API Study Abroad in Granada, Spain

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Come check out API's programs at Universidad de Granada. Experience the unique Spanish culture of Granada with several semester and summer program opportunities. Some sessions even offer internship opportunities!

Through its almost 500 years of existence, Universidad de Granada has become one of the major intellectual centers in southern Spain. The University’s Modern Language Center, the Centro de Lenguas Modernas, is housed in what was once an orphanage built in the 1700s. The 1:10 ratio of students to general population renders the entire city abuzz with university activity.

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9.76 Rating
based on 21 reviews
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  • Academics 8
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 9.6
  • Housing 9.5
  • Safety 9.2
Showing 1 - 8 of 21
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Pamela
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Granada: My Home Away from Home

Throughout the beginning of university, I contemplated the idea of studying abroad. After my first year of college, I decided to take a leap of faith and complete an application to study abroad in Spain. I want to be a bilingual teacher and studying abroad provided the opportunity to improve my Spanish proficiency. I also strive to advocate for equality and cultural diversity, which studying abroad enabled me to learn more about. I chose to study abroad in Spain since it is located in Europe, providing me a chance to travel to other countries as well. However, my favorite part about Spain (specifically Granada) was either the culture or the connections that I made. Granada embraced diversity and acceptance of others, regardless of their background. The people that I met in Granada were selfless, kind, and willing to help me reach my full potential. There were many important lessons that I learned while abroad. However, the self-discovery that I embarked on during my time abroad made my experience truly unforgettable. The transformation that I saw in myself made the experience extraordinary. The growth, lessons, and memories gained abroad made my experience in foreign countries so much more meaningful for me. Additionally, the people that I met and lessons that I learned truly made my experience abroad life-changing in the best of ways. I am still in touch with friends as well as my host mother. I still implement the lessons that I made into my daily life as a way to remember how much I have grown since the moment I left America for the first time. The people that I met and lessons that I learned truly made my experience abroad life-changing in the best of ways. I have also continued taking Spanish classes in order to stay proficient in the language. Being abroad inspired me to consider teaching English abroad after I graduate. For these reasons, I feel that my time abroad has influenced my life more than I ever expected.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I wish that I immersed myself more in the Spanish culture. Traveling throughout Spain as well as interacting with more of the people in my community would have provided me with additional knowledge about the country as well as create more genuine connections. I also wish that I allowed myself to fully leave my comfort zone. As humans, we often stay confided in the environments and situations that provide us with a sense of safety and comfort. However, leaving one's comfort zone is such a life-changing experience, especially when it occurs abroad. As someone who often reflects on my international experiences thus far, I really recommend doing the things you fear most in order to truly grow during your time abroad.
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Mackenzie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best semester ever

Granada was the best city I could have chosen to study abroad in! It's the perfect size; you can walk everywhere you need, while also having the metro to take you to the bus or train station. With the Alhambra being Granada's claim to fame, there are people from all different countries always visiting the city. It has the perfect mix of old and new while also having incredible Moorish influences throughout the entire city.
I was finishing my Spanish minor while I was there, so I was enrolled in five courses related to Spanish history, grammar, and language. Also, most people only spoke Spanish, so I was really forced to learn the language in and outside of the classroom. I was super nervous before arriving but by the time I had to leave Granada I was able to communicate with anyone. The class sizes are very small so you’re able to practice your Spanish a lot and form great relationships with your professors. The classes were awesome, and the Center for Modern Language is in an adorable Spanish style building.

Overall, my experience in Granada is something I will always remember, and I can’t wait to go back.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
Ox tail is a super popular Spanish meal and I tried it one night for dinner! It's kind of a fattier version of ribs - pretty good! Also, I tried blood sausage one day too. If you eat it with bread it's much better!!
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Arianna
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Granada 2018

I studied abroad in Granada Spain of my spring semester of 2018. The API Granada staff is absolutely dedicated to their students. When I arrived in Madrid Spain for the start of the program & first excursion I was greeted warmly and at the moment I already knew I was home for the next six months. I would soon find out over the next six months Granada Spain, API staff, my host mother, and abroad friends would be my forever home. Granada is located between the beaches of Spain and the mountains of Sierra Nevada. Granada is a walking city and has a local bus station you can easily purchase a bus ticket to any area of Spain. A small airport is also located in the city as well; if you’re looking to travel outside of Spain while abroad you can take a short bus ride from Granada bus station directly to Malaga Airport. Tapas are famous in Granada, and the sunset over the Alhambra is breath taking. I took 12 credits at the at the Universidad Granada ; the professors engaged you in the community & if you needed any assistance with classes API Granada staff could help navigate any concerns. You are able to take your electives in Spanish or English, as well as two additional classes solely in Spanish which you are placed according to your level of Spanish. The API Granada program was the least expensive out of all other programs I was researching, and the city life is very cheap compared to other popular known study abroad destinations of Spain. API staff had an open door policy, and was thrilled every time you stopped in the office between classes, you are never alone! If you are looking to stray away from the normal study abroad destinations, you will not regret living in Granada Spain with API!

