Força Barça!

The CEA study abroad program in Barcelona offers a variety of AICAP activities for students to attend throughout the semester. These activities focus on showing the American students how to engage in and experience Barcelona through its culture, language, food, sports, and more. One of the most culturally immersive activities they offer students is a ticket to an FC Barcelona game.

Futbol Club Barcelona, otherwise known as “FCB”, is Barcelona’s professional fútbol club. FCB is well-respected by people from all over the world. They held the first place title in the years of 1997, 2009, 2011, 2012, and recently, 2015. They currently hold second place in La Liga, sitting right below their rival team, Real Madrid.

The rivalry between FCB and Real Madrid’s teams is called El Clásico. When these teams match up, it becomes a really big deal to fútbol fans, not only fans of FCB and Real Madrid, but all fans. Being that they are Spain’s two biggest cities, the team’s fans are very passionate and intense about El Clásico matches. Another reason why the rivalry is so intense is because FCB and Real Madrid are two of the best fútbol teams in the league. Both teams have a huge follower base on social media platforms.

FCB has had many victories throughout its’ history in the league. Here is a list of their honors and awards: 5 Champions League, 3 FIFA Club World Cup, 4 European World Cup Winner’s Cup, 3 Fair Cup, 5 European Super Cup, 2 Latin Cup, 4 Pyrenees Cup, 24 Spanish League Championship, 28 Spanish Cup, 12 Super Spanish Cup, 2 Spanish League Cup, 1 Mediterranean League, 1 Catalan League, 23 Catalan League Championship, 1 Catalan Super Cup, 8 Catalan Cup, and 3 Duarte Cup. They have had a lot of success over the past 117 years when the team was founded in 1899.

The team plays at Camp Nou Stadium, which is the biggest fútbol stadium in all of Europe. The five-star stadium’s current capacity holds almost 10,000 people. Inside the stadium, there is a, “chapel, the presidential box, the VIPs lounge, the press rooms, several television studios, the Sports Medicine Centre, the Operative Control Unit (UCO), the veteran players area, the FC Barcelona club museum…”.

According to Wikipedia, “FCB has the largest social media following in the world among sports teams”. Their follower count ranges from over 20 million on Twitter, 48 million on Instagram, 18,000 on Pinterest, and 98 million Likes on Facebook. FCB’s top players, Lionel Messi and Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior (known as Neymar), bring in a lot of the team’s publicity with their talent and respect towards the game. Messi does not have a Twitter account of his own, however, there is an official fan page for him. The account has over 1.9 million followers.

Neymar’s personal Twitter account has almost 28 million followers.

These players attract a lot of publicity for their team. Social media is a great way to keep up with fútbol games, along with other sporting events all over the world. If someone is unable to watch a game, they can stay up to date with the stats through FCB’s Twitter account.

Not only do FCB’s social media accounts post about the team and receive a lot of feedback, but also thousands of people talk about the team through their own personal accounts.

Barcelona fans are very passionate about their team. An interesting fact that says a lot about the culture in Barcelona fútbol is that drinking alcohol is frowned upon at the games. In fact, alcoholic beverages are not sold in Camp Nou Stadium. Non-alcoholic beer is the only type of drink sold other than water and soft drinks. Barcelona is one of the biggest party cities in the world and drinking is a normal activity all over the city, except at the FCB games. In America, people love to sip on a cold glass of beer while watching their favorite sports teams play. However, in Barcelona, when people go to FC Barcelona games, they are 100% dedicated to watching fútbol. Intoxication is not a priority at these events.

FCB’s 2016-2017 team has three different sets of uniforms. They wear one of three sets, depending on whether the game is home, away, or for another reason (third). There are brand logos on the jersey which shows that the team is sponsored by these brands. The two main brand companies are Nike and Qatar Airways. When the team wears their jerseys with the brands, it advertises these companies, since every game is watched by so many people. The home jersey is the traditional red and blue stripes on the FCB logo and the Catalan flag, as shown below.

The away jersey is a dark purple color.

The third jersey is a light teal color.

