After our last weekend in Barcelona, it was time to come together for our last week in the Barcelona classroom. Our first session on Monday was with Karen Smyth. She previously worked with the students during the first week of the program which you can read about here. She worked with the students to understand their level of intercultural competence such as awareness, attitudes, knowledge, and skills. She also had them review their goals they set at the beginning of the semester to assess how far they have come and where they would like to go. Karen was great for the class as the students had to think deeper about their cultural experience while studying abroad.

After an hour lunch, we met the students for an afternoon session. This program has flown by and it is time for the students to tell their stories. The final project is a 3-minute digital story in which the students create a video of images and their voice laid over for audio telling their story. Due to this being a new process, this week was dedicated to project development. We started class by having everyone read their stories aloud to the group. Each student received feedback from three of their peers. This allowed for instant feedback, specifically, on the clarity of the story. With only 300 words and 3 minutes, the students had to learn how to be concise, clear, and follow a single path. After, we broke the class into two smaller groups where John led one and I led the other. It created an environment optimal for coaching and teaching moments as we were able to work on a more one-on-one basis.

Tuesday we broke into our small groups again, having the students work in pairs for the first session. They read the other person’s story to them so that they could hear their own story aloud. They asked themselves questions, such as “What did I hear in my story?” “How clear is my message?” “How evocative is my message?” and “How emotionally resonant is my story?” During the second session, we once again broke into our John and I’s groups and then into smaller groups of four. The students read their story aloud to their small group and received feedback from each peer. After a day’s work, we celebrated with a pizza party and viewing of all the videos Melyssa created from the excursions. It was mini-celebration much needed.

The students are continuing their work on their stories, choosing images, and overlaying their voice to the video. Today, we have mock presentations and tomorrow is the big day where CEA and invited guests will join us to see the final products. Check back later this week for their final work!

Pizza after a long day of working!