Author: Rich Kurtzman

Fall 2019 – Political Update from Catalonia

Back in February, 2019, I wrote the last political update because the trial began of the 12 pro-independence Catalan leaders who were responsible for the referendum on Catalan independence. I’m writing again now because the trial recently ended, sentences were dealt, and tensions have flared. This is an opportunity for us to educate the students about what is happening and why, a reminder on how to stay safe and how this may affect their daily living for now. FIRST, A QUICK RECAP In October 2017, several Catalan politicians organized a referendum on Catalan independence that was deemed illegal according to...

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Spring 2019 – Political Update from Catalonia

It has been a while since I sent the last political update on Catalonia but the current situation definitely warrants some new information. FIRST, A QUICK RECAP This past October 2018 marked a year since the politicians and leaders of the two major pro-independence organizations were put in preventive prison for organizing a referendum on Catalan independence. Following the non-binding referendum, the Catalan Parliament declared independence but the Spanish government said it was an illegal vote and jailed the people responsible. WHAT’S HAPPENING NOW WITH THE PRISONERS? After more than one year the politicians will have the chance to explain...

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Webinar Announcement: White Label Education Abroad Programs

Join Barcelona SAE for a FREE webinar this Thursday, June 28th from 10:00-10:30am EST to learn about best practices when working with providers to create your own white label program abroad. The webinar will be hosted by Darcy York, Director of Academics & Customized Programs and Christina Thompson, University Relations & Diversity Initiatives Coordinator. This webinar will give you a brief background on white label programs and how they may benefit your internationalization strategic goals. We’ll answer questions about expanding your brand, using a provider to create your own customized white label program, and give you examples of successful...

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Political Updates from Barcelona: What’s Happening Now?

Good Sunday afternoon to you, It has been a while since I’ve sent out the political update from Catalonia but I wanted to send one now for two reasons: 1) So many of you told me at the Forum Conference on Education Abroad last week how much you appreciate them and 2) Today has been a big day. In addition to these newsletter updates, Barcelona SAE will host a free webinar on Friday, April 6th at 11:00am EST with one of our Political Science professors to cover: Quick overview on the structure of Spanish government and how it differs from...

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Fall 2017 – Update #3 from Catalonia

Greetings from Barcelona, Here is an update on what’s happened since my last update: The Declaration of Independence has happened Just over an hour ago, the Catalan Parliament declared that they want to make Catalonia an independent state, or Republic, separate from Spain. Spain, in return, announced that they will invoke Article 155 of the Spanish constitution which allows them to take control of Catalan institutions. Where the media titles this “Spain will impose direct rule;” that phrase sounds extremely harsh to me.  From what I understand, what essentially will happen is that Spain will remove the Catalan President...

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Fall 2017 – Update #2 from Catalonia

Greetings from Barcelona, Here is an update on what has been happening politically since my last email: Public opinion: There have been huge, peaceful, demonstrations in Catalonia including a march on October 3rd on a day that was declared a general strike where many offices and public buildings closed down to protest the police violence during the October 1st referendum vote. Most flags waved that day were independence flags. There was a smaller protest this past Saturday encouraging dialogue with no flags and slogans that said “parlem/hablemos”, or “Let’s Talk”, and a protest this past Sunday with many Spanish...

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Fall 2017 – Update #1 from Catalonia

Greetings from Barcelona, I have been getting loads of questions from people trying to understand what is happening in Catalonia these days. You have no doubt seen some of the news coming out here recently. We are arguably living through one of the most interesting political periods in the last 40 years, but it can be confusing if you haven’t been following it so I wanted to help out with a little background. It would be impossible to sum up the current political situation in a short email but I am going to do my best. A brief background...

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NAFSA Interview: A Conversation with Rich Kurtzman

Originally posted on NAFSA: Association of International Educators on March 8, 2017.  Rich Kurtzman has been working in the field of International Education since 1998 but began his journey in the field as a student in St. Petersburg in 1996. He then went on to spend a semester in Madrid, hold a summer internship in Milan, led groups of high schools students in Spain in 1999 and 2001 and has been working on-site in Barcelona since 2002 in a variety of capacities: since 2009 he has served as the Director of Barcelona Study Abroad experience but previous to that...

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Why I Have the Best Job in the World

I have the best job in the world.  Every day, I wake up in a city that I love and go off to work at a job that I am passionate about.  In college, I spent a summer in Russia and a semester in Spain and the experience changed my life; now, as Director of Barcelona Study Abroad Experience (SAE), I feel privileged to provide a similar, enriching experience to our students and interns. My colleagues at Barcelona SAE are among the most lively and caring individuals I know.  We work hard, have fun, and enjoy each other’s company,...

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GoAbroad Interview: Rich Kurtzman

Originally posted on GoAbroad.com in September 2014. Rich Kurtzman is the Executive Director of Barcelona SAE, a study and internship provider based in Barcelona, Spain. With a graduate degree in Spanish Applied Linguistics from the University of Illinois – Chicago, Rich has been a resident of Barcelona since 2002 though he is originally from Chicago. Teacher, presenter, and program organizer are all a part or Rich’s extensive background and experience. His studies of Spanish and Russian led him toward the field of international education, and he has been in the field ever since. You studied Spanish and Russian at Illinois...

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