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2 posts from March 2018


Study Abroad Spring 2018 - Mirail in focus!

As part of their Intercultural Communication and Leadership (ICL) course, student went on a tour of immigrant neighborhood « Le Mirail ». They were introduced with architect Candilis original design for the area: a project for developing social diversity in a friendly and green environment. Students could compare and contrast initial plans with the reality of today’s social life. With unemployment rate at almost 50%, the neighborhood is striving to maintain community life through a large number of non-profit organizations. People there also have to face the harmful impact of its reputation that only shows and often distorts one side of the story.

Students’ ICL assignment was to write a one-page reflection on their experience there based on their observations and their knowledge of Toulouse city center to compare and contrast with this other part of the city.




Sean: It struck me as well when our guide told us the story of how the man got rejected for his job based on where he lived. The fact that a whole neighborhood can be classified as such to the point where his interviewer did not even look at the resume makes me cringe.Ben: It made me sad to see such a proactive and somewhat futuristic project turn into something so run-down but the community still seems to be thriving.

Macayla: The pond and green areas made me feel entirely different, though. Aside from the gardens in Toulouse, it was the first time that I felt close to nature in the city. The pond was calming and I could see myself hanging around there on my own time. It was a drastically different feeling from the rest of the neighborhood because of this.

Barrett: I believe that this tour was given to us in order to show us that things aren’t always as they appear, considering that La Reynerie is now considered a fairly dangerous neighborhood, but in reality, it was not like that at all. 

Claire: We learned that two men had worked together to create the neighborhood and each detail of the city’s structure served a purpose for the betterment of the community.

Anna: My overall experience in Mirail was extremely positive and filled with friendly interactions, beautiful scenery, and extremely fascinating history. It made me very sad to hear the tale of the demise of the Mirail from a bustling utopia to a down-trodden immigrant neighborhood.

Ashley: From my experiences with impoverished communities, it is usually the people on the outside that do more harm to the community than the people who live there.



Study Abroad Spring 2018 - Gastronomy in focus!

 Spring Study Abroad program is halfway and a lot has happened since the students landed at Blagnac airport! Our Language and Culture and Business and Culture programs have kept our students quite busy studying at Toulouse Business School and Institut Catholique de Toulouse, on top of the CIEE-designed courses they have been following.

Once they are done with their daily classes, CIEE makes sure they get some further exposure to French culture by setting up activities in which they will find out about big C and small C aspects of the society: museums and main historical sites on the one hand; traditional and community life on the other hand.

Once a month, this Blog will focus on one aspect of our programs among the following: academics, faculty, host families, one-day trips, overnight excursions, students’ intercultural observations…

This month, we have decided to focus on the most popular activities we have set up so far for students: somehow, they are always related to food, whether it is tasting or making or both!

Here are some examples of what our student have done in Toulouse since January:

Orientation Lunch at “Au bon Peuple chez Navarre”, a rural like restaurant with its long wooden tables and decorations dating back to the XVth century. The food is traditional and homy!




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