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6 posts from October 2014


SIGHTS OF PALMA, CIEE Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Kathleen davin

Name: Kathleen Davin

School: Cornell University

I can’t believe it’s been a week here! I can’t decide if it’s gone fast or if I feel like I’ve been here for months, but it feels strange! These last few days have thankfully been less hectic. I have two Tuesday classes that don’t start until next week and a Thursday class that doesn’t start until mid-October, so I’ve had Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday off. Lucky me!


I’ve mostly been taking advantage of my days off to explore and find my way around the city. I always start out with a plan, but I usually just walk around until I discover something interesting. Tuesday I went to a museum close to my house, called la Fundación Juan March. I spent a few hours looking at some great works by Dalí, Picasso, Miró, and a few more famous Spanish artists. I also headed over to los Banys Árabes or the Arab Baths that date back to the 10th century and are one of the only remaining structures of Muslim culture in Palma. The baths are believed to have been part of a nobleman’s house, but today only a piece of them remains. 


I spent this morning exploring a different part of the city. I went down to La Catedral and took a few pictures of the exterior, but the massive tour groups made me not want to stay too long. I ended up stumbling on a fantastic museum that my host mother had told me about called Palau March. The upper floors were a restored palace and the lower floors housed a huge Dalí exhibition, and my personal favorite, a Nativity exhibition. 





All in all, I’d call that a successful first week in Spain! Hasta luego!


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Primer día, CIEE Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Kathleen davinName: Kathleen Davin

School: Cornell University 

Hi friends!

I never thought I’d be so eager to start classes, but today was “finally” our first day! Cornell started about a month ago so I’ve had an extended vacation which has been great, but I’ve also missed learning (I’m such a nerd, I know). I’m sure I won’t be saying the same thing a month from now!

Yesterday we rode on a beautiful route along the coast. We passed through so many cute seaside towns and deserted beaches. I forgot how much I had missed bike riding! Along the trail we picked a quiet beach and relaxed on the rocks for a few hours. There were tons of adorable dogs there and even a nude sunbather or two (that’s Spain for ya!). For a lot of our excursions, we go with two “guardian angels,” who are basically two guys who show us the ropes of living here. We ended up having a long debate about vegetarianism, all in Spanish I might add! I’m pretty surprised that I’ve found vegans and vegetarians here who live a lifestyle even more strict than I do! Jamón is everywhere!

After our bike ride yesterday, it was a little difficult getting up at 6am for classes this morning, but somehow I did it. It takes about 25 minutes to take the bus to the university so I had to make sure I would catch the bus on time. I got by with a few café con leches and an incredibly flaky croissant from the school café.

I had three classes today: Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Spanish for Business and Tourism, and Spanish Literature and Film. I loved them all! I’m able to understand what’s going on in all of them (at least so far) and the content is super interesting! I’m really excited to start watching some Spanish movies!

After classes we went to this giant Walmart-like supermarket to buy some school supplies and snacks. By the time I got back it was 5:30 and my Spanish madre had left me a late lunch. Some seriously awesome fish and a salad with arugula, tomatoes, and tuna. I’m way too spoiled here!

Anyways, hopefully I didn’t ramble too much. Tomorrow I’m going to go out and do some Palma exploring since I don’t have class!


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Formentor and More, CIEE Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Name: Kathleen Davin

School: Cornell University

Kathleen davin

I promise this will be mostly pictures, but I wanted to share some of the beautiful views that we saw today. We woke up early this morning to take a bus to Formentor with the other international students. I have to admit the bus ride up the mountain was slightly terrifying. The roads were so narrow and we were perched so high on the edge of the cliff so that every time another car came down the mountain one of us had to back up and let the other one pass.

On our way we stopped at Alcudia, a town that is most famous for the medieval looking wall that surrounds the town. We walked on top and were able to see some great views of the village below.


Our next stop was a phenomenal lookout point over the Mediterranean. We were able to walk along a trail and take some fantastic pictures. 


Finally, we ended the day at the beach. After the beach today, it has become completely unreal to me that I am studying in a place this beautiful. How anyone lives here year round and stays productive is beyond me!


I have never seen such clear, cerulean water or touched such silky sand. I’m so lucky to be here! Tomorrow we bike along the coast…one last hurrah before classes start!



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Newsletter II, CIEE Palma de Mallorca, Spain, Fall 2014

Greetings from Antonia Ferriol, RD of CIEE Palma de Mallorca!

A month has passed since the day our students were nervous to meet their homestays at the orientation hotel, and since that first night when they were excited and a little bit afraid to try the different kind of Mallorcan tapas and pambolis. Now our students are settled in their Spanish home, know how to move around the intricate streets of Palma, have started to meet with their intercambio, and are attending regularly their CIEE and university classes.

Uib campus

University Campus, picture by Dan Smith

CIEE language classes (Beginning Spanish, Intermediate Spanish, and Advanced Spanish Writing and Stylistics) visited the 15th century castle of the city of Palma.

Castle 2

This castle is well known for its museum of history of Palma, for being the only Gothic round castle in Spain, wonderfully preserved, and for its incredible views of the Bay of Palma.

No wonder its name Bellver means “Beautiful view”.


