Highly recommend Arcadia in Granada!

Academics: 2
Support: 5
Fun: 3
Housing: 5
Safety: 5

I really feel like Arcadia in Granada is an ideal study abroad program for someone who wants to go to Spain, develop or improve their Spanish language skills, and engage in a true Spanish cultural experience.

I found Granada so great and so fitting to what I was looking for. It's a small enough city that you can really walk anywhere (although public transportation is available), but it's also big enough that it has just about everything you would need. While at first I thought a 20 minute walk to school (my home-stay was a bit further away), I came to really enjoy the walks and fact that there was really no need to drive anywhere. The city also caters heavily to the large university there, and to the study abroad students, so there was also many events going on at night that were directed to the students. There's also great shopping in Granada and so many cool shops and restaurants to explore.

Speaking of restaurants, probably one of my favorite things about Granada was that they give free tapas with your drinks. While some places in Spain still do this, the norm most everywhere else is to charge for tapas or give very tiny portions of something with your drink. In Granada, some places would give almost a full meal. So you're basically paying for awesome wine that's super cheap compared to American bar standards, and you get a free meal with that. So great!

One of the main inconveniences of living in Granada was somewhat difficult travel to go outside the city. Granada's airport is quite small and most flights going out of there were more expensive. You would have to take a bus to the bus station, then from there you take a bus to Malaga, then a bus from the Malaga bus station to the Malaga airport, and then you leave on your flight. While it really wasn't terrible, it did make travel more difficult.

One other somewhat downside was that the school all the study abroad students were in was affiliated to the University of Granada, but operated totally separate from it. This meant that all our classes were with other study abroad students, so it made it a bit harder to meet Spaniards. It was good, however, in the sense that classes were much easier and the Spanish was at a slower pace for those not already fluent when they arrived.

Granada was such a great (and beautiful!!) city to study abroad in, and what made the experience even better was the program itself. The staff were just awesome!! The directors that help you while you are preparing to leave are very helpful and responsive, and even more the directors in Granada were some of the nicest people I've met! They also had quite a few really fun excursions planned for us throughout the semester, both inside the city and in other parts of Spain. My favorite was going to La Alpuharra (the collection of pueblos outside Granada) around Thanksgiving time and going on an incredible hike, touring a place where they make jamon iberico, and having a full Thanksgiving dinner American style. The whole area was so cool, and the hike epsecially was just incredibly scenic.

Overall, this program is fantastic and I would really recommend it to anyone trying to go to Spain to learn Spanish and be immersed in the culture!

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