Not sure what program is right for you? Click Here

© 2011. All Rights Reserved.

Study Abroad in

Back to Program Back to Blog Home

30 posts categorized "Resident Staff"


A Royal Thanksgiving for CIEE Palma de Mallorca: Queen Letizia shaking hands with CIEE staff

Today the Queen of Spain Doña Letizia visited the local University in Palma de Mallorca (UIB), in order to inaugurate the 17th National Congress of Voluntary Work and to award prizes to the non-profit organizations who have contributed with their work to a better world.

Cartel congreso

This three-day solidary event happens to meet inside Arxiduc, the building of the Faculties of Tourism and Hospitality at the Universitat de les Illes Balears, where the CIEE office is located.


CIEE staff and some of the CIEE students were able to see the Queen as this was a normal day for us, with classes and even a Thanksgiving celebration. The anecdote of the day is that one of the university students screamed at the Queen as she was passing by: “Letizia, qué guapa” (“Letizia, how beautiful”). So Doña Letizia turned back and came towards this student and decided to shake hands with two people, who happened to be Antonia and Susan, RD and RC of the CIEE program in Palma de Mallorca. The student who complimented the Queen with a “piropo” got a selfie with her. And after this encounter she went into the building for the inauguration. So we can say that the Queen of Spain Doña Letizia shaked hands with CIEE Palma staff.



Ciee students and staff

After the excitement of meeting the Monarchy, we celebrated Thanksgiving US tradition with CIEE students eating a piece of pumking pie, a glass of a nice Spanish cava, and thanking for our lives in beautiful Mallorca!!! A very Royal Thanksgiving day for CIEE students!



Visit CIEE Palma de Mallorca facebook group:

Our blog:

And our official websites:





Newsletter II: CIEE Summer 2014 in Palma de Mallorca



This newsletter tries to summarize the second half of summer session I and the first half of summer session II.

Our students of summer session I in Palma continued to learn and enjoy Mallorca’s lifestyle, as well as Spanish culture and gastronomy while living with their homestays. Classes continued regularly in and out of the classroom. During the second part of session I, CIEE Palma proposed the following new experiences to students, and they all joined us with no exceptions.




Our students in Spain today visited Pilar and Joan Miró’s Cultural Foundation and Museum in Mallorca. It is a unique Miró’s museum in the world, as it is the only one museum where visitors can contemplate the artist’s creative surroundings, through direct contact with the studios in which Joan Miró worked from 1956 until his death in 1983.

Bellow you can see our five students posing in front of Miró’s sculpture in the gardens of the museum.


This same class organized a very special kind of “treasure hunt”, which consisted in looking for monuments, places or objects located in the city, following the instructions given by the professor. The aim was using the language while learning history. The students had to ask locals to find out the location of the monuments. In the end, they had to take a photo to prove that they were able to find the treasures of Palma.

In the picture, students in front of one of the lions in Paseo del Born.



Students enrolled in Intermediate Spanish and Spanish for Business and Tourism shared an activity that took place in the centre of Palma. The activity consisted in a photo marathon guided by the professors. In the end, best group received a funny prize.

Image 7

Image 3

Summer session I students went together to the winery and vineyards of Jose Luís Ferrer in Binissalem, a local producer of a Mallorcan brand wine. Each class had a different assignment depending if it was a language class or the Cooking and Wine Tasking class. In general, students had to formulate questions to the guide, take pictures, and listen to the presentation to write a report. No need to say that students loved this experience.

Students learnt that Joseph Ferrer, was a pioneer in the island of Mallorca: introducing new techniques in the cultivation of the vine, bottling wine for later sale, ageing wines in oak barrels with the intention of improving the quality and evolution of their wines, creating great white wines based on native varieties, and exporting great Mallorcan wines to Europe and the USA.




Students learnt to cook Spanish meals, from paella to coca de verduras, gazpacho, tortilla de papatas, etc. They had the opportunity to count on a spectacular professor and cook, chef Alan Norte Leeks, who transmits passion and effort to his profession. Students learnt the history of gastronomy in the Mediterranean and the secrets of Mediterranean diet.




Students on session I and II travelled to one of the following cities for a three day weekend: Barcelona, Berlin, London or Paris. These cultural trips were complemented by seminars on intercultural reflection prior and after the trip took place. Students loved the opportunity not only to discover these cities, but also to meet CIEE students who are studying in other European cities.



The second part of Session I included another group excursion around Mallorca to discover Alcudia, Natural Beach of Muro, the Watch Point of Colomer and Formentor Natural Park and beach. First, students visited the walled city of Alcudia and its medieval neighbourhood. Students wandered as well around the craft market happening that day in the city. Students saw the captivating views of the northwest of the Island from Colomer point view. Finally, they had time to relax and share as a group one of the best beaches of Mallorca, Formentor. Enjoy the views!



