Granada, Spain: Trip of a Lifetime! Past Review

By (Communications/Spanish, Plymouth State University) - abroad from 09/16/2012 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 definitely more fun and worthwhile to complete a full academic year experience rather than just a semester. I learned a lot about Spain, but more so about myself and how I can approach new situations with the knowledge I have about culture and diversity.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I absolutely loved my program directors in Spain; they were helpful, knowledgeable, and a great support system.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I had to move after the first two weeks and API made it a breeze. It was easy to get in contact with the host directors as well as the borough in Austin, Texas to make arrangements.

* Food:

Great food all around; no complaints!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Granada became a piece of my heart, especially after the first semester. I stayed for an academic year (I did not go home over winter holidays/break, either) and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

As with any city, it's easy to get lost in the shuffle of people and traffic; petty theft is the majority of the crime in Spain, so as long as I kept to myself and knew where I was going (even if I wasn't exactly sure), I did not have a problem with my personal safety.

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)


Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Food was included on all days except Sundays, so about 25-30 Euros/week (including nightlife)
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I would not suggest bringing expensive items (such as laptops, phones, extra cash/credit or debit cards) unless absolutely necessary. It can be a mental and physical burden to carry the extra load around and it is only necessary to carry enough cash for the day.


* 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

API did a great job about encouraging its students to develop their language skills; I knew quite a bit of Spanish before I arrived, but I still learned more things that I would not have known otherwise if I had not taking the courses I did.

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? Advanced Spanish Composition
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? Use "intercambios" (language exchanges) programs around the area; there are tons and it's great to meet new people (and especially nice to meet locals) as well as help them out with their English. There are many types of intercambios as well; not just for English-to-Spanish languages (if you know more than two languages outside of those).

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

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

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Host Resident Directors
  • Travel
  • Host Family Accommodations
* What could be improved?
  • The information about housing was sent almost 3 weeks before I arrived in Spain; would have been nice to know that information ahead of time.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Confidence is key; without that, and a smile, nothing will be accomplished.

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'