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5 posts from March 2016



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Spring is just around the corner and our students ready to welcome it! The city of Seville finishes its preparations to celebrate its two most known holidays: Semana Santa and Feria de Abril.

During the last couple of months, CIEE LS students enjoyed great cultural and academic experiences which will help them to grow personally and professionally in the future.


Regular Session started Monday, 18th January. Students are attending their CIEE language classes in the mornings regularly and the rest of the time on campus at the Universidad de Sevilla. So far, everything has gone smoothly as the students seemed to adjust well, and they are having a positive and productive semester. Students are happy with their classes´ selections and completed their midterm exams stage. They continue working to prepare for their future final challenges.

CIEE students are also working hard to accomplish a deeper integration abroad through our Embedded Intercultural Component sessions. And LS Mid-semester Individual interviews helped them to review their goals for this experience in Spain too, so CIEE can support them individually to reach their desired targets. 

Besides, Language and Society continues to offer support with “tutorials” (through the “Centro de Recursos Lingüísticos”) for students who need extra help with the language courses.



Visit to Bullfighting Ring: Advanced Grammar and Composition students visited the Real Maestranza de Caballería de Sevilla (bullfighting Ring in Seville) and its Museum. Students learnt about history, practice and evolution of the tauromaquia in Spain. Later, as a task, they had to interview some locals in order to know their thoughts about the “Fiesta Nacional”. The results will help them to write an argumentative paper about the national topic.

Gastronomy of Spain class visited the Antiquarium, the Castle of San Jorge, Triana Market, and the Convents of Seville. They also had some practical lesson such as: olive oil tasting, sweets made by the nuns of these convents, and products from the Iberian pig.

The Culture and Civilization class visited the Archivo de Indias, Museo Arqueológico and Murallas almohades.

Moreover, Ciee LS students had the opportunity to join other Ciee students and some Spaniards to enjoy different local activities such as: visits to historical monuments like the Cathedral or the Alcázar, Hospital de la Caridad, Plaza de España or Italica Ruins, and neighborhoods like Triana, Arenal or the Jewish part of Santa Cruz, historic buildings, Lebrija Palace or Pilatos House, nearby cities like Cádiz, Aracena, or Carmona. They could also visit some museums like Bellas Artes, Arts and Customs or the Archeologic one in Seville. Ciee also offered some thematic tours like the graffiti, convents, flamenco and Opera tours. 


Within their projects, together with the Embedded Intercultural Component whose sessions are helping students to reflect about culture and their position and role in it, the Tandem Project for intercambios developed in 3 sessions and a final daytrip.

Intercambio #1- On February 23rd, the Conversation groups met at Universidad de Sevilla for the first out of the 4 tandem activities programmed for this semester. In this first meeting, the students worked in small groups, introduced each other, and started to know more about each other. They worked with 24 Spanish University students from different backgrounds that study English as a second language in college. First, they discussed some of the stereotypes in Spain and the USA. Later, they analyzed a couple of news on TV about current events in both countries dealing with the young generations, and their own interests.

The rapport was very good. The main objective of these activities is that both groups have the chance to meet native speakers to practice their target language at a 50/50 rate.


Intercambio #2- On March 1st, the Conversation groups met at Universidad de Sevilla for the 2nd of the 4 tandem activities we have programmed this semester. In this meeting, the students first talked about university life and leisure in both cultures, and had to find out about each other's preferences. Since one of the most popular leisure activities is listening to music or attending music festivals, we did some activities related to this topic in both languages related to vocabulary/colloquial expressions, and a selection of music/artists from both countries. Last week students selected the title of the song that better represented their countries, so for the final activity each group had to explain the song and its relevance, whether they agreed or not with the choice, and talk about their favorite songs.

Both groups had the chance to practice their target language at a 50/50 rate. There was a good exchange of music, and students were very engaged in the topic and the different activities. The session was very successful.


Intercambio #3- On March 8th, the Conversation groups met at Universidad de Sevilla for our 3rd Tandem activity. This time the project dealt with TV in both cultures. The students worked in groups with some vocabulary about Spanish/US TV, and had to explain these terms in their target language. Later, they identified some of the most popular TV shows in Spain and the USA, and made recomendations about their favourite programs. For the last activity they talked about Spanish commercials and analyzed one example of each country. To wrap up, the whole group did a comparison of Spanish TV vs. US TV.

They all practiced their target language at a 50/50 rate, were very engaged in the activities, eager to learn and share their "expertise" on this popular topic.

In each session, students worked with different people in the group, so that everyone knows each other before the final Intercambio on Saturday. 

Intercambio #4- The tandem project concluded with a wonderful day trip to Arcos de la Frontera and the beach as a closing activity.


Trips enjoyed during the last two months in Seville included:  

Day trip to Arcos de la Frontera.  On March 12 the group had the last out of the four activities connected to the Language/Cultural Workshop with the group of students from Universidad de Sevilla. This trip gave them the opportunity to practice the target language outside of the classroom in a more informal setting while enjoying the different landscapes Cádiz offers. During the first part of the activity, in Arcos de la Frontera, we walked around the town and visited its most relevant places (the cathedral, the turist center and so on). Later, we got on the bus to go to the beach and had a picnic by the Atlantic Ocean. The visit was bilingual, and the main objectives of this last activity was to continue practicing their target languages outside of the classroom, at a beautiful setting, and to reinforce the relationship with the Spanish students that started on the first session of the Workshop back in February. All students reported to have enjoyed the activity and the interaction with Sevillanos in a different, more relaxing environment.


And an overnight trip, where students travelled to Morocco visiting the two small towns of Asilah and Chauen, and the two big cities of Tetuan and Tangier in the North of the country. Among their activities students visited the Instituto Cervantes where they could have a really interesting intercambio with Moroccan students who studied Spanish in Tetuan. They discussed about cultural and academic similarities and differences between Morocco and Spain. 









Here we are again to share with you some of the highlights of the academic term thus far. The Business and Society program is full of enriching activities such as academic exchange seminars focusing on current issues in business (Global Discussions), company visits, internships with companies and several activities with local students.


Eight “Global Discussions” have been organized thus far, with a participation of 96 local students. This kind of activities have been developed by the CIEE Business and Society staff to help students to meet more Spaniards under a more academic atmosphere. 

  • “Leadership and Groupthink”
  • “The Entrepreneurship spirit and project financing in Spain and the United States”
  • “United States and Europe: two youths, two realities”
  • “Spanish and American Stereotypes”
  • “Coca-Cola’s one-brand marketing strategy”
  • “Corporate Social Responsibility: a question of ethics or aesthetics?”
  • “Culture shock: the good and bad of our countries”
  • “Artificial intelligence”

Global Discussions


As usual, our business professors have been organizing different company visits focused on business in Spain and the European Union. So far, the following company visits have taken place in the CIEE Business and Society program this term:

Iturri Group, the European leader focused on helping its customers in the field of security and the protection of people, processes, assets and environment, providing them with tailored, innovative and sustainable solutions.

El Cubo, a crowdworking facility where the Spanish telecommunications company, Telefonica-Movistar created a corporate responsibility organization called Andalucía - Open Future. This organization works on accelerating local start-ups by providing them resources from technology to advisers to a location, etc.

Basilippo, the oldest distillery in Andalusia (1880) which has created a unique gin, created by chance, as they were looking to commercialize this fruit in pots, and that has conquered the most expert clients, the British, made out of strawberries from the fields of Huelva. 

Cámara de Comercio. The Official Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Shipping of Seville is a non–profit public law corporation.

Inés Rosales, leading company in the food industry at both the national and international level. Ines Rosales' products have a big presence in the most important retailers in Spain (El Corte Inglés, Carrefour, Auchan) and worldwide (WholeFoods market in the US, Kinokuniya in Japan or Globus in Switzerland).

Company Visits

Daytrip to Cordoba

An amazing daytrip to the City of Córdoba took place on February 20th. During the trip students could visit the beautiful Mosque-Cathedral, the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos and the old Synagogue.


Connecting cultures

Students had the encounter with the Moroccan students that they’re visiting right now in Morocco. In this activity students could learn about the Moroccan culture as well as meet new friends. 