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Julianne
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing program, people, classes, and more!

This program was amazing! Granada is a perfect town to live in because of its beauty and atmosphere. Everyone is really welcoming and it's a safe city that still offers lots of site seeing and night-life opportunities. It also is great for learning Spanish since English is not as wide-spread as in Madrid or other huge cities (although if you don't speak much Spanish you can definitely get around. All touristy destinations and most restaurants will have an English-speaking worker). The on-site coordinators really care about your well being and are great, funny people. If you have any school or travel question they are more than willing to help, and they are there for emotional support if you need it too.

I'm a Spanish major and went in with 300 level Spanish skills and had a great time! I tested into level 7 (and then moved into level 8 after the intensive month was over) so all of my courses were completely in Spanish which was surprisingly comfortable and enjoyable. My roommate had very little Spanish skills (level 3) and she still enjoyed her classes too. The professors did a great job of teaching the info in an engaging way and had lots of experience with American students. Classes were more challenging than I expected, but they tend to not have much homework and they're only 4 days a week.

Our excursions were fantastic and when I spoke to other students in Granada with different programs we were significantly cheaper, but went on the same, or more excursions. We were one of the only programs that had excursion that went to other countries, and we also had lots of freedom when visiting places. I would recommend going to Barcelona on your own, since it is not one of the excursions.

I did the early start option and would highly recommend it since it let me warm up my Spanish before having to be put into semester classes. As mentioned in an earlier review, the placement test is a little intimidating, but really wasn't as bad as I thought. But, I would still recommend brushing up on your Spanish before coming. The early-start option also gives you more time to be immersed in the culture and travel, but don't worry people who do the semester program still get a great experience. There were 2-3 students on my program who enjoyed it so much that they decided to stay the entire year rather than just a semester!

Only downside is that it can be more expensive to buy plane tickets from Granada in comparison to Madrid/Barcelona because the airport is smaller and the flights are much longer from Granada. Day to day cost of living is low though.

I lived with a host family and really enjoyed it. Forces you to speak Spanish and you learn more about the local events and cultural differences (plus they were really nice). I wouldn't recommend living in an apartment if you wan to improve your Spanish. The residencias are good, but can sometimes feel more controlling from what I heard and occasionally you're placed with other api students which doesn't help your language skills.
I can't recommend this enough!

What would you improve about this program?
Wouldn't change much. I'd be nice to have had our schedules of trips/events earlier and to have know the length of the placement test (3 hours).
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Carina
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Granada, Spain: The Adventure of a Lifetime!

Having studied abroad in Europe (Ireland) before, I knew I wanted to go to the place where half of my family comes from. Spanish culture has been an active part of my life for as long as I can remember, and though we are not from Granada, it was the perfect place for me to stay for a full academic year (winter break and all).
My Spanish was "okay" before I left my home state of New Hampshire, but I noticed right away that I improved and gained all sorts of knowledge about the language that even my professors at my home university could not have taught me.
I did request to live in a shared apartment with several other people (including a fellow API program student), but it was a rough adjustment and we all chose to go our separate ways. API found me a great new place to live in a matter of a couple of days, and I thoroughly enjoyed having a host family living in the same building as I was, even though I did not live in their apartment with them.
The Universidad de Granada (sprawled across the city, which I did not know initially, but adjusted quickly to walking pretty much wherever I needed to go) was great, and the views from the top of el Centro de Lenguas Modernas were phenomenal. I went to school in a mountain university, so seeing the Sierra Nevada mountains in the distance made Granada feel like home.
The program directors were wonderful; Carmen and Curra, along with their student interns Lydia and Gabriela were helpful, especially with the adjustments as the shift of students happened between winter break (right before Christmas) and the new students arriving in late January after the holidays. I thoroughly enjoyed being a part of their lives and it was difficult to say goodbye (as well as departing from my host family).
I love(d) Granada, and I could see myself living there in the future.