This semester, CIEE students are enrolled in the following CIEE and UIB classes: Urban Geography, Tourism Marketing I, Memory and Cognition, Personality and Adaptation, Innovation Management, Philosophy of Politics, International Meetings and Event Planning, Palma in the Mediterranean, Beginning Spanish, Intermediate Spanish, Advanced Spanish Writing and Stylistics, and Introduction to Everyday Catalan.


Four students are undertaking internships this semester. Keara is teaching "English as a Foreign Language" to children in a public local school, and so far she says she loves the experience. Bailey and Elizabeth are interning at the reception in Urban Hotel Santa Clara and Hotel Palacio Ca Sa Galesa. And Charlotte is interning at a non-profit organization which works with Anantapur in India, named Fundación Vicente Ferrer.

Group meeting

You can see here pictures of some of the activities we have been doing so far:

Nit de l'art


Night of the Arts in Palma: Open Museums


Biking along the Bay of Palma

Festa del vermarGrape Harvest at the Village of Binissalem

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, and a guided tour of the historic center of Madrid, we ate churros con chocolate and tapas, and visited the Egyptian Debod temple.



Chocolate churros
Km 0

Plaza españa

Palacio cristal


This coming weekend we will explore Sierra de Tramuntana, World Heritage Site since 2012. So in our next newsletter, we will share with you some great stories and more pictures.

Have a great semester!

Antonia Ferriol

CIEE Palma de Mallorca




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Finalmente relajándome, CIEE Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Name: Kathleen Davin

School: CornellUniversity

Kathleen davin

Whew! Finally some time to relax, if only for an hour or two! We’ve been going non-stop since yesterday. It feels like it’s already been a week when only three days have passed.

We started the day yesterday with a great Spanish breakfast at the hotel. I have quickly become a coffee addict. Café con leche is incredible here and if we keep going at this pace it is most definitely going to become my best friend. We spent the rest of the day buying phones, running errands, and then attending an intensive orientation that left my head spinning. I’ve taken in a massive amount of information in the past 3 days…I don’t know how much more my brain can take!


That night at the hotel, we finally met our host families! Up until yesterday it had been a complete mystery as to what type of family we would be living with. I soon discovered that I have two host parents (Carmen and Vincente) who together have two young children (4 and 8 years old). 

Lately, there have been many protesters through the city because the government has decreed that all Mallorcan schools should be trilingual, speaking Spanish, Catalan and English. However, the protesters want to eliminate the English requirement as many of the teachers don’t know enough English to teach complicated subjects like math. Almost daily we run into a peaceful demonstration in some part of the city.

Earlier today we went to the university, confirmed our class schedules for Monday, enrolled in the free gym on campus, and had a delicious lunch with the 4 other liberal arts students studying here. Tonight all 8 of us go to dinner with some international ERASMUS students also attending the university and tomorrow we have an all day excursion with them to Formentor–a beach town at the northernmost point of Mallorca. 

I’ve quickly realized that even after 3 months here I will still be discovering new things on this island, but for now I’m taking it one day at a time! ¡Hasta luego!


One of the many confusing streets…they all look the same to me!


An exhibit at La Nit de Art


The incredible view of the cathedral from the roof of one of the art museums…pictures do not do it justice!


And finally, my home for the next three months!


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Bienvenidos a España, CIEE Palma de Mallorca

Name: Kathleen Davin

School: Cornell University

Kathleen davin

Hola amigos!

Well I did it! I made it to Spain and more importantly to the little island off the coast, Mallorca. It is so incredibly beautiful here. A glimpse of the water can be seen from almost anywhere you go and the streets are full of culture, history, and a beautiful blend of languages.

But back to the beginning! I left JFK around 5pm on Tuesday night. From there I had a seven hour overnight flight to Madrid and then an hour and half hop over to Palma’s airport. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced that much hospitality on an airline. Free movies, music, a vegetarian dinner, a European breakfast…I couldn’t believe it. The only problem was, as soon as I drifted to sleep, a flight attendant would wake me up for the next meal!


Macia batlñ

I arrived in Palma around 930 and after a little confusion getting my luggage and through customs or la aduana, I grabbed a taxi to the hotel where we would be staying for one night before moving in with our host families. Luckily, I was able to check in early and catch some z’s before my other 2 roommates arrived. There are only 4 students in my program and us three girls shared a triple in the hotel.

We all met up later that night with the director of the program and after a brief orientation and detailing of our itinerary for the week, headed out for a tour of the city. I was honestly in awe of the incredible ciudad. It’s a fairly large city, but it feels small, like you’re welcome anywhere you go. We saw the famous cathedral and palace which is right on the sparkling blue water. I can’t wait to take some pictures to show you all!

After our tour, we headed to dinner at a great tapas restaurant. Tons of incredible seafood and vegetables…I even tried octopus or pulpo which apparently is pretty popular here. We ended the dinner with an interesting shot of digestivi that was a green liquid that tasted like anise. It was certainly strong enough to wake me up!

The four of us capped off the night sitting on the hotel patio, enjoying a glass of Cava and talking about all our excitement for the semester. Tomorrow we do some more orientation activites, meet our host families, and head to the famous “Nit de Art” a night of free entrance to all the art museums in the city!

Until then! Buenas noches!

Visit CIEE Palma de Mallorca facebook group:

Our blog:

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