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39 posts categorized "Teaching Development (TDP)"




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



Last night, staff, professors and students gathered in a farewell party. Students were very animated with mixed feelings of happiness for the prospect of seeing their families again after four months and at the same time, sadness for saying goodbye to their new hometown, Sevilla.

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After the trips of the Interest Groups to Morocco, Madrid, Lisbon and Barcelona, these last weeks have been very special. on one hand, many students took advantage of the local festivities to explore around Europe. On the other hand, it has been the perfect timing to enjoy Sevilla with its many decorated streets, the nativity scenes exhibitions and other activities around Christmas. An all this while studying for the finals!

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We hope that students bring back home unforgettable memories and enriching experiences with them.

Please, visit our Facebook to see what your students were involved in this semester.

We wish you the best for you Winter vacation with your beloved ones and a happy 2017!

All the best from Sevilla,

Jorge, Sergio and Olga


A Page Out of a Fairy Tale 

Once upon a time, amidst the rolling hills and vast valleys of the countryside, stood a castle perched on the highest point that the eye could see. Surrounding the castle stretched endless acres of pasture dotted with a mix of white little houses and white not-so-little sheep, filling the atmosphere with a chorus of jingling bells & “baas” as they waited to be shaved.

This fairy tale is being lived out today, in real life: in Aracena, Andalucía.


Weeks ago, I had blindly signed up for a day trip to Aracena, not knowing exactly what I was in for. I wanted to take advantage of all the excursions offered by my study abroad program -- despite the early 9AM Saturday morning rendezvous. With the combination of clear skies and warm weather complementing the city’s natural and architectural beauty, Aracena truly blew us away.

What’s special about Aracena is its beauty both above ground and below. Upon arriving, we began our climb of one hundred meters to reach the highest point of the city where the centuries old castle stood. The hilly terrain was prime natural protection against invaders, therefore the castle was more symbolic versus active during its time. From such a high point, the eye was treated to a breathtaking vista of greenery dotted with picturesque clusters of white pueblos.  


Once arriving back to city center, we began our descent down one hundred meters underneath the streets of Aracena. The rocky limestone terrain is highly susceptible to the forces of erosion, leaving a labyrinth of underground caves covering 1200 square kilometers. Our jaws remain dropped as we continued through each section of the caves, in awe of the complicated structures produced by simple a combination of water and sediment. The prohibition of photography enhanced our senses of observation, shifting our focus on taking in the artwork of stalagmites and stalactites through our natural lenses.


Taking a trip to Aracena was like walking into the pages of a fairy tale. It was a journey that left my quads and glutes whining, but more importantly left my mind and heart overwhelmed with contentment from such a magical experience.  



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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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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.


5,000 miles from my home I found in Seville a new home

This post is by Katie Heldt, a Spanish and Biology student from University of Oregon. During the Fall 2015 semester she participated in the the CIEE Teaching Development Program and currently she is participating in the CIEE Liberal Arts Program.

"You're going to Spain for a full year? Why?". Out of all the responses I got upon telling people I would be doing the Teaching Development Program with CIEE in Sevilla, Spain, that was the least supportive reaction, as well as the reaction I chose to focus upon. After spending almost five months over 5,000 miles from my home in Eugene, Oregon, I've realized exactly why.

I spend my days in the most compelling classes I've ever taken, volunteering by teaching English at Colegio Sagrado Corazón, and tutoring for three of the sweetest students I have ever had the honor to meet. My nights are filled with cooking delicious Spanish dishes with my roommate, Noelia, playing with our foster kitten, or going out for a few copas with friends in the lively streets of Sevilla. My whole life has been translated into Spanish.


