Why did you choose this program?
I was researching things to do for this summer, and a friend suggested a Study Abroad. Sol Abroad was the first one that popped up when I searched Spanish Study Abroad, so I checked out their website and thought it looked awesome.
I was considering Argentina initially but Spain seemed to click after I watched the program videos and read some reviews. I think Sol does an awesome job in their program overviews and videos of conveying just what kind of experience you'll be getting if you study abroad with them.
What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?
We had a cultural activity after classes at CLM (the language center at the University of Granada) almost everyday. We did cool stuff like visit an Arabic tea house, hiking, visiting the beach an hour south from Granada, and zip-lining, among others. On free afternoons, it was cool to walk around the city and explore the shops and side streets. Granada also has a lot of good food and pastries like churros and their pastries.
What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?
Don't let time pass you by. I was in Granada for only a month, and on one of my last days, it felt like I had just arrived yesterday. Also take advantage of the free time, and find cool activities to do. The university has a lot of activities for students that are discounted if you go with them, so I would take advantage of that.
Also, I didn't know this until my last couple of weeks but there was dancing every Saturday night by the City Hall, so try to find out those cool kinds of things from other kids in your program.
What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?
Normally, we would get up around 7:30-8:00 to be in class at 9:00. I lived about 30 minutes from class, so I left around 8:30 everyday. We have class everyday at the university, and then after lunch and a siesta (lunch is probably at 2:30-3:00 since classes ended at 1:00), we have some kind of cultural activity.
Some of our activities included a water park, visiting the old city, going to Arabic baths, taking Spanish cooking classes or food tasting, and others. On weekends, we normally had full day activities like hiking or going to the beach with our whole group. Our weekend activities were a lot of fun!
Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?
I was a little nervous about navigation, but I quickly learned my way around. Granada is a medium-sized city, but once you learn your way around, there are so many cool side streets and shops to find.
I was also nervous about speaking Spanish with my host family because I hadn't spoken it in a bit but after a couple of days of living there, I remembered a lot of my Spanish, and we were having conversations about the news and about my day. It's also a lot of fun to get to know your host family and their family. My host mom had a grandson who was a lot of fun.
Would you have done anything differently?
I would say pack light! I barely had enough room for all of the things I got while I was in Granada. In the summertime, there are always sales everywhere so make sure you have enough room for the stuff you buy.
Also, take advantage of siesta! Napping and relaxing are part of the culture in Granada, and it is fun! If you want to explore the city, take advantage of your free time. The Albaícin is an awesome part of Granada that you should explore. A friend of mine got her hand tattooed with Henna for only a few euros.