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70 posts categorized "History and Traditions"


Newsletter 1: Spring 2017 with CIEE Palma de Mallorca, Spain

One month in Palma de Mallorca goes by very quickly! Our students are by now settled in their Spanish home, have tried many of our most traditional Mallorcan dishes, and have learned to move around the intricate streets of Palma like a local. They have started working at their internship, and are going regularly to CIEE and UIB classes. They are an active group who has been organizing its own excursions around the island on the side of the CIEE excursions, so they are getting to know not only Palma but also places such as the impressive Drach Caves or the beautiful historical Port de Soller.


Group picture on campus, at the UIB building where the CIEE office is located

This spring semester, our students are enrolled in the following CIEE classes: Intermediate Spanish, Spanish for Business and Tourism, Advanced Spanish Writing and Stylistics, Mediterranean Cuisine in Spain: Cooking and Wine Tasting, Spanish Politics and Society, International Marketing, Contemporary Spanish Cinema and Literature, and the CIEE Internship Seminar.

And the following UIB direct enrollment courses: Design of Business Organizations, Strategic management, Corporate Investment and Financing Decisions, International Trade Law, International Protection of Human Rights, Psychology of Organizations, Microeconomic Analysis of Tourism, Introduction to Business, Environmental Economics in Tourism Spaces, Air Transport Economics, Management of Human Resources, and Psychology of Personality.

All the students who request them have started their internships at companies such as: Cadena Mar Grupo Batle offices, Hotel Caballero offices, Hotel Java offices, The Hotel Factory offices, Hotel Brondo Architect restaurant, Hotel Can Alomar kitchen, FUEIB University Events office, and SuperYatch Events in Palma.

These are some of our CIEE Palma excursions during this first month of the program:

Biking along the Bay: from Es Molinar to Portitxol, Can Pastilla and Arenal: We got to bike along the beaches of Palma de Mallorca, along boat-filled bays and rocky inlets. At the midway point we stopped for a break and enjoyed the sea breeze and the breathtaking view. In the end we got to Can Pastilla and although it was still winter, we enjoyed the beautiful weather and the landscape, while getting to know each other.


Tour of Medieval Castle: Castillo de Bellver & Arab Baths of Palma: CIEE Palma students visited Castillo Bellver with the Language classes. 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. On another day we visited the Arab Baths of Palma, as well as the cloister convent of Santa Clara, where we tried delicious pastries baked by the nuns.


Tapas Snapshot: Tapas have become a way of life in Spain. We introduced our students to this tradition by accompanying them with Spanish students of their age (Guardian Angels) to a Tapas event which happens every Tuesday in the streets of the old neighborhood of Palma: la Ruta Martiana.

Formentor, Pollensa, Alcudia: This past weekend we spent a day discovering the village of Pollensa, a traditional town in Mallorca. We climbed 365 stairs, each representing every day of the year and at the end of the staircase, you could see the entire town and the valley. Afterwards, we visited the mirador of Formentor with its impressive

views, and the natural beach of Formentor. Last but not least, Alcudia, surrounded by a city wall from the Renaissance period, and its Sunday lively flea market.


All CIEE Palma classes include field study visits to get hands on the culture of the city. On top of the long program excursions, we have as well visited the old village of Valldemossa to learn about its Muslim origins and the piracy in the old times; we have visited the main market of Palma with the Cuisine class to complete a research activity about local farmers from all the small towns in Mallorca; we watched the film “Vivir es fácil con los ojos cerrados” to discuss afterwards the educational system in Spain; we participated in the Carnival of Palma; and of course we joined the celebration of the Day of the Balearic with its Medieval Market which happens once a year on March 1, and where stands sell sausage and cheese from all around Spain, and local merchandises such as caramel almonds, jewelries, candies, candle holders, natural soaps.

In our next newsletter we will share with you more great stories and pictures. Have a great semester!

Palma de Mallorca 0

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Fall 2016 CIEE in Palma de Mallorca - Newsletter II

The fall semester is halfway through, so this week students are taking midterms for most of their classes. After exams, this coming weekend we are travelling to Alicante to visit its beautiful city and castle, to learn about its history, as well as to discover the surrounding villages and traditions.