In an interview with a CEA student who attended an FCB game, named Stefanie Blumer, she talked about her experience at Camp Nou Stadium. Blumer is originally from Warren, New Jersey, and is not particularly a huge fan of sports, however, she had a great experience at the FCB game. She attended the game on February 19, 2017, when the team played against Leganaés.

This shows that people, regardless if they are into sporting events or not, will most likely enjoy their experience at a professional fútbol game. Not only is the team enjoyable to watch, but also the atmosphere in the stadium is unlike anything seen before. Blumer also provided a link to her Instagram account, where she posted a photo of from the game with her friends. She refers to taking this photo with the FCBarcelona scarf in the interview.

Below is a highlight video from the game Blumer attended. She said it was a really exciting game because Barcelona won at the end of the game. The game was tied 1-1 and Messi scored the winning goal.

This AICAP activity is a great way to immerse American students into Spanish culture. Fútbol games are very important to Spanish locals and seeing it in person allows students to feel the passion reflecting from the fans. CEA should continue providing this activity to students for as long as possible because everyone who went seemed to have a great time.

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Getting to Know Valentí Sanjuan

On March 22, 2017, Valentí Sanjuan was a guest speaker in my Journalism 2.0 class and spoke to us about what he does for a living. Sanjuan is a hard-working man of many careers, hobbies, and goals. He is a video broadcaster, author, creative director, and a founder of a brand agency (Gordon Seen). Along with those four, he also trains for Ultraman and Ironman runs and records himself throughout the races and turns the clips into a documentary. These are triathlon races that take place over multiple days. He applies multimedia concepts into everything he does.

Sanjuan explained that he does not work directly under anyone, however, he still has a boss. So, if he does not work under anyone, then who is his boss? Well, his boss is mainly his audience, but also the brands who sponsor him. Without all of his viewers, he would not be as successful as he is today. He gets sponsored to advertise company brands on his YouTube shows, and these brands expect a large audience to watch it, so that makes the audience an important asset for his success. If he loses his audience, brands will no longer sponsor him. Therefore, it is up to Sanjuan to keep his audience entertained and continue watching his shows.

Even though Sanjuan is very successful today, he did not start out that way. He actually started from the bottom. His televised show was once only a radio show. He explained that during his first show, he assembled about a 50 person audience, only because he bribed them with free beer. However, when there was nothing left to bribe people with, only about three people watched his show. Over time, he worked hard to improve the show’s weaknesses and heavily advertised it, and eventually his audience began to grow. Now, his audience is huge and he receives hundreds of thousands of viewers and subscribers to his YouTube channel.

In one of his series, called Vistolovisto, he showed the class how he advertises brands on throughout the shows. If you watch the YouTube video below, you will see on the top left of the tablet, it shows Sony’s brand name.

This is just one of the many examples of branding on his YouTube series. In the photo below, you can see the Estrella Damm brand name, which is another way of branding for companies on the show.

He also travels the world promoting his shows, which helps him gain followers. His goal for the year is to reach 1,000,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel. He seems very motivated and I have no doubt he will reach his goal.

Sanjuan explained to the class about the important methods needed to successfully perform journalistic practices today. First off, having a smartphone or tablet is the most important aspect, along with a tripod. These tools are what put the shows together, in a technological sense. He also mentioned that television, radio, and magazines are no longer necessary, thanks to web 2.0 and social media networks. Next, consistency is another key aspect to success. He must come up with new material and consistently have shows in order to maintain his audience. Also, having a purpose is important. Knowing why he does what he does is what motivates him to continue working hard.

I believe Sanjuan can add “inspirational speaker” to his resume because he inspired me in just an hour and a half, because of how hard he works to achieve his goals. He is optimistic, genuinely loves what he does, and never looks too far into the future. He focuses on the present, which creates a less stressful working environment and allows him to enjoy every moment. My goal in life is to love my career as much as Sanjuan loves his.

Pros and Cons of Citizen Journalism

Citizen journalism is the concept of a single or group of citizens that regularly participate in journalistic activities such as discovering news, collecting and analyzing information, and sharing and publishing that information as a story or news report.

Citizen journalism introduces some controversial opinions between two conflicting groups: professional journalists versus others who respect the idea of average citizens reporting news. Many people believe that one day, citizen journalism will completely take over the journalism world, leaving behind traditional journalistic practices. This theory is exciting to some people but disappointing to others.

There are many pros and cons about the concept of citizen journalism. Below is a list of some of the most significant ones people seem to discuss:

Pro:

There is a higher demand for citizen journalism now. This is due to “…technology having made it easier to access news than ever before, the demand for footage and coverage of events as they happen has increased”. People want information as fast as possible and the best way to give the people what they want is through citizen journalism. Now is the time for average citizens to take advantage of this journalist approach and help the community receive information fast.

Con:

Citizen journalists often express bias opinions. They are more likely to collect inaccurate information due to their lack of professionalism. They also struggle with fundamental skills such as telling a story without basing it off of their bias opinion. This limits viewers to how much accurate information they are actually taking in. For example, during the 2016 presidential campaign, people constantly posted articles on their social media platforms that supported their bias opinion, regardless if the information was accurate or not. A Harvard Kennedy School article explains that:

Pro:

Citizen journalism requires the simplest tools for reporting. Citizen journalists often record their news using a smart phone or tablet attached to a tripod. Jefferson Graham, a technology columnist at USA TODAY explained that,“With a smartphone and a few key accessories, anyone can now be a citizen journalist and produce broadcast- quality results”. Modern applications like Facebook Live and Periscope are also used to broadcast citizen journalism.

 

Con:

Citizen journalists are not professionally trained in this field of work. Therefore, they are more likely to make mistakes when reporting news. For example, after the Boston Marathon bombing, citizen journalists reported their findings of the suspects, however, their accusations were incorrect, which essentially caused investigation set-backs and unnecessary issues for the innocent men who were accused.

Pro:

It provides diverse, “…perspectives, from one of [a community’s] own who lives and breathes what happens there every single day”.

In my opinion, the pros outweigh the cons. Citizen journalism can be very beneficial to a community. For example, Yelp is a great way to find restaurants based on the reviews and comments it receives from customers. I joined Yelp to see what it is like to be apart of the citizen journalism environment. I wrote a review for my favorite Italian restaurant in Barcelona called Piazze d’Italia. Just by writing a good review on Yelp, I potentially have the power to encourage others to try Piazze d’Italia as well.

Citizen journalism can go a long way. Once the minor cons are fixed, I believe it can have the power to be the best form of instant journalism.

Traveling Abroad: Berlin

On my third weekend traveling abroad, I visited Berlin, Germany with my roommates. None of us knew what to expect but we were nervous about the language barrier. None of us knew a lick of German, so we expected the weekend to be dysfunctional – which it was. However, it ended up being one of the most memorable weekends for all of us.

The first morning we went to an amazing brunch place called Chipps. None of us had eaten eggs for breakfast in quite some time (because a typical breakfast in Barcelona consists of pastries and jamón sandwiches) so we were excited when we found out Chipps was known for eggs. I ordered a delicious plate of toast, avocado, and eggs (pictured below).

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Chipps also has a delicious lunch menu and drinks. I would high recommend this restaurant to anyone who visits Berlin.

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A post shared by Vincent Bronner (@vincentbronner) on

After brunch, we went to the Jewish Museum. This was an incredibly historic museum that displayed events which expressed the minority of the Jewish people in German-speaking countries. It was extremely interesting because the museum did not only focus on one time-period, but many different periods throughout the history of the Jews. I really enjoyed learning about this because I am Jewish and proud of my religion.

Later that day, we went to the Monkey Bar, a bar located on the 10th story of the building that overlooks the Berlin Zoo and the city itself. It was an incredible view with great vibes from the waiters.

 

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We ended our day visiting the spot where the terrorist attack in Berlin took place in December 2016. It was extremely sad looking at all the candles lit up for the victims. However, it was powerful knowing that those people are still being honored.

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The next day, we began our day on a historical tour of the city. The tour guide took us around to all the important places in Berlin. We saw the Berlin Wall, Memorial to the Murdered Jews, the spot where Hitler committed suicide, and much more. It was an incredible tour and our guide was amazing.

This video covers many parts of the tour.

