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12 posts from June 2014



This post is by Elif Anda, Lehigh University. She is a Spring2014 student participating in the CIEE Advanced Liberal Arts Program

I’m a failure at blogging

I said I’d be different. I said I wouldn’t be one of those study abroad kids that stopped doing it halfway through. I said it would be such a great memory to look back on and read when I’m at home and crying on the couch about how much I miss Spain.

But I’m a failure at blogging. It happens to the best of us, what can I say!? I got wrapped up in living life (aka taking finals in Spanish) but here we are. It’s Wednesday, June 18th, and I leave in 5 days. So I’m going to finish strong with a blog post.

I can’t begin to explain to you all what this experience has been like. It has been the longest time I’ve ever been away from home (it’ll be 5 months and 10 days, to be exact) and the longest time I’ve ever been away from la familia and los amigos. If you read back on my posts, I was miserable when I first arrived. I’m talking about “seriously trying to find a way to get back to Lehigh and register for classes even though I missed the first two weeks of school” kind of miserable. I was counting down the days until I left, and couldn’t wait for the 20-something weeks to be up.

Now, I avoid every calendar I see. I don’t want to know the date. I don’t want to sleep, because it feels like a waste of time. We always had limited time in this beautiful city, but now it feels so real. Our friends have slowly been leaving, one by one, and it’s starting to sink in — our incredible semester abroad is coming to an end. I know thousands of people study abroad every year, and I’m sure each person feels like their experience was the best and that nothing could ever top it, but I was truly blessed while in Spain. I was so lucky to have found an incredible group of friends (hi guys), to have had an amazing roommate (hi Sammy), to have lived with some awesome Spaniards (hi Isa, hi Elena, hi boys upstairs), and to have been loved by a wonderful Sevillan boy (hi Caye).

Classes were a wonderful experience as well. I took 4 classes at a real, live, Spanish university with real, live Spanish students and managed to pass. In one class, Caye and I got the highest grades (HIGH FIVE). It was an awesome way of proving to myself that those 12 years of taking Spanish classes and conjugating verbs really did pay off. For anyone looking to further their language skills, I highly recommend staying in a different country for an extended period of time. Classes helped with the grammar and the learning the basics, but there’s no experience like using the language to LIVE in a foreign country. Spain has done wonders for my Spanish, and for my confidence in using my language skills.

Also, for anyone considering studying abroad, CIEE is a great program. I was frustrated at first with a couple of aspects of the orientation, but I think it was because I was homesick. The program directors have been nothing short of amazing (shout outs to Juli and Cristina!) and the CIEE staff/orientation leaders/equipo Ñ/people we met at Sierra Hueznar have become very close friends. They’ve invited us into their homes and lives, and have been super patient with our Spanish (or in my case, sometimes accidental Spanglish) and for that I am forever grateful. They know that they now have a home in New Jersey that they are more than welcome to visit.

I could go on and on. But I won’t. I think I’ll leave it at this:

I have 5 days left in one of the most magical cities in the world. I’ll be soaking in every bit of Sevilla that I can get until the very last minute, and then on Monday I’ll be flying over to Istanbul with Emir and my Dad for a week of family fun. Then, on July 2nd, my journey will end in New Jersey, back where I started 6 months earlier. I’ll come home as a changed person. My views, my style, and my life have all been changed by my study abroad. I’ll take life a little slower the way the Europeans have taught me, and “work to live, rather than live to work” as they always say. I’ll wear sweatpants in public less, and dress up more to feel awesome even just for class at Lehigh (Kels I’m dragging you into this with me). I’ll show the affection to my friends that I’m feeling. “Dos besos” is an awesome thing that should be a thing everywhere. I’m getting rid of the cold handshake that Americans use to keep their “personal space bubble” from bursting. Give me a kiss on both cheeks and we’re good.

Point is, I’ll go home and life will go back to the way it was. I’ll finally be able to give my Mom and Dad the huge hugs that I can’t give them through FaceTime. I’ll be able to force Emir to go for the haircut that everyone else won’t take him to get. I’ll be able to stop using Viber to talk to my closest friends, and iMessage them instead (hahahaha just kidding, I’ll be hopping in the car to go see them). But Sevilla will always be a part of me. And I know I’ll be back. i say that about everywhere that I am fortunate enough to see, but this is for real. I’ll be back in Sevilla one day for sure.

Until then, I’ll enjoy my last 5 days in this wonderful little Andalusian city, try not to dry up my tear ducts from crying too much, and live life to the fullest.

Sevilla no me ha dejado.







Hello all!

I wanted to touch base with you to let you know about the students who are participating in our Summer Session one in Seville. The orientation went smoothly and during the same all the students received important information about academics, housing, health and safety and many more. All the students had the opportunity to get to know Spaniards.



During the rest of the session some of the students have gone to visit some of the most beautiful places in Andalusia: Aracena with their incredible caves, Cordoba, home of the amazing mosque and Cadiz, the occident’s most antique city (As a part of this trip the group visited the Roman ruins of Baelo Claudia). Also, the students took advantage of the “Language Support Activities”. These are leisure activities run by Spanish students where the CIEE participants could have a fun time while meeting locals and practice their Spanish.

8. Cordoba


Students also visited Barcelona, Paris and London as part of the new and exciting ICE trip that CIEE is running this year as a way of adding a cultural experience to our students in Europe. There will be an ICE trip at every summer session



13. Linguistic Support Activities

Linguistic Support Activities




Our Spring2014 semester ended. Most of ALA students took their exams, and some of them have this week their last exams. 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.

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.

Thanks for the highlights of our semester!






La foto 1





This post is by Hilary Leslie, a Spanish major at Elon University. She is a 2013-2014 yearlong student participating in the CIEE Liberal Arts program.


De todas las decisiones que he hecho en mi vida, estudiar en el extranjero ha sido la mejor. Llegué aquí con una mente totalmente abierta y más sentimientos positivos que los preocupados. Sabía que un año parece muy largo para muchas personas, pero mi entusiasmo era muy fuerte y sabía que el año pasaría muy rápido y no había tiempo echar de menos mi casa.

Mi primero semestre aquí fue muy ocupado. No solamente con clases, pero con muchos viajes y excursiones. Me inscribí por todas las actividades a través de CIEE en los fines de semana porque toda eran parte del programa y somos como estudiantes tenemos mucha suerte tener estas oportunidades. Con estas actividades, viajes con mis amigos nuevos, el programa de los intercambios y oportunidades ofrecer mi tiempo con una voluntaria, los primeros cuatro meses pasaron increíblemente rápido.


La mayoría de mis amigos en mi programa y en mi universidad antes, me dijeron que cuatro meses es tan rápido y que querían quedar en España por más tiempo. Otro comentario era que aunque los viajes baratos en otros países eran tan divertidos y especiales, parecía que la persona debería haber explorado Sevilla más fuera de la escuela.

Después de mucho tiempo viajar en Europa durante el invierno, elegí tomar otra clase durante la sesión intensiva otra vez en el fin de enero cual no es obligatorio para los estudiantes aquí por el año. También durante el segundo semestre, me apunté por dos clases en La Universidad de Sevilla (sólo tomé clases en CIEE el primero semestre) para una experiencia a través de los locales aquí. Mi segundo semestre en general fue más tranquilo porque pasé más tiempo en Sevilla.


Algunos de muchos beneficios de los estudiantes aquí por todo el año incluyen otra oportunidad viajar con un grupo de interés (para mi, elegí Marruecos y Mallorca), hay un reembolso para 300 euros usar para actividades culturales y viajar dentro de España, más tiempo explorar clases diferentes y más tiempo conocer los españoles y ver los cambios en la ciudad a través de las estaciones del año y las tradiciones y las celebraciones. También, hay otro semestre trabajar como un voluntario y las experiencias son irreemplazables ~mi primero semestre fui una voluntaria en un hospital con niños enfermos y el segundo semestre, ayudé niños con inglés y otros tipos de tarea.

Muy recomiendo considerar estudiar en Sevilla o cualquier ciudad por un año porque no hay muchas oportunidades similares más tarde en la vida. ¡Después de 10 meses en España, tengo un blog lleno de recuerdos de mis experiencias, amigos nuevos de los EEUU y Sevilla, 12 clases nuevos añadir en mi transcripción y más ganas regresar a España después de graduación porque no quiero salir ya! Lo sé no es posible para todo el mundo y que cada experiencia es diferente depende de la persona--¡pero si tienes la oportunidad, hazlo! 1002697_745225022174799_2054424481850109683_n


Interest Group: The Wines from Spain

Here is the video about the CIEE Seville Liberal Arts Interest Group: "The Wines from Spain"! Enjoy this video with pictures from most of the activities we had during the Spring 2014 Semester.

