It’s the middle of the spring semester, and now that students are settled in their Spanish home and university classes, we just officially changed the hour in Europe to start welcoming the spring-summer season! Many things have happened since our first email, so what have we been up to?
Since the first excursion to Soller by train organized by the university for all the international students, CIEE Palma students have now formed their own group of friends from all over the world. With them, they are discovering the many beautiful landmarks and secrets of Mallorca. Our students do many activities as well with our Guardian Angels, students who collaborate with CIEE to introduce students to Mallorcan young lifestyle, such as Tuesday tapas night. They showed them the nice bike route along the coast of Palma, and hiked with them to the Hermit of Valldemossa. Bellow you can see David showing to some students how to take the metro to the university.
All our classes include an experiential component out of the classroom. Among other places, students have visited Bellver gothic castle, the Arab Baths, and the Cathedral of Palma. In all these places, students need to take a hands-on attitude and participate actively in the visit, not only to practice real life Spanish, but also to learn about the culture from the direct contact with the locals.
This year the Business and Tourism program is offering for its first time the course International Meeting and Event Planning, which is taught by two well-known professionals of this business sector in the Balearic Islands. We have invited to join this CIEE class five Spanish students from the university, so the class has become as well a nice way for our students to get to know Spanish students, not being anymore a class only for CIEE students. This class has enjoyed speakers such as Mark Damon, the Head of Soccer at Real Club Deportivo del Mallorca, and Madeleine Heckel, in charge of sponsorship of nautical events such as SuperYatch, Palma Vela and Copa del Rey. Students loved the experience of hearing from them how sport events of this magnitude are organized.
During the student individual mid-semester meeting with the RD, all of them shared how interesting was the one-day field visit to the following different events venues: Son Termes, Melia Palacio Atenea, Melia Victoria, Puro Beach and Celler Sa Premsa. See bellow images of two moments during this visit:
This spring semester, CIEE students are enrolled in the following CIEE and UIB classes: Historia el siglo XVIII, Historia de las ideas estéticas, Literatura española contemporánea: fin de siglo, Introducción a la literatura hispánica, Literatura del modernismo: estética literaria y diálogos con otras artes, Cultura Europea, Protección Internacional de los Derechos Humanos, Historia de las religiones del mundo clásico, Economía española y mundial, Zoologia I, Environmental Economics of Tourism, Tourism Promotion Management, Business Internationalization, Strategic Management, Management Skills, International Meetings and Event Planning, Spanish Politics and Society, Intermediate Spanish, Advanced Spanish for Business and Tourism, Advanced Spanish Writing and Stylistics, and Introduction to Everyday Catalan.
Ten students are undertaking internships this semester. Anderson is teaching "English as a Foreign Language" to children in a public local school, and so far he says she loves the experience. Christa is doing her internship at Puro Hotel in the Events department. Christian is learning cost control management at two Five Star hotels from Starwoods chain, Hotel Castillo Son Vida and St. Regis Mardavall. Lyna is interning at the reception in Urban Hotel Santa Clara, Bailey is learning marketing skills at Saint Mitchell Hotels, Michelle is working with an events agency helping organize forthcoming events in Mallorca, Bella is supporting her team at an events agency which organizes disc jockey concerts, Rachel is working in the restaurant at Hotel Costa Azul, Kira is learning at the sales and marketing department in Lowcostholidays, and Karlissa is interning at the online travel agency Logitravel.
This semester CIEE Palma did a day-excursion to Formentor, Pollensa and Muro. Students wandered around the stone streets of Pollensa, one of the first Christian cities of Mallorca, as in 1229 became a village under James I the Conqueror, who donated the territory to nobleman Templar knights and to the Bishop of Mallorca, giving to that little village an enormous economic power. Students enjoyed the traditional non-touristic Sunday market in downtown Pollensa, where they could see artisans work, food, plants and flowers. The group visited Nuestra Señora de los Angeles church, and learnt about its Greek-roman style with Barroc decorations, founded in 14th century by the Templars. Afterwards, the group hiked the stairs to the Calvary, 365 stairs from the 18th-19th centuries at one of the most traditional Easter locations in Mallorca. Up to the hill, there is an Oratory from the 18th century, one of the most exceptional views of the village of Pollensa, and a small walk of ten more minutes to a Roman Bridge.
After the village of Pollensa, the group admired the natural views from Formentor cliffs. And we ended the excursion at the natural beaches of Formentor and Muro, where some students decided to run, and even the bravest ones, swim.
Finally, last weekend we spent three days in the capital of Spain, Madrid. On top of the usual visits to the Museo del Prado and Museo Reina Sofía, the Retiro Park, a guided tour of the historic center of Madrid, eating churros con chocolate and the popular calamari sandwich, we were in Madrid on a very eventful weekend, when key politician of the transition in Spain Adolfo Suáez died (some students were eager to hear in real life what they were learning in CIEE class Spanish Politics and Society, others learnt some new history for them on the spot). It was also a weekend with an important game between the two soccer teams Madrid-Barcelona, with people manifesting in squares to protest against Government social cuts, and even a popular marathon.
This coming weekend we will sail in two sailboats from Palma bay to Cabo Blanco natural area, so in our next newsletter, we will share with you some great stories and more pictures.
Have a great semester!
CIEE Palma de Mallorca