Our first October outing was a two-day Hiking adventure from Deià to Soller, spending the night at Can Boi refuge, surrounded by beautiful stone houses and mountains. We spent Saturday in Deià, a village with Moorish origins in the North Coast of the Island, named Sierra de Tramuntana, and recently declared World Heritage Site. We had time to walk down to Deià’s Cove and swim, but also to go up the hill to visit the cemetery where the poet Robert Graves is buried. On Sunday, we walked for five hours to Port de Soller. Students commented that the landscape was absolutely gorgeous, despite the extenuating walk.



Our second excursion in October was taking a one-hour boat ride from Port de Soller (where we learned the history of this town of Modernist architecture and exclusive historical commercial relationship with France, to Sa Calobra, an impressive cove formed by the river mouth of Torrent de Pareis, with walls higher than 200 meters. It was a cold rainy day and from the boat ride we could see all the way outstanding views of Sierra de Tramuntana, the sea and the sky.



Sa calobra 4

With our Spanish classes, students have visited the Palace of Almudaina. This is a fortress built originally by the Romans (123BC), later rebuilt by the Muslims (10th century) and in the end rebuilt again by the Christian occupation, by James II, first king of Mallorca (14th century). This is probably the building in Palma which better tells the history of occupations and cultures living in Mallorca over the centuries.


CIEE Palma students enrolled in International Tourism: Trends of the 21st century enjoyed their 2nd field visit to 3 Meliá Hotels in Magaluf: Me Mallorca, Sol Katmandu, and Sol Wave House, three very diverse styles, themes and clients of the same hotel chain, located in one touristic resort. Afterwards, students shared in class their learning intakes from this experience.

Hotel Montse


Some university classes include as well field visits, such as the class International Marketing which visited the company Dingus with Doctor Professor Miguel Trías. Three of our students are enrolled in this class, Rui, Zijing and Matt.


Our students continue working at their internships at Hotel Caballero, Hotel Java, Outlining Innovation, Brújula, and Mar Hotels. And the semester continues, so we will share with you in a month what will come next: Alicante trip, Valldemossa, and more.


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Fall 2016 CIEE in Palma de Mallorca - Newsletter I

Fall semester is already on its third week. During the first two weeks our students live one of the most exciting moments in Palma de Mallorca, when they meet their homestays. Bellow you can see Kellie meeting her “familia española”.


Also, during these weeks we organize many activities to put students in contact with the culture and the logistics of the city. We have walked around the streets in Palma’s historical district to shop and obtain the bus card and cellphones. We have visited the campus before classes started, so we got to know the installations and classrooms.


Our language class organizes an outing to see an impressive fortification of the 14th century, Bellver Castle, so important for our historical memory. This Gothic Mallorcan castle is the oldest in Europe with round shape. Not only we enjoy the beautiful landscape and natural environment, but we learn about our history and lots of vocabulary, with organized activities which require speaking Spanish all the time.



And of course, we have visited the Cathedral. Palma Cathedral is known as the Cathedral of Light because the Mediterranean light goes through its 87 stained glass windows and its 8 impressive rose windows, one of them the biggest of the Gothic world. It is also known as the Cathedral of Space, because it is said that with 43m height is the gothic cathedral which with less stone embraces more useful space.


This year, the Night of the Art happened on the second weekend. This is already a tradition in Palma, a one night dedicated to art in which galleries and museums are all open for free to the public. Some students joined Aina, our Guardian Angel, in this colorful, busy and cultured night.

Nit de l'art2

Nit de l'art

Biking Palma Bay is one of our star excursions in which we bike along the Bay of Palma for 8 kilometers.


International Tourism CIEE class first field visit was to the Congress Palace recently built in Palma, still under construction. Professor Montse Gatnau accompanied students in this academic guided visit.


All our students have started their internships at this point at companies such as Hotel Caballero, Hotel Java, Outlining Innovation, Brújula, and Mar Hotels.