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After the tour, we walked to the Topography of Terror. This museum displayed events from the Nazi Regime from 1933-1945. It was very interesting to read about how the Nazis took control, but it was also extremely devastating to see how many Jews were affected during this time. Right after this museum, we went inside the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, also known as a Holocaust Memorial. This was also extremely devastating to see, however I went inside anyway because I am always interested in learning about my religious background. It was definitely worth visiting.

On a lighter note, we ended our night at at a restaurant and biergarden called Hofbrauhaus. This was one of the coolest experiences. This place was filled with locals who were passionate about Berlin. There was live music, dancing, endless schnitzel, and of course, beer. The band sang well-known American songs in German (like Sweet Caroline) so we were able to sing along. img_1060

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The weekend was so much more fun than expected. We did have problems communicating with locals, but we made it out alive (barely). Berlin is one of the most historical and exciting cities I have traveled to. If you study abroad, I highly encourage you to visit Berlin!

Why You Should Study Abroad In Barcelona

It has been almost two months since I arrived in Barcelona for my semester abroad and I have fallen completely in love with this city. There are so many activities and cultural experiences to endure. Locals are very passionate about their city and I completely understand why. Here are a few reasons why I believe you should study abroad here:

1.The Food – tapas, sangria, paella, oh my! Barcelona is well-known for many different delicious cuisines. One of the reasons I was nervous to study abroad is because I am a very picky eater and I was afraid I would not like the food. However, the food in Barcelona is INCREDIBLE! Some of the popular foods in Barcelona are tapas, sangria, and paella. To find great places to eat, check out the social media platforms that promote the best of the best.

Not only does Barcelona have its specialties, but it also has other food that it is not necessarily known for, but probably should be. For instance, there is delicious Italian, sushi, Greek, Indian, etc. Many places are popular tourist spots, but they are not your average touristy restaurants. They are actually delicious, full of locals, inexpensive, and worth trying! For example, Brunch & Cake is a healthy restaurant that presents its food well and makes a great Instagram photo.

 

Barcelona also has La Boqueria, which is an open market that sells a variety of fresh items like fish, fruit, cheese, vegetables, candy, and much more.

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2. Culture. If you enjoy an afternoon nap, Barcelona might just be the place for you. Spain is known for their siestas, a resting period in the middle of the day after lunch. The entire city of Barcelona takes a break in the middle of the day – shops close down, people take naps, and the city gets a rest before the night begins. I usually do not nap in America because I have too much to do and not enough time. In Barcelona, people are encouraged to take a few hours to rest after a big lunch. I have taken advantage of this and I nap almost everyday. Napping gives me the energy to be more productive with the rest of my day.

3. Site Seeing. There are so many beautiful places to see in Barcelona. Many of them are tourist spots, but some are only known to the locals. I enjoy visiting these places because they are unlike anywhere I have been before. Some places include (but are not limited to):

Park Güell

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Sagrada Familia

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Arc de Triomf

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Barcelona Cathedral

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Casa Míla

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4. Nightlife – Talk about partying all night long. The night only gets started at 2 am. Barcelona is home of some of the most popular clubs that are located on the Barcelona Beach. Opium is known for “Loco Lunes”, also known as Crazy Monday. Other well-known clubs are Shoko, Catwalk, CDLC, Razzmatazz, and Bling Bling. The clubs are filled with Americans and locals every single night. It is amazing how many people love to party in this city.

These are only 4 of the MANY different reasons why you should study abroad in Barcelona. I can honestly say Barcelona has my heart and I have no doubt about it having anyone else’s heart too.

Traveling Abroad: London

Studying abroad is one of the greatest experiences for a college student. Not only does it consist of studying in another country, it also consists of traveling to different countries every weekend. Traveling that often might seem a bit overwhelming, however, I have to say it is my favorite part about studying abroad. One of my favorite places I traveled to has to be London. The city is beautiful, the people are friendly, the history is unbelievable, and the shopping is unlike anything I have ever seen before. My roommates and I fell in love with London.

