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Recent News November, 2012
• Cities in Massachusetts add Spanish at kindergarten level.
• Language and cultural programs for children are rising in South Florida.
• Wisconsin schools teach languages through Skype
SiS Student Ambassadors
• Natalie Roberts
SiS on the road
• Study in Spain will be traveling throughout the US again this academic year.
Amigos del español
• Ewan McGregor
• University of Granada, University Modern Language Centre
Do you know...?
• Do you know
As an SiS ambassador I would promote Spain in part by sharing my personal experiences in Spain with my fellow peers. I will be able to offer a new and exciting outlook on the Spanish culture as I have recently returned from six weeks in Sevilla. I plan giving class presentations about aspects of Spain that I find most interesting. This may include but is not limited to Spanish dialects, the importance of Spanish history, common Spanish stereotypes, and las fiestas de Sevilla. By permission of the instructor, these presentations would be accompanied by a powerpoint and highlight contemporary Spain that promotes the country as one that is rich in its culture, history, and traditions.
Over the course of two semesters I also plan to attend study abroad fairs at my university as well as “predeparture” meetings for students soon to study abroad in Spain. In both of these events I will be able to answer questions from a student’s perspective giving insight on what it is like to study in Spain. In order to fulfill my rated activities I would like to organize a dinner or small meal of typical Spanish food and drink as well as El Café Español in which I will be able interact with many students who already have an interest In the Spanish language. I could advertise the Cena activity through different clubs on campus and serve bocadillos or tortillas de patatas while promoting studying in Spain.
For most students traveling to another country can be intimidating, but most do not know the valuable assets of an international experience. I may create a brochure explaining all the benefits there are to studying Spain. I would include the programs offered in my university; information on transfer credit hours and financial aid, as well as all that Spain has to offer an undergrad. I could distribute the brochure to the study abroad office, the Spanish department, and the study abroad fairs.
Study in Spain will be traveling throughout the US again this academic year
Following the path of 2011, in 2012 Study in Spain will keep its participation in the most important education fairs and events.
Since its opening, the Embassy of Spain-Trade Commission Miami, with the support of ICEX (Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade) and EDUESPAÑA have carried Study in Spain all across the US in an effort to promote international education in Spain.
The rewards have been undeniable, as Spain is the third preferred destination for American students worldwide.
This is a brief preview of the projected participation of Study in Spain. The dates and/or events may be subject to changes.
STUDY IN SPAIN Annual Meeting and Student Ambassador Award Presentation - Miami, FL
Reception and award ceremony for the top-10 SiS Student Ambassadors.
SPAIN WORKSHOP - Madrid and selected cities, Spain
Participation of 15 U.S. university administrators, faculty and study abroad program administrators.
'I would love to shoot a movie in Spanish'
The Scottish actor Ewan McGregor plays a real life father on vacation in the movie The Impossible. The story of a real Spanish family in Thailand when the devastating 2004 tsunami hit their seaside resort, scattering their family across the region. Directed by José Antonio Bayona, McGregor says in this interview that for a long time he has been following the Spanish filmmaker. The Impossible was shooting between Thailand and Spain where the actor had the opportunity to learn about Spanish culture, traditions and pick some words of our language.
Ewan McGregor has received the San Sebastian Film Festival's Donostia Award for career achievement. The actor attended the Spanish event for the European premiere of The Impossible, which screens out of competition. It is produced by Spain's Apaches and Telecinco Cinema. McGregor is one of the finest stars of his generation, who demonstrates his versatility across a multitude of genres styles and scope. McGregor's credits include Danny Boyle's Trainspotting, Roman Polanski's The Ghost Writer, Lasse Hallstrom's Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and Bryan Singer's Jack the Giant Killer.
Why you wanted to work with a Spanish director?
I’ve been infatuated with Spain and the directors that are coming from the country, it’s been a while now. It’s something about them that I like, a quality. As an actor I go on my gut instincts. Occasionally, the thought of working for a director pricks up my ears, or being alongside an actor gets me interested. But if the story can’t live in my head when I read the script, I feel I can’t be bothered to live with it on set.
So for a father, it must have been a really grueling role to play The Impossible.