I'll admit it; the idea of constantly living in my second language stressed me out beyond belief before I arrived, especially attempting to communicate my many ideas about pedagogy in a fluent, comprehensive manner. The professors and staff at CIEE immediately quelled those fears with their obvious faith in me as a student and a teacher. It may sound cliché, but the CIEE Teaching Development Program was the best decision I have made to this day. The program is the only of its kind; I receive full-time support from my pedagogy classes while I'm given limitless freedom to explore my ideas for teaching. Not only is the academic side astoundingly perfect, but also CIEE has given me so many experiences I will never forget, from riding a camel in Morocco to swimming in the sea in Cádiz.

The biggest reason I know why I'm living in Sevilla for a year is the people. Never have I felt so real and so known as a person. Southern Spain is famous for its fiery, passionate people who take siestas by day and dance flamenco by night. While this image is a bit exaggerated, I've found the passion for living to be completely undeniable, a passion that has changed my way of working, playing, and living entirely for the better. A few weeks ago I stumbled upon a quote from Henry Miller that rings truer with every day I spend here: "One's destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things". While I only have a few months to live in Sevilla, I know Sevilla has found a home in my heart (sappy, but true). I will never say "Adios" to Sevilla; I will only say "Hasta pronto".





It is a pleasure to write this summary of the first few weeks of the Teaching Development Program (TDP) – Spring 2016 semester program, which is composed of eight smart ladies!


Orientation marked the departure point for the study abroad experience of the TDP participants. As is usual, students attended sessions on safety, housing, academics and other practical topics for their life in Sevilla. In addition to the sessions, students also participated in different tours to get to know their neighborhood and the city center, enjoyed tapas dinners and learnt about Sevilla with a Flamenco workshop and a bike tour.


Following orientation, students started their intensive session, a two-week course that helped students brush up their Spanish while getting used to living in Sevilla, different schedules, meals and listening to Spanish everywhere. Students also registered for all their classes for the regular session that begin this week. During the first two days of classes, students will attend a variety of classes and then decide if they want to stay or make any changes to their schedule in the drop/add period. Also this week, the eight TDP students will visit the schools where their practicums will take place and will get acquainted with their mentor professors with whom they will start their class observation period next week.

This semester we have expanded our collaboration to five local primary and secondary schools.  Professors in these five schools were really excited and eager to start working with our TDP students, since it is a very enriching experience not only for TDP students, but also to the Spanish professors and kids.


Meanwhile, TDP students are enjoying life in Sevilla by participating in the visits to local monuments that the program organizes. On Thursday, we will have our first - of many - Intercambio events, in which students will be able to meet their intercambio and thus, start a bilingual relationship that will allow them to integrate better into the Spanish life.

I am sure that we will have much more to tell you about your students as weeks pass by in Sevilla.

We wish you a successful and enriching Spring semester.





And we reached the end … The last month of the program was especially intense for our students. They had their last classes, their essays due and finals. But they also enjoyed Sevilla in Autumn and their Interest Groups trips.


Katie was enrolled in the Interest Group (IG) Cultural Expressions, which travelled to Northern Morocco. There, our students visited Tangiers, Tetuan and Chef Chaouen. What students enjoyed most of this trip was an encounter with Moroccan students of the Spanish Instituto Cervantes (the most important Spanish institution for teaching Spanish and promoting Spanish culture abroad). Chloe, one of the CIEE students in this IG, did a great video in which you can see a summary of the activities in which students participated in this trip.

Kevin was enrolled in the Sports and Nature IG, which travelled to Madrid, where students learned about the life of the Spanish Olympic Athletes in a visit to the High Performance Training Center. The star activity of this trip was a visit to the Real Madrid soccer team Stadium.

Please, visit our CIEE Seville Facebook page to see photos of the Interest Groups and other events in which Teaching Development students were involved!


Kevin and Katie enjoyed their time in the school a lot. Kevin taught in secondary school and Katie did it in primary school. They only have good words while referring to the time spent within class and their relationships with students, school staff, etc. The professors of the school were amazed with the human quality and professionalism of Kevin and Katie, and the staff school agree as saying our students have been two of the best practicum students they have ever had.

