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7 posts from May 2016



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Hasta luego Sevilla!

From me….to we!

Students have learned along this journey that befriending locals requires one to step out of their “comfort zone” and into a “stretching zone”.  For many students, walking up to a local and asking for directions in another language (or better yet asking a Spanish peer if they´d like to have a coffee) usually puts students into the “panic zone”.  Therefore, several activities were organized throughout the semester to facilitate communication and interactions with their Spanish peers via informal and fun activities. Two WONDERFUL Spanish student guides, Marina and Juanan, served as liaisons and facilitators…students enjoyed activities such as pick-up basketball games, Sevillana dance classes, wine tasting, team kayaking, local soccer game and a cooking class.

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Visit to El Vacie 

The Intercultural Communication and Leadership students and I recently returned from a visit to the María Angeles Daycare, which serves and works primarily with the Gypsy families living in the El Vacie shanty town.  Staff engaged students in conversation surrounding the challenges of working with this population, as well as how they are combatting stereotypes and working to facilitate better communication between families, educational institutions, social services, etc.

Through CIEE employees´ Day of Service Program, I had the privilege of volunteering my time during a workday and assist the caregivers with the daily care tasks of the infants and children (bathing, feeding, dressing, diaper changes, toileting, etc.).  My hat goes off to all of the wonderful teachers and volunteers that put their heart and soul into providing the children with a nurturing and safe learning environment.

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How can I apply what I´ve learned?

As International Education professionals, we know that “study abroad” is not code for “a glorified vacation”, although this assumption continues to exist amongst some employers.  Students have gained and improved on a number of transferrable skills and competencies…skills that CAN be applied to students´ future careers.

Several students participated in the Reentry/Marketing your Experience Abroad Workshop last week.  During the workshop, students reflected upon their semester experience, how they have grown and changed, their accomplishments and achievements as well as expectations for the return home.  

However, one of the main goals of the workshop was to help students think about how they can talk with future employers about their growth in a way that is attractive, professional and marketable.  Students brain-stormed the skills and competencies acquired as a result of studying abroad, and practiced talking about them via mock interviews.

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CIEE´s Intercultural Communication and Leadership Course

As course instructor, I witnessed first-hand students´ intercultural growth via their writings, class contributions, discussions, and digital storytelling projects.

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I invite you to take a look at Amanda Rhine´s (George Washington University) Digital Story, as she highlights her intercultural journey as result of the course and semester in Seville.

Have an enjoyable and restful summer!





Greetings from Sevilla!

One more year our Spring Semester came to its end. Language and Society classes at CIEE and the University of Seville finished last May 5th.  All our students finished their exams and papers, allowing most of them to leave Seville at the beginning of May, and some others throughout the month, since these last decided to travel once more before leaving Europe. 

The end of the course was celebrated with a farewell dinner where all our LS students enjoy their last tapas accompanied by their teachers and other local staff members. Some of our students received a commemorative prize for their integration in the culture before we all said goodbye. This “competition” was really moving and motivating for them!

The semester was distinguished by personal and cultural growth, as well as filled with academic successes, and our students denoted it with comments like these:

“I feel like this program really helped advance my Spanish abilities and pushed me out of my comfort zone to practice the language. I really enjoyed living with a host family and having all my classes in Spanish, it was a good challenge.”

“I thought that the classes both at CIEE and the unviersity allowed me to further my knowledge of the Spanish language. I definitely gained a lot more from this one semester than I had in my years of spanish at home.”


“I feel like I gained a much better understanding of the language and culture and overall life in Spain, which is exactly what I wanted from this experience. The program met my expectations and it was also challenging enough that it helped me improve.”

“I think if a student really gets involved in class and welcomes the challenge of living in a foreign country, they will have a great experience and all of their expectations should be met.”

“I know more about spanish culture now probably than I do about my own culture. I learned so much about Spain and its culture living here.”

“I felt like a student at the University, not just a foreigner here to take classes.”

“felt authentic. I liked being surrounded by spanish students, if I needed help I needed to ask in spanish, Was fun to interact with the spanish students in the cafeteria, etc. It allowed me to venture out of our American student bubble.”