What would you improve about this program?
The orientation session in Madrid was a bit fast; it would have been nice to have an initial "meet and greet" with all of the students first, and then let people group off and go about the city for a little bit to sight-see on our own before settling down for a lot of information all at once. Other than that, I do not see a need for adjusting anything with this program.
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Katie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Study abroad with API!

I had the best experience studying abroad in Spain with Academic Programs International. I went to Granada, which is a beautiful city in southern Spain near the Sierra Nevada Mountains. API prepared us for the experience by having orientation for everyone in the program in Madrid, organizing cultural activities and excursions, and giving us tips on social norms in Spain. My program directors were very approachable and always ready to help with anything or just to chat about how things were going. API is also great because they organize your housing for you (although you can do it on your own if you prefer) with the option of a student residence hall or a homestay. The excursions were some of the highlights of my trip (we went to Rome and a few other places in Spain), and I became friends with a bunch of other API students who really made my study abroad experience memorable. I would definitely recommend API to anyone who wants to study abroad!

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Emily
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Keep Calm & Study Abroad... with API Granada!

My decision to study abroad with API in Granada, Spain was the most rewarding and life changing decision I ever made. There is not a day that goes by that I do not think of the amazing experiences and opportunities that this program provided me, and for that I am forever grateful. Each of my expectations were met, and most often exceeded, thanks to the endless, helpful support of the API Granada staff.

I selected Granada as my study abroad city actually through the help of Go Overseas! I submitted a question to Go Overseas, asking the pros and cons of studying in Salamanca, Sevilla, and Granada, and received a response with a ton of information which ultimately helped me make my selection. I chose Granada because it was beautiful and I wanted a smaller city with a more intimate feel, making it easier to learn the language. It was a great decision for me. In a big city like Madrid or Barcelona, English runs rampant. Granada provided more consistent access to the Spanish language. It is an inexpensive city that offers everything. It has a bustling small city feel in its center (far more urban than I was actually expecting), with lots of shopping and eating opportunities, but as soon as you get to the center limits, there is nature and beautiful, extensive views. Places like the Albaicin and Sacromonte are amazing cultural hubs and offer fantastic opportunities to explore. Take a 10 or 20 minute bus ride, you can be in the mountains on a breathtaking hike. It really is a city with everything.

With a primary goal of improving my Spanish, I quickly decided to live with a host family. Looking back, it was the smartest and best decision I made throughout this process. While I could see how choosing to live with a host family is a make or break experience, the decision is a necessity and a no brainer with a supportive program like API. I personally had an amazing host family experience. I'm a vegetarian and had come to the conclusion well before my semester started that my Spanish diet would most likely consist of only bread for my four month stay. This was far from the case. API asked extensive questions before our stay that made the transition abroad seamless. This included dietary restrictions. API paired me with a roommate who was also a vegetarian, which off the bat made the experience far less stressful. My host mother was more than accommodating, making us well-rounded and delicious meals each and every day.

Before studying abroad, I heard a lot about the fear of a lack of freedom to come and go as one pleased when living with a host family. This was never a problem. My roommate and I were each given a key to the apartment, which therefore allowed us constant access. and extensive freedom. There were no curfews or restrictions, with the understanding that we would be respectful when returning late at night. Traveling for long weekends or days throughout the semester wasn't a problem either. We were just asked to tell our host mother our travel dates, both for safety reasons and so she could plan our meals.

Classes were an adjustment at first, but not as difficult to adapt to as I was expecting. Each of my professors had extensive experience in teaching Spanish to foreigners, which made them easy to understand. They were clear and understanding, always willing to answer questions and help their students. Although the actual workload was very light at times, the classes were some of the most helpful Spanish courses I have ever taken. I was in the Spanish Language and Culture program, and therefore didn't have classes on Fridays. This was an added bonus and made it much easier to travel for long weekends!

The one experience I wish I was better-prepared for was the Spanish placement exam at the start of the semester. It was a bit downplayed and ended up being a three hour exam consisting of several parts, including various reading comprehension, listening, and writing sections. My advice would definitely be not to arrive to Spain very rusty on your Spanish language skills, specifically grammar, if your goal is to place high and gain certain college credit. This would require a certain score on the tedious placement exam. If you're a beginner, there's no stress, since you're not looking to be placed in a high level. Overall, it wasn't the most pleasant experience, but it short-lived, and any issues as a result of the exam were quickly fixed by Carmen and Curra, our fantastic Granada resident program directors. In the end, no one started the first week of classes unhappy with their placement.

