Thursday, May 30, 2013

El Corte Inglés

Today was our final company visit and it was to El Corte Inglés. El Corte Inglés is similar to Macy's with the convenience of a mall too. Not only is it a department store but there are also places to eat, get a haircut, go to the spa, get groceries etc. You can essentially go to El Corte Inglés complete all your errands. 
What is interesting is that they have created a tourist information desk that helps foreign travelers complete a tax refund form for those that don't live in Spain. They essentially modified the information center to cater to people from China because they conducted research and found that 1 traveler from China spends equal to 30 Spanish people. Something that's also interesting is the fact that El Corte Inglés seems to be the only retail company that focuses on customer service in that if customers aren't satisfied in their purchases, they can get a full refund, which is sometime we are certainly use to in the US. I do apologize for the lack of pictures but I wish I had taken a picture of the tourist information desk because they had a terra cotta warrior when you walk in. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

On Friday, May 24 UAB hosted a Skype videoconference with our BBVA Compass Global Scholars and representatives from BBVA Compass, UAB School of Business, UAB Office of the Vice Provost, and UAB Office for Study Away.  It was wonderful to connect with them even though we were so far apart.  We all enjoyed hearing about their cultural adjustments, about their observations regarding Spanish economics, and the insights they have gained about themselves as professionals, students, and human beings.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Afternoon at Museo Reina Sofia

Today we visited the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia. It's Spain's national museum of 20th century art. We saw collections of Spain's greatest artists, Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali.

The history behind the most famous masterpiece in the museum, Guernica by Pablo Picasso was my favorite part. Apparently Franco (the dictator) let Germany bomb the Spanish town Guernica as a testing ground. (No wonder he's considered the worst Spanish dictator) The painting actually reflects anti-war and the conditions of Spain at that time. But the most fascinating part was that Pablo Picasso insisted that Spain could not have the masterpiece till the dictatorship was over and there was democracy.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Spanish theme park adventure

So, today was our first official full free day. Being theme park lovers, a couple of us decided to check out one of Madrid's amusement parks. The Parque de Atraciones was a full day of fun, thrills, and new experiences (at a very reasonable price.) We were able to witness some major cultural differences between American and Spanish parks while also enjoying some chocolate helado in our down time. I think that we would both agree that there is no where we would have rather been on this beautiful Spanish Sunday.

Saturday, May 25, 2013


This is one of the longest standing and complete aqueduct left in all of Europe. 
The aqueduct is also known as a gift from the devil because a girl who wanted the aqueduct for the city of Segovia (Celtic in origin) made a deal with the devil to make the aqueduct in 1 day and in return she would trade we soul. 
However, she had second thoughts afterwards and started praying to the Virgin Mary and the Virgin Mary rose the sun up earlier than usual just as the devil was about to place the last stone. 
And so the girl didn't have to trade her soul and the aqueduct was essentially a gift the to city of Segovia. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Cloud & E-learning: Learning Spanish Quickly

This evening at the BBVA Innovation Center, our group attended a lecture on the Cloud and E-learning. The lecture was given by a professor who is very passionate about implementing eLearning around the world. 

The lecture was given in Spanish so some of the information was lost in translation. However, after comparing notes with Bhavna and discussing the concept of eLearning with Bidisa, we all agreed that eLearning must be a new concept in Spain. So we also deduced that the US must be ahead on this particular area with examples like TEDed and even online platforms like Blackboard Learn at UAB. 

In the end, this lecture was just another example of how BBVA is dedicated to innovation. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Class projects

Today in class,  we had the fun opportunity of presenting companies that we created. Jaina and I made a hotel. Katie and Holly made a formal clothing store, and John and Bhavna made a wine vendor. It was definitely interesting coming up with slogans in Spanish. 

Here are our masterpieces: