Mi vida en España...Granada, Spain - my life abroad. Past Review

By (Major: International Business, Cardinal Stritch University) for

CEA: Granada, Spain

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained a large sense of independence and learned a lot about my personal morals and values. I have more of a global mindset now and am much better at speaking Spanish. This was really beneficial to me as an International Business major. I'd recommend going abroad for at least a couple of weeks (short term program). It will really change your life.

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: Universidad de Granada
How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Overall I learned a lot and received grades comparable to what I would have received here in the U.S. The workload was very light in comparison to what I am used to at home but I thought the grading system was fair. There was only one teacher I wasn't a fan of because I found him to be rude and not really care about us. Overall I got better at Spanish and set out and achieved what I wanted to during my semester abroad.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Begonia was great. She was very good at speaking English and helping us with our problems very quickly. The other staff had a limited English proficiency and in times of need I wanted to speak my native language. Some of the other staff seemed very disorganized on excursions and when they were supposed to be taking us for cultural activities. Everyone offered a lot of insight about Spanish culture to us which was nice. The program size was quite large which may have been a disadvantage because it didn't force me as much to integrate with locals over Americans simply because there were so many Americans and we were always together.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The residencia was a very good choice for housing. They kept it clean for us - cleaned our rooms twice a week and cooked all meals for us except on Sunday's. The only issues I had with it were my roommates. I lived in a flat with 3 Spanish girls and 1 American. I had issues with the Americans who were not respectful of me and always went out and partied and woke me up in the middle of the night, etc. The staff at the residencia however made up for this. They were all so nice, they were like my Spanish host family. I enjoyed getting to know them and learned a lot from them. I would recommend that if you are traveling alone to room alone from the start. It eliminates potential problems arising. You'll make friends some other way.

* Food:

I personally found that I am picky and did not really like the food. It was a lot of the same things over and over and if you don't like that you're kindof stuck. If you don't like something though and you tell the staff early enough they will try to accommodate you.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt like CEA could have informed us of more cultural activities /events or even taken us to them to give us a cultural perspective. Some of their excursions could have been organized a lot better.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Granada is very safe - I never had any issues. I can't comment on the health issues because I didn't have to deal with anything of this nature while abroad. I got a couple of vaccines before I came but simply as a precautionary measure. I would recommend that.

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

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I spent a couple hundred euros every few weeks. (Most of my money was spent on coffee, snacks, and meals on Sunday's. I also spent a lot on gifts / items for myself. It was fairly easy to budget my money while abroad. Know your limits and stay informed on the exchange rate and you'll be just fine!
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I really rationed my spending and didn't spend money on the discotecas or bars so that saved me a lot. If you're smart with your money you'll be able to survive in Spain. If you're not thinking and just spending you may have some problems.

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? SPN 203
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

I practiced a lot at school and with people in the residencia as well as my intercambio partner Manuel.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The language component was strong and really forced me to improve my Spanish.
* What could be improved?
  • More cultural activities to immerse even more in the cultural.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Stay true to yourself no matter where it is that you go abroad. Immerse yourself in the culture and the local way of life. Use your language skills and make this experience exactly what you want it to be.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Spanish Grammar

Course Department: 0504
Instructor: Susana Diaz Hita
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: This course was very relevant for learning or brushing up on Spanish grammar concepts to be used during the time abroad. The class was challenging at times but Susana was very good at explaining all of the concepts to us in depth.
Credit Transfer Issues: This didn't transfer for my Spanish major because I already had all of the grammar credits I need here. It is required by CEA however and I felt it was a proper review and I am glad I had it while abroad.
Course Name/Rating:

History of Spain

Course Department: 0A01
Instructor: Miguel Angel del Arco Blanco
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This class was FANTASTIC. I learned so much and Miguel made this class fun each and every day. He was a great teacher and his English was very good. I recommend his class to EVERYONE!
Credit Transfer Issues: No credit transfer issues.
Course Name/Rating:

Islamic Culture in Spain

Course Department: 0A01
Instructor: Juan Antonio Macias
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This class was also very informational and I learned a lot about Islam and Islam in Spain. Juan was pretty good at speaking English and his lectures were very good. I highly recommend this class.
Credit Transfer Issues: No credit transfer issues.
Course Name/Rating:

Speaking and Writing Skills

Course Department: 0502
Instructor: Susana Diaz Hita
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: This course was perfect for practicing speaking and writing skills in a classroom. Susana taught us a lot of relevant information and had us practice writing relevant documents in class. I learned a lot of new words in this class and had a lot of fun taking it. Susana was my favorite teacher while abroad.
Credit Transfer Issues: No credit transfer issues.
Course Name/Rating:

Spanish Civilization and Culture

Course Department: 0A01
Instructor: Anxon Alvarez
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: The course was very informational about the subject matter. Anxon mostly read to us from the textbook and required a lot of memorization word for word on the tests. He wasn't the original teacher of this class so it was pretty annoying to me when he told us he was now the full time professor.
Credit Transfer Issues: No credit transfer issues.