Living like the Spanish

Academics: 3
Support: 5
Fun: 5
Housing: 5
Safety: 5

I highly recommend this program to anyone interested in an immersive experience in Spain. To begin with, Granada is a wonderful city to study abroad in, its main advantage being its size. The larger cities in Spain, while perhaps being bigger centers for arts, culture, and partying, are so large that as a foreigner, you're unlikely to be able to experience the repetition and familiarity that constitutes a study abroad immersion experience. Granada was walkable, safe, and small enough that I was able to make friends with Granada natives, but large enough that I still never stopped exploring its corners. Its one of the most inexpensive cities in Spain, its close to Morocco, it has a North African influence...
You'll be able to practice your Spanish everyday. Granada is one of the most popular spots for European students to study abroad, so the entire city welcomes college students from all over the world, and a lot of the bars even have nights where your drinks are cheaper if you are there to practice languages with Europeans.
I chose to live in the international apartments, and ended up living with 4 Spanish girls my age and 1 Argentinean woman. They welcomed me like family and I still talk with them a year later. My Spanish improved an immense amount this way, and I was able to learn colloquial Spanish and go out the way that Spanish people my age do. The international apartments also host other Europeans... I became good friends with a few Italians this way as well. Spanish became the common language in the apartments, even when I was speaking with my American friends living there.
A typical day would consist of waking up pretty early, heading to class at the Centro de Lenguas Modernas for Spanish and Culture classes, and then coming back for siesta. I would hang out with my roommates in the kitchen during this time, cooking and talking. I'd often go for a run later, or out exploring the city in the afternoon, and then would often get tapas or a coffee with my Spanish friends at night.

All in all, after completing this program, I think I avoided a lot of the complaints people make about studying abroad... I was able to learn colloquial Spanish from natives through immersion, I was independent because I wasn't living with a family that cooked for me and had strict rules, I was actually immersed in the Granadian student way of life with my friends, rather then only hanging out with Americans and traveling all over Europe every weekend (which you still could do)... I also wasn't broke after the whole thing because Granada is incredibly cheap.

One of the highlights from my trip was renting a van with a few Spanish, American, and Italian friends, and driving out to Salamanca for their new years party, as well as cooking Thanksgiving dinner for my Spanish and Italian friends.

The program also provides you with amazing excursions throughout Spain... hiking in the Sierra Nevada, going to Toledo, seeing professional Flamenco dancers, eating expensive and delicious Spanish food.

Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would
Year Completed