Our first day in London was amazing, yet exhausting. My flight was at 7 am so I got about 2 hours of sleep. I drank two cups of coffee to stay awake throughout the day. We took the hop-on hop-off bus tour around the city. Even though it was freezing outside, we decided to sit on the top of the double decker bus to have the full experience.img_0618

The bus tour took us around the entire city and included headphones that had a recording explain the history behind each building and monument. Below are some photos I took on the tour:

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We hopped off the bus at the Tower of London and also went inside the castle and learned about the history of the royal families in London. This was one of my favorite parts about London because it showed how different power is held in the United Kingdom than in America

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Later, we hopped back on the bus and went to Big Ben and the London Eye. These were incredible to see in person after seeing them in movies throughout the years.

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We ended our day at Harrods department store. This was the largest department store I had ever seen. Harrods literally, and I mean literally, has everything you could imagine. It has designer clothes, a gourmet food court, electronics (Apple Store), a candy story, a toy store, restaurants, vintage records, and so much more. My roommates and I were in awe because we are used to department stores like Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus, which are about 1/4 of the size and are mainly full of clothing lines.

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Not to mention, Harrods is beautifully lit up at night.

The next day we went to the Camden Market. Camden is a vintage-themed area that has a flee market, street food, and other vendors. We ate at Cereal Killer Cafe, a cafe that has over 100 different types of cereal from all over the world. We were able to choose our cereal, milk, and add sugary toppings. If you are a cereal-lover, Cereal Killer Cafe is a must-try in London!

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Later that day, we went to Abbey Road, the street The Beatles were photographed walking across, which became the title of their final album. It was also the street where their studio, Abbey Road Studios, was located.

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It was a cool experience walking across the same street that The Beatles did, however, I expected the street to be more exciting. It was very small and full of tourists. My roommates and I all agreed that this was the most overrated part of London.

Our last stop was at the Buckingham Palace. In my opinion, the palace was the most beautiful piece of architecture in London. We also went around the time the sun was setting, which made it even more beautiful.

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London was one of the most incredible cities I have ever visited. I was constantly entertained the entire weekend. All of the history, culture, food, shops, and site seeing helped me forget about how exhausted I was. Waking up at 4 am to catch a flight, sitting in uncomfortable plane seats, and dealing with layovers is definitely all worth traveling abroad.

Mobilizing the World of Journalism

We are currently in the middle of an amazing technological era. This era has proven time and time again that almost any traditional concept can be digitized. Books were once read on paper, but now people read them online with e-books on their portable devices. Blockbuster was once a popular movie rental chain store, but now people stream movies on Netflix, Hulu, On Demand, and other online streaming companies. People who enjoyed music could only listen to it at home with their record player, now music can be listened to on the go on a cellphone, iPod, iPad, etc. You get the point. Technology offers convenience to people within their everyday activities.

The same thing goes for journalism. Journalism was once collected through in-person events and interviews. There is a new concept that combines the world of technology and journalism. It is called “Mobile Journalism”, also nicknamed “MOJO”.
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This idea is a new way of storytelling: by using mobile devices to combine information, photos, videos, and any content that creates a story. It is a simple yet, complex process. Becoming a mobile journalist is simple. “One mobile phone. That’s all you need to be a mobile journalist…”. However, the process of mobile journalism is more complex. It takes a lot of time to prepare and plan out how the entire process will be organized.

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Mobile journalism normally consists of using an iPhone or iPad to record events. “Mobile journalism involves people realizing that they and the gear they carry are like a Swiss army knife, with lots of attachments. You choose the one you need”. It seems like most people prefer using iPhones over iPads, “because a number of iOS editing apps offer two-track video editing, deemed crucial to creating news-like stories quickly”. The iPhone was once just a smartphone, but now it can accomplish almost any digital task. The camera quality is so clear, that now it can replace the use for professional video cameras.

Another reason mobile journalism flourished is because of this concept of streaming on social media platforms. It is said that, “Periscope and Facebook Live could become, for many journalists, the gateway to mobile journalism…”.

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These applications are currently at a high demand. If people are willing to watch their Facebook and Periscope friend’s streaming videos, they most likely will be willing to watching streaming news broadcasts on these platforms as well.

Mobile journalism is on the rise all around the world. Many conferences and workshops are being held to inform and educate not only millennials, but also people of all ages, about this modern digitized journalistic approach.

The amazing thing about technology is that people are able to accomplish many tasks through their smart devices. Everyday we see are introduced to news concepts that make life seem simpler with technology. What will be next?