Granada was once an important cultural and political center of the Islamic caliphate that ruled the south of Spain in the 10th and 11th centuries. This heritage has been preserved over the centuries in the food, streets, and architecture of the city, most notably in the stunning halls of the Alhambra palace. This has made Granada a particularly unique city in Spain.

But this is not the only thing that makes Granada interesting. The University of Granada draws a large, vibrant, and diverse student population of almost 50,000. This makes Granada an old city filled with young people. Student life here is walking centuries-old streets covered in urban street art, trips to snowy peaks and sunny beaches, languid days in the Andalusian sun and tapas hopping late into the night.

Around the world, Granada is mostly famous for the Alhambra. Within Spain, it is known as one of the country’s best university towns, a city whose everyday life is fuelled by the 55,000 students that call it home.

Culture & Immersion

Andalusians are famously friendly and open to foreigners, and you will feel welcome in Granada pretty quickly. The large student population includes plenty of international students as well as people from all over Spain, so making new friends will be easy.

Perhaps your biggest challenge in talking to the locals will be the accent. Even if you speak some Spanish, the Andalusian accent is usually strong and spoken at lightning speed. But don't worry: once you get the hang of it, you’ll be dropping consonants with the best of them.

Culture Shock & Support

Spanish culture is not hugely different from what most Western students will know, but there might be small sources of culture shock. Things like differences in timekeeping (always on the late side), food (a big meal at lunch and smaller dishes for dinner), and greetings (a hug and/or two kisses on the cheek) can be jarring for newcomers, but most people get used to it relatively quickly.

Most study abroad programs offer support for their students. This can mean cultural immersion and language classes, a dedicated coordinator, or simply advice on settling in. If this is important to you, ask your prospective programs about their resources before choosing one.

Lifestyle

In what is already a particularly laid-back country, Andalucia is possibly the most laid-back of regions. Everyday life here takes place at a slower pace, possibly due to the sweltering heat. Meals are eaten late (2 or even 3 PM is normal for lunch, and dinner doesn’t usually happen until at least 10), and most businesses shut down in the afternoon for siesta.

Insider Tips on Studying Abroad in City

One of the loveliest things about Granada is its drinking culture. Here, drinks with friends are enjoyed slowly, over several hours, sitting on a warm terrace and sampling tapas. Indeed, tapas hopping is a crucial part of Andalucian culture and is designed to keep you full until dinner at 10 or 11 PM. The best tapas bars are near the cathedral, and the tapas are usually complimentary with every drink.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to explore beyond the city. Head up into the Sierra Nevada mountains for incredible hikes and charming remote villages, or down to the Costa Tropical for the great beaches of Salobreña and Almuñecar. Other great Spanish cities like Seville and Cordoba are also very easy to reach for a weekend trip, and shouldn’t be missed.

Different types of study abroad courses will offer different levels of support and assistance. Make sure you know exactly what you’re getting before making a choice.

Course Types

There are three main types of study abroad course: direct enrollment, direct exchange, and third-party provider. Direct enrollment means you apply directly to a university course in Granada, direct exchange means you attend a local university as part of an exchange program with your own full-time university, and a third-party provider organizes everything for you.

Each option has its pros and cons. A third-party provider offers much more support for things like housing, visas, and travel, but is usually more expensive. Direct enrollment is the most authentic (and usually cheapest) experience, but more or less leaves you to figure things out by yourself. An exchange program usually has good support and structure, but you need to go to specific partner universities.

Housing

If you study abroad with a third-party organization or an exchange program, you will usually not have to arrange your own housing. For direct enrollment students, there are various options, including university residences, private flats, and staying with a host family. The accommodation office of the University of Granada can provide some guidance.

Transportation

Most programs will require you to buy your own flights. Malaga Airport is the closest international airport to Granada.

Granada is quite a compact city and you should be able to walk to most places. There is a useful public transport system of buses and a brand-new metro for longer trips.

The average cost of a third-party study abroad program in Spain is $10,000, but many providers offer financial support (see Scholarships below). You can save a lot of money by enrolling directly, as tuition fees at the University of Granada are under $1,000 a year.

Visas

If you intend to study in Spain for more than three months, you will need a Type D Student Visa. This gives you the right to live in the country for the duration of your course. The fee is 60 EUR.

If you are using a third-party provider, they will probably take care of the visa application process on your behalf, although you will still have to provide the relevant documentation and the application fee.

Can You Work While Studying in Granada?

Yes, as long as you have a student visa, you can work a part-time job that does not interfere with your school hours. You can also work a full-time job for up to three months if it does not interfere with university (which is to say, you can get a job during summer vacation).

Scholarships

Third-party providers have several funding options for students who cannot afford to pay the full fees.

  • API offers about $500,000 in study abroad scholarships, with students receiving anywhere between $250 and $1,000.
  • The Center For Cross-Cultural Study offers a merit-based scholarship and a diversity scholarship for students going to Spain.
  • ISA offers the Dr. Carlos Castañeda Memorial Scholarship, which provides $2,000 to students on a merit or needs-based basis.

You can find other great scholarships to apply for here.

Study Abroad Programs in Granada

Displaying 1 - 12 of 12 programs
Central College Abroad (CCA)
Central College Abroad - Study & Intern in Granada
Spain
9.29 •17 reviews

Granada is a city at the intersection of two beautiful cultures. It is...

IES Abroad
IES Abroad Granada – Study in Granada
Spain
9.65 •80 reviews

Our curriculum takes full advantage of Andalusia and all southern...

API
API Study Abroad in Granada, Spain
Spain
9.76 •21 reviews

Come check out API's programs at Universidad de Granada. Experience...

CEA Study Abroad
CEA Study Abroad in Granada, Spain
Spain
9.8 •15 reviews

Granada has it all! This multicultural utopia features stunning...

ISA (International Studies Abroad)
ISA Study Abroad in Granada, Spain
Spain
9.36 •11 reviews

Study abroad at the University of Granada with ISA! Choose one of the...

Arcadia Abroad
Study Abroad at Arcadia in Granada
Spain
9.43 •7 reviews

Granada, located in the colorful, culturally rich Spanish region of...

IAU
Study Abroad Tour: Visit 11 Cities in 3 Weeks
Multiple Countries
9.5 •2 reviews

Can't choose just one country? IAU offers January Term Traveling...

CCIS Study Abroad
CCIS: IAU, Europe and the Islamic World: France, Morocco, and Spain
Multiple Countries

The Europe and the Islamic World Seminar is designed for students...

Center For Study Abroad
Budget Low Cost - Spanish Studies in Granada
Spain

Study Spanish language and culture in Granada - Andalusian Spain. Low...

University of Granada
University of Granada Study Abroad Programs
Spain

The Universidad de Granada -UGR-, with almost 500 years of history, is...

University of Valencia
University of Valencia Study Abroad Programs
Spain

The University of Valencia of today is the outcome of more than five...

Infinite Spur
Spanish Immersion Study Abroad Program - Tales of Al-Andalus
Spain

Come to Spain and immerse yourself in the people, places, and events...

Other Study Abroad Programs in Spain

Not enough options in Salamanca? Check out these other Study Abroad programs in Spain!
  • Forum-Nexus Study Abroad
    Ultimate Summer in Europe: 10 Cities in 5 Weeks with Forum-Nexus
    Multiple Countries
    9.71 •62 reviews

    Spend a summer in Europe while earning credits toward your degree...

  • CodeOp
    JavaScript Web Development Bootcamp in Barcelona
    Multiple Countries
    9.67 •12 reviews

    CodeOp's Full Stack Development bootcamp prepares students for careers...

  • The Spanish Course
    Study Abroad at One of the top 3 Spanish Universities
    Spain
    10 •6 reviews

    Study in Santander, a safe and idyllic city, whilst living at your...

  • The Lex Fellowship
    The Lex Fellowship to Study Abroad in Spain
    Multiple Countries
    9.75 •8 reviews

    If you plan to attend law school, and you want to study abroad, our...

  • City College of San Francisco
    Semester in Madrid through City College of San Francisco
    Spain
    10 •6 reviews

    City College of San Francisco's Semester in Madrid program is an...

  • Voyager Europe
    Study Abroad in Europe - Madrid, Paris, Florence and More
    Multiple Countries
    9.75 •4 reviews

    There’s an entire world out there filled with culture, art and once in...

  • CCIS Study Abroad
    CCIS Study Abroad in Spain
    Spain
    9.86 •7 reviews

    Whether opting for Spanish language courses at all levels, choosing...

  • USAC
    Spain: Madrid - Spanish Language, Art, and Spanish & European Studies
    Spain
    9.67 •18 reviews

    Study abroad at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid, Spain with...

  • Barcelona International Youth Science Challenge
    Barcelona International Youth Science Program
    Spain
    9.83 •6 reviews

    Our aim is to stimulate scientific talent among young people from all...

Tours & Trips in Spain

Looking for something to do during your time in Spain? Check out some of these tours and trips!
  • Stoke Travel
    Stoke Travel: Van + Surf + Good Times = Surfari
    Multiple Countries
    9.33 •3 reviews

    We can’t guarantee you’ll see any lions or elephants on this Surfari...

  • Wayfinding Academy
    Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage: Come walk with us!
    Multiple Countries
    10 •2 reviews

    Do you have a passion for exploring, community, and self-reflection...

  • GapForce
    Europe Tour with Gapforce
    Multiple Countries
    9.8 •15 reviews

    Do you want to experience the best of Europe this summer? This...

  • Trek Epic
    Trekking and Personal Development for Emerging Adults
    Multiple Countries
    9.78 •9 reviews

    As a result of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, we have had to cancel...

  • Instituto Hemingway
    School Trips and Educational Study Tours in Northern Spain
    Spain
    10 •3 reviews

    Fun, motivating and inspiring trips and study tours for students...

  • IAU
    Study Abroad Tour: Visit 11 Cities in 3 Weeks
    Multiple Countries
    9.5 •2 reviews

    Can't choose just one country? IAU offers January Term Traveling...

  • EUROACE
    Spanish Soccer Team Tours in Valencia, Spain
    Spain

    Would you and your team like to play abroad and get a feel for the...

  • CoCo Lingua
    Language Travel for Adults in Lanzarote & Canary Islands, Spain
    Spain

    Spanish lessons will be rounded up through cultural, social and...

  • Spain Adventures
    “La Costa de la Luz” The Coast of Light - Cycling Tour
    Spain

    Blue seas, savory sherry, exotic Moorish culture and the incredible...

What People Are Saying

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...

The sunset at a beach in Cádiz, España

Sol Education provided the perfect foundation for me to study abroad! I had the best host mom, the best community around me, and the best directors. All these things combined made for the perfect...

My friends from the program

Granda is the perfect city to study abroad in. IES Granada makes it easy to integrate into the community and really get to know the city and the people who live there. Granada is the perfect mix of...

The historic Alhambra is a huge part of Granada's history.

Related Study Abroad Articles