Granada: The Opportunity of a Lifetime Past Review

By (Bilingual/Bicultural Elementary Education (Spain), Illinois State University) for

CEA: Granada, Spain

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?

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.

There really wasn't a lot of work to do outside of class besides the occassional paper or reading a book or poem for literature. The only times I felt stressed with schoolwork was right before midterms and finals. One main difference between the educational system in Spain vs the US is the grading system. In the US, grades are very important due to scholarships, GPA, etc. However, I am not sure teachers here in Spain fully grasp that idea. Also, classes did not always start on time.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I couldn't have been happier with the performance of my on-site team. They were all so kind and friendly and extremely helpful.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

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

Finances

* 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)

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Spanish 213
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

I was able to fully immerse myself in the Spanish culture and therefore develop my Spanish-speaking skills every minute of the day! I became involved in a Spanish church early-on and this enabled me to make new Spanish friends with whom I joined a Bible study in Spanish, traveled to their hometown in Cadiz, Spain, marched in a parade through Granada, and many other social activities. I also developed a relationship with two intercambios who I am confident I will stay in touch with for a long while. I made it a point to use my Spanish in almost every situation I was in. One of the best ways I have been able to practice my Spanish was with my host family. I was constantly playing with my 5 year old host sister and conversing with my host parents, which drastically increased my Spanish-speaking abilities. I feel so blessed to have had so many opportunities to practice my Spanish daily!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

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  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

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

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  • Americans