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14 posts from November 2011

11/30/2011

Lisandra Rodriguez (College of Notre Dame of Maryland University)- CIEE Alcalá Fall 2011- NAILS AND HAIR.

And what about my mails and hair?!       

When I knew I was coming to Spain, I focused on the big things like money, my classes, where would I live and how I would make friends. After I was here for a while, I notice that I missed some of my routine things from back home. One of these routines was going to the nail salon and the hair salon. Of course, being in a new country, I did not know where the good places were or even were to start looking. With the help of my director, Cristina, and my roommates, I was able to narrow a few things down and find solutions I can now live with.

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            First, I had to find a nail salon. In the center of Alcalá, there is a nail salon called Dream Nails. I decided to check them out since they are located in the plaza and it was convenient for me to walk over after class. Unfortunately, once I arrived, I waited an hour and half and they broke all 10 of my acrylic nails. They replaced them for free but at that point, I was already high dissatisfied and agreed to never go back. I investigated and discovered that mostly everyone around me goes into Madrid to get their nails done. Since Madrid is the major city, it is more expensive and therefore I opted for a cheaper solution, to do my own nails. There are a million places to shop in Alcalá and I can get any color I want from reds to purples to blues to greens to black. This solution was more economically wise and my nails are doing fine. I even discovered crackle nail polish from H&M and crackled my nails.

            Second problem was my hair. Marco Albany is the major franchise hair salon in Madrid and the surrounding area. At first, I was extremely nervous about what to expect. After the experience with my nails, I didn’t know if they would be able to please me. And worse, if all my hair broke off, it could not be as easily replaced as my nails. Unfortunately, I am unable to style my hair and therefore decided to check them out. To my surprise, they were excellent. They understood my hair texture and did the best they could. I did not know the technical terms for the hairstyle that I wanted in Spanish but they worked through the language barrier to achieve the results I expected. In Madrid, there are smaller salons that specialize in my texture of hair but their expertise is in braiding. While I love having braids, they were a little expensive (almost 160 euros) and personally not worth the investment.

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            Overall, I was able to transfer my routine from the United States to Spain calmly and am happy with the solutions I found.

 

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¿Y mis uñas y mi pelo?

Cuando supe que iba a venir a España, me concentré en las cosas grandes como el dinero, mis clases, dónde iba a vivir y cómo iba a hacer amigos. Después de estar aquí por un tiempo, me di cuenta de que echaba de menos algunos de mis cosas rutinarias de los EE.UU. Una de estas rutinas era ir al salón de belleza y la peluquería. Por supuesto, como estoy en un país nuevo, no sabía dónde estaban los lugares buenos e incluso ni dónde empezar a buscar. Con la ayuda de mi directora, Cristina, y mis compañeros de cuarto, tuve la oportunidad de reducir algunos lugares y encontrar soluciones.

Primero, tenía que encontrar un salón de belleza. En el centro de Alcalá, hay un salón de belleza llamado Dream Uñas. Me decidí a ir ya que estaban ubicados en la plaza y que era conveniente para mí caminar allí después de clase. Desafortunadamente, una vez que llegué, esperé una hora y media y rompieron todas de mis uñas acrílicas. Las arreglaron gratuitamente, pero en ese momento, ya tenía un nivel alto de insatisfacción y decidí no volver. Investigué y descubrí que la mayoría de las mujeres van a Madrid para hacerse las uñas. Madrid es la ciudad más central, es más caro y por lo tanto he optado por una solución más barata: hacerme mis propias uñas. Hay un millón de lugares para hacer las compras en Alcalá y puedo conseguir cualquier color que quiero, de rojos a los violetas, a los azules, a los verdes, al negro. Esta solución es más económica  y mis uñas están bien. Incluso descubrí “crujido” esmalte de uñas de H & M y “crují” mis uñas.

El segundo problema era mi pelo. Marco Albany es el salón de la franquicia de pelo más importante en Madrid y sus alrededores. Al principio, estaba muy nerviosa acerca de qué me esperaría. Después de la experiencia con mis uñas, no sabía si serían capaces de complacerme. Y peor aún, si todo mi pelo se estropeaba, no podría ser tan fácilmente  arreglado  como mis uñas. Así que decidí comprobarlo. Para mi sorpresa, fueron excelentes. Ellos entendieron mi textura de cabello e hicieron lo mejor que pudieron. No sabía que los términos técnicos para el peinado que quería en español, pero ellos trabajaron conmigo a través de la barrera del idioma para alcanzar los resultados que quería. En Madrid, hay salones pequeños que se especializan en la textura de mi pelo, pero su experiencia es en el trenzado. Aunque me encanta tener trenzas, era un poco caro (casi 160 euros) y, personalmente, no vale la pena la inversión.

En general, he sido capaz de transferir mi rutina de los Estados Unidos a España con calma y estoy feliz con las soluciones que he encontrado.

 

11/29/2011

Russell Quiñones (Villanova University)- Fall 2011- Ciee Alcalá: 9 lives.

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9 Lives?Something interesting that I learned the other day is that cats in Spain are said to have just 7 lives, instead of 9. I guess we like cats more in the United States. Here’s a little guy (or gal?) that I came across in Extremadura.

 

My host family here in Spain has a dog, and her name is Boni, short for Bonita, which means pretty. We eat lunch together sometimes when the fam isn’t here to keep me company. She’s really the cutest, and I’ve grown pretty attached. Violeta (my host mother) always sings to her whenever she enters the house. It’s actually really funny because she always sings the same song, a patriotic song about Spain, but substitutes the dog’s name into the song whenever it’s supposed to say España - ya gotta hear it. Here’s a nice little picture of her:

 

 

Barks can be heard throughout my entire walk to and from school – it seems as though every single house has a dog. I can even hear barks right now as I’m writing this. But Boni never barks; she’s a good girl. Something I’ve noticed though is that en El Ensanche, the barrio that I live in, NOBODY cleans up after their dog. Nobody. There is just dog poop por todas partes (everywhere). Also, when dogs are walked, they are never kept on leashes. I remember one time specifically when I happened upon a woman with three little Chihuahua dogs, all let loose and following her around. I guess dogs can be disciplined in this way; ya just gotta give em the chance.

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¿Nueve Vidas?

El otro día, aprendí que en España, un gato tiene sola siete vidas, en vez de nueve. Me parece que nos gustan más los gatos en los Estados Unidos. Aquí hay una foto de un gato a quien topé en Extremadura, España:

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Mi familia cogida tiene una perrita que se llama Boni, un apoyo de Bonita. A veces comemos juntos la comida cuando la familia no está para comer conmigo. Ella es la perra más mona del mundo, y ahora somos muy amigos. Violeta (mi madre cogida) siempre canta a Boni una canción de patriotismo, pero sustituye el nombre de la perra cada vez que la canción dice “España.” Es muy gracioso. Esta foto es de Boni:

 

Oigo los perros ladrando a lo largo de mis caminos a la escuela cada día – me parece que cada familia tiene un perro. También, en este moment puedo oírlos ladrando en las calles. Todos ladran, salvo Boni; ella es muy bien educada, jaja. Otra cosa que he notado este semestre es que nadie recoge el excremento de sus perros en las calles. Nadie. Hay excremento por todas partes.

Además, cuando familias van caminando con sus perros, nunca usan correas. Recuerdo una vez que vi una mujer con tres perritas libres, siguiendola durante el camino. Me parece que es posible disciplinar los perros así, si tienes confianza en su capacidad de obedercerte. Solo hay que darlos la oportunidad.

 

 

Leah Mann (University of Wisconsin-Madison)- CIEE Alcalá- Fall 2011. About Lisbon... One hour from Madrid.

 

Lisboa, Portugal

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WOW! What a city, Lisboa is absolutely beautiful.  Although it was on the verge of raining most of the time I was there, it was a really cool place.  Almost everything is in walking distance of the city center, but this does nothing to describe the massive hills that one needs to climb to go out at night.  The best view of the city is definitely from the tower of Bella, where you can see out over everything. I was informed that if anything was stolen from me, the best place to go look for it would be that Saturday, at the thieves market, which is located right next to a giant cathedral, luckily I didn’t have any problems.  As always there are many beautiful and OLD statues, castles, and churches, as there are throughout most of Spain.  What is really interesting and not as common in Spain is that many Portuguese people speak English, and warning, they do NOT appreciate being spoken to in Spanish.  Overall, the whole city was great, and definitely a place to see if you have a weekend free.

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¡Vaya! Qué ciudad, Lisboa… aunque estuvo lloviendo durante la mayor parte del tiempo  que estuve allí, fue un lugar muy interesante.  Casi todas las cosas importantes están tan cerca del centro de la ciudad, que puedes ir caminando a todas partes.  Pero eso no es suficiente para describir las Colinas que tienes que subir para salir por la noche.  La mejor vista de la ciudad está en la torre de Bella, donde puedes ver todo desde lo alto.  Alguien me dijo que si pierdo algo, el mejor lugar para buscarlo es en el mercado de robos de los sábados, que está al lado de la catedral, pero por suerte no tuve problemas.  Como siempre en Europa hay un montón de estatuas, castillos e iglesias bonitas y viejas, como en la mayoría de España. Lo que fue muy interesante porque no es tan común aquí en España es que hay mucha gente allí que habla ingles y, cuidado, que a ellos no les gusta que se les hable en español.  En resumen, Lisboa es genial y un lugar que ver si tienes un fin de semana libre.

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RACHEL SOULE (Brandeis University)- CIEE Alcalá Fall 2011. Spanish Elections.

English

 

In the Spanish elections that were held November 20th, the People's Party (PP) won by absolute majority. The president of PP, Mariano Rajoy, will be the new president of Spain. PP had an extensive campaign. Everywhere in Spain you saw signs for PP saying "Súmate al cambio" (roughly, "join with the change").

 

Rajoy will replace the current president José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero of the Spanish Socialist Worker's Party (PSOE). The PSOE candidate in these elections was Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba. His campaign followed the motto "Lucha por lo que quieres" ("fight for what you want").

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With the bad state of unemployment in Spain, I think that people have elected the more conservative PP in order to save the economy. According to what I've learned in my contemporary Spanish history class, the last time PP had power, they did 'save' the economy but with the price of taking benefits and rights away from the worker. Right now, you can see why people might be considering this option: the current unemployment is higher than 20%. But on the other hand, I expect that many people will protest the loss of their workers' rights.

 

Other presidential candidates included Cayo Lara Moya of United Left (IU) and Rosa Díaz of Union, Progress and Democracy (UPyD).

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Nationalist parties Convergència i Unió/Convergence and Union (CiU) of Catalonia and Basque Nationalist Party (PNV) of Basque Country, plus the nationalist coalition AMAIUR of Basque Country and Navarra, have won a significant number of seats in congress.

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Results of the election. PP won 186 seats in congress. PSOE won 110. CiU 16. AMAIUR 7. PNV 5. ERC 3.

 

 

Español

 

En las elecciones de España, que se hicieron el 20 de noviembre, ganó el Partido Popular (PP) por mayoría absoluta. El presidente del PP, Mariano Rajoy, será el nuevo presidente de España. El PP tenía una campaña extensiva. Por todos lados en España, se veía los señales del PP que dijeron "Súmate al cambio".

 

 Rajoy reemplazará al actual presidente José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero del Partido Socialista Obrero Español (PSOE). El candidato de PSOE en estas elecciones fue Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba. Su campaña seguía la lema "Lucha por lo que quieres".

 

 

Con el mal estado de desempleo en España, creo que la gente ha elegido el partido más conservador PP para salvar la economía. Según he aprendido en mi clase de historia contemporánea de España, la última vez que tuvo poder el PP, sí 'salvaron' la economá pero con el precio de sacar beneficios y derechos del obrero. Ahora mismo, se puede ver por qué se considera esta opción: el paro actual en España está a más de un 20%. Pero por el otro lado, me imagino que mucha gente entonces estará revolucionada a causa de perder sus derechos de obrero.

 

 Otros candidatos de la presidencia incluyeron Cayo Lara Moya de Izquierda Unida (IU) y Rosa Díaz de Unión Progreso y Democracia (UPyD).

