Granada: My Home Away from Home Past Review

By (Southern Connecticut State University) - abroad from 01/20/2019 to 05/23/2019 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
The self-discovery that I embarked on during my time abroad made my experience truly unforgettable. The transformation that I saw in myself made the experience extraordinary. The growth, lessons, and memories gained abroad made my experience in foreign countries so much more meaningful for me. Additionally, the people that I met and lessons that I learned truly made my experience abroad life-changing in the best of ways. I am still in touch with friends as well as my host mother. I still implement the lessons that I made into my daily life as a way to remember how much I have grown since the moment I left America for the first time. The people that I met and lessons that I learned truly made my experience abroad life-changing in the best of ways. I have also continued taking Spanish classes in order to stay proficient in the language. Being abroad inspired me to consider teaching abroad after I graduate. For these reasons, I feel that my time abroad has influenced my life more than I ever expected.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

My program directors did a phenomenal job in helping me become acclimated to the Spanish culture. API provided students with the support needed to reach their full potential.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I loved living with a host family! My host sister, host mother, and I each had our own bedrooms. We resided in an apartment near the university that I attended, which was very convenient.

* Food:

As a vegan, I expected to have difficulty finding options to accommodate to my dietary needs. However, there were a plethora of vegan-friendly restaurants in Granada. My host mother was also more than happy to prepare plant-based meals, which I really appreciated.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I Wish that I immersed myself into the local culture. However, the experiences that I had with Spaniards were meaningful and impactful.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Granada is an extremely safe city to live in. API ensured all students' safety through frequent communication and helpful advice.

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

API has great reviews, accommodates to students' needs, and is affordable. Everyone that I have interacted with through API has been kind and very helpful. The program included trips throughout Spain, an international excursion, and other immersive activities such as a cooking class or language exchanges. API went above and beyond in ensuring that every student had an experience in Granada. The Program Directors in Granada (Carmen and Curra) encouraged students to visit their office and interact with Spaniards. They provided advice as well as support in language acquisition, academic success, and personal issues. I felt that I had the support needed to leave my comfort zone. I would recommend my program since it provided me with the support/resources to thrive. API helped me strive to reach my full potential, leave my comfort zone, and created an environment that was conducive for growth and learning.


* 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)

Living with a host family helped lower the cost of living as each meal was provided. However, traveling to other countries can be a bit expensive. I suggest finding budget-friendly countries to travel to. This being said, allow yourself to follow your dreams, even if it means spending a bit more money since you deserve to make the most out of your time abroad.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $50
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Living with a host family helped lower the cost of being abroad. Using travel websites to find inexpensive flights and accommodations is also really helpful. Hostel One or AirBnB provide affordable accommodations when traveling.


* 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? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? SPA 320 (Puerto Rican Culture)
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 Duolingo or other websites prior to your departure. Watching videos and reading in another language is also really helpful. However, the best way to practice a language is to use it! Speaking with others or writing in a foreign language fosters linguistic growth.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • 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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Host Family
  • Program Support
  • Resources (including advice on academics, travel, and sightseeing)
* What could be improved?
  • Opportunities for Cultural/Linguistic Immersion
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? A piece of advice is to be open-minded and excited to go abroad! Leaving your comfort zone and taking risks can be nerve-wrecking, but you should be so proud of yourself for choosing to study abroad. Having rough days in a foreign country is inevitable, but the best days will always outshine the dark moments that may occur. If I were to say one thing that every future participant should know, it would be that you will learn so much more about yourself and grow if you leave your comfort zone and have the courage/strength to try new things.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!