“The strengths of the academic elements were that it allowed us to learn the language in a challenging environment.”

“These classes were nice because I got to meet new people and enjoyed a much different style of teaching.”


This last part of the semester continued to contribute to our students´ development flanked by some cultural and enriching activities such as: the visits to the Archeological Museum of Seville and the city of Rota, or their walk by the Golden Seville route.

As new, one of our students was involved this semester in the observation of a private dentist´s consult finding the experience really helpful and interesting.

In the next months, we will continue to work with the preregistration of our future students for next Fall Semester 2016.

We are very grateful to LS students for their presence in our program. It has been a real pleasure to work with them due to their varied contributions.

Our best wishes,

CIEE LS Program



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Greetings from Sevilla!

After almost 5 months since our students arrived to Seville, we reached the end of the Spring 2016 semester for all of the Teaching Development students.  For this reason, staff, professors and students went to a farewell cocktail to have the opportunity to say “hasta pronto” to one another.

We are really happy with the result of the course and with the amazing personality and human quality of each of the eight TD students… It’s been an incredible semester!


Over the lasts weeks, the professor of the Professional Teaching Development class has worked with the students their identity as professors, as they will be future teachers soon. There are basic fundamentals in a professor formation such as learning methodology, class management or getting a syllabus ready. Thus, during the second part of the semester, the professor focused in the reflexive thought as a way to activate previous knowledge within our students and to create new knowledge respecting their fears, doubts, wishes, expectative about themselves, about their students, about their work-mates and about the occupation in general.

TDP Class Visits

Salvador Távora High School: For this first visit, TDP students visited The Salvador Távora High School. Students were welcomed by two of the English professors from the school and then they attended a presentation by the High School principal about the public education system in Spain, how the school works and the academic offer of their school.


After that, TDP students split up in two groups and participated in interactive exercises in two different English classes for Bachillerato students.

Visit to Colegio San Jose: TDP students visited San Jose school in order to get to know  how things work in a private school Seville. The pedagogical coordinator greeted us and gave us a speech about the different methodologies they use in the school. Then, a different professor gave us a lecture about education, vocation in an educational professional and social implication as professors.


After the lecture, students visited four different classes from different levels where they could see first-hand how classes and the interaction professor-students worked.


On the weekend of April 8-10 TDP students travelled to Morocco. On their first day, Tetouan, they visited the English Language Institute. This is a prestigious school that has over 1500 students. There, students were first greeted both by the director and the academic advisor. Then, they sat in a class in order to observe the teaching methodology. Afterwards, CIEE students joined the Moroccan students and had a wonderful exchange meeting together.  

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On their second day in Morocco, students visited both downtown Tetouan and Tangiers where they rode camels, an experience that they absolutely loved. On their last day of the trip, students travelled to Chef Chaouen, aka the blue town, a beautiful town located in the Riff Mountains. The TDP students took advantage of the experience of travelling to a different country and meeting people from a different culture.

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Please visit our Facebook page where we have been updating the adventures of your students in Sevilla. Wishing you a wonderful summer,

Jorge, Sergio and Olga



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This was a truly exceptional semester for Business and Society, full of challenging coursework, language training, homestays, enriching activities including local students, the visits to companies such as Iturri Group, El Cubo, The Official Chamber of Commerce, Inés Rosales, Basilippo or Polydesign System, an incredible trip to Morocco or the Connecting Culture activity.



As each semester, several opportunities have been offered to get students involved in the local community, such as volunteering and teaching.



In an increasingly globalized economy, international experience in a professional setting is becoming more and more valuable. This semester, a total of 26 students worked as interns in local companies during this semester.


James Brooks and Brenton Reilly, Patrick O’Malley and Christina Zerfas have been chosen by their peers as the most engaged students in the local culture.
They have been recognized for their experience. According their peers, Brent volunteered teaching in a local school, gave private English lessons and played soccer with neighborhood Spaniards. James and Patrick continuously made a great effort to meet and to socialize with Spaniards and Christina played on a local soccer team, committing to speak Spanish all the time.  They were dedicated to their language commitment throughout the semester and their Spanish has improved a lot!

