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20 posts from December 2013


Advanced Liberal Arts, Fall 2013, Issue III





Our Fall 2013 semester ended. ALA students took their exams, 2 of them (yearlong students) will take their final exams with the rest of Spanish students during February. We are quite satisfied with the comments that our students made about their final exams. These comments made a good impression on us.  We are sure they will get excellent grades.

We held party at a little restaurant in the Barrio de Santa Cruz, which was attended by students, professors Spanish students (orientation guides, and staff. It was a nice opportunity to say “hasta pronto”.

One more time we have had an excellent group of students: mature, independent and integrated into the Spanish university environment. We hope our students learnt a lot from this experience and share it with their families and friends back home.

It has really been a pleasure to work jointly with our students because of their contribution through their experience to the University of Seville and University Pablo de Olavide.

We wish you a wonderful New Year!

¡Gracias a todos!





Communication, New Media + Journalism / Newsletter / Issue III

Daniela, photograph during her theatre class by Savannah Trifiro (Villanova University), for her article in magazine mas+menos 21

Dear friends,

As we've just finished the Fall 2013 semester, the academic team of the Communication, New Media and Journalism program feels quite proud of all of the students who’ve shared their experiences with us during the past few months.

All of our students completed their end-of-semester projects in time, which never ceases to be a challenging task. The 21st edition of the magazine más+menos, titled Sueña y Resiste / Dream and Resist and of which you will be receiving copies at your office very soon, came out of the printer days before the end of the semester. The students of the Magazine Reporting and Writing course, who created the articles, paid very special attention in this issue to the ways in which Spaniards are being affected by the country's current economic crisis as to how they're struggling and coping with it.

Likewise, students in the courses Spanish Skills in Context: Podcast Reporting, New Media and Audiovisual Workshop and Urban Photography Workshop also reflected upon their closest environment and created truly interesting projects featuring members of our community. All of these media projects will very soon be available at our website of students' projects:

The Fall semester of 2013 has been full of activities: we visited Europe's oldest city, Cádiz, in September; in mid October we spent three days in the Moroccan town of Chefchaouen, which included a workshop about the photographic memory of this beautiful town in the Rif mountains with local students, who also hosted us at their family homes; at the beginning of November, many students participated in Seville's European Film Festival and even met some of the artists screening films.

In addition to many historic sites, students also visited the newsroom of the newspaper El Correo de Andalucía, the recording studios of Radio Nacional de España, the Delimbo art space, the Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo or the graffiti walls doted along the Gualdalquivir river. We also invited artists, social activists, journalists and other relevant members of the community to our classes so that they could share their knowledge and experience with us.

In order to celebrate the end the semester, we held a public event-party at the space of the Tramallol Cooperative, which was attended by students, professors and many of our local friends.

We're happy to say that through their work and activities, most of our students have once again helped us expand our network of friends in Seville, as they've become a useful knot within this community. Their interactions of this semester will prove useful both for other students in the future and for our academic team.

We will all keep working hard in order to maintain the Communication, New Media and Journalism program as a meaningful option for students in the fields of Communications, Visual Arts, New Media and Journalism. It would be our desire to help more students from your institutions connect in the future with Seville’s academic, cultural and social life.

Please visit our Facebook page CNMJ CIEE SEVILLE for more information about the Fall 13 semester and for further updates.

Best wishes for 2014!

Óscar Ceballos






In this last message I would like to inform you about some of the Academic and Non-Academic highlights of the program. 


  • Language classes:

-       In the Language Skills and Conversation class, students participated in two more “Proyecto Tándem” activities with Spanish students from “Instituto de Idiomas”.  During the first activity students discussed Spanish and American TV-series.  In the last activity, we decided to take the group to Alcalá de Guadaíra and Utrera, two towns with a lot of culture, where the students could visit the towns and at the same time give them another opportunity to practice their foreign language outside of the classroom, in a less formal setting.

-       Conversation groups went to the “Fundación Gota de Leche”. They had been planning during the semester about making a donation for one of their non-profit programs: desayunos saludables(healthy breakfast), which provides breakfast to two public schools in Seville (the public school “Pío XII” and a couple of public schools at “El Vacie”, one of the most economically deprived areas in the outskirts of the city). The students had previously purchased boxes of cereal, cartons of milk, cookies and juice. They then met the coordinator of the organization and two volunteers, who explained their daily tasks and experience at the schools.  

