Me Encanta Granada!!! January 05, 2022

By (Brandeis University) - abroad from 09/02/2021 to 12/17/2021 with

IES Abroad: Granada - Study Abroad with IES Abroad

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how to be independent in a foreign country, confident in Spanish, and travel on my own!

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 classes were a mixed bag, just like they are at any university. My advice is to take classes that involve field trips-- those will give you the most unique experiences!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Some of the administrative staff were great about giving recommendations, etc. However, there were a few administrators who were highly condescending and seemed more interested in proving you wrong instead of answering questions or providing genuine help. I stayed away from those administrators and had good experiences.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I loved living in a dorm with Spanish students-- it was a very different experience than the United States! However, I wish there had been less American students in my dorm because I wasn't forced to adapt as much.

* Food:

Food in Granada is cheap and your housing provides most meals!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Granada is a very international city, so it's easy to feel integrated in the culture. You have to put in a lot of effort to make friends outside of your program-- I made a lot of friends at cafes!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

When I had a health problem, it was very easy to get to the urgent care and get an interpreter. The insurance system is confusing, but they will give you instructions to figure it out. The program had a very strict attendance policy and encouraged us to come to class even when sick, which I believe created a lot of problems and added a lot of unnecessary stress.

* Safety:

The city is very safe. Even at night, there are people everywhere and it's easy to walk on only populated streets.

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

I love the city of Granada, and my program gave me lots of freedom to customize my experience.


* 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)

Granada is generally cheaper than the US, especially for drinks. That being said, there are lots of places that are just as if not more expensive than what I'm used to, so I had to watch out and make sure I stuck to the cheap areas.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $150
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Figure out how much money you can spend each day/week in advance so you're not worried while you're there. Find places with good free tapas. Prioritize spending money in the city at new cafes/restaurants/ art fairs and not on big trips. If you want to go clubbing, look into the Best Life Erasmus bracelet. It's a 10 euro one time fee and gets you into different clubs for free every night. Also most clubs have certain hours with no cover charge.


* 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? Beginner
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? High school Spanish + 2 or 3 semesters in college
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? Keep a running vocab list of new words you learn and review them with flashcards. Study a lot on your own, outside of class. Definitely get an intercambio (language exchange partner). Hang out with groups of people from other countries who are also trying to learn Spanish (so you will be less embarrassed by speaking it poorly, but also forced to use it)

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
* 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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The city
  • Classes about local topics
  • Learning Spanish
* What could be improved?
  • Better communication from staff (especially about trip itineraries)
  • More opportunities to meet locals
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Pack cold-weather clothes!!!! It gets cold in the late Fall, and many buildings don't have great heat.

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 Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.