And the semester continues, so we will be back with more. Our next excursion is a hiking two-day trip in Tramuntana mountain range, World Heritage Site, visiting Deia and Port de Soller villages.






On a Saturday excursion, our students spent the afternoon hiking to Cala Deià. Soaking up some sun on the rocks, they spent an hour at the beach before heading to different panoramic lookouts around the coast. They ended the afternoon with a great view and cold “cafe con leche” after spending the day learning about the island’s Roman, Arabic, Christian origins and frequent run-ins with pirates.



Quick group picture - might be missing a few in the back!13512203_10157196726055602_5769073169996615374_n

Our view while drinking our "cafes con leche"...not too bad.13516472_10157196717010602_5565599643297658555_n

Driving through Valldemossa. 13532926_10157196712010602_8476269120390495926_n 13537800_10157196704410602_5030952817987040389_n 13592212_10157196724145602_5873413209332042277_n

Stopped for a picture of the panoramic view and made a friend along the way.13600126_10157196709190602_3637412729870898332_n

Andrew, munching on an apple and excited that he found a hiking stick.


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Our second group of summer students arrived just in time for one of Mallorca’s most famous and lively parties, the Night of San Juan. With sparks, drinks, and candles, the Night of San Juan brings all different people and cultures together to celebrate on the beach. Our students watched the sunset over the ocean then made their way over to the Cathedral and watched as the demons paraded their way through the crowd with fireworks and music.13516720_10154226795688632_3889917219897577432_n Parade of demons.13524491_10154226795693632_8671752367607736333_n 13566940_10154226795828632_880045024964801676_n Before the parade - everybody enjoying the sunset with drinks and candles.13566983_10154226795698632_7908280561160068126_nFireworks and sparks.


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CIEE Palma de Mallorca. Newsletter III. Fall 2015

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


This is a picture of our group biking along the coast of Palma with our Guardian Angels, Spanish students who collaborate with us.

There are only 20 days left of the program, and students start getting nervous about classes and farewells.

On our side, we are also getting ready for Internship final presentations, exams and grades, the reentry workshop, and of course our farewell lunch.

Palma views long

This is Palma: the city where your student studies and lives this semester

We have been busy with classes, outings related to classes, group meetings, excursions, independent travel, and all the many events happening daily in the lively city of Palma. Students are completely adapted to living in Palma, so much that they teach us constantly things about the city we did not know, like new interesting stores, and curious events happening around.

Let me share with you some pictures about the field study trips we did with our classes. For example, with the class “Sustainable Tourism”, we visited TIRME, the recycling company; LOGITRAVEL (one of the major online travel agencies in Spain); and BG HOTELS (a hotel chain in Arenal beach).

  CIEE Sustainable Tourism - Mallorca Technology Park 04   CIEE Sustainable Tourism - Logitravel 20151016_173201
  CIEE Sustainable Tourism - Mallorca Technology Park 05   CIEE Sustainable Tourism - Hotel Caballero 20151005_110405

With the class “Mediterranean Cooking and Wine Tasting”, we visited the cellar and vineyards of Macià Batle wine, as well as we visited the main farmers market in Palma, where vegetables, fish, meat, clothing, and livestock animals are sold. We also learnt to cook many different Mediterranean recipes in five sessions which were three hours long each, so with intensive hands-on cooking.



The three students undertaking internships this semester at The Hotel Factory, Hoteles Saint Mitchel, and Hotel Caballero offices are performing marketing, social media, sales, human resources, and finance controller tasks; and they say they are enjoying their experience and learning a lot. We can not wait for when they will do their final presentation and share with us their experience.

And on the side of academics, we have been doing a lot. Bellow you can see pictures of some of the activities we have been doing since our last newsletter:


Christmas lighting


Arab Baths and Santa Clara Cloister


Miró Museum


Watching three Movies

Valle de soller

Hiking in Tramuntana Mountains


Language Photomarathon

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Trip to Granada - CIEE Palma de Mallorca, Fall 2015

Last weekend we spent three days in Granada.

