CIEE at Barcelona & Seville
Through the CIEE program, students may choose to spend a year or semester studying in either Barcelona or in Selville. Barcelona students may study through the Universitat Pompeu Fabra or the Universitat de Barcelona, while Seville students will study through the Universitat de Sevilla. Regardless of which city students choose, CIEE offers its own academic courses, as well as academic and personal support to its students. An overall GPA of 3.0 is required to qualify for the CIEE program, as well as a 3.0 in Spanish. Students will live in either homestays or in residencias, which pair students with local student roommates. Meals are provided accordingly, either through homestay families or through cafeterias and external means for students staying in residencias. Students staying in Spain for an entire academic year may opt to find a private apartment during their spring semester. CIEE requires students to participate in an online orientation program prior to arrival in Spain, which is then supplemented by a weeklong on-site orientation in Spain. Cultural outings and social functions are organized by CIEE, as well as a “big brother/sister” program that pairs international students with local students to facilitate both friendships and immersion.
Further info can be found at: http://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/seville/advanced-liberal-arts/#1rightForYou and: http://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/cities/barcelona.aspx
The Universidad de Barcelona, for me, was very good. It was not, like Reed, exceptional, but the classes were intensive enough and I learned a lot. The classes I took with CIEE—Barcelona were not very intensive at all. In fact, I would even venture to say that they were at times so disappointing that they could very well be called the low point(s) of my semester abroad. Regardless, I still learned things, but not all of them new, that is, from a different cultural perspective. The residencia (ONIX) was great. I only wish that there would have been a food allowance. The folks at CIEE are awesome and available, you'll make friends that last a lifetime, and you will enjoy one of the best cities on earth, Barcelona. I feel that I learned more about myself than anything else. Being abroad allows--nay: makes--you see things you've never seen before, makes you therefore a more experienced person, and as a more experienced person, makes you consider life, culture, personality, relationships, and above all, yourself in new lights.
The topics are fun and context-driven, and it is enjoyable to study contemporary Spanish Literature and Film in spain. However, the ease with which school and education were conducted was foreign to me. I would like to note that I don't mean to critique the caliber of the education but the atmosphere was completely different, whether this was the program, or the University of Barcelona, or just being in Spain, I could not tell you. One has the possibility of electing from an array of classes that one can not find here at Reed. This I believe to be a good and fruitful experience. The dorm was nice, clean, large enough, and well positioned. However, the organization was lacking. I was placed with a freshman who studied Engineering while I am a Religion major. There appeared to be little forethought. The food was not bad either, though a bit redundant. To go and study in Spain does indeed require some self-control and self-motivation, also, some understanding of the political conditions. You're in Catalonia, not in Spain, or that's what they will tell you. Know that they speak another language as their primary language, certainly. There is no doubt that distance from Reed, and now from Spain, will grant me a change of perspective, things from both realms that I want to entertain in differing cultures and contexts to see how they work.