-       The last day of the class, the two Conversations groups shared their final presentations. It was a musical video;

-       Students received the link to complete the Exit Exam which is included in the “Grammar and Composition” class. We continue to include the composition written part on this exam as the final composition for this class.

  • The content courses also offered some out of classroom activities during the last days of class. Some of them were; a visit to the Cathedral for the Art class and “Barrio de Santa Cruz” and Fines Arts Museum in the Culture and Civilization class or practical lessons: olive oil tasting (the Mediterranean: wheat, olive trees and vines) and tasting of products from the Iberian pig (the Christian kitchen after the reconquest) in the “Gastronomy of Spain” course.
  •  As last fall, in the “Seminar on Living and Learning in Seville”, students participated in an extra activity. It was the Seminar “Tauromaquia en el siglo XXI”.  During the first day, students attended a conference on challenges and the future of bullfighting in Spain. The second day, students visited the “Miura Ranch” which is one of the most famous in Spain and enjoyed a practice sessions and a walk around the pastures to see the bulls.




  • Students Service continued to offer several weekly activities such as cinema, soccer, basketball, cooking class, hiking excursion, free ticket for the “Seville International Film Festival”, visits to Cathedral and Giralda, Convents in Seville, Triana and El Jueves market, San Jorge Castle, the street and  Basílica de la Macarena , Arts and Traditions Museum, Fine Arts Museum, Archeological Museum, Andalusia Center of Contemporary Art,  Palacio San Telmo , Seville and the province-Medieval Castles, tour de grafitis, Metropol parasol,  Seville en Navidad  (Christmas traditions in Spain)… 
  • Language and Society students and three intercambios attended the program overnight. They spent a long weekend in Córdoba and Granada with a number of visits and also free time to explore the city. They enjoyed a very nice sunny weekend.
  • Also, CIEE invited students to a Thanksgiving dinner. Students enjoyed this special night with us.
  • Some Language and Society students shared their experiences through this blog: “Visit to Ceuta”, “Reflexión de Granada”, “Mi viaje a Córdoba y Granada”, “Proyecto Tándem”, “Castillos Medievales”, “Alcalá y Utrera”, “Ayuda a la Comunidad” or “Seminar Vivir y Aprender en Sevilla”. 
  • Students received the invitation (link) to complete both, courses-professors and housing evaluations. Also, during the last week, all the students completed the on line program evaluation. 

 It has been a pleasure to meet and work with this group. I hope that it has been an unforgettable experience for all of them.





Time flies!! The Fall 2013 semester ended last week after students took their final exams.

Prior to the stressful time of the exams, students had the opportunity to enjoy a “Spanish Thanksgiving Dinner” with friends and staff. It was a nice and warm event in which everybody participated and “gave thanks” for being so fortunate.


Thanksgiving Dinner

Students also enjoyed a mini break in December, when we had the two local holidays (Constitution Day and Inmaculada Day) that mark the start for the magic winter holiday with the inauguration of the street decorations.

Now, it is time to reunite with the loved ones and reflect on the learning experiences of this semester. I hope that Fall 2013 was enriching both academically and personally for all the program participants. 2

The Seminar on Living and Learning in Seville Fall 2013 Class




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Everything comes to an end with sadness and hapiness at the same time. TD students, the orientation guide, Rafa, and the Resident Director, Carolina Cisneros, met all together to say "hasta pronto" because who knows what the destiny has prepared for each of us and it is possible to meet again somewhere sometime. We toasted for the coming months wishing all the best to the TD group.





The core class ended with the final exam and all students did great. It was a really excited class full of mixed feelings; students showed the professor of the class, Carolina Cisneros, their gratitude for the experience lived in Seville during the semester. It was an unforgettable moment for everyone.

Some students have come back home but others are still enjoying travelling to different destinations going from Istanbul to London. I am sure they will always take with them a part of Seville in their hearts throughout their lifetime.

Thank you Nikki, Carrie, Jess, Alli, Kate and Brettyn for making the Fall 2013 special!







This post is about the Interest Group "Mediterranean Landscapes" at the CIEE Liberal Arts Program in Seville

The semester began with a Mediterranean cooking class during which we learnt how to cook Cuscus (considered Morocco's national dish), Papas Aliñadas (this is a very easy salad and very popular in Andalucia) while we were chating with Spanish university students. 

The hiking along the Aracena y Picos de Aroche Natural Park was one of the most enjoyable and incredible activities. We had the opportunity to visit two traditional villages, its castle, squares, churches and incredible landscapes.