As all things have an end, this wonderful experience finished with a farewell in famous Can Joan de S’Aigo, a 17th century chocolate cafe where we tried ensaïmadas, homemade icecream, and other traditional Mallorcan delicacies. Thanks for being part of our program!


Foto 2

Final group photo of Session I. Good Luck students!


Ten students from session I continued into session II. Others had to leave, and it was the beginning for the new arrivals. So here again we were busy organizing the orientation, homestays, and new activities.

FotoStudents waiting to meet their homestays

This year students from summer session II were lucky, because they had the opportunity to experience a local celebration, Saint John’s night.

The tradition on this special night is that people go to the beaches of Mallorca to welcome the summer and celebrate the magic night of Saint John (Sant Joan). A series of rituals are staged, which, according to the legend, give luck all throughout the year to the people that perform them. One of them is the traditional jumping over small bonfires. Another meeting place is Parc de la Mar and Ses Voltes in Palma, where fire shows and music concerts are programmed.





This is only the beginning of the journey for students of Session II. They adapted to their classes, homestays, and the city, and tried hard to learn the culture and the language. Next Chapter soon…

Visit CIEE Palma de Mallorca facebook group:

Our blog:

And our official websites:




Summer 2013 Session II: CIEE PALMA DE MALLORCA

Palma bay


Group picture in Sa Riera
group picture in front of Sa Riera during first day in Palma


During summer session II, we offered three classes:

- Mediterranean Marine Environment

- Palma in the Mediterranean

- Globalization, Human Migration and Tourism: the case of the Balearic Islands

All our classes include relevant field visits which take advantage of the great historical, environmental and economical characteristics of Palma de Mallorca. These hands-on 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. 

Let us summarize here a little bit what we did:


This class includes fieldwork at coastal shores from sandy to bottom ecosystems, and visits to an aquarium, a research fishery, and Cabrera's and untouched Dragonera's islands marine national parks.

Cabrera 4

Cabrera Island (Natural National Park)

  Marine environment 3

Marine environment 2

Palma Aquarium

Marine environment

Fishery Lab in Andratx, with Professors Guillem Mateu (left) and Salud Deudero (right)

Marine environment 4

Marine environment 5

Marine environment 6

Marine environment 7

Group Final Presentations


Students learn how tourism relates to migration through history, theory and practice. The class addresses questions such as how is everyday life managed in tourist destinations, taking into account the latest academic discussions in the subject.

Globalization 5

As part of the class, students visit a tourist destination such as 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 tourist destination first hand.

Globalization 1
One street in Magaluf

Globalization 2

Presentation during a visit to a hotel

This field trip to Magaluf involved observing businesses and the interactions among tourists and workers, all in all delving into how the global fashions the local anew.

Globalization 6

Globalization 4
Visit to Hotel Sol Wave House (flowboarding and innovative experience-hotel)

Globalization 7

With Professor Marc Morell in front of one of the hotels of the area

The visit also included a brief talk at the tourist information office where students got to know in more detail how the resort has evolved through time and which are its future prospects.

Globalization 3

A second field 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.

Globalization 9

Students were able to compare its monumental core with its more humble margins and learnt how tourism relates to city planning and heritage conservation. 

Globalization 10

Students were able to gain insights from an informal talk with active residents who manage their everyday life within such a highly touristy context.

Globalization 8

The last visit of this class, provided a taste of the countryside. Students visited Mallorca's hinterland, normally portrayed as one of the last unspoiled pisturesque territories of the Island.

Globalization 11

The tour consisted of a mishmash of contrasting experiences such as walking through villages of the area, dropping by a market, meeting local organic producers, and even visiting the birthplace of Juniper Serra, the founder friar of the mission chain in nowadays California.

Globalization 13

Students enjoyed visiting the Finca of Son Real, on a wide virgin coastal area in the North of Mallorca with an impressive necropolis with remains dating back to 7th century BC. 

Globalization 14

Globalization 15  

At the end of the day, students were able to figure out whether or not the initial truism holds.

Globalization 16


In this class, students analyze Palma as one model of Mediterranean city. Special attention is paid to the evolution of the city in the history of Mallorca, from prehistoric times to our days.

On one side, the class explores the natural heritage, such as Tramuntana Mountain Range and little villages, recently declared Natural and Historical World Heritage Site.

Class visit to Estellencs, a village in Sierra de Tramuntana

On the other side, the class discovers the cultural heritage through the traditions, celebrations, gastronomy and markets of the island.

Clase de cocina 2
Students learnt to cook traditional Mallorcan recipes

Clase de cocina
and of course got to eat them (Professor Toni Vives on the left)


Students doing an internship at Brujula Technology Solutions, and at Hotel Tryp Bosque from Melia Hotels, did their final presentations and explained how what they did and learnt at the company.