Overnight to morocco

The highlight of each semester is unequivocally the weekend excursion to Morocco. During this fieldtrip, students had the opportunity to experience the cultural, religious, social, and economic differences of the developing North African country.

Before travelling, CIEE organized a mandatory session to prepare students for this trip to Africa. During the session students received information about business, economics, culture and safety in Morocco as well as information about the Business School, the company and the cities they will be visiting this weekend.

Students visited the company Polydesign System in Tangiers, a company that specializes in Automotive & Apparel Trimmings and the Ecole Nationale de Commerce et de Gestion in Tangier, where students enjoyed having tea and traditional cookies with a group of Moroccan students.



At this point of the semester, all the students registered in the Internship Program are working in their companies and have attended the Critical Reflection of the Internship experience session.





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And we reached the middle of the semester! On Sunday, Semana Santa starts. This date marks the official kickoff for the Spring season in Sevilla. During an entire week, students will witness one of the most important traditional events in our city.


Professional Teaching Development: A class designed to build the teachers of tomorrow.  TDP students have shown to be highly motivated since day one. TDP participants have created a safe community in which each one of them feels comfortable and learn from the rest of the group. The class has reached this climate after all students shared the history of their personal learning and explored together the importance of the affective dimension of learning. They have also learned about the different phases of the teaching process including how to design, present and structure a classroom programming. Right now, students are working on different activities that can be put into practice in order to enhance the communicative skills of the classes that they will teach in their practicum.

A TDP Visit: Salvador Tavora High School

In order to learn about the different types of local schools, TDP students visited a local public high school, located in a low-middle class neighborhood. One of the main problems that professors face at this school is related to the behavior of their students. At Salvador Tavora High School, TDP participants attended a lecture about the public education system in Spain and visited two different English classes (17-20 years old students) in which they participated in interactive exercises.


Students have extensively traveled in Andalusia with CIEE. They have already visited Granada, Córdoba and Aracena among other Andalusian cities. In April, TDP participants will travel to Morocco, where they will experience a new culture. In addition, they will visit a school of English for foreigners where they will be able to compare their teaching methodology with what they observed in the Spanish schools where their practicum is taking place.

Please visit our facebook where we post what is going on with the Teaching Development program in Sevilla.


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And we reached the middle of the semester! On Sunday, Semana Santa starts. This date marks the official kickoff for the Spring season in Sevilla. During an entire week, students will witness one of the most important traditional events in our city.


Students just took their midterm exams and they are ready for a well-deserved holiday week.

One of the strengths of our academic program is the out-of-class component. For instance, in the course COMM3301CSC Intercultural Communication and Leadership, students visited the oldest and newest markets in Seville in order to compare them with the markets they know in the US. During the visit, students practiced “suspending judgement” and reflected about aspects of the markets as the importance of communication and social relations with vendors and the concept of time when buying. When talking about stereotypes, they received two guest speakers in class, two social workers, who represent the Gipsy Community in Seville. They told the class about their work in schools where there are Gipsy girls in risk of social exclusion. They also spoke about the history of the Gipsy community in Spain, their culture and some of the most recurrent stereotypes against them.

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Students have extensively traveled in Andalusia with CIEE. They have already visited Granada, Córdoba and Aracena among other Andalusian cities. Apart from getting to know our culture through cultural activities and trips, this semester over 25% of the program participants are actively involved in non-for credit volunteering with local NGOs such as T-Oigo, where CIEE students help children with hearing impairment to learn English.

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Students in the Liberal Arts Interest Groups have experienced many diverse activities as, visiting Gibraltar (Spain and her Neighbors IG) where students visited the Chamber of Commerce, attended a presentation about the history of Gibraltar and went up to the top of the rock; participating in a traditional pottery workshop (Cultural Expressions IG) where students learnt about the importance of ceramics in our local culture, practiced with the potter's wheel and created their own masterpiece; participating in the “Andalusian breakfast”, (Gastronomy: Mediterranean Flavors IG) that Primary Schools do  celebrate the “Day of Andalusia”, and which consists of eating with children bread with olive oil; attending a Flamenco performance ( Spain and her Regions IG); practicing kayak in the Guadalquivir river (Sports and Nature IG), learning about the Universal Exposition of 1992 (Sevilla and the Americas IG) through a bike tour.