 

Partidos nacionalistas Convergència i Unió (CiU) de Cataluña y Partido Nacionalista Vasco (PNV) de País Vasco, más la coalición nacionalista AMAIUR de País Vasco y Navarra han ganado un número signífico de sientos en el congreso.

 

Resultados de la elección. El PP ha ganado 186 sientos en el congreso. El PSOE ha ganado 110. El CiU 16. AMAIUR 7. UPyD 5. PNV 5. ERC 3.

 

 

 

 

11/18/2011

The Rastro flea-market in Madrid

 

What is the Rastro?

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Towards the end of the semester, our CIEE students always realize that they only have a few weeks to buy souvenirs for their friends and family back home. Should we enter “panic mode”? Nah…just save a Sunday morning to go to El Rastro in downtown Madrid, to the most famous open-air market in Madrid! The vendors at the Rastro sell pretty much everything: from antique painting, watches, and collectibles to clothing, “I love Madrid” shirts, bags and key chains, jewelry, scarves, shoes, music, videos, and even domestic animals and birds! It promises to be a unique experience.

Of course, you don’t have to wait until the last Sunday of your stay in Spain to go to the Rastro. It is open every Sunday and on national holidays from about 9 AM until 3 PM. However, it’s better to arrive early for the best selection and to avoid the crowds, even though there is always a crowd to some degree. That being said, you must be very careful in the Rastro. It’s not a dangerous place, but there are a lot of pickpockets looking for an easy snatch. We recommend always wearing your purse or backpack in the front, with your arms over it, having nothing in your pockets, and going  to the Rastro with only what you really need. Don’t go with your passport, large sums of money, your camera, iPod and iPhone, or other valuables. If you’re careful and aware of what’s going on around you, you’ll be just fine!

Instrumentos rastroInstruments and other items

Shoes rastroShoes
  Paintings rastroPaintings

History of the Rastro

Madrid’s Rastro has a long history that dates back to the 16th Century, when vendors used to sell used clothing and other items in these streets. In addition, during this time, there were tanneries located in this area. Transporting the slaughtered cattle from the abattoir to the tannery left a trail (Rastro) of blood along the street, which is likely where the market earned its name.

How to get to the Rastro

Getting to the Rastro is fairly simply, both walking from the center of Madrid or on the metro. It is located along the Plaza de Cascorro and Ribera de Curtidores, between Calle Embajadores and the Ronda de Toledo (just south of La Latina metro station). The easiest thing to do is go by metro to the La Latina stop, get out and head down the Ronda de Toledo. The main street is where many of the clothes are sold, but in the little side streets and small squares are where the more interesting items are sold.

Jewelry rastroJewelry

And when you’re done shopping, you can enjoy a caña y tapa (small glass of beer and a Spanish tapa) in one of the many small bars along the streets of the Rastro.

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Check out this cool video to learn a little more about the Rastro! 

 

 

11/17/2011

Kati Morash (Moravian College)-CIEE Alcalá- FALL 2011. UAH CHORUS.

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Los profesores, estudiantes y gente del pueblo pueden cantar en el coro de la Universidad de Alcalá de Henares.  Se reúnen cada martes y jueves desde 19,30h hasta 21,00h en el Aula de Música.  Cuando entré en el edificio, había una grande sala de conciertos que está separado de la entrada por unas pantallas.  Parecería obvio ensayar en la sala de conciertos, pero el aula del ensayo está  en el primer piso, en un cuarto de clases. Hacen 2 o 3 ejercicios y practican 1 o 2 obras en profundidad.  Es posible aprender una obra entera en una práctica.  El director trabaja con cada parte de la voz: las sopranos, las altas, los tenores y los bajos para una sección y, después, todos cantan juntos.  Mientras las otras partes cantan, gente usa los móviles, lee y escribe apuntes a sus amigos del coro, o repasa la música.  Los miembros son como una familia.  No te preocupas sobre la audición, solamente es para la colocación de la voz.  Recomiendo mucho participar en el coro de la Universidad de Alcalá de Henares.

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Professors, students, and the general public make up the University of Alcalá de Henares chorus.  It meets every Tuesday and Thursday from 7:30 pm to 9pm in the music department building.  When you enter the building there is a big concert hall separated from the entrance by panels.  It would seem sensible to practice in the concert hall, but the rehearsal room is on the 2nd floor, in an average classroom.  We do 2 or 3 warm ups and then practice 1 or 2 pieces in depth.  We learned an entire song in one rehearsal.  The director works with each voice part for one section and then we all sing together.  While other voice parts are singing, people check their phones, write notes to each other, or look ahead in the piece.  The members are like a family.  Do not worry about the audition; it is only for voice placement.  I highly recommend joining the University of Alcalá de Henares chorus.

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11/14/2011

Ryan Campbell from Wofford College in South Carolina- CIEE Alcalá- Fall 2011

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My Spanish Family

My name is Ryan Campbell.  I am a student from Wofford College in South Carolina.  I live with an amazing family in Alcalá de Henares.  It consists of my parents, one sister, and two brothers.  My mom, Benita, is funny and short.  She has two jobs.  One is in a museum, and she guards the paintings from people.  It is very boring and most of the time she reads a book.  The other is in a store, and she helps women find clothes that they would like.  She loves her job in the store.  My dad, Antonio, is an electrician.  He has crazy hours because he works during his client's best hours.  But, he is always at the house for meals.

Benita y Marido

My sister, Ana, is very nice and patient with me.  We have had many long conversations because she does not easily get frustrated.  She is married to a man named Carlos.  The husband works in international business, so he is away a lot.  He seems to understand english well.  They have a daughter, Lucia, that is six years old.  She likes television programs a lot.  I think that her parents spoils her a little.  Ana and her family do not live with us.

Hijos de Benita (Toni y Roberto)

One brother, Toni, is thirty-one years old.  He is a painter and paints houses, buidings, and furniture for a living.  He also does not live with us.  My other brother, Roberto, is sixteen years old.  He does live with us but is never at the house.  He loves soccer and plays for a team.  Everyday, he is either playing soccer, going to the gym, or hanging out with his friends.

I really like my family.  They are very nice and helpful.  I am glad that I am living with them this semester.

 

Mi familia en España

Mi nombre es Ryan Campbell.  Soy un estudiante de Wofford College en Carolina del Sur.  Vivo con una familia fantástica en Alcalá de Henares.  Está formada por mis padres, una hermana y dos hermanos.  Mi mamá, Benita, es bajita y muy simpática.  Tiene dos trabajos.  Un trabajo es en un museo donde ella guarda los cuadros de las personas.  Es muy aburrido y la mayor parte del tiempo ella lee un libro.  El otro es en una tienda, y ella ayuda a las mujeres a encontrar la ropa perfecta.  Le encanta su trabajo en la tienda. Mi papá, Antonio, es electricista.  Tiene un horario loco porque él trabaja durante el mejor momento de sus clientes.  Pero, siempre está en la casa para la comida.

Mi hermana, Ana, es muy simpática y paciente conmigo.  Hemos tenido muchas conversaciones largas porque no se frustraba con facilidad.  Está casada con un hombre que se llama Carlos. El marido trabaja en los negocios internacionales, entonces a menudo está lejos.  Parece que entiende inglés muy bien.  Tienen una hija, Lucia, que tiene seis años.  Le gustan mucho los programas de televisión.  Creo que sus padres le dan a ella todo que quiere.  La familia de Ana no vive con nosotros.

Uno de los hermanos, Toni, tiene treinta y un años.  Es pintor y en su trabajo, él pinta las casas, los edificios, y los muebles.  Tampoco vive con nosotros.  Mi otro hermano, Roberto, tiene dieciséis años.  Vive con nosotros, pero nunca está en casa.  Le encanta el fútbol y juega al fútbol con un equipo.  Todos los días, él practica fútbol, va al gimnasio, o pasa tiempo con sus amigos.

En realidad, me gusta mi familia.  Son muy simpáticos y me ayudan mucho a mejorar mi español.  Me alegro de estar viviendo con ellos durante este semestre.