Also Carlos, the professor of the core class of our TDP program, is very happy with the performance of Kevin and Katie. The class has been very dynamic as they had many discussing time in order to improve and learn different methodologies for the actual practicum and to apply in the future. Carlos says that he has enjoyed himself working along with Katie and Kevin and the experience has been mutually beneficial.



On December 10th, just after the finals, we had our Farewell dinner. Teaching Development students, professors and staff had the occasion of a last meeting before the departure of students. We hope that they had an enriching semester and that they will return someday to Sevilla.

Now, it is time to reflect on fall and get ready for an exciting spring semester, and enjoy a small rest!

We wish you and yours a happy vacation and peace and joy in the New Year.

All the best from Sevilla,

Jorge, Sergio and Olga




This post is by Margaret Weiss, a St. Olaf College student. During the Fall 2015 semester she is participating in the the CIEE Liberal Arts program.

Hi, everyone!

Last week was midterms for CIEE, and it was a pretty stressful week. However, with the help of my parents and the CIEE faculty, I made it through the week, and I’m feeling really good about all of my midterms. I’m happy with how they all went, and I’m happy that they’re done. Looking ahead, a couple of my final exams are research papers. I don’t think the final exams will be quite as stressful as the midterms, in part because I know how they’re going to look and in part because I’ll only have two exams to take!

I’m getting excited about my upcoming research papers (as dorky as that sounds). It’s still all very rough, but I’m thinking about writing about different aspects of Cuban life for both of them- one of the papers will be about European Union’s relationship with Cuba and one will be about Cuba’s national newspaper, the Granma. We’ll see how both of those topics turn out, but I LOVE Cuba, and I’m excited to bring that love to both of my Spanish classes.

To cap off the midterm week, I traveled to the Madrid area with two of my CIEE friends, Zoe and Laura. This weekend was a puente weekend, or a long weekend where we didn’t have class on Monday. Yesterday was All Saint’s Day, so all of Spain gets Monday off because of that holiday. The three of us had such a wonderful time in Madrid, seeing the city and the surrounding area. Moreover, we also had the opportunity to stay with a family in the Madrid area, so thanks to Paul and Sarie for being such wonderful hosts! Not only did they provide a home and home life for the weekend, they also helped us to make the most of our time in the Madrid area.

To begin with, Zoe, Laura and I got to see Paul and Sarie’s school and get to know some of the school’s teachers on Friday, which was absolutely wonderful. After that, Zoe, Laura and I explored the city of Madrid on Saturday. We started our day at an (impromptu) book fair before going to the Prado. The book fair was really cool- a lot of the books were used and old books, but there were also new books. Each of the three of us got a copy of the first Harry Potter in Spanish. Moving on, the Prado was wonderful to see. The museum is a lot of religious art, and there are quite a lot of masterpieces in it. Pictures weren’t allowed, but the architecture of the building was incredible, so here’s a photo of that!

After the Prado, we went to the Parque de Buen Retiro, another must-see of Madrid! The weather is cooler in Madrid, and the leaves were changing in the park, so it was really nice to feel a little more like it was fall. Zoe, Laura and I walked around the Parque, which is absolutely HUGE. We didn’t see half of it, but we did get lunch and got to see a little bit of fall in Spain.

After the Parque de Buen Retiro, Zoe, Laura and I went to the Reino Sofia. We didn’t see all of the exhibits (the three of us were all pretty tired from the Prado), but I think that I prefer the contemporary art of the Reino Sofia to the art of the Prado (not that I didn’t appreciate the Prado!). Moreover, we got to see Guernica, Picasso’s masterpiece, so that made the trip worthwhile in itself. I’ve studied Guernica a lot in my Spanish classes, and it’s really neat to be able to say that I saw it in person. Finally, both of the museums were free with student ID’s, so that alone makes the trips worth it! We saved around 16 euro each!