Well I felt it was one of the first times I had had a chance to explore being a parent on film in my work, I’ve been a father for sixteen years, and then apart from Nanny McPhee 2, I’ve got some kids, not one of my biggest roles, (laughter) I haven’t really explored Parenthood. And one of the reasons I was drawn to the script is that it was a chance to do that albeit against this unbelievably horrendous real tragedy, but still it’s kind of a look at the love we have, that unique love that we have for our children.
Do you remember the moment when you heard about the Tsunami?
Yeah, I remember obviously being horrified by it, but I don’t remember where I was though.
Had you met the real family, the Spanish family this movie is based upon , before you started shooting?
I didn’t meet them before. We started shooting the movie in Alicante and the family was down there, but I met them in Thailand for the first time, in the hotel where they had left in 2004, on the day of the Tsunami, they arrived back there too. It was extraordinarily emotional for them, I think they had never returned to Thailand since the Tsunami, and they had wanted to, but not until they could all do it together.
How was your experience in Spain?
I love the country but I wasn’t there for holidays. The Impossible was a strange film to make in that respect for lots of reasons, and the main one being that it’s a true story and it happened and it was a real disaster, and thousands of people lost their lives in the Tsunami and thousands upon thousands of people lost loved ones in the Tsunami, so I think you carry that with you all the time. And when you shoot, it’s your responsibility to respect that and to respect those people, especially when you are making a film, it’s a complicated scenario, because you are putting a movie camera on and recreating something that really happened in Thailand with a family who lived that, who were all affected by the Tsunami and then so you carry that responsibility and you never, ever want to feel like you are using it for the movie, for the purposes of the movie, yet you are making a movie and you want the movie to be as good as possible, and as effective as possible, because you are telling the story and if you are going to tell the story, you want to tell it well.
Did you learn some Spanish?
Some words here and there from the crew and the director. I wish I could speak Spanish because I would love to shoot a movie in that language, being able to play a character in another language it has to be a very different experience. But I love the life style that you have in Spain.
Is there any book written in Spanish that is close to you?
Yes. Motorcycle Diaries by Che Guevara is one of my favorite books. When I go in my motorcycle trips around the globe always get that book in my backpack. I read that book many times. I just love it.
When are you going on the next motorcycle trip?
I don¹t have any planned at the moment. I felt like after our Africa trip in 2007 that it would be a while away. And whether we do another one together with Charlie and our group, I don’t know. It may well be that I do some other stuff on my own or with my wife or with my family. I’d like to travel, not on motorbikes, but in a truck or something; it might be quite good fun to do some of that stuff with them. So I don’t have any plans at the moment. I did two very long motorcycle trips with my friends. I did a big one in 2004 and in 2007. And there were almost too close together. They take a lot of preparation and they were both over four months to ride. And I think we'll wait a little bit before another one.
What do you take away from them?
Just people you meet. And the experiences you get of people and the way places you know. When you’re traveling by road in a motorcycle that it’s a very conducive experience in the world because you’re so vulnerable to everything, to the elements and traffic and temperature. And when you’re traveling through countries where people are familiar with that like in Kazakhstan or in Mongolia or Eastern Russia or in Africa and some African countries; people know what that’s about. Mongolia for instance, it’s a nomadic country as is much of Kazakhstan, so they’re aware of it. And they travel by horseback really so they understand your vulnerability so when you turn up somewhere they look after you because that’s what happens to them when they travel. I suppose that ultimately what you come away with is that people are really nice to each other even when people have very little. Often the people that have the least are the most generous that’s what I experienced like in Ethiopia. There’s a little village in Ethiopia where we stopped and these people wanted to give us, take us into their little hut. And we went into their hut and I think the woman had one small root of ginger; ginger root. And she made us this ginger tea that I’ll never forget it was a fantastic tea-in her little hut. And I’m pretty sure that was her only piece of ginger. And they gave us bread and they literally were extraordinarily good people and they fed us and sent us on our way. You come back very inspired with human kindness and that we’re very nice to each other. And it’s something that you have to go out there and discover because we can't be like that with each other in cities, it doesn't work. And it's a shame because I think in our nature that's what we're like but in cities we can't be like that. So when you're out there in the middle of nowhere if you break down or you get punched or you fall off or something or you run out of petrol, you just know that somebody's going to come by and help you and they do, always.