4. Engagement in the local community


Our yearlong students enjoyed the Cultural Reimbursement program travelling around Spanish cities such as Madrid, Bilbao, Granada and doing cultural activities in Spain such football, theater, bullfighting, etc.


Last Wednesday May 5th, we celebrated our end-of-semester cocktail for our Business and Society students. 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.

5. Farewell Party

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.

Warm Regards from Seville!

Virginia, Brittany and Antonio.





And we just reached the end of the Spring 2016 semester for most of the Liberal Arts students.  For this reason, last Thursday, staff, professors and students went to a farewell cocktail to have the opportunity to say “hasta pronto” to one another. Only those students taking classes with Spaniards will have the chance to spend at least one month longer in Sevilla.

We hope that the spring in Sevilla has resulted in a very enriching experience for all program participants in many different ways…



Academically, CIEE professors did a great effort to integrate the city into their classes through diverse out-of-class activities. For instance, the Fundamentals of Comparative Law in Globalized World class visited the Inquisition Museum in Triana where students walked through the remnants of the Santo Oficio Prison and reflected about the Spanish Inquisition and religious intolerance.  Spain and European Integration course prompted a visit to the Seville office of the Spanish Committee to UNHCR. There students gained a first-hand understanding of the role of UNHCR in the face of the avalanche of refugees seeking asylum in the EU, as well as learning about the principal mechanisms that have been put into practice and their evident deficiencies.  Another example of bringing the city life into the classroom can be seen at the visit to Sevilla Football Club’s Sport Facilities by the Anthropology of Sports in Spain course. During this activity, students watched how young and professional players train. They also learned about the management of a professional team, as well as the work of a Psychology Department for elite athletes.



During the last month of the program, the IGs went on their three day trip, which was the culmination of the theme of the groups.

Some of the highlights of the trips of the IGs this semester were:  the Sports and Nature travelled to Madrid where they visited the Real Madrid Stadium and the Royal Botanical Garden. The Gastronomy IG travelled to Morocco. There, they participated in a cooking workshop and explored the Medina of Tetouan and Chef Chaouen searching for delicacies that connected Moroccan and Spanish flavours. The Cultural Expressions IG, that also travelled to Morocco, participated in metalwork, pottery and sewing workshops at the School of Art crafts in Tetouan. They also took part in a language exchange with Moroccan students of Spanish at the Instituto Cervantes. The Spain and her Neighbors and Sevilla and the Americas IGs went to Lisbon, where they compared and understood the historical and cultural relation of Spain and Portugal by visiting places such as the Monastery of the Jeronimos and Padrao dos Decubridores. Lastly, the Spain and her Regions IG visited Barcelona, where students were able to taste and see the differences and similarities of the Catalan and Andalusian culture in their gastronomy in their visit to the Boqueria market and in architecture, by contemplating Gaudi’s works.

Please visit our facebook page where we have been updating the adventures of your students in Sevilla. Wishing you a wonderful summer,

Jorge, Sergio and Olga


Ellie y su familia española

Ellie y sus padres españoles

This post is by Ellie Boyer, a Business and Marketing student from Indiana University. During the Spring 2016 semester she participated in the CIEE Business and Society Program.

Yesterday I woke up in my bed in Michigan confused. I started crying when it hit me that I wasn’t in Sevilla anymore. Four months ago I was sitting on my bed in an unfamiliar room in Sevilla crying quietly with the door closed. I was scared, overwhelmed, and thinking “what have I gotten myself into?” Also, “I hope my host family can’t hear me crying.”

I didn’t document a lot of my journey this past semester on social media because to be quite honest, it was difficult. I felt like nobody wanted to see how emotionally, physically, and mentally drained I was. I felt like a liar posting pictures of a glamorous European adventure that I didn’t feel like I was experiencing. My first month there was far from the romanticized study abroad experience I had been told about by my friends. I was frightened, lonely, and at times very melancholy. Every day brought new challenges and MANY failures on my part.