An intercultural meeting with young Spaniards from the NGO  Escuela Cultura de Paz , a  Tour with legends of Seville  at night,  and a solidarity bike tour were some of the other activities before traveling to the island of Mallorca in the Mediterranean sea.


During the trip, a guided tour helped us discover this amazing city. The guide showed us the Plaza Mayor, the Barrio Alto, the Barrio Bajo, the town hall, examples of modernism buildings, the Ramblas, The Lonja, some of the most wonderful Patios, and the well known Palma Cathedral, also called the Cathedral of Light.


Also, we went to visit the Mondragó Natural Park and Cala Mondragó,  declared in 1992, a Natural Park by the Balearic Parliament and then in 1995 a Natural Area of Special Interest for Birds by the European Community. After that, we went to Porto Cristo to visit the Caves of Drach, one of the most visited natural wonders in Europe, where ee enjoyed a classical music concert inside the caves. Later, we went on a short boat ride on Lake Martel, considered to be one of the largest underground lakes in the world.


 Before returning to Seville, we visited the Cathedral and the  Castillo de Bellever, from here we were able to enjoy a gorgeous views of the city. The castle houses the City History Museum and the Despuig Classical Sculpture Collection. It was an opportunity for us to learn the history and the urban evolution of Mallorca.

La historia de mi reembolso Cultural

This post is by Zoey Krulick, a International Studies major at Georgetown University. She is a yearlong student participating in the CIEE Advanced Liberal Arts Program.

Cuando llegué a Sevilla, no tenía ni idea de que existía esta maravillosa oportunidad de un reembolso para actividades en España. Estaba muy preocupada, pensé que tenía que elegir entre gastar mi dinero limitado en viajar por  España o viajar por Europa. Usé el dinero para facilitar viajes por España, en vez de gastarlo en Sevilla, porque sé que tengo el año aquí para explorar la ciudad.

La primera actividad que hice con mi dinero fue comprar unos billetes de autobús para viajar a Ronda. ¡Fue absolutamente increíble! Describir las vistas del Puente y las montañas no haría justicia porque eran majestuosas. Para mí, Ronda era perfecto porque me encantan ambos el senderismo y la naturaleza en general. Pocas semanas después, viajé a otro sitio en Andalucía, Córdoba, para visitar la famosa Mezquita. Para mí no fue  tan impresionante como la Catedral en Sevilla, pero por supuesto no me arrepiento de haber ido. Espero poder volver para ver la Sinagoga y otros lugares que no pude ver la primera vez.

El primera gran viaje que hice en España fue visitar a mi amiga que estaba estudiando en Madrid. Madrid era grandísimo y sé que necesito volver para ver más. Era de verdad una gran ciudad - muy cosmopolita, con mujeres vestidas con ropa muy de moda caminando por la calle y precios altos para reflejar su estatus como capital de España. Lo más interesante en Madrid fue visitar el Palacio Real. Con la excepción del Real Alcázar, era el primer palacio que he visto. No tenía ni idea de que los palacios eran verdaderamente tan de lujo, pensaba que solamente eran así en las películas. Cada cuarto era más excesivo que el último. En Madrid, también fui al Museo Prado (donde vi obras de arte muy impresionantes), el Rastro para comprar ropa barata, y el Parque del Buen Retiro para disfrutar de un poco de la naturaleza en la gran ciudad.

Finalmente, fui a Bilbao y Santander para disfrutar un poco el norte de España. Aunque hay personas que dicen que Bilbao es demasiado industrial, disfruté muchísimo de los edificios y la arquitectura moderna, fue muy diferente a Sevilla. El Guggenheim como edificio era muy precioso. Por dentro, no lo disfruté tanto porque no soy aficionada al arte moderno, pero las esculturas y la arquitectura del museo valieron la pena. Fue muy interesante también aprender un poco de la cultura vasca. En particular, el idioma euskera me pareció raro escrito, pero al oírlo, el sonido era muy melodioso. Tuve menos que hacer en Santander porque hacía demasiado frío para ir a la playa, pero disfruté mucho de los acantilados y las olas grandísimas de la playa sin nadar o tomar el sol. En general, usar el reembolso ha sido una experiencia perfecta que voy a repetir el semestre próximo. 


This post is by Philippe de Fromont, a Business Administration major at The Pennsylvania State University. During the Fall 2013 semester he is participating in the CIEE Advanced Liberal Arts Program.


