THE NEW SEMESTER BEGINS
The arrival of the new group marked the beginning of the Fall 2013. Students were welcomed by the Madrid staff at the airport and taken to their homestays before meeting all together in the afternoon.
An introduction by every student participating in the program was a perfect ice breaker and a good way to find peers with similar interests. A presentation on "Living in Madrid and Housing norms" by Sonia Sales, Madrid Housing Coordinator, followed before heading to one of Madrid's most stylish restaurants to enjoy a trendy dinner all together: students, hosts and staff.
Welcome dinner in a restaurant facilitated the group bonding among participants and their hosts.
For a whole week, students attended sessions on security, emergencies, academics, public transportation, the host institution and cultural activities as well as met our Spanish Students Network and participated in a series of optional activities to learn more about the city where they will be living in the next four months.
The Prado Museum, House of Velazquez's masterpieces
Madrid's Town Hall: Cibeles Palace
King's Alfonso the 12th Monument
MADRID' STREET ART: CIEE GRAFFITTI TOUR
As a way to approach to Madrid's up-and-coming areas, students were taken on a graffitti tour around the center of Madrid, exploring Malasaña and Chueca, two of the most popular areas among young locals. Discovering some works of this artistic discipline, our group of students not only learned about artists like Boamistura (a group of urban artist who were nominated to the Latino Grammys last year) but also the different ways to analyze a graffitti, since this urban art has many different ways of expression. While exploring these parts of Madrid students discovered new murals around the corner, getting a glimpse of the lively atmosphere people their age give to these neighborhoods.
Beloit College students in front of their favorite Boamistura graffiti.
DALI EXHIBIT: A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY
A group of students just about to enter Dali's exhibit
Located just across the plaza of CIEE Madrid's main office, the Contemporary Art Museum of Madrid (Reina Sofía) has been the center of attention during the summer. Long lines of people waited for hours to visit an exhibit on Salvador Dalí, the extraordinary Spanish artist whose works are known all over the world. This exhibit has brought to Madrid some of his most celebrated masterpieces for the first time. Therefore, it was a great opportunity for CIEE students to learn more about Dali before they start studying about Spanish art at the university.
Dali's "The persistence of memory" (1931) usually shown at NYC's MoMA
UC3M WELCOMES CIEE STUDENTS
Foregin students were welcomed by the International Relations Vice-rector during Universidad Carlos III Orientation
Several days before the start of classes, students participated in the Orientation activities organized by host institution: Universidad Carlos III. Before having their language level tested in order to be placed in the correct level, students met with some professors and the International Relations Vice Rector who welcomed them to the university.
In his concise speech, he highlighted the importance of international education and the impact of foreign students among local students establishing cultural bridges between Spain and the US. While enjoying a relaxed snack, students had their first approach to the university as an institution confirming the strenght of Universidad Carlos III.
FREESBEE IN MADRID'S RETIRO PARK
Retiro Park is one of the most beautiful parks in Spain and surely the favorite park for most "madrileños". Owned by royalty in the past, the Retiro Park contains many different areas to discover by visitors, such as the Cristal Palace, the Rose Garden or the pond.
Being the last days of the summer, we tried to make the most of the city's warm temperatures spending the afternoon walking aournd the park, exploring its most colorful areas, enjoying nature and the joy of people who spent the afternoon there.
Then, we found a good spot to play freesbee for a while, having fun in a privileged background.
NOCHE ANDALUZA: A NIGHT TO REMEMBER
U. of Colorado at Boulder student learning how to play castanets
There is no better way to end our Orientation than having an event that will stay in our students' minds forever. As such, CIEE staff organized a Flamenco night as a cultural option to have them enjoy the end of a long week.
Starting with a Flamenco worshop, students learned the use of the "Cajón flamenco" (a persussion instrument), castanets, and how to clap their hands and tap their heels to get the feeling of this traditional dance. The use of colorful "mantones" and "abanicos" (fans) was a easy way to get students involved and have fun in this first approach to Spain's most celebrated tradition. However, this was just and introduction: a dinner and show also engaged the group with more music making and encouraging them to tryout some flamenco as they went on their way back home.
Having fun while practicing with some flamenco dance accessories