It was a long day in Madrid, but we ended it by going to the “most famous” churro place in Madrid, the Chocolatería San Ginés. I don’t love churros, but the chocolate was so good in the Chocolatería. And it’s nice to say that we did it! After a little more shopping (in all, I got 5 books and a scarf while I was in Madrid), the three of us headed home.

The next day, Sarie drove the three of us up to Segovia (thank you!), which is a GORGEOUS town with a lot of history and sites to see. We began our day in Segovia by seeing the Cathedral and the Aqueduct (see attached photos) before traversing up to the Alcazar, which Zoe, Laura and I toured. Laura and I are in an Islamic architecture class, and it was really cool for both of us to see the Christianity of the Alcazar imposed over clear Islamic influences. I saw a lot of the themes that we have talked about in class while I was in the Alcazar. To end our trip of the Alcazar, the three of us hiked the Alcazar’s tower, which has some beautiful and impressive views of all of Segovia.

To wrap up our trip to Segovia, the three of us walked around the town a little more. Segovia is a beautiful and walkable city, and I loved being there. Laura and I also bought a GIANT palomera (my favorite treat in Spain), and we happily split that. The three of us met back up with Sarie, and we drove home.

And that’s a summary of my weekend in Madrid! I am so grateful that I got to see Madrid like I did, and that Paul and Sarie allowed us to stay in their home. I had a wonderful time seeing two major Spanish cities, and I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity that I did. This was a wonderful way to spend the long weekend! I’m en route to Sevilla as I type this, but I’ll probably be back home when I post it. Thanks for reading, everyone! Time here is going really quickly, and I’m loving every opportunity that comes my way. Madrid and the surrounding area was wonderful to get to know this weekend, and I’m excited for the further adventures that are coming my way!





The middle of the semester arrived when we are starting to feel autumn in Seville.


Last week, all CIEE students took their midterms and are finally stress-free of exams.

Students are enjoying a wide offer of out-of-class activities in their CIEE courses. For instance, to weeks ago, students in the course Flamenco in Andalusia, participated in a percussion workshop where they learnt about the different flamenco rhythms, as well as to clap their hands on time, identifying three types of meters. A percussionist visited the class to introduce some of the most popular percussion instruments, such as “el cajón” (a hollow wooden box), with which students practiced. Also, students in the Culture and Cuisine in Spain class went on a tour of convents where they learnt about how nuns make homemade traditional sweets and got to taste them!

Starting spring 2016, CIEE will offer a new Psychology class, Positive Psychology that will complete our offer on this subject.


Katie and Kevin, the two students enrolled in the Teaching Development program are having a very good time in Seville so far.

During the first half of the semester they both have been learning a lot from their core class: Professional Teaching Development and from their teacher, Carlos. At class, they have been reinforcing the knowledge they already had from their previous experience on teaching in the US and also adding new methodologies they will be able to apply in a future… and at present as well since Katie and Kevin are now immerse in their practicum in a local school! They have been going there twice a week since late September and they had 5 weeks of in-class observation.


Katie and Kevin have just finished their five-week observational period at school and this week they have just started their teaching time at class, with students from ages between six and twelve years old (the students from the TD program can choose what level they teach at the beginning of the semester). Therefore, in this very moment Katie and Kevin are enjoying their time at school while they are both teaching to students and learning from Carlos and the professors from the school where they are having the practicum.


Apart from travelling to Cadiz and Granada, Teaching Development students had the opportunity to participate in cultural activities as diverse as the History of the Jewish Community tour, a cooking tapas workshop or a graffiti tour in which students both admire the paintings and make their own street masterpiece.


Please, follow us in Facebook to be updated on the lives of your students in Sevilla.

We will write you in a few weeks again to let you know the highlights of your student’s experience in Seville!

We hope you are having a great fall semester!

Best regards from Sevilla,

The TDP team: Olga / Jorge / Sergio