Walking down the winding alleyways, you might notice the aroma of spices lingering in the air, brightly colored markets around every corner, and, of course, the view of the Alhambra, the ancient palace perched upon a mountain overlooking the city.
Welcome to Granada: the last Muslim stronghold in Andalusia, the culturally rich Southern region of Spain. Though distinctly Spanish, with its citizens taking full advantage of the siesta, endless fiestas and a plethora of delicious tapas, this breathtaking city exhibits a unique bohemian vibe.
It's also an excellent destination to learn Spanish abroad. Beautiful scenery, diverse history and an affordable cost of living lend themselves to providing the ultimate academic experience.
There is no better place than Granada to learn Spanish in Spain. Though the learning curve might initially be a little difficult as you stumble through the deep Andalusian accent, in the end, it will be worth the trouble.
A thriving city with a brilliant atmosphere, this mountainous bohemia boasts an incredible history, slow pace of life, influence of Moorish cultures and student community. Big enough to explore but small enough to call home, you will always find new alleyways, hidden teahouses and markets to meander.
Not to mention its affordable cost of living and endless avenues for learning the language and welcoming people. Now, what are you waiting for? Venga, vamos!
Granada is a university town, and you'll find lots of opportunities for college students looking to learn Spanish. Older Spanish learners, however, will still have the chance to learn Spanish in Granada through various language and cultural programs, private tutors, or language institutions.
Homestay programs are a wonderful opportunity to improve your Spanish and immerse yourself fully in the culture. Extremely hospitable people, Spaniards will ensure that you are comfortable in their home and often introduce you to their extended families.
It's also a chance to try authentic, Spanish home cooking! That being said, if you are seeking freedom and don’t want to be locked in to a certain schedule or living in someone else’s home, a homestay is probably not the best choice. Often times, homestay programs are coupled with taking courses at a local language school, in order to optimize potential learning.
If you thrive in an intimate environment, are seeking quick improvement and personalized attention, private tutoring might be a good option for you. In order to find a private tutor, you might visit the University of Granada or other private language schools.
Private tutors frequently hang flyers in order to gain students. Additionally, you can visit the website “Tus Clases Particulares,” where many teachers advertise.
If you would like to take traditional courses in a classroom setting, enrolling at the University of Granada is an appropriate option. For those still in college, you have the choice, depending on your program and level of Spanish, to take classes with fellow Americans or Spaniards.
While classes with native speakers might be challenging, you would be able to form relationships with your classmates, listen and speak with natives and immerse yourself in the environment. Though it might seem a little overwhelming, it is always best to dive in!
- Did you know... “Granada” means pomegranate in Spanish, and they grow in the region.
- Don’t miss: The Mirador de San Nicholas at sunset — though a hike and a little touristy — provides an incredible view of the Alhambra and city.
- YUM: Order any drink in Granada and wait for the arrival of a free surprise tapa! You can feast on an entire meal just by ordering drinks... what a city.
The city of Granada has a population of 236,982 as of 2005, and the people are laid back and warm. This vibrant, young community is bustling with students, except for in the scorching summer months, when most locals flee to the beach. Though hot in the summer, Granada can be quite chilly in the winter due to the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
For snow lovers, there are ample opportunities to take advantage of winter sports throughout the region. Nearby day trips might include the charming city of Jaen, where you can frolic in fields of olive trees and hike up to the castle for lovely views, and Nerja, a touristy beach town on the Mediterranean, known for its caves.
Don’t travel every weekend, though! You might consider sticking around town for Granada’s Corpus Christi festival, the most important in the city, which takes place every year 60 days after Easter Sunday.
As a whole, Granada is a relatively affordable city. Of course, it is more costly to live within the city than on the outskirts. Seeing as there are so many students in Granada, it isn’t difficult to find housing, as people are frequently coming and going.
The average rent per month in a three room apartment in the city center is 600 euros, which, when divided, comes to around 200 euros. It is important to account for utilities and transportation costs as well. However, one of many advantages to living in Granada, as aforementioned, is the tradition of free tapas with every beverage.
There is no need to cut back on enjoying life in this city; yet you can save while doing so! Olé. If you feel at all tight when it comes to money, have no fear; English teachers are always in demand. By simply creating a flyer or posting information on Tus Clases Particulares, you can easily store some extra cash, and have fun doing it.
Contributed by Grace Pfisterer
Spanish Language Programs in Granada
What is the best way to learn Spanish?
The best way to learn a language depends on your learning style. However, immersing yourself in a Spanish language program with weekly courses, participating in cultural activities, living in a homestay away from other international students, and practicing independently can all be very effective ways to learn Spanish.
Where can I learn Spanish abroad?
There are over 20 countries where the official language is Spanish. Some of the most popular places to study Spanish abroad include Spain, Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Cuba.