Is there anything else creatively that you're good at?
I've become really into things all the time. At the moment I like to build bicycles, because I've ridden motorcycles a lot all my life. I made a film called Perfect Sense up in Scotland. And my character was a fixed gear rider. He rides track racing bikes on the street. He's also a chef but I became obsessed with bicycles much to the director's annoyance. I wasn't really interested in cooking but he kept dragging me into kitchens trying to get me to look like a chef. But I kept just standing up outside just tinkering with a bicycle. I'm not a very good cook. But I can build a quite nice bicycle. I enjoy that and that's creative. And they're artistic and they all have a look and you have to collect the right components and put them together and they are like little works of art. But you can ride them down the street. I think that's really nice.
Have you ever thought, you are quite young, but having your own autobiography, do you ever want your story…
I haven’t thought about it, no I haven’t, but I’d be interested in trying to write stories, I loved . . . Dirk Bogarte wrote some really beautiful stories, he wrote some really beautiful books. In his later years, he wrote some really nice novels, and I like that as an actor who ended up going into writing that way, I think that’s nice. I’m not sure that I would be a very interesting person to read about, I don’t know, probably not really. I quite like people that write their autobiographies and people find them in the attic after they die, and they expose themselves as being horrible monsters, or having had 15 wives or something on secret, I like the idea of people who expose themselves after they died. I don’t know, I haven’t really got anything to talk about. It would be really boring.
You should just do it so you can write something and leave it in your attic.
Yeah, maybe I can just write something that is a whole crock of shit. (laughter)
(c) America Reads Spanish
University of Granada, University Modern Language Centre
The University Modern Language Centre, Centro de Lenguas Modernas, located in the central and typically "granadino" district of the "Realejo", is housed in the old palace of Santa Cruz (16th century) which has been specially restored for teaching purposes. Since restoration was completed in 1992, the new Centro de Lenguas Modernas offers not only its now renowned Spanish Courses for Foreigners (Hispanic Studies Course (CEH), Spanish Language and Culture Course (CLCE), Intensive Spanish Language Courses (CILE), Intensive Spanish Language and Culture Course (CILYC), Spanish as Foreign Language Course (CELE) and Optional January Course (CCE)) but also a variety of Modern Language Courses (English, French, Italian, German, Catalan, Arabic, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Swedish). It is the combination of the two that make the centre such an original venture; here foreign students can share their daily lives with those of Spanish students, thus stimulating a mutual interest in their different languages and cultures. This contact is strengthened through a language exchange service, which gives students the opportunity to practice their Spanish outside the classroom, and by cultural visits and activities.
In addition to the aforementioned courses, the Centro de Lenguas Modernas also offers courses in Teaching Spanish, German, French, English or Italian as a Foreign Language, exams for those who wish to certify their level of Spanish (D.E.L.E. - Diploma in Spanish as a Foreign language - organised by the Instituto Cervantes). Teaching Business Spanish and other types of language courses for special purposes, including those specially designed in conjunction with different academic and professional institutions are also available.
The Centro de Lenguas Modernas and the University de Granada do their best to make the students' stay as pleasant and advantageous as possible: the Language Exchange Service, the Accommodation Service, and organisation of cultural and sports activities are just a few examples.
On the academic side, the highly qualified teaching staff are specialised in language teaching, and include University of Granada professors and lecturers. The Centre is fully equipped with a library, the most up-to-date audio-visual aids both in classrooms and in language laboratories set up for multimedia and audio-video activities. Furthermore, students have access to electronic mail.
With a firm commitment to constant improvement always in mind, the Centre carries out external surveys periodically, which assess the teaching staff, the contents of the different courses offered, and the quality of the Centre’s management and infrastructure.
If you want to study Spanish in Granada, the Centro de Lenguas Modernas now offers its clients new services to facilitate and simplify the organisation of the students' stay in Granada, their studies at our institution and the cultural and sports activities they would like to sign up for. A member of staff is available to resolve any questions about the program a student has registered for and clear up any doubts which may arise.
For more information:
Placeta del Hospicio Viejo s/n
18009 Granada. Granada
Tel +34 958 215 660 Fax +34 958 220 844
People use same brain regions to read alphabetic and logographic languages.
Kids learn languages through video games.