Activities outside the classroom allow students to develop an appreciation for the diverse aspects of the local society and culture, and also to have enriching experiences that will last long after their return home. The CASA-Barcelona program and its program of activities is conducted entirely in Spanish. The activities calendar is sent to accepted students well in advance of the semester so that they are able to reserve the dates and make any independent travel arrangements accordingly.
A comprehensive, mandatory orientation program is delivered during the first weeks of the semester to help students get acclimated to their new cultural context and orient themselves around Barcelona. Essential health, safety and emergency information is covered in detail. Academic culture and regulations are also explained in depth to prepare students for life at the local universities and the cultural norms they will experience in their daily lives.
Curricular Activities and Excursions
A series of mandatory activities and excursions are integrated in the History and Culture of Catalonia and Spain module of the Language and Cultural Pro Seminar course that students take at the beginning of the semester and before the start of classes in the local universities.
The program of activities and excursions organized by CASA-Barcelona offer students the opportunity to expand their cultural knowledge on topics covered during the in-class sessions. Through collaboration with professors and other specialists, relevant aspects of Spanish and Catalan history, art, the environment or society are analyzed. In this way, students do not make the typical tourist visit but develop an understanding of, and an appreciation for, the nuances of culture through a specific topic.
Examples of topics and destinations from previous semesters:
- Architecture in Spain: Valencia and Córdoba
- Literary Places: Granada and the Route of El Cid
- Civil War and Historical Memory: Madrid and the Battlefields
- Urban Planning: Valencia and Bilbao
- The Mediterranean: Bridge or Border: Menorca and the Costa Brava
- Gastronomy and Culture: La Rioja and Berguedà
- Muslims, Christians and Jews in the Iberian Culture: Toledo and Córdoba
- A Thousand Years of Art, Society and Culture in Catalonia: Boí Taüll and the Dalí Route
- Economic Development and the Mediterranean Environment: The Pyrenees and the Costa Brava
A program of cultural activities is an integral part of any study abroad experience. With regular activities or excursions throughout the semester, there is no time for boredom. The CASA-Barcelona program of activities aims to deepen the students' understanding of the society and culture, and allow them to obtain a more complete picture of the local reality. Active student participation is expected in all of the program activities, as they are considered an integral part of the overall learning experience.
The goal of the guided visits and hands-on activities is to provide a wide range of activities outside of the classroom that will be educational, engaging and entertaining. The activities program, led by expert faculty, includes walking and bike tours, cooking classes and wine tasting, monument and museum visits, tapas nights and theater trips as well as the exploration of the works of artists and architects such as Gaudí and Dalí.