To mark the last night of the program, students, teachers, and administrators gathered for a final banquet and awards ceremony to honor students’ work over the course of the month. Teachers and administrators all remarked that this summer’s group of students was especially mature, engaged, and an all-around pleasure to work with and be around. The ceremony concluded with a showing of the program slideshow, after which students headed back to the residence for a dance and late-night session of happy reminiscing and teary goodbyes before the first buses took off to the airport in the early hours of the morning. It was difficult for everyone to face the end of such an intensive, formative experience, but given the strength of the relationships that have been forged this month, it is certain that this is only “hasta luego,” and students’ paths will cross many more times in the future.
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Last night, we celebrated a yearly Oxbridge tradition: our Noche de café or Coffee Night. Although we did not actually drink coffee, it was an opportunity for students to show everything that they had learned. They read poetry, showed us their paintings and photography, explained their projects in Marine Biology and their case studies in Psychology, presented a mock-news program, and they demonstrated the vast improvements that they have made in their acquisition of the Spanish Language. We left the night awestruck. It was an incredible and truly unforgettable experience.
Tonight students and faculty gathered for La Academia de España’s Coffee House 2013, a presentation and celebration of all the work they have done over the course of the month. Taller literario students read their poems, International Business students explained their business plans, Fine Arts students showcased some of their best pieces, International Politics students screened their documentaries, and Spanish students showed off their videos, which ranged from horror films to soap operas. The program was full of an incredibly varied selection of projects, and everyone came away from the night with a sense of pride and accomplishment.
Yesterday, students and staff went to Tibidabo, a mountain on the outskirts of Barcelona that provides beautiful views of the city and is the site of Barcelona’s oldest amusement park. Students enjoyed the sights, the rides, and the fun that they had with their classmates.
Yesterday, the program was treated to the musical and magical stylings of our talented student body. Students sang, performed card tricks, played piano and guitar, and even got together with some faculty and admin for an enthusiastic performance of the classic, “Cielito Lindo.”
Our Intermediate Spanish students learned how to cook traditional Spanish dishes like “tortilla de patatas” (Spanish omelette), “pan con tomate” (bread with tomato sauce) and “gazpacho” (cold tomato soup), in a special class with a Spanish cook.
And of course, afterwards they got to eat their creations! Yummy!
Last weekend, the entire program dressed up and headed to the city center for a flamenco concert at the Palau de la Música Catalana, Lluís Domènech i Montaner’s modernist masterpiece. Students were impacted by the emotional intensity of the performers, who combined dance, singing, and percussion in a selection of different styles of this traditional form of Spanish music. For many, it was hard to decide whether they were more impressed by the performance or by the building itself!