Alhambra 2 estrecha

We stayed in a family owned hostel, Hostal Moni, decorated with Andalusian style, and with a big terrace on the top where we had breakfast every morning overlooking the roofs of Albaizín neighbourhood, the old Arab quarter of Granada.

Granada 4

On Friday, we visited San Bartolomé Church, Plaza Larga, Puerta de las Pesas, the Mezquita Mayor, the El Salvador Church, and of course the Mirador de San Nicolás to see the Alhambra colored in orange by the afternoon sun.

Alhambra 3

We went down to the Cathedral walking by the Cuesta del Chapiz, stopping every once in a while to contemplate the Alhambra rising on our left side, on the other side of the river. We visited the Cathedral and the 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.

Albaicin 1

We had some time to wander and shop in the little Morroccan stores in downtown Granada. And afterwards we had the best kebabs of Granada in Baraka, of course with a very sweet Morroccan style mint tea.

Granada estrecha

In the night, we went to see a classic Flamenco show, with two spectacular dancers, a guitar player and a singer "cantaor". Students were so impressed as to say they had never ever seen something so intense and such a beautiful dance.

Granada 5

On Saturday we spent the day at the Alhambra, the Generalife's Gardens, and the Palacios Nazaríes. An absolutely wonderful experience! And in the end, of course, we had chocolate con churros for breakfast!

Chocolate con churros 2

Chocolate con churros

Granada 6

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First month with CIEE Palma de Mallorca, Fall 2015

Presentation day 1 2

Orientation: This is me! Activity, a student introduces herself to the group

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 with jamón. Now our students are settled in their Spanish home, know how to move around the intricate streets of Palma, some of them have started to meet with their intercambio, and are attending regularly their CIEE and university classes.


UIB International Students Association, first excursion to Tramuntana Mountains

(CIEE students are on the right)

CIEE language class Spanish for Business and Tourism visited the 15th century castle of the city of Palma. This castle is well known for its museum of the 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: Spanish for Business and Tourism, Tourism and Sustainable Development, Spanish Mediterranean Cooking and Wine Tasting, Advanced Contemporary Spanish Cinema and Literature, Tourism Marketing I, Operations & Processes in Tourism Enterprises, Contemporary Spanish Literature, Poetics of the 20th Century, Biochemistry of Membranes and Bioenergy, Business Intercultural Communication.

Palma desde el castillo

Palma de Mallorca views from Bellver Castle

Three students are undertaking internships this semester at the following companies: The Hotel Factory (a travel agency and touroperator), Hoteles Saint Mitchel (central offices of a hotel chain), and Hotel Caballero (offices within a hotel). They are doing marketing, social media, sales, human resources, and finance controller tasks.

Bellow you can see pictures of some of the activities we have been doing so far:

Grupo escaleras


Popular Celebration with Demons and Bonfires

Tapas estrecha

Tapas night, Ruta Martiana on Tuesdays


Night of the Arts: Open Museums

Valldemossa estrecha

Excursion to Valldemossa, Village with Arab origins


Excursion to Formentor (viewpoint) with UIB International Association

Sailing long

Sailing excursion with CIEE 

Cathedral 23

Visit to the Gothic Cathedral of Palma, La Seu


Biking along the Bay of Palma



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Living like a local, by Naomi Pohl - Summer with CIEE Palma de Mallorca, Spain


Today was the first day I really felt like a local. I woke up, ate my light breakfast of yogurt, granola, fruit and toast with almond butter, and walked through the winding streets to my 9:30 class with my friend Sam. Sam and I really lucked out with our home stay locations; we’re in the old part of the city closest to the beaches. The streets are quaint and confusing but are so beautiful and unique that I don’t even mind getting lost.


Beach day

Class today covered the basics of marine biology. Our professor is Dr. Guillem Mateu of the University of the Balearic Islands. He’s soft-spoken but passionate about ocean life. We started with a review of the properties of water and cells (I’m now convinced that every biology class, no matter which type or how advanced, will begin with these two topics…) We quickly got into more interesting topics, like the Ekman spiral, Coriolis effect, and global conveyor belt currents. I found the Ekman spiral particularly interesting; it’s the idea that water flows in a different direction than the prevailing wind because the water column spirals downwards as wind blows over it. I have never learned about the Ekman spiral before, but have definitely seen its effects as I have swum in the ocean. Today in class we also received an exciting packet called “Recommended Activities in Palma de Mallorca” that I am eager to start exploring (hint: hidden beaches, caves, and hikes).


Alongside the beach

After class I went with a few friends to the Corte Ingles, the Spanish mall, to do some grocery shopping and buy more sunscreen (aaaand I’ll probably need more next week). I went home, took a serious siesta, then went exploring the beaches near my house with Sam. The beaches are–surprise surprise–gorgeous. These beaches are not as clean or secluded as the Illetas or Cala Figuera but were the perfect place to sit and relax for a few hours before dinner.


Route to the beach

Marisa wasn’t home when I returned, but she left me dinner in the fridge. Tonight’s dinner was roasted red peppers stuffed with a creamy vegetable filling of carrots, onions, corn, mushrooms and squash all on a bed of sliced cooked potatoes.


tonight's dinner

Every night Marisa also makes me the most simple, delicious side salad of fresh greens and cherry tomatoes dressed with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, coarse sea salt and fresh cracked pepper. Every meal is so healthy and delicious; I truly look forward to her cooking.


Palmy view of Palma de Mallorca’s cathedral

I’m currently sitting on my bed with the windows open listening to Spanish television, guitar strums, and Jason Mraz echo through the courtyard. I can definitely get used to this.


View from the kitchen



Newsletter I, CIEE Palma de Mallorca, Summer 2015 Session I

Imagen1This is our newsletter about Summer Session I 2015 in Palma de Mallorca. During this session, our students can study the following topics:

  • Beginning Spanish
  • Spanish for Business and Tourism: An introduction to Tourism in Mallorca
  • Mediterranean Marine Environment
  • Mediterranean Cuisine in Spain: Cooking and Wine Tasting


Imagen2During the orientation our students learnt about the history and culture of Palma, as well as the Mediterranean gastronomy, Spanish customs and the basics to move around the city as Spaniards. They were also explained about the activities (excursions, field visits…) they were going to take during their Session in Palma.

Also, during the orientation each student was told about their host families, so their first impression was not so shocking.

Our students could even see which other students live by their surroundings through a map we made up for them so they could be more connected, something they really appreciated.

IMG_5887 (2)Courtney meeting her host family


All our summer classes have a hands-on component and put students in contact with relevant local examples related to the content of each particular subject. Imagen3

- Field Trip to Dragonera Island: Our marine students started their second week in Mallorca going to Dragonera. In this activity they visited a Natural Park  and identified the human impacts on the coast.  They also studied the diversity of flora and fauna and its management, as well as analyzing the different species and the fund management.

Imagen4- Mercado Pedro Garau:  Our cooking students during their second week in Palma also had the chance to see first-hand typical products of Mallorca at one of the most emblematic markets of Palma: Pedro Garau. During this session they discovered the most common products used in the Mediterranean cuisine, such as “snails” a typical Spanish dish they did not expect at all.

Imagen5- Field Visit to Natural Sciene Museum, Sóller: during this visit  our Marine students went to the Balearic museum of natural sciences, where they studied the living foraminifera collection and also  had the chance to dissect fishes.

Imagen6- Bellver Castle: Our language students visited the Bellver Castle last week, where they had to practise their language skills. Among the linguistic activities organised for them during the excursion one of them consisted on searching for clues in order to find a treasure. They really enjoyed the activity as well as the views of the city of Palma from the top of the castle.      Imagen7

Natalia showing her cooking skills

- Cooking: first day of practicum: Our cooking students had on Tuesday their first practical session, during which they learned to cook gazpacho, tortilla de patata and gató of almonds with vanilla ice cream. In further classes they’ll also learn other Spanish recipes such as paella, sangria, tapas and many others. This class includes 15 hours of practical lessons, plus the theoretical ones. 

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