself staring at gorgeous women for an awkwardly long time
  8. Gender roles are more apparent and static
  9. You cannot go barefoot. For me, this is a HUGE problem as I HATE shoes, but my host mom insists I wear shoes at all times in her house. Alright, Lucía… your rules
  10. The people are more warm and welcoming. I LOVE the besitos y abrazos

There are a lot of pictures this time ’round… la Sierra was absolutely stunning. Enjoy!

Ps: NONE of these have been edited in any fashion.



For real... no filter.




The hillside was covered in wild rosemary


Tortilla de España


Paella... I died.




Our cabins / what I woke up to every morning


Cows. It's casual.


I promise this is not a painting.








Saludos desde Sevilla

 And once again, thank you for choosing CIEE Seville and the ALA program. Students completed the onsite orientation two weeks ago, which covered aspects like academics, housing, health and safety, cultural activities, etc. They got to know the city a bit (monuments, restaurants, post offices, flamenco, etc) and visited the University of Seville and University Pablo de Olavide (UPO), the two universities where ALA students can take classes with Spanish peers. Orientation session were also held at both universities. Last week and this week have been dedicated to group and individual academic appointments with the students, assisting them in the selection of their university of Seville or UPO direct registration courses, and offering them advice based on our experience as well as that of previous students.

This past weekend ALA students participated in our Immersion Weekend. We travelled to Sierra del Huéznar with our students (31 American students, 14 Spanish students and 2 staff members). This was not a touristic excursion but rather one grounded in peer language interaction via a variety of formats: one-to-one, presentations, and activities such as kayaking, hiking, bike, a class on Spanish wine along with a wine tasting, a cooking class where the students cooked three different kinds of paella, etc. This semester we added two volunteer activities: a class of Sevillanas by Alejandra Vázquez (ALA assistant) and we did some improve exercises with Juli Martínez (ALA RD). The students who wanted to participate in these activities needed to “buy a ticket” (one ticket for some toiletres), now we have a box of toiletries that we will donate a charitable association. We got our goal: a long weekend only in Spanish. Here are a few photos.
Otoño,2013. inmersión (4)

“Estoy feliz que he hecho esto. Creo que es una buena manera de empezar el año escolar. Quizás si fuera antes de la clase intensiva la gente hablaría menos inglés durante esas dos semanas, no sé. Pero ahora tengo aún más ganas de ser bilingüe y aprender español”
 “Muy bien, pero a veces me frustró  hablar siempre en español”
“Una oportunidad fantástica. Muy útil para mejorar mi español. Más, me dio confianza para hablar con muchas personas en español”.




Communication, New Media + Journalism / Fall 2013 / Issue I


Rubén Díaz, Eduardo del Campo and Óscar Ceballos introduce the production courses of CNMJ to Fall 2013 students at the urban cooperative Tramallol.

Greetings from Seville!

All students of the Communication, New Media and Journalism program (CNMJ) arrived onsite last September 3rd sound, safe, happy and eager to start their semester abroad.

Following a rather exhausting first week of orientation, they're all now working on their courses of the Intensive Session and tuning their Spanish skills into their routines of life in Seville. We're all motivating them certain that it is their desire to do their very best both academically and personally.

This Spring 2013 semester we have 21 students at the CNMJ program and are greeting two new professors into our team: the journalist Eduardo del Campo will be teaching 'Magazine Reporting and Writing' while the scrip writer and documentary maker Carlos Pineda will be in charge of 'New Media and Audiovisual Workshop'.

In order to introduce both of them, as well as the rest of our academic team, we all gathered last Wednesday evening at Espacio Tramallol, a urban cooperative at the heart of old Seville. This is the first of a series of events about which we hope to keep everyone posted during the next three months. 

Please visit our website of student projects for updates about the end of last Spring 2013 semester and news about the current semester. More new projects to come very soon as our students start making their way into our community.

This is all for now from a still very warm and sunny Seville.

Óscar Ceballos, CNMJ RD



Warm greetings  (in every sense of the word) from Seville!




Nothing quite prepares you for Seville´s oven-like heat, which greeted students on arrival day and throughout the first days of orientation.  Students were troopers and were granted a few days of respite when temperatures dropped to a cool 90 degrees the following


Students were pleasantly surprised at how much Spanish they learned in only two weeks during the Intensive Language Session.  Students had class 3 hours/day with 10-15 hours of out-of-class activities, ranging from interviews with locals, elaboration of a recipe with their Spanish host, or blogging about their experience during a cultural excursion. You can check out the students´ blogs by clicking here, as well as a podcast submitted by one of the Santa Clara University students.



Students had an orientation and reception at the University Pablo de Olavide last week, with regular session classes starting the following Wednesday. Students were eager to jump into the new semester, with many expressing interest in direct enrolling in courses with their Spanish


We are  looking forward to a wonderful fall semester, one that is sure to be enriching culturally, academically, and personally for each and every one of the students.





From left to right: Jessica B. (Illinois Wesleyan University), Brettyn G. (University of Oregon), Caroline T. (Duke University), Kathryn H. (Gordon College), Allison R. (Carthage College), Nicole S. (Carthage College) and Rafa de la Torre B. (Seville University)


It is a pleasure for us to start with the new Teaching Development students, a new experience in their lives and it is very exciting for us to be part of it. Thank you once more for trusting in CIEE and our magnificent staff.


Teaching Development group

During the first few days the students have been receiving important notions about the culture and situations they are about to encounter in this beautiful city. We also presented the core class and practicum as the fact that makes the difference with the rest of CIEE participants. All students feel nervous and excited to begin this important part of their immersion experience. They have been visiting important places and getting to know their neighborhood and downtown in detail accompanied by Rafa, our nice and helpful orientation guide. We will be visiting Cadiz in a couple of weeks where we hope to have a really great time walking through one of the most ancient cities in Europe and having an ice-cream at the beach.


Teaching Development group


Teaching Development group

Students do not know what their story will be yet, but what we can assure is that CIEE will do its best to make it unforgettable.

In a few weeks time we will let you know about upcoming events and send photos, academic updates, and everything related with their new lives here.


Business and Society Fall 2013, Issue I



Jessica T. (University of Washington) - registration time

Welcome to Sevilla Fall 2013 Students!

Greetings from Seville! We are very pleased to share that our CIEE Business and Society students arrived safely to Seville. The Fall 2013 semester kicked off with students arrival on September 3rd and were met at the airport by the Residents Staffs and orientation guides.

Garrett V., Evan I., Kyle B., and Rachel H. (University of Oregon)

Orientation started on September 4th, touching on topics such as health, safety, housing, and academics at the University of Seville’s School of Economics.

William Z. (Villanova University), Pedro Rodriguez (Bryant University), Valentina G. (Florida International University), James D.(Villanova University) and Francisco S.(University of Oregon)

“La primera semana era fantástica. Mi guía de orientación era simpático y nos ayudó a aclimatarnos. Estoy viviendo en la Residencia de Santa Ana, algo que me ha dado mucha independencia. Mis compañeros de piso y yo fuimos a muchos lugares históricos de Sevilla como el Alcázar, la Catedral, y La Plaza de España durante los primeros días. ¡Me encanta Sevilla y sólo he estado en la ciudad por solo una semana! ¡Los próximos tres meses serán los mejores de mi vida!" - James D.(Villanova University).

Some of our students have taken advantage of their free time to explore the city by themselves and visit some of the most popular places.

Rebecca L. (Miami University), Kate S. (Elon University) – Plaza de España

Casey M (University of Lousville), Teddy R. (Villanova University), Austin R. (Elon University)– Plaza de España

Nicole M. (University of Scranton) and Julie H. (Elon University) – Plaza de Toros

Some others have also started to post in their blogs their experiences in this wonderful city, such a Stephanie H. (Babson College). Stephanie invited us to visit her blog and learn from her study abroad experiences.

Stephanie H. (Babson College) – ¡A misa se ha dicho!

“Pude escuchar la misa que duró 45 minutos en la famosa Catedral de Sevilla. El sacerdote habló sobre la importancia de la familia, algo que siempre llevo dentro de mi corazón”. Stephanie H. (Babson College) 

And finally, we are very please to share with you all that CIEE Business and Society students have already registered for their classes and begun their Intensive Session course, Intensive Spanish for Students of Business. This semester professors will include topics in class to help students understand the current socio-economical situation in Spain. Students will be asked to hit the streets and get the Spaniards´ perspective of the current situation and the university tuition fee increases.

We are confident it will be a great Fall 2013 semester, a really special semester full of enrichment activities. I would also like to invite you to visit our Business and Society Facebook page and Twitter, a great way to keep yourself informed about the different activities and opportunities offered by our program and city.