Fall 2016 Madrid Newsletter - Engineering and Society
Bienvenidos a los alumnos de ingeniería. We already have a lot of positive impressions from our fall 2016 group. During our first Madrid walking tour participants visited a famous hot spot for one of the top delicacies in Spain, chocolate con churros.
Health and Safety Orientation
During orientation week, CIEE staff engages students in a conversation where safety is not seen as safety from all possible harm but focus on a dialogue that offers our students safety to explore, experiment and try things out during their study abroad semester. This conversation included important local details regarding health, safety and security in the city. Staff shared specific examples of pick-pocketing techniques and methods on how to prevent it from happening. All CIEE staff also co-led a two-hour workshop on Bystander Intervention with the help of Spanish students to show how certain learned behaviors in the U.S. are the same and/or different in the local Spanish context. Special emphasis is placed on explaining the concept of giving consent and what that means in Spain and the U.S. Some students thanked us afterward for giving some specific and detailed examples regarding ut local customs and creating a better sense of self-awareness. CIEE staff also shares examples from the LGTBQ community and some hate crime statistics that have been reported in Madrid during the past year. Students also learn how the police are trained in Spain, the general attitude and views towards the police by the public and how to file police reports when students lose passport and/or cell phones.
Visiting the University Campus
Our engineering students visited the host university campus with CIEE staff and learned how to use the public transportation to reach their classes. The host university also organized a welcome day for the new international students with welcome tapas and drinks. Spanish Cooking Class
One of the highlights for some of the engineering students was the two-hour Spanish cooking class. Together with a local cook, the participants had to prepare a variety of typical dishes, such as Spanish omelette, ham croquettes, sweet eggplant and Catalan cream desserts.
Visit an Age old Madrid Tradition: Las Ventas Bullring
CIEE staff does not promote nor attends bullfighting events with students. However, the cultural importance of the bull or "toro bravo" offers some key insight into the values that are part of Spanish society. As part of the orientation, students visit the bullring, Las Ventas, where they have a two-hour guided tour about the architecture, tradition, power and hierarchy that are essential to this local custom. Students learned about the legacy of the bull in Spanish society, but also get an explanation what motivates most bull fighters to assume such high stakes risks. Our guide also talked about women bullfighters and some of the prejudice that they have received by the spectators and the media. CIEE staff also held a discussion with students about animal rights in Spain and the current political atmosphere regarding the animal rights movement.
Movie Night in Madrid
Students attended a movie screening at one of Madrid´s forty film theaters, located in the Chamberí neighborhood. CIEE participants receive a local student ID that allows them to access many cultural venues with significant discounts (such as entrance reductions to museums, concerts, film screenings, etc.).
New Housing Feature: Shared Student Apartments with Spanish Peers
The CIEE Madrid programs have introduced an additional housing option for our students this fall, shared student apartments that are furnished and include full kitchen and wifi access. Our housing coordinator interviewed several enthusiastic Spanish students from one of our host institutions, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, and selected them as housemates for the CIEE students. The current Spanish apartment roommates have studied abroad in English-speaking countries and also visited the U.S. extensively. Our Spanish apartment roommates also welcomed the CIEE participants on arrival and showed them around their neighborhood and introduced them to a network of other Spanish friends and students. are