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Let's go on a Rando!

 

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Our view overlooking the Mediterranean as we hiked. So rad! 

As you know, we visited Port-Vendres this past weekend for a petit repose and vacances! After falling asleep with bellies full of delicious paella and hearts full of the warmth and joie-de-vivre of Southern France, we woke up to more delicious food: coffee, hot cocoa,  and tartines, or toast with artisanal jams and spreads--a traditional French petit-déj (breakfast). Now with bellies full of sugary goodness and hearts pumping with caffeine, we headed to the hills for a six kilometer hike from Port-Vendres to Paulliles to swim in the Mediterranean! 

We couldn't believe our eyes as we looked over the cliffs to see the contrast of the arid mountain landscape against clear blue-green waters...and the occasional naked sun bather. It was an exhausting uphill climb for about the first mile and a half, but I think it was Ya playing Kanye West on her phone that got most of the students through...

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Mathilde telling us where the heck to go and how to not get lost

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Grace, Lily, and Sofia crushin' it!

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You go, Glen Coco! ...I mean you go, Lavinia, Keaton, and Cindy!

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Eri, Christine, Antonia, and Caitlin bein' cuties. 

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PLs Bridgette and Kyle leading the way

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Antonia and Sofia stop for a quick selfie break, an important part of the hiking process.

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And then, just like that, we made it to the sea. It was such a beautiful experience floating in cool waters looking up at cloud speckled skies and vineyards on the mountainsides. We were sad to leave Port-Vendres and we will be terribly sad to leave France altogether, but I think it's safe to say that the world we experienced here, we'll take home with us and carry long afterward. 

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Here's a bonus photo of me frantically rummaging through my bags after getting off the bus in Toulouse thinking I had left my cafar, my French phone, at the rest stop--a panic our students know all too well. You're welcome...

We're almost home! Tonight we have our farewell party and tomorrow, bright and early, we get on our flights home. 

Until next time!

 

Lana, PL. 

August 3rd!

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As one of the last precious days we have left in Shanghai, today couldn't have been much better. Staggered from 9am-1pm we each individually took our exit STAMP test and although the test taking itself wasn't particularly pleasant, worse was the realization that taking our exit test really meant we are creeping up on the last few moments of this amazing month. Most people spent the free time around the test either catching up on sleep or catching up on shopping (I personally squeezed in both) with another trip to the fake goods bargain market in the AP Plaza or some browsing in the Miniso of Global. 5:30 found us all riding in on our Ofos to the Mao statue for a group picture and then a bus ride to the Bund (外滩) for a neon lit cruise down the river! After coasting up and down the length of the Bund, giving us the chance to capture some spectacular views, some people hopped back on the bus and headed home for dinner with their host families or around campus. A group of us decided to really embrace the few more meals we have left in the culturally rich Shanghai and headed for some authentic Chinese cuisine; by that I mean we all went to Taco Bell. (There's only one Taco Bell in all of China and it happens to be in Shanghai so there is an argument to be made that it is a Shanghainese specialty.) A few tacos, quesadillas, and nachos later we were all full and satisfied so we took the metro back home where we all started in on our IPA final presentations due tomorrow that I'm almost certain every single one of us procrastinated on. But I mean when the time we have left in Shanghai starts to be counted in hours instead of days or weeks who wants to waste even a minute doing homework? A second to last day well spent, but for all of us tomorrow's excitement at finally going home is overshadowed by the dread of way too many goodbyes we're not ready for.

-Roxane Martin

Wrap Up for the Portland Global Entrepreneurship Extravaganza!

What a three weeks it was! Beginning with a project for the Sea Dogs, Portland, Maine's minor leagueRed Sox affiliate baseball team, and ending with 6 amazing new business pitches, the 34 students enrolled in the Portland, Maine-based Global Entrepreneurship  program wowed everyone they met. The team of 8 judges, all local entrepreneurs and business specialists, were awe-struck at not only the ideas, but the sophistication and professionalism of the student presentations. The presentations included the following 6 presentations:

2 food category pitches:  Bravocado: An avocado-themed food truck

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Lunch at Tiffin's: Lunch delivery in a tiffin

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2 Tourist Experiences:

Portland City Hunt: a city-wide scavenger-hunt

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Lobbery: Catch and cook your own lobster and make wild blueberry syrup

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2 Souvenirs:

Cardeo: a traditional postcard with an embedded video

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Lumina: a unique lighthouse lamp

 

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The winner??

 

Bravocado!

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Bravocado team members pose with their instructor, Patty Nickerson, and their prizes, Sea Bags bucket bags to honor their impact on Maine!

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We ended our week with a fabulous BBQ, complete with singing, dancing, a hilarious and heart-felt poem from our 3 awesome resident staff members, Sam, SK and Seamus...and more hugs than anyone could count!

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Saturday, the entire group went to Boston, where they visited Harvard University and explored the historic Freedom Trail. On Sunday, everyone said goodbye, amidst loads of tears and hugs as the BAFF students headed to New York, then Washington and finally home and the US students head back to their families. The instructors and residence staff were left with amazing memories, terrific stories and loads of pictures to keep the memories of CIEE Portland Global Entrepreneurship alive!

Until next year!

 

Beth Richardson

Lead Instructor

 

Viaje a Aracena

On our day trip to Aracena students got to tour the Gruta de Maravillas--Cave of Wonders--and spend the afternoon at el Lago Verde. 

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El Lago Verde is known for it's kayaking and water activities. 

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Students soak up the "sol" while enjoying their last weekend in Espana. 


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Some CIEE students, like Brooke, made friends with some local kids playing on the beach. What a great way to practice their Spanish! 

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Student Profile: Piper Neulander

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In only three weeks I've been met with a warm welcome and have been influenced by a strong desire to learn Darija and Fusa in addition to the beautiful culture. I didn't know what to expect coming here, but nonetheless thus far this experience has exceeded all expectations. My smile in the picture is representative of my happiness since landing in Rabat. #globalnavigators #Studentsofciee #cieerabat #ciee

Aeroscopia, l'histoire d'aeronautique

Last week Toulouse Session 2 got to visit Aeroscopia, which is one of the highlights of Toulouse's identity. The aviation museum, near the airport at Blagnac, is where Airbus' headquarters are located, the company that employs a third of Toulouse's work force.  This was the ideal visit for Garrett, a future Airplane Engineer and modern airplane enthusiast.  

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Students were guided around the museum and shown different types of airplanes including the first airplane ever manufactured, the immense Super Guppy that looks like a pregnant fish, and even the infamous Concorde.  Students learned that air travel began as an extreme sport, then became a military endeavor before developing into a mail delivery service that finally led to travel for passengers.  

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We were joined by Mister Jean, a retired aeronautical engineer, that answered all the questions that Sam, Benjamin, and Traolach had about the field of aeronautics.  He described the different aircrafts for them and even debated the possibilities of the future of air travel.  

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Mister Jean discussing the future of aviation with Sam, Benji, and Traolach.

 

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To wrap up our day in the sky, Mister Jean took on questions from all of the students at l'Institut Catholique.  He answered everything from his age to the various positions he held throughout his career to the catastrophic fate of the Concorde.  Overall, it was a day filled with the wonder of how humans took to the sky and the possibilities of future travel.

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Graffiti and Street Art Tour!

One thing that students were quick to notice about Berlin when they first arrived was that there was a lot of graffiti, and even students who were from big cities were surprised by the amount they saw here. On Wednesday, the students took place in a graffiti/street art tour that took them through the city and taught them about the history of graffiti and street art. We explored the city and talked about everything from commissioned art, to illegal graffiti in public places. Although it was 90 degrees and sunny out, the students enjoyed their tour and were able to understand a bit more about the city!

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Photo credits: Erin Kellerhals, Aaron Wilkinson, Amanda Henderson

Arrivederci Ferrara - Choral Singing and a Trip to the Contrada di San Paolo

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Our singing instructor Paola leading a group of soloists.


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 Paola teaches the group a traditional Sicilian song.

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Mateo crosses swords with our fencing instructor.


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Trying on hand-made Renaissance costumes.


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Julia P. parries an attack.
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Alison and Emily modeling their beautiful Renaissance hairstyles.


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Mateo and Jack practicing a fencing exercise.


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Amanda in full Renaissance garb.


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Julia puts up her gauntleted dukes.

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Jack sizes up a fully-armored Ryan.


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Arrivederci, Ferrara!

 

Angela Lavecchia, Teresa Picarazzi, Constance Richardson, David Seward

Ferrara Session II Program Leaders

Arrivederci!

Wrapping up


Hola a todos, 

We are in the last days of classes and there are a lot of mixed emotions. For our last Into the Community activity yesterday, all of our participants took pictures that best represented what they had learned about the Spanish culture.  Sofia's collage below is one example of what we saw and spoke about.

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It's been so fun and impressive to watch this group learn and grow. While they will be so happy to see family and friends soon, it's obvious that this bunch has made some life-long connections. 

¡Hasta pronto!

-Allison

Lola Climb

Salut tout le monde!

My name is Lola and I am currently participating in the CIEE study abroad program here in Toulouse, France. On Monday after French class, we had the afternoon free, and a couple of us and program leader Alannah decided we would try to venture out in search of a rock climbing gym here in Toulouse. Our first plan to go to a place called Solo Escalade fell through because apparently people here like to have vacation and the facility was closed on Monday. However, we found another place called Block Out that seemed to be only thirty minutes away, so off we went! Our first plan was to take the metro and transfer to a bus, but after exiting the metro we realized that we had missed the previous bus by two minutes, and the next one wasn’t going to come for another half an hour. So, we got back onto the metro and tried again, going back four stops and switching to a different bus. After waiting for this bus for another 12 minutes, we were finally on our way. When the bus finally came to our stop, we realized we were in the middle of nowhere. Literally. We weren’t about to give up hope just yet though, so we trekked along the side of the highway searching for the climbing gym. Finally, we see it, completing what should've been a thirty minute journey in just over an hour and fifteen minutes. (It was right next to a trampoline park, so if it was closed at least we had some other options that weren’t too bad.)

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Here's a picture I found of Blockout Toulouse

Before I go on, let me explain rock climbing a little bit to you. The kind of climbing we did was called bouldering, which is basically climbing without a rope over shorter walls. In bouldering, a grading system based on difficulty is used. In the United States, the V scale is used. Grades range right now from V0, which is similar to climbing a ladder, to V17, which I’d imagine would be similar to trying to climb a concrete wall, so pretty much impossible. Bouldering is a little bit like trying to solve real live puzzles. Here’s a video explaining it more if you are interested:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcDLRW2rDB4

After putting on some climbing shoes, we were ready to hit the wall!

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Christine crushing it on the wall-- a natural climber! 

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Caitlin working on some overhung climbs

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Tesla looking très forte!

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Top out!

 

A la prochaine! 

 

Lola