Granada Past Review

By (Brandeis University) - abroad from 01/22/2019 to 05/31/2019 with

IES Abroad: Granada - Study Abroad with IES Abroad

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained a friend in myself.

Personal Information

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.

Not very rigorous, but teachers were very accessible.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Friendly, accessible, welcoming.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Pilar was really kind. She helped me keep kosher for passover, and when it was done she had a cake! We ended up eating it in celebration of my host brother learning to drive, roommate winning a race, and me finishing my "dieta," but I know she bought the cake a day before the race. . .This happened right after a synagogue in the US was attacked, and her silent support for my religious practices meant a lot.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I do feel staying in a residencia would have made this better. Prior to going abroad I thought the best integration happened with a host family, because that is what my friends before me had done. I love my host family, but think I would have been more integrated staying elsewhere. At the same time, the ability to hide in my room and decompress was really valuable at times.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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


* 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)

4, while not even living like a student...I could treat myself to a nice sushi dinner with a cocktail for 15 euro total once a week. That said, I had a lot of leftovers from lunch and often did not need to buy dinner because of this.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Everyone says planes and trains are cheap. Sometimes they are dirt cheap, but other times they are affordable RELATIVE to traveling a similiar distance in the US...Granada to Paris at the last minute did cost over $500, but that is less than what it would cost to travel a similiar distance (Boston to CA) at the last minute. The people I know who really saved money abroad were those who bought tickets in December to visit friends in Feb or March. Not knowing my class schedule, I didn't do this. And not knowing the people on my program, it took more than a few weeks even after the program started to plan travel because I wasn't close with many people yet. This allowed me to explore the local area a bit more and eventually pushed me to do solo-travel, but I wish I had known that tickets aren't as cheap as we think unless we plan ahead, and that planning ahead without knowing your classes is a bad idea DEPENDING on the rigor of your program.


* 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? Intermediate
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? Spanish 4.
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? Yes. Go places on your own. Walk around stores and ask for help but do not have a friend there to help you translate. Review vocabulary and basic pronunciation before the program and within the first few weeks. Then, about a month in start to review grammar. Ask indeginious speakers you're comfortable with to correct your pronunciation as the program starts to wrap up. Always be kind to yourself. Remember why you started to learn, not how far you have or haven't come sense you started.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Apartment
* 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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • diverse cultural landscape
  • fun courses
  • teachers wanted me to succeed
* What could be improved?
  • tell students they are not given dinner before they arrive so they can budget for this
  • orientation lasts too long
  • i wish we had done an outing with our host families all together
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? tell students they are not given dinner before they arrive so they can budget for this

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'