CIEE Palma de Mallorca, Spain
This spring 2011 semester, four Palma de Mallorca students have stayed with us from fall 2010. This means they are a great source of information for new spring students who arrived a month ago. They already know the best places to go out, the best beaches to sunbath, the way the university works, how is the daily life in Palma. And they have been very generous in helping new students in Palma.
All students are enrolled in at least one regular class with other Spanish students at the University (UIB). Most of the students are taking at least two of these courses. In these classes, our students not only learn about the academic contents of the class, but also about the Spanish university system, the academic culture in the classroom, the way a Spanish student relates with other students and the professor in the class.
Four of our students are enrolled in one class entitled “European Culture” at the School of Hospitality Management affiliated to the UIB. Because this is a smaller private institution with smaller groups, our students commented it is much easier to make Spanish friends, as the professor makes them work in groups always formed by only one American student.
Another class that has become popular among CIEE students is “Viticulture and enology”. This is a biology course studying all aspects of wine and winemaking, including vine-growing and grape-harvesting. The class concludes with students making their own wine, and students learn to appreciate the art of this millenary tradition. In line with this, every year CIEE is invited to the annual presentation of Wines of Mallorca in five star hotel Valparaiso. This is an important local event where Mallorcan wineries present their best wines to the community. Politicians, hotel and restaurant managers, and professors attend this event. In the past years, Mallorcan wines have received important prizes, including Baccus.
Of course, after talking about wine, we need to mention Spanish food. In our CIEE II Group meeting a week ago we have done a short quiz about Mallorcan meals and desserts. It seems like our students are very knowledgeable about the delicacies Palma has to offer to its visitors. Brittany, Megan, Chelsea, Andrea, Jay, Jillian, Erica, Sasha, and Amy learnt how to cook paella, Spanish cuisine’s most international dish.
This year we have traveled to Granada. We visited The Alhambra, the Cathedral and Royal Chapel (where we literally saw the coffins of Isabel I and Fernando II Catholic Kings of Spain in the XV century and authors by their marriage of the unification of Spanish kingdoms Castilla and Leon. We also wandered in the old muslim neighbourhood of Albaicín and went to see a Flamenco show. One of our students performed an improvised flamenco-US dance!