 

Casa de Benita Palacios

11/08/2011

INSTRUCTORS AT THE BENJAMIN FRANKLIN INSTITUTE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ALCALÁ, WHERE CIEE IS LOCATED

INSTRUCTORS AT THE BENJAMIN FRANKLIN INSTITUTE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ALCALÁ, WHERE CIEE IS LOCATED

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Hello! My name is Cristina Crespo and I work as the Project Director at the Franklin Institute at the University of Alcalá. The projects that we carry out are related to investigation and research, the process of four publications that we are working on, organizing conferences and other scientific events and institutional relations. In addition, I teach the Translation course for the Hispanic Studies Program. I earned my undergraduate degree in Translation and Interpreting at the University of Málaga. When I was studying, I had the opportunity to study in other European countries, at the University of Glasgow and Goethe Universität in Frankurt, where I spent a semester with an Erasmus scholarship. After I graduated, I went on to earn a Master's is European Studies and Translation Studies at Heriot Watt University (in Edinburgh, Scotland) for a year and a half. The experience of studying abroad has been fundamental for my professional career, and also for my personal one! I have had the opportunity to work on passionate works and to meet incredible people; from the work that I completed for FIFA in the World Cup in Germany in 2006, interpreting for a non-profit that serves refugees, organizing large corporate events, or working in the international department of a museum. For all of that, working with languages and also having experiences living in other countries was a must. In addition, I am currently finishing my doctoral thesis about the relations between Spain and the United States during the Iraq crisis and I plan to defend it in 2012. I should also tell you that I am from Málaga, a city that I adore! Some other people from Málaga are Antonio Banderas and Picasso. I am a fan of North American TV shows, such as "Grey's Anatomy" and "How I met your mother". I love to travel and get to know unforgettable places. 

 


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Hello, I am Iulia Vescan and I am the Coordinator for the Teach & Learn in Spain program at the Franklin Institute, a post-grad program where the students do a Master's in Spain as well as a teaching internship in schools in Madrid during the school year. I earned my degree in English Philology at the University of Alcalá and afterwards did a Master's in North American Studies. Currently I am working on my doctoral thesis about the historical and cultural legacy of the Spanish missions in the Californian territory. I love high-risk sports, especially scuba diving and skiing, though I’m the happiest person in the world when I just go out with my group of friends to go hiking, with a tortilla (Spanish omelet) sub sandwich as a reward. I consider myself a supportive person because I worry about others on the day-to-day. In the past, my students have come along with me on activities that I organize with my gym, and they’ve even participated in a race for cancer in Alcalá, had their first scuba diving experience, or gone biking. I also love to read and participate in organizing cultural evens about anything related to Spanish or US American history or culture. Another of my passions is traveling and getting to know other cultures and ways of life, though at the moment the only vision I have about the American culture is through the eyes of my students and through literature and the movies. Last year, my American students taught me the essence of the Thanksgiving celebration and it’s become one of my favorite holidays, along with Christmas. I have a continual relationship with my students through my Facebook profile and I love being able to be their cultural guide during their time in Spain.

 

 

   Cecilia OK

Hello, my name is Cecilia de Santisteban and I am a Grammar teacher for the CIEE Alcalá program. Born in Alcalá and being a former University of Alcalá student, I am very happy to be teaching here and sharing the rich history and cultural life of the city with the students who come to spend a few months here. To tell you a little bit about myself: I lived in France for a year and in England another (where I started to teach Spanish classes) and when I have time off from work, I love to travel, especially in Latin America, though my most immediate dream would be to go to an Asian country. In addition to this, in my free time I like to watch movies. Two of my current favorite directors are the Spanish Alejandro Amenábar and the Argentine Juan José Campanella. I also really like art and I when I have time, I take advantage of it to see an exposition in one of the museums in Madrid. And of course, I love to go out with friends and discover new bars and restaurants in Madrid, especially in the Huertas or La Latina neighborhoods.

 

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Hello, my name is Ana Lariño and I am responsible for Publications at the Franklin Institute – University of Alcalá. Though I earned my degree in Translation and Interpreting with a master’s in Intercultural Communication, Public Service Translation and Interpreting, that’s not what I’m going to talk to you about today. I’ll tell you a little about my life. To begin, in spite of the fact that I live and work in Alcalá de Henares, I was not born in Alcalá. In fact, I just came here not too long ago. I am from Cee, a small town in the province of La Coruña in northwestern Spain, in the Autonomous Region of Galicia, and so, I share Spanish with the language of my community, Galician. This bilingualism has made me a big fan of different languages and cultures since I was little. This is why, in spite of my age, I’ve lived (studied or worked) in different European countries such as Denmark, the UK, Ireland, France, Malta, etc. In addition to my love for languages and for travelling, I also love going out with my friends, reading, cooking, and watching American TV shows. My favorite food is the Spanish omelet and my favorite show is Grey’s Anatomy.

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Hello, my name is Carlos Herrero and I work as a History teacher and activities and student coordinator in the Franklin Institute. I earned my degree in History from the University of Alcalá and I am working on my doctoral thesis is History and Medieval Literature, also at the University of Alcalá. I love to read and enjoy the good moments and other lives with a book in my hand. At home I have a library with more than 1,200 books that I take great care of and I consider it one of my most prized possessions. I am a bibliophile and a lover of traditional books, and I don’t think that the new technology can replace the magic of a printed book. I love to talk and I wouldn’t exchange a night out with friends having a coffee for any individual activity. I am a fan of soccer and I like to follow the success and failures (more so the latter) of one of Madrid’s soccer teams, the Atlético de Madrid, a team that has shown me that no one gives things away and that everything earned is done so after a lot of effort and sacrifice.

Though I wasn’t born in Alcalá de Henares, I live in the center of the city and I feel like I am an adopted Alcalá native. I love my city, walking through its streets, meeting friends in cafés and spending the afternoon talking about literature, reciting poetry, or simply having lively conversations with them. Even so, as Bunbury said, “foreigner I am” and happy I feel sitting in whatever place on Earth, if I find there those landscapes, those friends, and those feelings. I love to travel and go back time and time again to Paris, the city where I spent part of my time with a research scholarship, scouring the streets, making up its bridges and enjoying the pleasures of literature and history with Cortázar, Baudelaire, Rimbaud, and Verlaine as my fellow companions. 

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Hello, how are you? Let me introduce myself, my name is Antonio Fernández and I am the Coordinator of the Hispanic Studies Program at the Franklin Institute and I'm also in charge of teaching Spanish art classes and some language classes. The most interesting things on my CV are that I studied in Amsterdam for a year while studying literature and English language during my undergraduate career, and two years in Ohio doing a Master's in Spanish as a Foreign language. Thanks to this experience I kept strong contact with the North American culture that allowed me to collaborate, first as a professor and after as coordinator of our program. Of all of the things that I like, I'd say that the ones I like best are hiking and being surrounded by nature; this hobby has led me to see almost all of the natural parks in Spain and some of the important ones in the United States, such as Yellowstone. I also like classical music, vocal music in particular, and I occasionally participate in the University of Alcalá choir when my schedule allows it. I like the movies a lot but I prefer to see movies in original version as to not lose contact with other languages. In my free time I tend to travel to the US or within Europe, though I also like to travel within Spain to enjoy the variety of regions, the different types of food, and the musical varieties of each place. That's why I'm encouraging you to come be part of our culture and learn our language because I'm sure that it will be one of the best experiences of your life, just like living in the United States was for me.

 

 

Una excursión a Aranjuez (Madrid)- Cecilia Santisteban (CIEE Alcalá- Spanish teacher)

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UNA EXCURSIÓN A ARANJUEZ

 

La ciudad de Aranjuez, uno de los Reales Sitios de los alrededores de Madrid, es un lugar ideal para pasar un día de excursión. Llegar hasta allí es muy fácil ya que se puede ir en el tren de cercanías, desde la estación de Atocha se tarda 45 minutos (hay trenes cada 15 o 20 minutos en la línea C3).

