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.