However, all of those obstacles made my time there special. Overcoming the adversity of making a home in Sevilla was one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. All of my failures along the way have transformed me into a different person. When I began my adventure in January, little did I know that the strangers I was living with would become the highlight of my study abroad experience.

The thing I will miss most from Spain is my host family. My new family softened my cynical heart (believe it or not) and took me in as one of it’s own. I lived with 7 wonderful human beings this semester: Luis and Rocío and their 5 children, Luis, Rocío, Jose, Javi, and Carmen. And my only regret from this past semester, aside from indulging in a little too much rebujito during Feria, was that I didn’t get to say goodbye to my new siblings.

Among the plethora of things that I will miss about my family, here are a few highlights:

I’m going to miss watching them watch futbol games. The only thing more entertaining than watching a Spanish futbol game is watching a family of Spaniards watch the same game.

I’m going to miss José running to the door every time I leave and forget to say goodbye.

I'm going to miss Carmen coming into my room every time she hears American music playing.

I’m even going to miss the mischievous look in my host mom’s eyes as she serves me extra food when she thinks I’m not looking.

I didn’t think it was possible for me to feel at home there, but when I finally did, I was whisked away back to the States.

To my host family, thank you for being my second family. For teaching me new things everyday and for always being patient with me. For being unapologetically you, no matter how loud that may be. For giving me some incredible memories and making me feel like a child again, in all of the best ways. For screaming and fighting and showing me that unconditional love always forgives and harbors no resentment.

Sevilla taught me how to conquer my fears and embrace my imperfections. I know that I will never be the same person again because it took a piece of my heart that I cannot reclaim.

Thank you to my parents and the rest of my family (in the States) for supporting me to pursue this adventure, and now, it's on to the next one! Atlanta, here I come!


Dear friends,

Greetings from a very rainy Seville. Our Spring 2016 semester has come to an end. The professors and Resident Director of the CIEE Communication, New Media and Journalism program in Seville are happy to say that the past four months have been a truly productive period for all of us. Our students have shown great commitment in pursuing their personal and academic endeavours, have experienced at many levels and have demonstrated great respect for their host community. The meaningful media projects they've created during their semester abroad is a testimony to that.

Under the title of this Newsletter you have the very original video “Miedo” (Fear), created by Axel Lopez —Bentley University— as his final project for the course Digital Video Reporting in Context. Axel portrays himself fulfilling his main passion in the streets of Seville: dancing. The challenge was to overcome his fear of doing it in public.

More from the Digital Video Reporting in Context course. Sierra Cymes —Colorado State University— has given us this beautiful portrait of Johnny Scarlata, a character like no other on the most bohemian side of Seville.  

Fatima Jimenez —University of La Verne— has created this beautiful remixed video: a deeply felt reflection about autism, superbly edited by Fatima over a poem read by its own author, Benjamin Griroux, “I am Odd, I am New.”

You can see all of our students' video projects from this semester at the TV section of our website of students' projects.

Amongst the many projects created this semester by the students of the Urban Photography Workshop course, I think you will like this group exercise to commemorate the “International Day of Mother Earth”. Plastic bags have a second life in the most creative way. You can see the whole collection of images here. Halley Rogers –George Washington University– is portrait here by Brian Wasik —George Washington University—.

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The students of the Magazine Reporting and Writing course have once again accomplished the task of sending in time a very engaging publication to the printer. Issue 26 of the bilingual magazine más+menos comes with the title “Playing our Part / Jugando Nuestro Papel”. Our front page article (below), by Isabel Verhille —Scripps College— is titled "The Perfect Solution / La Solución Perfecta". You can click on this link to check all of the articles.  


This semester our students have also enjoyed many out-of-class activities connected with their different courses. Students of the Spanish Skills in Context: Podcast Reporting course visited the broadcasting center of Canal Sur Radio (below).


As always, you can see more, read more and learn more about the work that our students do at our Facebook page CNMJ CIEE SEVILLE and at our website of student projects,

There will be much more in the Fall 2016 semester.

Thank you very much for collaborating with us this past semester.

Best regards from Seville,

Óscar Ceballos