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El Palacio Real de Aranjuez fue construido como una de las casonas de verano de Felipe II, pero en tiempos de Fernando VI se comienza una importante ampliación, que continuarán otros monarcas Borbones, para hacerlo similar al palacio de Versalles. En el siglo XVIII palacio se había convertido en un impresionante complejo con más de 300 habitaciones, repleto de todo tipo de ornamentación (destacan la Sala China o Gabinete de Porcelana, así como la Sala de los Espejos). De todos los reyes que lo usaron como residencia, los que dejaron una huella más personal en él fueron Carlos III e Isabel II.

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Además no os podéis perder un paseo por los preciosos jardines donde podréis admirar especies botánicas autóctonas y exóticas, la mayor parte de las cuales fueron traídas por los botánicos y exploradores españoles a su vuelta de las posesiones hispanas de todo el mundo. Los jardines alcanzaron singular renombre gracias al Concierto de Aranjuez, de Joaquín Rodrigo, considerada la composición musical española más escuchada en el mundo. En 2001 este entorno fue declarado «Paisaje Cultural Patrimonio de la Humanidad» por la Unesco. Dentro de los jardines, que se extienden varios kilómetros en torno al palacio, se encuentra la casa de Marinos, donde podéis visitar el Museo de Falúas Reales, en el que se exponen las embarcaciones de placer usadas en el pasado por la realeza. 

Palacio aranjuez

11/04/2011

Caroline Gieser (Wofford College)- CIEE Alcalá-Fall 2011- A Recipe of Spain – Paella

  CAROLINE GIESER

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A Recipe of Spain – Paella

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I spent one afternoon with my Spanish mother, Marisol.  During the afternoon she taught me how to make paella.  Paella is a traditional dish of Spain.  Marisol’s mother taught her how to make paella.  Marisol said that everyone’s paella is a little bit different.  You can use any type of shellfish as well as fish or chicken.  The ingredients for Marisol’s paella are rice, onions, tomato puree, red and green peppers, prawns, clams, mussels, calamari, garlic, white wine, and seafood broth.  Marisol uses the heads of the prawns in hot water to make the seafood broth.  She starts by sauteing the onion and peppers in oil.  In another pot, she puts the mussels in boiling water.  This causes the shells of the mussels to open.  She adds the clams to the onion and pepper mixture.  The cooking of the clams will casuse their shells to open, too.  Next, she adds the calamari, tomato puree, and white wine.  Now  it is time to add the rice.  She puts the mixture into a special, shallow casserole dish.  Also, she uses a special apparatus on the stove that heats the entire bottom of the casserole dish.  This ensures even cooking.  She then adds salt and coloring.  The coloring gives the paella its traditional yellow hue.  The paella cooks for 20 minutes.  Finally, she adds the mussels and the prawns.  Paella is a delicious dish, and it is a favorite in my Spanish  home!

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Una Receta de España – Paella

             Durante una tarde que pasé con mi madre de España, Marisol, aprendí  a hacer paella.  La paella es un plato tradicional de España.  Su madre le había enseñado a ella cómo hacerla.  Marisol me contó que la paella de cada persona es un poco diferente.  Se puede usar cualquier tipo de mariscos o pescado, y pollo también.  Los ingredientes para la paella de Marisol son arroz, cebollas, tomate, pimiento rojo y verde, gambas, chirlas, mejillones, calamares, ajo, vino blanco, y caldo. 

Marisol primero pone las cabezas de las gambas en agua para hacer el caldo.  A la vez, ella empieza a saltear una cebolla y los pimientos con aceite.  En otra olla, pone los mejillones en agua caliente para abrirlos.  Añade las chirlas a la sartén con las cebollas y los pimientos.  Esto abre las chirlas.  Luego añade los calamares, el puré de tomate, y un poco de vino blanco.  Entonces es el momento para añadir el arroz.  Usa una taza de arroz por cada tres personas y usa dos tazas de caldo con cada taza de arroz.  Pone la mezcla en una cazuela llana y usa un aparato especial para el fogón.  Este aparato calienta toda la cazuela. Añade sal y colorante alimentario.  El colorante alimentario es para dar a la paella el color amarillo.  Cocina la paella durante 20 minutos. Al final, añade los mejillones de la otra olla y las gambas.  La paella es un plato estupendo y es uno de los favoritos en mi casa de España.