Granada: El Lugar de Las Chicas Hermosas y Las Comidas Deliciosas Past Review

By (n/a, Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies / LACES) - abroad from 06/30/2014 to 07/18/2014 with

Sol Abroad - Granada, Spain High School Spanish Immersion

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned what it's really like living in a Spanish-speaking country and how much I wish I could go back. It helped me discover more about the cultures and world around me and was definitely worthwhile.

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.

Classes were a reasonable length -- not too long and not too short. I felt I was put into a class that may have been too easy but I was still able to learn a lot by communicating with my host family.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Our 3 advisors were super friendly and easy to talk to. They were able to balance their need to be rule-enforcers with being good friends perfectly.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Very comfortable. Although I spent most of my time walking through the city, the apartment size was very accommodating (and I had a pool!)

* Food:

Probably some of the best food I've ever had. My host family were excellent cooks and all the restaurants served amazing food.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

At times I felt as if Granada was a second home: I got accustomed to the public transportation routes and also learned my way around the streets fairly quickly.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Not many to report. One kid claimed he might have had a relapse of an earlier concussion and our head director took him to the hospital right away.

* Safety:

Pick-pocketers are apparently a large problem in Granada, but just be smart about it and you should be fine (i.e.: don't carry large amounts of money with you, bring a fanny pack and wear it under your shirt)

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)

I was able to live off of the money I was provided fairly easily, although there were some complications with my credit card and I was unable to withdraw money for a few days and had to run around looking for a place to exchange currency, but I consider it more of an adventure I had rather than a setback.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Some street vendors will try to take advantage of non-fluent Spanish speakers by raising their prices. If this happens to you try to find another shop (I guarantee they sell what you want elsewhere), and the owner may even lower his/her price in fear of losing a sale.

Language

* 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

The classes were entirely in Spanish (one of my teachers didn't even know English), and you practically had to use the language to speak to anyone outside your group.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Advanced
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? AP Spanish Language
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? Try to have conversations with your host family. If you don't know the words for what you want to say, look for synonyms or use your hands.

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
  • International Students
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
  • My host family
  • My program directors / fellow students
* What could be improved?
  • Some activities felt a little underplanned
  • Not all host families were as friendly as mine (apparently)
  • I wish I was 18
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I brought like 3 jackets that I never had to use once -- it is sooo warm there.

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.'