While abroad, I also had the opportunity to teach an English workshop with my friend. This was a unique opportunity that allowed me the chance to experience what it is like teaching English abroad, which especially great since it's something I'm considering doing after graduation. It was interesting to teach this workshop while improving my own language skills at the same time, because it really demonstrated a universal desire to bridge cultural gaps and learn language, while simultaneously pointing out the universal struggle as well.

In my opinion, a strong highlight of API is the excursion aspect of the program. Being the most reasonably priced program I found, API still offered the most resources for its students. My semester, students went to Cadiz, Las Alpujarras, and Rome, Italy. All of our trips were extremely well organized and allowed for extensive amounts of freedom. There were many opportunities available to us, and most of them were optional, so we were able to pick and chose how we wanted to spend our time. Plus our hotels were stunning and in great locations as an added bonus. We also did a lot of travel during orientation our first week, which was a bit overwhelming but a great experience. We visited places like Madrid, Toledo, and El Escorial. API Granada is a fantastic value for the price of the program.

Ultimately, API Granada was an experience that beyond exceeded my study abroad expectations. I had endless resources and opportunities available to me, in addition to meeting fantastic people. The kindness of Carmen and Curra cannot be matched. The only change I would make next time would be to do it for a full year.

What would you improve about this program?
There really isn't anything I would change about API. I had a fabulous experience and have zero regrets about the entire process. One recommendation I have is to avoid the PicCell phone API offers. I personally did not buy one- I didn't have a Spanish phone throughout my trip, just wifi on my smartphone- but many people did and experienced extensive issues with the company. This was in no way an API problem, but a PicCell problem. In my opinion, it's better to either set it up with your phone company before arriving in Spain, or simply wait until arriving to purchase a pay as you go phone or local sim card. Many students went together to do this and found inexpensive alternatives to PicCell that were useful for the semester abroad.
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Niki
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Study with API in Granada. NOW.

Choosing to study in Granada with API was, hands down, the best decision I've ever made. Granada itself exceeded all my expectations - the API staff outdid themselves, and it only took a week or two for Curra, Lydia and Jose to become my second Spanish family. Every move was coordinated and organized beautifully, and it felt effortless and easy every time.

I originally roomed with a fellow API student, but had some troubles with the host family as well as my roommate and ended up switching to another host mother, Lolita. Curra made the transition incredibly smooth - she helped me set up a time to meet Lolita, listened to my concerns and made sure that it was the best fit for me - and it was. Lolita made me laugh when she teased me about my Spanish, but she taught me new words every day and I know that my Spanish drastically improved because of her and the daily (hilarious) conversations we had. She felt like my real mother by the end of my stay with her. My new roommate and I both felt like sisters in a true Spanish home, and I was surprised and delighted by that.

Classes were much easier than I expected, though transitioning from all English to all Spanish classes was a little overwhelming at first. However, once I learned to just listen and comprehend and ask questions if I didn't understand, it became much easier. The professors were exceedingly patient with us, especially on Monday mornings when the only Spanish any of us could speak was "vale."

The API excursions were a true delight. We encountered a problem when we went to Rome: the Iberia strikes cancelled our flight from Granada to Madrid less than 24 hours before we were supposed to be on it, but - and this proves how amazing the API staff is - we had a bus lined up within a few hours, everyone was notified and there was little to no stress put on the students. Curra and Jose handled everything with a smile and laughter, even when it rained the entire weekend, and made the trip an unforgettable one. The beach weekend in Cadiz could not have come at a more perfect time - right before finals, all of us together, after all of us had been used to staying in hostels, we had a beautiful, gorgeous, unbelievable beachfront hotel and were treated like princes and princesses. It was the best way to end the API experience: together on a beach, relaxing in the sun. The timing couldn't have been better.

I honestly wish that I had chosen to stay for an entire academic year instead of just a semester, because I had no idea I would fall in love with the people, the culture, the program and the stunning city of Granada. If you're on the fence about where to study abroad, or if you should even go, get off. Jump off the fence and onto a plane to Granada, because you're going to have the time of your life.

What would you improve about this program?
The orientation in Madrid was a little overwhelming at first. It would have been nice to have that first night just to adjust to the Spanish schedule and then start meetings the next day. Overall though, ABSOLUTELY no complaints - API gets the highest recommendation and I would return in a heartbeat.