This is the second week of Palma’s fall 2012 semester. This is what we have been doing so far… During the first week we did several informative orientation sessions, as well as practical visits to become familiar with the city of Palma. We placed particular emphasis on showing the students how to use the public transportation and let them experience Majorcan traditions by means of trying typical Majorcan food and spending.
Laura and David are this semester’s “Guardian Angels”; they are Spanish students who collaborate with CIEE and do activities with our students, many times becoming best friends with our students. Among other activities, they went out to eat tapas, to the night of the open museums, and shopping with the students.
On the first week, students took an intensive language class, which helped them to remember the most important aspects of advanced Spanish grammar, and to break the ice of talking and writing in Spanish at an academic level, before going into regular university classes. During this week, students were invited by the university (UIB) to several events organized for international students, coming from all over Europe, and other countries around the world. These events included a welcome reception and an excursion to the Caves of the Drach in Porto Cristo.
Our students not only sign a language commitment, but they are exposed at all times to oral Spanish with their homestays, guardian angels, staff, and professors. It is obvious to us that they are trying very hard to get out of English and their Spanish is improving day after day. In order to strengthen this language commitment, students will start their Spanish-English exchange with some Spanish students.
This week students start regular university classes. We have had an academic meeting in order to register in these classes, and discuss how the classes are going. Before enrolling a student in a class, we talk to the professor and make sure the student meets the requirements and the professor is receptive towards the student. Students are enrolled in CIEE & UIB classes (all taught in Spanish) such as: Palma in the Mediterranean, Spanish for Business and Tourism, Advanced Spanish Writing and Stylistics, Welfare Economics, Hygiene and Nutrition, Geography of Tourism, International Economics, Progress of Spain in the International Order, International Tourism, Communication Strategies of Spanish Language, and Introduction to Everyday Catalan.
This semester, we are offering for the second time the Seminar on Living and Learning in Palma de Mallorca. Since the group is small, the seminar will be a very important experience to discover ourselves and become more intercultural competent. All students are very excited to learn more about their own culture and Spanish culture, and afterwards start building bridges among both cultures.
Other than this, we organized an outing to the urban beach of Palma by bike. Students and Guardian Angels took the bike in Paseo Marítimo and biked along the coast until Arenal. This past Sunday we sailed on a sail boat the coast of Palma Bay. It was an incredible new experience for all of us. This weekend we will travel to Madrid for three days, so we will be able to tell you more about this.
And our official websites: