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2 posts from April 2017




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Coming Home

What I heard over and over from students in the mid-semester check-in meeting was that after a long weekend of travel (for many) they were glad to come home [to Sevilla] and resume their daily routine...spending time at the river hanging out with friends, playing pick-up basketball at courts near their homestay, going for runs in Maria Luisa Park, or just spending time with their host families chatting about their lives.

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El Cubo y Basilippo

Students participated in two visits to companies/organizations in Seville:Basilippo Olive Oil, a family-run olive oil production company, and El Cubo, a crowd-working space in Seville whose mission is to become a collaborative center for the promotion of knowledge and innovation where teams can grow their project or help their startup mature.   During the visit to Basilippo students learned about the productions process of extra virgin olive oil, from cultivation to extraction.  And in El Cubo, students had a discussion with the director of the center about the objectives of the mentorship program, and interacted with several startup teams, providing feedback along the way.  A couple of IBC students will be collaborating with the startups to help advance their projects.


Cultural Immersion to Morocco

The CIEE Seville IBC Overnight to Morocco continues to be one of the highlights of the semester.  Students had two pre-departures orientations, one to learn about the historical, societal, and cultural elements of this developing North African country, and the second to discuss the academic and cultural objectives of the excursion.  The student learning that occurs during the trip reminds me why international education, and especially intercultural education, is so vital for our students... not only do they see a country and culture very different from their own but most importantly they EXPERIENCE it first-hand. Students become aware of their U.S. American privilege and status, they dialogue with their Moroccan peers about their perceptions of the U.S., U.S. Americans, U.S. politics and are open and honest with each other about why certain perceptions exist.  At the same time, they also discover that even though they come from very different cultures a common or connecting thread can always be found.  





Next Sunday, with the start of Semana Santa, the first of our two weeks of Spring break, the Spring season in officially inaugurated in Sevilla.

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Academically, students deserve a break after the great effort they invested in the midterms and before the stress of finals arrive at the end of April.

So, now, they are enjoying their classes and especially, the out-of-class component. For instance, the The Art History class, Andalusia, the land of Artistic Geniuses, visited La Iglesia Colegial del Divino Salvador, the second largest church in the city, where students could admire firsthand the works of the Baroque sculptors Juan Martínez Montañés and his disciple Juan de Mesa, whom they previously had studied in class. Students analyzed two of their works: Cristo del Amor and El Nazareno de Pasión. Students also learnt about the relationship between the sculptures and one of most famous celebrations in Seville, Semana Santa.

 Also, in the Intercultural Communication and Leadership course among other activities, students visited the oldest and newest markets in Seville to compare them with other forms of markets in the US more familiar with students. During the visit, each student had to find a product which they did not know and ask the vendor about it. After the visit, students reflected on several cultural differences: traditions in ways of buying, the importance of communication with vendors, the concept of time while purchasing a product, why fresh meat and fish are shown in their entire form, how products are presented, etc. Students also tried the typical chicharrones.


Apart from the 13% of program participants that are regularly volunteering as Cultural Assistants at local schools, starting fall 2016, Liberal Arts students may choose to register in the CIEE course Professional Teaching Development, a class that includes a practicum teaching English as a Foreign Language. Students in this course, also learn about the Spanish educative system.  This topic is illustrated through visits to two local schools that represent the opposites in the spectrum of education options in Spain. On one hand, they visited the San José SSCC school, in Los Remedios, an upper-middle class neighborhood and on the other hand, they visited the IES Torreblanca, located in a neighborhood where many families at risk for social inclusion live. So, students observe two different realities and their educational challenges and approaches. In both schools, students did a tour of the building, attended classes, where they could also interact with students, and met professors who explained the characteristics of their work.

Apart from academics, students had also the opportunity to participate in social and cultural activities with their Interest Groups such as kayak, paddle, a bike tour by the river, a cooking lesson with products originally American, a trip to Gibraltar, a wine tasting and much more!

We hope that you enjoy a great Spring break.

Please visit our Facebook to see what is going on this semester in Sevilla!

All the best,

Jorge, Sergio and Olga