MY JOURNEY ABROAD: SUMMER PROGRAM IN GRANADA
BY BRIANNA FOSTER
Destination: Granada – Spain, June 2019
Minors: Hispanic Studies
University: East Carolina University
I always knew that I wanted to study abroad and after hearing about this program, I knew it was the one I wanted to go on!!
MY FIRST STEPS
The duration of the program was perfect for me and it was so nice that I could go over the summer. Getting six credits in one month was a really great opportunity that I couldn’t afford to pass up because of my upcoming schedule for nursing school. Aside from how well the program worked with my schedule, I also chose it cause I wanted to experience something new.
I loved the idea of being able to stay with a host family and immerse myself into the local culture. I knew that it was going to be great to have someone to practice my “español” every day. That is why could not wait to find out who my new host family was! When I finally got information about them, I got really excited. My host mom and her daughter seemed so sweet and I was so glad I got them!
OFF TO GRANADA
All of a sudden, I was at the airport saying goodbye to family and getting ready to fly to another continent! We spent some days in the city. I turned out to be a really great experience because I got to know all the others in my program during the first couple of nights and I got to meet other people who were staying in the same hostel as well. It was nice to be able to do my own thing, explore Madrid and try to get over jetlag before heading down to Granada.
Getting to Granada was a fairly easy journey; I think part of it was because I was looking forward to starting this new adventure! Finally, we arrived early and our host families were there waiting for us to show up. My first impression of my host mom was that she was so sweet and that I was going to have a great time! I thought it was so cute how the host families knew each other, and some lived close to each other, so I had some of my friends nearby.
MY LIFE IN THE CITY
One of the best things about my experience abroad was living with my host. Firstly, because the food was always great, especially considering she was a nutritionist! Secondly, we talked a lot: she was always patient with me and helped me practice. Whenever she spoke to me, she always talked to me like I could understand everything, which I appreciated. I think it really helped improve my listening and comprehension skills.
Walking every day (locals love walking) gave me an opportunity to get to know the city and live how the people there do. As far as my room, it was very nice and cozy. It had everything that I would need to be a student in Granada for a month, including a desk and a fan (Granada is a little hot in summer). Sometimes, it was a drag to go to class in the morning, but in my opinion, it’s best to go if you can because you’re already there for such a short amount of time that missing class could mean being very far behind.
As far as classes, getting everything organized was a bit chaotic and I had a credit mix-up, but Mila, one of the program coordinators onsite, was very helpful and got me on track and where I needed to be. I really appreciated her for that. In class, all of my professors were nice, and the CLM is a really cool building.
Granada is one of the main destinations for international students. I really loved my time in Granada and I would tell anyone who is considering this program to just do it! It’s a small, laid back city where you can go move easily from one place to another. It is historic and breathtaking. Even though we visited a couple of different cities on side trips (I even went to Morocco!!), Granada was always my favorite. If I went somewhere on the weekend, it always felt good to come back home.
If you have the chance, take it and don’t look back because the experience will change your worldview! Financial aid will come, scholarships will come, and even if you’re afraid of leaving home, the US and your family, you should still go because studying abroad is the experience of a lifetime that not many people are blessed with. It will help shape you as a person and help you reach your academic goals. See the world!