Please visit our facebook where we post what is going on with the Liberal Arts program in Sevilla.




Spring 16 CNMJ Students with their Moroccan friends in Chefchaouen

Dear friends,

As our Spring 2016 semester advances, all students of the Communication, New Media and Journalism program are fully involved in their academic projects and their social life in Seville. A visit to our Facebook page will give you an interesting glimpse into our dealings in and out of town. Little by little, we're reaching the busiest part of the semester, which means that there will be plenty to see, listen to and read in the coming weeks. Students are getting increasingly accustomed to working out of class, reaching into our community for stories, images and sounds. This is the time when all of the hard work done so far will start materializing into projects that will expand their and our experience of the world around us.

We’ve brought 7 students from the University of Seville to participate for-credit in our new core course Digital Video Reporting in Context, which is once again hosted at and accredited by the Centro de Iniciativas Culturales de la Universidad de Sevilla (CICUS), the contemporary culture hub of the University of Seville. CICUS is not only our host, it is also bringing our students closer to some of Seville’s most important cultural events of the spring season, the exhibition ‘Sevilla a través de la fotografía (1839-1929). Students of the course Urban Photography Workshop: the City from Within are happy to know that their final projects will be exhibited at this same building.

So far, motivation is high on all fronts. The city is anticipating Spring, which in Seville is accompanied by the sudden burst of the orange blossom and the multiple preparations for the Semana Santa or Holly Week. The town’s Casco Antiguo, where all CNMJ students live will turn into an life-size open stage for everyone to perform and watch at the same time, locals and visitors alike. We will try to help out students use the energy that the city exudes these days into their media projects and other academic tasks.

Some of our usual collaborators and some new ones have already participated in the different courses of the CNMJ program:

  • The very young creators of the innovative internet app radio station Stramm Radio, aged 14 to 17, visited the course Spanish Skills in Context: Podcast Reporting in order to share multiple anecdotes, explain their unique creative processes, how they were selected by the Think Big program of Fundación Telefónica and how they are fighting the ban imposed on them by the SGAE (the Spanish General Society for copyright holders). A cutting edge initiative at many levels.
  • Students of the the course Social Justice: Action and Media took to the streets in order to ask citizens of Seville to choose the most important objective for sustainable development out of the 17 Objectives for Sustainable Development defined by the United Nations. Students of this same course visited the project Historias de Luz, a media project intended to project positive and stereotype-free notions of the South.
  • Once again the students of the course Magazine Reporting and Writing welcomed Sahrawi students from the University of Seville to keep learning and talking about the struggle of the Sahrawi people to gain their freedom and to leave an exile into the dessert of more than 40 years.
  • Students of the course Urban Photography Workshop: the City from Within are roaming the streets of the city with their cameras and making people interested in their often unusual points of view to collect images. See them here taking passers by at Plaza del Salvador by surprise.
  • And don’t miss the brief summaries of students’ audiovisual projects posted by professor Carlos Pineda, Digital Video Reporting in Context course, on our program’s Facebook page.

In addition to these academic activities, the weekend of March 10-13 all CNMJ students are enjoying their academic trip to Morocco accompanied by the professor of the Urban Photography Workshop, Antonio Pérez, and by CNMJ's RD. After spending one night in Algeciras at the Hotel Reina Cristina, the historic site in which the dignitaries of the 1906 Algeciras Conference determined the configuration of the Spanish and French Protectorates in Morocco, we embarked on a beautiful ferry crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar to arrive in Tangier. In this city, which enjoyed the status of international zone from 1923 until 1956 (the year of Morocco’s independence), we visited this morning the old medina, which includes the oldest diplomatic site of the U.S. Government and only National Historic Landmark outside of U.S. soil, the Tangier American Legation. CNMJ students have just been greeted by the families of local students who will be their hosts the next two days in the wonderful town of Chefchaouen, in the Riff mountains. We will also visit on Sunday the historic medina of Tetouan before crossing the Strait of Gibraltar again, back home. We hope it will be a memorable experience for all.

If you haven't done it recently, I'd very much recommend you to visit our website of students projects,, which is updated each semester.

More news soon…


Óscar Ceballos