 A huge THANK YOU to all of the students that made it so special: Aleia, Annika, Ashley, Bridget, Camilla, Chelsie, Hannah, Heather, Jacob, Jenny, Katie, Kristin, Lindsey, Louise, Maggie, Marta, Maya, Nick, Trisha, Sommer and Tim.

Antonio Romero Martin



This post is by Lauren Goldstein, a Biology First Major and Spanish Second Major student at Indiana University. During the Spring 2014 semester she is participating in the CIEE Liberal Arts program


I could tell you all of the details of my semester in Sevilla- I managed to visit 5 different countries, pass all of my classes, see a good portion of the great architecture in Europe, had weekly meetings with my intercambio, went to a fútbol game, learned to speak Spanish fluently, went to a Flamenco show, participated in the culture and it changed my life…yada, yada.

I did in fact do all of those things. But Sevilla was so much more to me than these things. I found a family that I will love for forever. I fell in love with a Sevillano. I fell in love with a culture and a language and a city that changed my life, and I will never be the same after having a semester like living in Sevilla.

I had the incredible luck and privilege of being able to stay with the Fobelo family- a hilarious, lively, incredibly Spanish and loving family of 4. Belo, my Spanish dad- a sweet, gentle and quiet man who loves football and his kids; Salud, my Spanish mother- the most lively, crazy, incredibly tiny, singing and dancing loving, and funny woman I will ever know; Salu, my Spanish sister- who is married to the hilarious Guille and is so beautiful and sweet and generous; and Luis, my Spanish brother- who is an incredible singer of Flamenquito, football player, prankster, and best big brother I could have ever asked for.

This family took such wonderful care of me and always made me feel like an hija- I never ever felt like they were just my landlords. I was taken to every single family event- the Saturdays of Luis singing Flamenquito in the family bar, the bus ride to Cádiz for Carnavale to hear Luis sing, to watch the wedding video at Salud and Guille’s house, introduced to all of Luis’ friends and taken out to the clubs with them, to have dinner to meet all the family friends, to all the various casetas during La Feria… I was never forgotten.

The culture of Sevilla is one of the most giving I have ever seen. I have watched on various occasions Salud empty her coin purse for someone who needed the money more, even though she didn’t have the money to do that either. I have watched her take care of me when I’m sick, I’ve watched her love everyone around her with a kind of care and love that doesn’t exist back in the States. I’ve watched the way that all Sevillanos treat each other- like a family. And even though I was American, I was never treated with any less importance. I’ve seen how the Andalucían sun seems to bend around every corner of every part of Sevilla to make everything glow and sparkle. Like the song so accurately says, “Sevilla tiene un color especial.”

I don’t think that I could ever sum up exactly what I did in Sevilla in just one short essay, and I don’t think that even if I laid out every detail I would be able to do the city justice. But I know for sure that I exist now more than I did 5 months ago. I left Spain with a noticeably bigger vocabulary, a noticeably bigger personality, a noticeably bigger family and group of friends, and por supesto, a noticeably bigger heart than when I arrived in Spain. I will never be completely at home again, because part of my heart will always be elsewhere. That's the price we pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place. I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of this world.

I will never, ever forget my experience in Sevilla or be able to tell you how much it moved me, inspired me, and changed my life. I am so grateful to have had the privilege to meet and love every single one of the people I met. I will always feel at home in Sevilla. Sevilla will never leave me. Never. I refuse to say goodbye, only see you later. We will see each other again soon. And like the Rumba of the Feria, “Bailando voy, Bailando venga,” or “dancing I’ll go, dancing I’ll come.” We will all dance again soon.


Taller de improvisación teatral del Grupo de Interés Expresión Cultural Spring 2014




Collage 1


We just started the Summer Internship Program here in Seville with some great news!


All the Summer Internship students arrived safely on May 26 and enjoyed the different informative presentations from CIEE staff.



Students attended the “Preparatory Session for the Internship Program” where the Internship Coordinator provided students with general information about the economic situation in Spain and specifically in Seville as well as in-depth information about the companies participating in the program and some tips about dress code, greeting, speaking, etc.


An amazing daytrip to the City of Córdoba took place on June 7th. During the trip students could visit the beautiful Mosque-Cathedral, the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos and the old Synagogue.



A total of 10 companies attended our CIEE Internship Forum on June 4th. As a real process, students had interviews with several companies showing their best to get an internship in their favorite companies. At this time, all the students have been already placed in local companies. 

Here you can find a short video about the Internship Forum with some comments from students: 


Dubbing / Subtitling in Spain

This post is by Hilary Leslie, a Spanish major at Elon University. She is a 2013-2014 yearlong student participating in the CIEE Liberal Arts program


To add some diversity in my blog topics, I’m going to write about my current favorite class and one of my favorite college classes to date. Last semester, I took all of my classes at the CIEE center (“El Palacio”) mainly to ensure that all of my credits would transfer back to Elon. This semester I will be earning a surplus of Spanish credits since I am a year-student, so I have room to take more classes that interest/challenge me in both El Palacio and in La Universidad de Sevilla.

My classes are as follows:

  • Traducción: Teoría y Práctica (Translation at CIEE)
  • Salud Pública: Teoría y Práctica (Public Health: Theory and Practice at CIEE)
  • El Islam en la España Musulmana (Islamic Culture and Art in Muslim Spain at CIEE)
  • Traducción: Inglés a Español (Direct Enroll class at La Universidad de Sevilla meaning I am in a class with Spaniards)
  • Lenguajes Audiovisuales (A Cursos para extranjeros class meaning a class for any foreign student at La Universidad)

I was most excited for Lenguajes Audiovisuales because it is a class focused on the processes of subtitling and dubbing for movies and television shows…which is sort of ironic because I really dislike dubbed movies (mainly because you cannot experience the movie with the original voices of the actors). I’ve seen a few dubbed movies since my arrival in Sevilla including Prometheus, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Butler, Saving Mr. Banks and now Monuments Men. My host mom almost always watches dubbed American movies in the evenings and sometimes I can figure out which movie she’s watching from the next room based on the background music or certain excerpts of distinct dialogue such as, “You is kind, you is smart, you is important” from The Help.

Our professor was born in the U.S. but moved to Spain when he was very young. He attended the University of Granada is now a professional translator among other things. He’s worked on a number of subtitling projects such as the television shows, How I Met Your MotherGleeThe West WingBones and bonus features for Star Wars. The university wanted to discontinue our class after the first day due to lack of interest; but after hearing an introduction like this, the four of us would not accept a cancellation so we spent the next few days recruiting people and managed to save it!

Our first few classes included a short history of the film industry, Franco and subtitling/dubbing rules and techniques. Our professor also explained we would be learning a great deal of colloquial Spanish that we don’t learn in traditional classes (another big draw to save the class). Spain has a few reasons for dubbing nearly all of their foreign films. The first reason is illiteracy. When films were first developing in the early 1900s, a large percentage of Spaniards were illiterate. For example, between 1920 and 1930, 25.29% of men and 40.57% of women could not read. The second big reason was dictator Francisco Franco. Franco controlled Spain from 1939 to 1975 and enforced a number of strict laws including one specifically for dubbing in 1941: El Ley del Doblaje. Strong censorship was included in this law. For instance, in the famous 1947 American classic Miracle on 34th Street, the Spanish dubbing changed the original dialogue from “My father and mother were divorced when I was a baby” to “My father died when I was a baby.” Why? In this case, divorce was strictly forbidden in Spain so there would be no trace of it during the film, no matter the changes it made to the story. Many years later, Spain is already accustomed to dubbed films which is why subtitled movies aren’t as common here as other European countries.

Fun Facts: Dubbing/Subtitling

  • Often times the same dubbing actors will voice the same movie stars such as Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood.
  • Dubbing a movie is much more expensive than subtitling as more people are involved: a translator, actors, editors…
  • Subtitlers are paid for their creativity and thinking, not merely translating.
  • The movement of the original actors’ mouths are taken into consideration for the dubbed script to synchronize them as best as possible. A dubbed script and a subtitled script may be slightly different from each other.
  • Often times accents are lost in subtitles to maintain the message.
  • Onomatopoeias vary between languages. For example, “woof” = “gua” and “ribbit” = “crock”. However, sounds such as “Ahh!” or “Ohh!” stay the same.
  • Titles of movies differentiate to attract viewers. For example, The Sound of Music = Sonrisas y Lagrimas(Smiles and Tears…don’t ask me why) and Young Love = Jovenes Calentitas instead of a literal translation: Amor Joven.
  • Since the translator/subtitler has access to the film or television show before anyone else, the quality of the recording is rather poor for copyright reasons. Often the translator will watch the program 2-3 times before finalizing the subtitles.

One of our first class exercises was to watch the short Tex Avery cartoon, Symphony in Slang (1951) to discuss the challenges translators face with idioms and slang from one language to another (here is a link to the video: The challenge with audiovisual language is the visual aspect. For example, one of the first lines in Symphony in Slang is “I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth.” Spanish has a phrase exactly equivalent to this, “Nací en cuna de oro” (instead of a silver spoon, it’s a golden cradle) but since the original film literally shows a silver spoon in the baby’s mouth, the translation doesn’t match up with the visual. Sometimes, cases like this are unavoidable. Other phrases in the short-film are lost in translation simply because they don’t exist in Spanish such as “I was all thumbs.”

If you aren’t bored to tears yet with this lengthy explanation of my class, there is still more!

The technical aspect of subtitling is a lot more complicated than I expected. Our class is working on half an episode of Scooby Doo and it’s like a puzzle figuring out how to adjust the translation. There are a number of rules you have to work around. For instance, for each subtitle there is a minimum of 1 second and a maximum of 6 seconds, you cannot have more than 2 lines on the screen at one time and each line cannot have more than 38 characters (letters, spaces, punctuation, etc). Here is an example segment from the script:

15. 01:02:26.19 01:02:30:06  3.12  70
Yeah, that’s the International Dog Show.
It’s going on all weekend.

3.12 = time on the screen. 3 is the number of seconds and 12 is the number of frames. 70 = the number of characters allowed (again, in 1-2 lines) for this sentence. So, a proper translation for this sentence would be:

15. 01:02:26.19 01:02:30:06  3.12  70
Sí, es la expo internacional canina. (36 characters)
Dura todo el fin de semana. (27 characters)

36+27 is 63 characters total which is less than 70 so it’s in the clear! If a line is too long when translated, that is when the creativity of the translator must kick in to decide what information is important enough to properly convey the meaning of the dialogue. On Thursday we were randomly assigned different films for homework. We have to transcribe 25 lines of the English dialogue, the Spanish dubbing and the Spanish subtitles. I received Basic Instinct for my film: the 1992 erotic thriller with Michael Douglas and Sharon Stone.

I have a whole new appreciation for the work that goes into this pocket of the film industry. I think many people (including myself up until now) don’t realize the effort and time it takes to translate or dub a film. Even though you can’t translate every detail from the original film or TV program, it is still the responsibility of the translator to do their absolute best to maintain the original emotions and message as best as possible.

So with that said, as well as a little more of my enthusiasm out of my system, I will need to take a short siesta after dinner because it’s OSCAR NIGHT! Buenas noches!




El domingo 1 de junio 3 estudiantes del programa ALA participaron en la I Carrera Popular de la Universidad de Sevilla en la modalidad de 10 kilómetros. Los resultados fueron excelentes, Laura Wagner y Zoey Krulick (Georgetown University) hicieron una carrera genial, entraron con el mismo tiempo en el puesto 19 en la modalidad femenina de corredoras universitarias.

Shannon Wanger fue nuestra campeona, 1ª clasificadaganadora en la modalidad de corredora universitaria y puesto número 2o en la clasificación absoluta femenina con un tiempo de 0:44:12. DSC_0363


Shannon Wagner al inicio de la carrera





DSC_0343Zoey Krulick (Georgetown University), Laura Wagner (Georgetown University) y Shannon Wagner (Pennsylvania State University) en la Universidad de Sevilla una hora antes de la carrera

Hubo otros corredores del entorno de CIEE que también participaron en esta primera edición de la carrera universitaria.

DSC_0365Eduardo Álvarez Alonso, estudiante de Ciencias Ambientales en la Universidad Pablo de Olavide. Guía de orientación en CIEE y participante en el programa Work and Travel, CIEE, 2014

DSC_0403José Viñas, nuestro profesor en CIEE de Antropología del Deporte, y su compañero Alberto. Hicieron un tiempo genial, pero ellos dicen que "sólo iban paseando y que correrán en la próxima"

DSC_0397 DSC_0411
Nuestras corredoras llegando a la meta, 50 metros antes

¡Enhorabuena a todos!