The best experience of my life. Study abroad in Granada with API! Past Review

By (PSYCHOLOGY., University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh) - abroad from 01/22/2013 to 05/24/2013 with

API (Academic Programs International): Granada - Universidad de Granada

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was the most worthwhile experience of my life. I learned to try new things, explore, live in the moment, not take anything for granted, and so much more. My language skills improved so much and I learned so much about the Spanish culture and lifestyle. I love Granada and could not imagine a better place to study abroad.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Having all of my classes in Spanish was so helpful to just be able to be around the language all the time and improve my skills. However, the rigor of my Spanish language classes was not above what I have done in the past and was mostly review (although this left me more time to live life because studying wasn't necessary). My electives, particularly Spanish Civ and Culture, were not hard but were interesting and I learned a lot.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The directors, Carmen and Curra, and their assistant, Lydia, were all amazing! they were so friendly and always willing to help.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Sometimes I wish I had been in a residencia because I would have met more Spaniards my age to be friends with and the social aspect of it would have been fun, but a host family is definitely the way to go if you want to improve your Spanish.

* Food:

Even if you're picky, there's something for everyone. My host mom was a great cook and always asked me what I liked so she could make it again.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

One of my only regrets was not doing a weekly intercambio, but I lived with a host family, learned a lot about the culture in my classes, and tried to experience the local culture as much as possible.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I never had any real health concerns, but everyone I know who did was able to easily get help. The program directors tell you where to go for a doctor and will go with you if you're not comfortable going alone.

* Safety:

Overall Granada is very safe, but as in any city just be careful walking alone at night and don't leave your belongings unattended. I know people who had wallets/phones stolen out of coat check at a club so try to keep valuables on you when you're out.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

It is easy to spend a lot of money if you go out every night or go shopping a lot or travel every weekend, but Granada is one of the cheapest cities in Spain (free tapas) so if you eat most of your meals at home and go out cheaply you can easily not spend a lot. Also, while traveling is great, it uses up money very quickly and you should spend a lot of time in Granada because it is amazing and there is so much to do!

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? around $100, more or less depending on the week
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Limit travel to places you really want to go, botellon instead of bar hoping, don't eat meals out because tapas are cheaper and meals are included in the program. Spend money on travel instead of shopping, except the souvenirs you need


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Upper level (1300)
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Live with a host family, do an intercambio, take classes in Spanish, speak Spanish with your american friends as much as possible.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Directors
  • Excursions
  • Friends
* What could be improved?
  • Nothing!
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Nothing. I did research but no matter what you hear from other people or research about a place, you make your own experiences as you go and it's better to know less before you come so that you can discover more on your own.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.