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!
It is said that Barça “és més que un club”, which in Catalan means that Futbol Club Barcelona is more than a normal soccer team. Indeed, Barça represents a worldwide known symbol of the city of Barcelona and its values. Our students visited Camp Nou stadium this afternoon: a unique experience!
The Fotografía urbana class visited the studio of graphic designer and bookbinder, Arcangela Regis. During the visit the students were able to learn about different binding techniques they could use in creating fanzines.
This evening, a small group of students and faculty attended the prelims of the 2013 FINA World Championships of Men’s Water Polo, held at the 1992 Summer Olympic facilities on Montjuïc. Students were enthralled by the Croatia vs. South Africa game before the USA took on Canada in an exciting match that ended with the Americans winning 8 to 7. Afterwards, while some students stayed to watch the host Spaniards take on the Greeks, others were lucky enough to run into the U.S. Women’s team, with whom they were able to chat and take a photo. Even though only a few students had ever actually seen a water polo game before, everyone who attended was a fan of the sport by the final buzzer.