Granada: My Only Regret is Not Going Sooner Past Review

By (Public Administration/Spanish, University of Wisconsin - LaCrosse) for

CEA: Granada, Spain

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Yes. I feel more cultured. I am more confident in my language abilities and in just life in general. I feel like "I was in Spain on my own, I can do anything." I do like to keep up with things that are going on in Spain now because I feel like it is important to me now. This experience caused me to change from a minor in Spanish to a major.

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 workload was about as I expected it to be - not a lot. I think that the professors understood that we were there for a cultural experience and they did not want to weigh us down with homework. The grading system is a bit different - they used numbers to score us.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I really liked the program. The coordinators were awesome, to say the least. They were willing to help us with anything we needed. For example, one of our keys did not work to our apartment and she spent three days going back and forth with the owner to get us a new set of keys and to make sure we were not blamed for it. The directors were very knowledgeable and they were able to tell us everything we needed to know. It was also helpful because most of them have been to the United States and have experienced our education system. They were able to warn us about any differences and how we should act. I did like my program size. However, one downside about studying in the summer is that I think it attracts people who are not serious about studying and are just there to party. Because it is such a short period of time, the people in this program may not be serious about classes.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I liked living in the apartment, however if I were to go back, I would live with a family. I say this because I feel that my language skills were not put to test when I was in my apartment. Also, host families cook for you, but in an apartment you have to get your own food. In order to choose my housing, I did not have to do anything because an apartment was the default choice. Otherwise, I could have just requested other living. My neighborhood was really conveniently located. It was close to school, stores, and to the nightlife. I did need to bring my own sheets and towels.

* Food:

I loved the food. There was not a bad restaurant. Try everything!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Obviously the nightlife was fun. But, we were taken on excursions and those were the best. We went to Sevilla for a weekend, the beach, the Alhambra, and dinner/lunch a couple of times.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I felt Granada was pretty safe. I acted the same way as I do in La Crosse in terms of safety. I did watch out for pick-pocketers though.

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
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

I practiced with my roommates, my program coordinators, my professors, and locals. I needed to use Spanish in almost everything I did. This was intimidating at first, but I got used to it. I know that my language skills improved a lot. Most of the people there spoke some English, but I did my best to speak Spanish.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The directors
  • The time-frame
  • The location
* What could be improved?
  • Communicating before the program starts
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Just do it. I know it is a hard decision but it is worth it. It is expensive but I do not regret it for a second. Be sure to bring comfortable walking shoes!