IBCP, Fall 2013, Issue III


Holiday greetings from Seville!

Yes, the end of semester has arrived and students are in the process of packing their belongings and saying their goodbyes to Seville, to friendships, to their Spanish “moms” and “dads”…always a bitter-sweet time athough many from this group are determined to come back again. 

We had a program farewell last week and many students spoke with me about their contentment with the program and their experience overall, how much they have grown as an individual, etc.

Here are a few photos from our end of semester farewell:

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I will leave you with a writing from one of the IBC students in the Intercultural Communication in Context class, reflecting upon his intercultural competence development:   

Early on, we said that the objective of this class was to help its participants -- students AND professors, I think? -- become more culturally competent. So then the question posed to us over the course of the past four months has been, what exactly is cultural competence? How do we define it, discover it, strengthen it? And in what way can we ultimately measure our progress, or lack thereof?

I used to use the concept interchangeably with intercultural communication, the ability to recognize cultural and linguistic differences between oneself and a communicative partner in order to circumvent those differences and effectively exchange meaning. Now I realize that, while the ability to communicate interculturally is definitely a component of cultural competence -- in fact, an essential one -- there’s more to it than that.

Cultural competence, I think, isn’t just the ability to communicate interculturally; it isn’t just an external thing that takes place between two people in a conversation. It refers to a person’s broader understanding that his language, along with his values, beliefs, attitudes, and the norms belonging to his culture (or cultures) are all relative, somewhat arbitrary, and, to an extent, changeable. With that understanding, a culturally competent person realizes that, while these things are important to him, they may not be important to everyone and are by no means the BEST in their respective categories. Furthermore, it dawns on that person that he may prefer some of the values, beliefs, etc. belonging to another culture and so he becomes willing to open his arms to them, adopt them as his own. In other words, cultural competence is one’s ability to immerse himself deeply and successfully (maybe even lovingly?) into another culture by giving up his tendency to rank and evaluate it compared to his own.

 I hope that many students will walk away from this semester experience with a new appreciation  of their home culture(s),  a new appreciation of Spanish culture(s) and the desire to share gained  knowledge with others.

Happy Holidays,








Last Friday, we celebrated our end-of-semester cocktail for our Business and Society students. It was definitely a wonderful evening where we had the opportunity to congratulate some of our Business and Society students for participating in our CIEE Fall 2013 Contests. We would like to congratulate Meg Webber (Santa Clara University) and Marisol Pelaez (Trinity University) for their “Running through Spain” and How to speak sevillano  respective posts. Also, under the best photo category, we would like to congratulate Austin Rhoads (Elon University) and Nicole Mahaffey (University of Scranton).  Please, visit our Facebook page to access some of the submitted photos.


 Company visit to EPES - 061

 A Semester full of activities

This was a truly exceptional semester for Business and Society, full of enriching activities such as company visits, academic exchange seminars focusing on current issues in business; an incredible trip to Morocco; internships with 17 local companies, and a very interesting voluntary work activity.  A truly beautiful initiative where CIEE students revised Spanish students’ resumes in exchange of food. A total of 17 Business and Society students and 160 Spanish students participated and donated 1,100 pounds of food to the “María Auxiliadora Food Bank”.




We definitely hope our students learned a lot from this experience and will share it with their families and friends back home.  It has definitely been a wonderful semester.

I’d like to thank you for your continued support of the CIEE Business and Society Program.  If you have any questions or feedback on the program, please do not hesitate to contact the CIEE Staff. 

Happy Holidays from Seville!




This post is about the Interest Group "Tradiciones" at the CIEE Liberal Arts Program in Seville

This interest group was created to involve the foreign student who go to study abroad to Seville with CIEE in some of the traditions of the south of Spain.

Many times the student when abroad live in a bubble and don’t get in contact with very important parts of the Spanish culture. Throughout the different activities this IG is made of, the students will be able to experience first-hand these local traditions and they will go back home with a different and more realistic view of what is Spain and Andalusia.

Activities such as Sevillanas dance, crafts (painting and modeling with mud), legends of Santa Cruz or the Andalusian gastronomy help the students to create a vision of what is Spain so they can connect with the Spanish culture in a better way.

This Interest Group also has a trip as a final activity. This year Caceres and Trujillo, in the community of Extremadura and Salamanca, in the community of Castile and León were visited and the students could get to know some parts of the Spanish geography that is not so popular to visit as other Spanish regions.