I love Granada!!! Past Review

By (Health Education, Illinois State University) for

CEA: Granada, Spain

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I feel that I've grown so much as a person from coming to Spain. I would have chosen a different program to go with, but I still enjoyed the time that I had!

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The teaching methods were different from the methods in the states. All the teachers do here is lecture and then put us in groups. I did not like that at all. We only had two tests per class, so that was nice at times because I didn't constantly have to worry about studying on the weekends and during my trips to other countries. The teachers in general are way more laid back than the teachers in the states. The workload was not too much, but just enough to enjoy my experience here in Granada. I didn't like the grading system because it was based off of what the teachers' opinions of your Spanish were.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I think that the people who worked for CEA did a great job. However, they were very slow with getting back to me through emails and we could not go to their office later in the day. They always had events planned for us, which was very nice. Overall, I think they did a great job!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My home stay was close to the city center. I lived with one host mom and one other American student, and we each had our own rooms. It was easy to talk to my host mom because she was very open and wanted us to always be comfortable. I did not have to buy any sheets or cookware before coming to Spain because it was all provided. I think that my host mom was very welcoming. I always have felt at home in my home stay.

* Food:

The food was very bland. There were a few things that I liked, but it was all very different from what I am used to. People in Spain usually eat a small breakfast and a very very very large lunch. Dinner is usually served later in the evening, between 8 and 10pm.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

There is always stuff to do in Granada! Even if it doesn't seem like it, you can always go out for tapas with a few friends. My favorite memory is going to Portugal. I would suggest taking advantage of the programs that take you to Morocco or Portugal. It's cheap and a great experience!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Granada is a very safe place. I never felt like I shouldn't be by myself at night. I was always careful of course, but I never felt like I was going to be violated in any way. People in Granada are very friendly and there are always people in the streets at night.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

Finances

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I did not spent more than 20 euros per week on expenses and food. I stayed with a host family so all of my meals were provided there. On the weekends, I would go out for tapas with some friends and tapas are free in Granada with the purchase of a drink.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't buy so many souvenirs! You will regret buying as much as possible in the first few weeks. Also, don't bring so much back for your family and friends because they will not appreciate it the way you do!

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? LAN 116
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

I practiced with two interchanges at least once per week. I lived with a host mother and talked to her throughout the day at meals and at home. I did need the host country language in everyday situations. Many people did speak English, but it wasn't widely used.

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

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The coordinators were very friendly.
* What could be improved?
  • I would have chosen different events to attend.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I think that very sociable students would benefit with going through CEA. There were many people in the program.