Session II included a wide diversity of activities, classes, excursions and field study visits. The first week, students had to absorb all the information about the program. We know is a challenge to adapt to a new place with differences in terms of culture and language, and we can say that all students succeeded in falling in love with the island and its traditions, while making local and CIEE friends with whom they have built an unforgettable study abroad experience.
Apart from the orientation and the meeting with the homestays, students were introduced as well to the Guardian Angels. During this summer session we had the pleasure to count with four Spanish students: Rita, Juanma, Tere and Marc. They helped CIEE students to find the easiest way to move around the city, and this is something students appreciate a lot because it gives them confidence and security.
Students shared not only the experience of walking around downtown, but also the opportunity to experience different activities together such as biking along Palma´s bay, watching Spanish movies to get closer to Spanish culture as portrayed in films, going out to eat Tapas on Tuesday night, and exploring beautiful beaches near Palma.
Students of Session II met those CIEE students from session I who stayed in Palma, not only because they shared classes together, but because they shared excursions and activities organized by CIEE.
During summer session II, we offered the following four classes:
Mediterranean Marine Environment
Globalization, Human Migration and Tourism: the case of the Balearic Islands
Some of our classes in Palma are focused on providing students a different and in depth perception of Mallorca’s history, economy, and natural environment. Interactive experiences make our classes alive, and help students connect with the local Spanish community, so they learn Spanish, history, biology, economy and tourism from direct exposure to Palma de Mallorca's heritage and current daily life.
VISIT TO THE MARKET
The purpose of the visit to the main market in Palma is using Spanish language in a real and everyday life environment. The market is noisy and live. It says much about the local way of living. Students have to communicate with people at the market, ask what they want, and recognize Mallorca’s local products.
PHOTO MARATHON & CATHEDRAL/ALMUDAINA PALACE VISIT
In this activity, students need to find places, monuments, objects, and cultural stories, and popular legends. It’s challenging, especially if you don’t know well the directions around the city. It requires talking with people on the streets in order to find out where places are. A real interactive activity which students enjoyed very much.
Exploring and understanding the importance of Palma’s Cathedral is essential to learn part of Mallorca’s history and culture. The jewel of Palma, “La Seu”, an astonishing and spectacular cathedral located in front of the sea, is one of the most prestigious and appreciated cathedrals in Gothic architecture. Afterwards, students visit La Almudaina, a royal palace with Arab origins, currently used by the Spanish monarchy as official residence for important diplomatic events.
SA DRAGONERA AND THE NATURAL SCIENCE MUSEUM
The study field activity consisted on visiting Sa Dragonera Natural Park. Six kilometers long and crowned by an ancient watchtower, Sa Dragonera takes its name from its shape, said to resemble a dragon. It’s possible to visit it in summer by boat from Sant Elm. Flora and fauna of Dragonera are similar to those of Mallorca, although in the island students can find some protected species.
The Balearic Museum of Natural Sciences is dedicated to the study, conservation, and the divulgation of nature within the Balearic islands
LIMIA LAB/CABRERA AND PALMA AQUARIUM
LIMIA LAB (Laboratorio de Investigaciones Marinas y Acuicultura)
located in Port de Andratx
Cabrera Archipelago Maritime-Land National Park is an important ecosystem for the fauna and flora. There are more than 450 plant species and it is a strategic point for many birds during their migration.
The aquarium in Mallorca operates with one main objective to spread awareness, knowledge and admiration for the beauty of the marine world.
CALVIA-MAGALUF/ HISTORIC CENTER/MALLORCA’S HINTERLAND
Students visit the tourist destination of Magaluf, the Mecca of mass tourism, most probably the most well-known Spanish resort in the United Kingdom, in order to get to know the ins and outs of a mature sun and beach tourist destination first hand.
The second visit of this class provided a taste of the countryside. Students visited Mallorca's hinterland, normally portrayed as one of the last unspoiled picturesque territories of the Island. The tour consisted of a mishmash of contrasting experiences such as walking through villages of the area, dropping by a market, meeting local organic producer.
And the last trip was to the historic centre of Palma, the capital of Mallorca and of the Balearic Islands. The aim of this visit was to show how tourism morphs the city, how the centre became such and what makes it historic.
Three students interned at different companies in Mallorca. One student worked at Amara Marketing performing the following tasks: TV Channel 4 in Mallorca: helping prepare material for a website for this TV channel, finding vimeo videos, looking up events and posting them in their website, research on logotypes and presentations for Trablisa, and translation support for TV commercials.
Another student worked at Puro Hote doing contracts, budgets, and fliers for clients and for Opium Bar, helping to design a visual manual for the cafeteria, translations, reservations, templates, running errands, and assisting with events.
And the third student did her internship at Brujula Technology Solutions (www.brujula.es) dedicated to technology development for tourism companies such as Barceló, Iberia, Sol Melià. She entered reservations info for Barcelo Hotels and solved complaints, audited their website offers and put info in excel sheet (she had to look for cheaper prices on the competitors, and eliminate past offers).
The three students loved the most the people and the work environment.
SANTANYI/CALA FIGUERA/CALA MONDRAGÓ
The first excursion of Session II was to Santanyi, Cala Figuera and Cala Mondragó.
Santanyi is a small town where art seems to play a central role and you can find many types of galleries and workshops in the narrow alleys of this quiet country town.
Cala Mondragó is an unspoiled beach in the south of the island, declared natural park.
The astonishing blue color of the Mediterranean sea impressed students, which described Cala Mondragó as their favorite in Mallorca by the end of the summer.
SIERRA DE TRAMUNTANA
The group explored Tramuntana Mountain Range and its little villages, recently declared Natural and Historical World Heritage Site.
From Andratx to Deià, students visited different watch towers (Torre des Verger, Es Grau), a viewpoint (Sa Foradada), and the town and beautiful beach of Deià.
As everything in life, there is an ending, a time to look back and be thankful for the experience. Now it comes a time of reflection about those things we learnt, about the people that shared moments with us, and about what it is that everyone takes back home with them forever.
GOOD LUCK! STUDENTS OF SUMMER SESSION II 2014. PALMA DE MALLORCA WILL BE ALWAYS HERE FOR YOU!
Mediterranean Marine visit to Blue Cave in Cabrera
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