Internship 1

Peter presenting about his experience at Brujula

Internship 2

Justin presenting about his experience at Hotel Tryp Bosque

Internship 3

Peter, Justin and Professor Pepi Villoslada 


Every good story has an end. To celebrate a wonderful summer and say goodbye to everybody, what a better way than eating Mediterranean food by the Mediterranean Sea.


Farewell 2

The whole group

Farewell 3

Students, Guardian Angels and Professors

Farewell 4

Only students and Guardian Angels

Farewell professors
Only professors and staff (Susan Estay, Resident Coordinator, on the left, and Antonia Ferriol, Resident Director, the second on the right)


Have a nice summer, from our Palma's Cathedral


Visit CIEE Palma de Mallorca facebook group:

Our blog:

And our official websites:





Fairs, Festivals and Markets 7, by Toni Vives (Professor at CIEE Palma de Mallorca, Spain)

Foto toni blogOne of the original elements of the festivals and traditions of the Balearic Islands is its folk dancing which is rooted in ancient folklore surrounding gods and godesses of the harvest. Above all, the dance of the cossiers, an eye-catching ritual akin to Morris dancing, features a central female figure protected from a «devil» by three pairs of male dancers dressed in white tops and trousers with coloured belts. The cossier dancers are most well known for their performances in Algaida, Montuïri, Alaró, Manacor and Pollença.



Also worth a mention are the cavallets - the «little horse» dancers of Felanitx, a tradition which dates from 1671. The dancers, wearing a hobby horse costume, can be seen during the Felanitx-based festivals of San Augustín; Santa Margarita and in the Festival of the Bulls held every year on 28th August when the small bullring in Felanitx is opened up for a bullfight for just one day a year. Local people dress up according to their different clan colours and there is much merry-making in the streets. A variation of this dance can be seen in other parts of the Island but it has had the longest association with Felanitx.156_004070

 Visit CIEE Palma de Mallorca facebook group:

And our official websites:




Carnival in Palma, by Toni Vives (Professor at CIEE Palma de Mallorca, Spain)

Foto toni blogCarnival time is celebrated widely in February on Mallorca prior to the onset of spring and the Lent fast. All schools recognise the public holiday celebration of «Carnival Thursday,» or Dijous Llarder as it is known in the local Mallorquín language. Colouful parades are the order of the day with neighbourhoods taking dressing up and disguises as a serious challenge. Groups compete against one another for prizes for the most original and eye-catching outfits.

On Menorca, and especially in the town of Ciutadella, the festival of San Juan is celebrated with intense fervour by local people and was recently presented to UNESCO as a candidate for a world heritage protection award. The celebrations held on days before and after 24th June, draw crowds from far afield. They centre around the importance of horses which race through the streets driven on by riders clad in 18th century attire.


The climax of the ritual is the moment at which the horses charge through the thronged streets and rear up in the main square in front of the town hall. The onlookers in the front rows press forward as strongly as they can to touch the horses for luck, sparking an atmosphere which can be recreated nowhere else.


The main festivals held in Ibiza are those of San Ciriaco and Santa María de las Nieves. Both are fiestas which celebrate the sanctity of the land, commemorating the Catalan conquest of the Island on 8th August, 1235.


Visit CIEE Palma de Mallorca facebook group:

And our official websites:




Learning about Spanish and Mallorcan culture - Spring 2012 in Palma de Mallorca with CIEE

Our students visited a local elementary school and did activities with the children. US students talked about their culture and local students brought food, danced for us, and explained with passion their Mallorcan traditions.

Activity in a school in palma

Activity in a school in palma 2

Guided tour historic palma
With professor Vives, we visited the least known corners of Palma.

Carnival in Palma

Students showing local culture 2
Children in local school were very happy to have us visit their class

  Students showing local culture

We did a bike excursion along the coast of Palma with our Guardian Angel, David. Sorry, I have no pictures yet! We also visited Miró’s museum. Students participated in a Photo Marathon and took pictures of many historical places around Palma for Spanish language class.

This weekend we are going to the Gothic Castle Bellver of Palma, also to a concert, and to Valldemossa. I hope you enjoyed our adventures… We promise more stories and pictures in our third newsletter! 

Excursion con la familia 2012 027
Mallorcan house in the mountains (thanks Kristen!)

Visit CIEE Palma de Mallorca facebook group:

And our official websites:




More on spring semester adventures

We have spent three days discovering Madrid. We visited Museo del Prado with professor Javier Blanco, the city and the Royal Palace; of course, we also tried chocolate con churros, the famous calamari sandwich, and went shopping to the outside market El Rastro. Bellow a view of the renowned symbol of Madrid, la Puerta de Alcalá.

Madrid puerta de alcala

Students are now enrolled in at least one regular university class taught in Spanish such as: Survey of Spanish Literature, Economy, development and cooperation, Spanish and World Economy, Philosophy of Language, and Hispanic American Literature; and the CIEE courses: Advanced Spanish Writing and Stylistics; Spanish Politics and Society; Spanish Cinema and Literature; Economy, Tourism and Environmental Issues: the case of Mallorca; and Introduction to Everyday Catalan. On top of this, as I mentioned before, we offer the Seminar on Living and Learning in Palma de Mallorca.

Uib campus joanna
Thanks to Joanna for letting me use her picture of UIB (university) campus!!

Visit CIEE Palma de Mallorca facebook group:

And our official websites:




Fairs, Festivals and Markets 6, by Toni Vives (Professor at CIEE Palma de Mallorca, Spain)

Foto toni blogNormally each of the towns and villages on Mallorca has its own winter festivities which are held on the date of the festival of the patron saint of animals – San Antonio Abad. Bonfires are lit in the streets and townspeople gather to prepare an open-air barbecue for the whole neighbourhood. This style of celebration has become particularly renowned in Artà, Muro, Manacor and above all in sa Pobla.  The occasion is also a special one for the people of Minorca where local people claim San Antonio as their patron saint.

In summer, when conditions are perfect for outdoor activities, each town and village in the Balearics is proud to hold its own particular festival, normally associated with a patron saint. Over the last few years, such festivities have become extended events due to new features and entertainment becoming part of the annual programme.

Moros y cristianos 3Some towns highlight aspects of their own jealously-guarded culture as part of their local festivities. These can sometimes prove to be a real tourist attraction, as is the case with a festival in Pollença in the north of Mallorca where every year on 2nd August - in honour of the town’s patron saint - a mock battle is staged, recreating an era centuries ago when Christians defeated invading Moors who attacked the coast on 30th May, 1550.

Moros y cristanos 11


Visit CIEE Palma de Mallorca facebook group:

And our official websites:




How the semester is going

Andrea and David are our “Guardian Angels”; Spanish students who collaborate with CIEE and do activities with CIEE students, many times becoming best friends. Among other activities, they went out to eat tapas, and shopping with the students.

Orientation hotel

This semester, we are offering for the first time the Seminar on Living and Learning in Palma de Mallorca, and almost all students signed up for the seminar. 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.

Plaza mayor

All our students sign a Language Commitment in which they compromise to speak in Spanish all the time even among themselves. I have to say that this year the spring group is very serious about using Spanish, and we want to take this opportunity to congratulate them for their compromise. Some students have already one language (and cultural) partner to practice more Spanish outside the classroom.

Group dinner
Two students are doing an internship this semester. Kristen works with Grupo Flash, an agency which organizes parties and fashion shows. And Joanna is taking the challenge to teach English in the elementary school of San Vicente de Paul.

Paisaje mallorca

Visit CIEE Palma de Mallorca facebook group:

And our official websites:




Fairs, Festivals and Markets 5, by Toni Vives (Professor at CIEE Palma de Mallorca, Spain)

Foto toni blog


The Festival of the Standard is worth special attention, as it is considered as one of the oldest civilian festivals in Europe. The event, on record since 1313 and which takes place every year in Palma on 31st December, commemorates the victorious entry into the then Muslim city of Palma on the part of the Conqueror King Jaime I of Aragon in 1229. It was from this date onwards that the Balearic Islands adopted the Catalan language and culture as its own.59475
The history of the San Sebastian festivals dates back several centuries. The story goes that in the year 1523, plague was running like wildfire through the population living on the Island of Mallorca. That same year, a relic of San Sebastian was brought to the Island. Shortly after the relic was officially donated to the Cathedral in Palma, the plague stopped its deadly spread, a sign which was interpreted as being one of divine intervention. In 1643, San Sebastian was officially declared the patron saint of Palma. The celebration, which is held every year on 20th January, consists of a solemn mass held in the Cathedral, although in recent years, the festival has taken on a different character aimed at the young with musical celebration in the streets.

Fiestas-de-Sant-Sebastià-2012As a spontaneous contribution to the festivities, a free outdoor barbecue for the crowds sponsored by local authorities was set up in Plaza Mayor in Palma, a feature which was soon to be copied at other points in the city. Before long the number of days over which the festival was held became extended and incorporated a number of activities in which local people from all walks of life were able to take part. One of the most popular and well- attended events of the San Sebastian festival is a concert held on the evening prior to the saint’s day itself. The occasion has evolved into not just one, but a series of concerts of different musical styles which can be attended free of charge in the main squares of the city.


Separately, the 20th January is a traditional «Cycling day» when enthusiasts set out from Plaza Cort in central Palma and head for the municipal Sports stadium where they are greeted by local town hall dignitaries and honoured with «City of Palma» awards.0_57911_1

Visit CIEE Palma de Mallorca facebook group:

And our official websites: