IES Abroad Granada - Study in Granada

Video and Photos

About

Our curriculum takes full advantage of Andalusia and all southern Spain has to offer. The program offers two unique program options that are designed to improve your Spanish proficiency: the Intermediate Spanish Program and Advanced Spanish Program.

Students placed in the Intermediate Program take IES Abroad courses in both English and Spanish. The Advanced Program courses are conducted entirely in Spanish, including study at the Universidad de Granada. Both options introduce you to Spain’s Moorish heritage and Jewish past, and its continuing links to North Africa through Islamic and Contemporary North African Studies. Advanced students can also experience Arabic language courses of all levels, at the Universidad de Granada.

Questions & Answers

Most people walk to the IES Center from their homestays, and most people's commutes were under 30 minutes. Only a few more around 40 minutes, and a lucky few were less than 10 minutes away. As far as public transit, Granada only has a bus system, and while it can be helpful (especially for getting to the larger bus station or the University of Granada, if you decide to take a class there), a lot...
There are many ways that you can meet Spanish people without taking classes at the University. IES sets each student up with an "intercambio", a Spanish student that also wants American friends. You can get in touch with each other and hang out as much as you want. You will also meet many Spanish people when you go out to tapas, bars, salsa clubs, etc... I would definitely recommend living with a...

Reviews

96%
based on 67 reviews
  • Academics 8.1
  • Support 9.7
  • Fun 9.4
  • Housing 9.6
  • Safety 9.5
Showing 31 - 45 of 67
Default avatar
Casey
10/10

Granada, te echo de menos

In just four short months, I fell in love with Granada. Granada made me feel free and reintroduced me to myself all while speaking another language and living in a new culture. I was pushed happily out of my comfort zone, lived the Granadina no pa’ na’ vida, and I am now waiting for the day to go back and visit. Granada was the perfect size for me: small enough to feel well acquainted with, yet big enough to still be exploring something new every weekend, including hiking in the surrounding mountains. Days were full of wandering the streets of the city, bonding with my host family during our daily (and delicious) lunches, and of course hanging out at my favorite and very frequented tapas bars with probably the coolest and most interesting people I have ever met. The academics of IES also helped push me out of my comfort zone. As a science student I was nervous at first about talking classes such as watercolor and art history, but it turned out to be the greatest decision I could have made. I was introduced to a whole new way of thinking and looking at the world all thanks to the wonderful professors at IES.

How can this program be improved?
If I had to change one thing about this program it would be the required seminar course that went along with doing an internship. I absolutely loved my internship (it was in occupational therapy at a local senior residence home), but I found the seminar to be not quite the right use of my time. While it was helpful in understanding the work environment in Granada, it did not pertain specifically to my internship.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Ben
10/10

Granada, Enamorada

The epitome of my time in Granada was the night that a group of about 25 students from the program hiked up into the hills surrounding the city and made a bonfire as the sun set on our time in Granada. It was such a special memory and really encompasses everything that made Granada so special, with the Alhambra in sight, marshmallows roasting over the fire, and friends all around. Granada really is a special place, and it is hard to really capture its essence in a few words. The staff at IES Granada gave us every opportunity to take advantage of everything the city had to offer, from sports, music, and food to theatre, movies and hiking. If we had an interest in volunteering or getting involved in any activity, our student life coordinators immediately helped us out and always delivered, getting us the necessary information and assisting us in whatever we needed. The program director, Javier, is hands down one of the nicest and most genuinely interesting and amazing people you will ever have the privilege of meeting. The IES center is perfectly located, with a rooftop terrace with a view of the Alhambra. I can't put into words how much the 4 months I spent in Granada mean to me, and I think my future will reveal just how much they impacted me.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Scott
10/10

An Exceptional Experience

I am so glad that I chose to study in Granada with IES. This program helped me become immersed in Spanish culture and experience it authentically. Granada is a wonderful place to study abroad, since most destinations are within walking distance. Granada has so many unique charms, so don't be deceived by its smaller size. The program staff is incredibly welcoming and sincere, and they help make your transition into Spanish culture easier. Granada will always have a special place in my heart, and I will never forget my experience in Granada. I'm thankful IES helped to make it truly exceptional!

How can this program be improved?
I would have liked to see more integration with the IES Granada program into the university.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Anna
10/10

Querida Granada

My four months in Granada were some of the best months of my life and not for all the reasons you would expect. Of course Granada made it rather easy for me to become part of a new culture, not merely understand it, learn a new language, not solely speak it but love it, make new friends but also keep the bonds that bound. I loved coming home everyday at 2:30 to eat lunch with my host family. Yes, you do eat things like paella and salads always with corn and tuna but I also simply loved watching the different way my host mom cut an orange or picking out the words I didn't know in a long stream of her Spanish. I loved silly things like using Whatsapp and my long walk to school, trying a different way everyday. I loved getting lost in the mountains behind the old Arabic quarter of the city but never feeling lonely because of the Alhambra watching me. The IES Granada program gave me the tools to explore on my own, speak a beautiful new language in order to ask for directions when I got too lost and then even understand the history of the streets I was discovering. One of the best surprises of studying in Granada was not solely the free tapa with a drink but the way it facilitates conversations and mistakes in language and then correction, it facilitates the Spanish culture and a passion to share. The IES school is located in a mesmerizing part of the city, you will never leave the terrace once the sun is out but you will never want to leave the city once you study with IES Granada.

How can this program be improved?
I would change the rigor of the academics. Some of my classes were amazing and I got the opportunity to understand a new language as well as a new culture and history. However, one or two of my classes were not well organized which made it hard for me to fully comprehend the course material. BUT the majority of the classes were very good.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
N.
10/10

Granada, te amo.

I feel so lucky to have been able to study abroad in Granada. Aside from it being absolutely beautiful and vibrant, it was the greatest learning experience I have ever had. Being thrown into an entirely new culture with a distinct language and customs helped me learn to take risks and jump into things headfirst. I was able to improve my language skills, live with a wonderful Spanish family, meet new friends and soak up all of the music, culture and tapas that Spain had to offer. I cannot recommend IES, Granada and Spain enough. It was truly the best decision I could have made and I would do it all again in a heartbeat.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Chloe
10/10

Ya un amor sincero

This was my first time abroad, so I was very nervous going into the program. But I immediately fell in love with Granada and am so grateful to have been able to spend four months getting to know the city and its people. Life in Granada is lived in the streets, and there is always something to do and someone excited to do it. And Granada is the perfect place for anyone who wants to become more self-confident and independent. It's easy to navigate, it's completely safe and people are happy to help you out. IES was with us the entire way—any time I had a question or needed advice or a pep talk, the IES Granada staff had my back. And my host mom is one of the most generous people I've ever met. I am still in contact with her and her family. As clichéd as it sounds, studying in Granada was truly a life-changing experience.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Emma
10/10

How I became "Granadina"

I know that it is very common to hear "best time of my life" associated with one's travels, and although these are often exaggerated statements that result from the excitement and novelty of what one has just experienced, I would be lying if I said otherwise. My 4 months in Granada with IES abroad were truly the best four months of my life, in every sense of the word. The friends that I made in my program became some of my closest friends, and I still keep in touch with them daily.
I was able to live with a host family, with two young and very nice parents, a 9 year old boy and a 3-month old girl whom I loved as I love my real brother at home. I would always look forward to going home for lunch where I could enjoy a few hours of delicious and plentiful meals and the company of my 'family'. On the weekends that I didn't travel around Europe, I would play games with my 'brother'... It is so unbelievably lucky to be able to live with a family for four months and be able to call it your own.
My classes in Granada were great as well. 4 out of 5 of them were in Spanish, which not only allowed me to have a completely different educational experience, but also to greatly improve my language skills. The classes at IES were small and many were discussion-based, making it a fun and interesting environment to learn in. I also took a class at the University of Granada, where I was exposed to many Spanish and Erasmus students, and got to try out the 'Spanish' education system... although it is extremely different than what I am used to in the US (less structure to the class) I loved going twice a week and drinking my coffee outside overlooking Granada with my friends, before going to class.
IES was extremely helpful in all situations and I could not imagine having had a better time on another program. Indeed, IES staff was always there to lend a helping hand, whether you were sick or looking for something to do in the city. The staff and 'orientadores' planned many activities every week, that included everything from shows, dance classes, and hikes to wine and olive oil tasting. The 'orientadores' are Spanish university students who work for IES -- their presence in my life was incredible, I did many things with them every week, and some of them became my best friends in Granada. The program also had some of the best and most mind-blowing trips, including a weekend to Cabo de Gata -- a 'deserty' beach region, and 5 days in Morocco, in which we had the insane opportunity to live with Moroccan families.
Every day, I would go to my language class, then go out with my friends for 'tostadas (bread, tomato, olive oil and salt), cafe con leche, and fresh zumo de naranja. I would then go to my next class before going home for lunch, the biggest meal of the day. The food in my homestay was always delicious, and the quantities unbelievable ... but I was always able to finish my plate(s). This would be followed by a necessary siesta, which is the common thing to do in Spain before going to my evening class that ended at 8 (which didn't feel late at all, given that lunch was eaten around 3pm). After class, I would often go exploring the small streets of Granada, go shopping, and we would often end up at one of the miradors (viewing points), staring out to the Alhambra and the Sierra Nevada mountains that extended out behind it, while sipping on some tinto de verano. When the sun would set, we would go get tapas, where we could sit for hours just eating, drinking wine, talking, and enjoying life. Overall, Granada was incredible: the city was so beautiful, from the modern avenues lined with shops, the Arabic neighborhood that made you feel like you had been transported to a different continent, or the Jewish neighborhood where I lived that was covered in beautiful painted graffiti, to the flamenco and gypsy-filled hills of the Sacromonte. Everyone was so nice, so laid-back and so much fun to be around ... I couldn't have asked for a better semester.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Peter
8/10

A wonderful semester

Studying abroad through IES Granada allowed me to receive the quintessential Spanish student experience. They managed to pull some amazing professors from the local universities which permitted a great exchange of perspective. Most of the classes were taught in Spanish which enhanced my language capacity. In addition, they provided many excursions within and outside of Granada. Their willing and helpful staff are available 24/7, and they are constantly organizing events to get you engaged. You have the opportunity to take classes at the local university (La Universidad de Granada) and many students took advantage of that opportunity. Overall, I am very happy with my abroad experience, and would do anything to do it again.

How can this program be improved?
Integrating the classes with other programs (other programs use a joint building which increases socialization)
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
G.
10/10

Granadina

The previous four months while studying abroad in Granada, Spain, I was lucky enough to experience one of the best semesters of my life. Not only did I get to live in a new country, but I found myself easily immersing myself into the new culture and absorbing all I could each and every day. With an incredibly supportive host family, I personally found the adjustment phase the first few weeks simple. While my Spanish may have lacked in fluency and confidence in the beginning, my understanding family in addition to the reassuring IES teachers, staff, and classmates made transitioning painless and I never once felt overwhelmed or fearful of this new place I would be living in for almost half a year. Once I became completely comfortable and no longer unsure of my surroundings in this new city, I was able to realize the amazing opportunity I had. With every walk to class, each new tapas adventure, and the interesting spontaneous conversations with welcoming Spaniards, I recognized I wouldn’t be in this incredible situation without the help of IES and I came to love this new city I now am lucky enough to call home. It will always be a special place holding some of my fondest memories and I will forever be a Granadina en mi corazón!

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Katie
10/10

Granada, la ciudad de no pasa nada

The IES Granada program is very tailored to the American student. It provides many ways to immerse yourself in the city of Granada. You can attend a wine tasting and olive oil tasting, go hiking, bike-riding, or skiing in the Sierra Morena Mountains. The nightlife in Granada is lively with young people from Spain and all over Europe. The IES program is one of many study abroad programs in Granada. They have their own "school" located in a building in one of the main plazas. I was not particularly fond of the academics. The classes were 1.5 hours Monday-Thursday. Most did not require much homework but all classes had a midterm, a final paper or project and a final exam. Most classes are in Spanish and are taught by professors from the University of Granada. You can choose to take a class at the University or do an internship, which I recommend. I met many of my Spanish friends through my class at the university and found it interesting to see how the Spanish university system works. The IES program also plans many weekend trips to see other cities of Andalusia and a trip to Morocco. The trips were very well planned with lots of things to do and free time as well. The IES Granada faculty are so helpful and understanding and they make your comfort and security their top priority. It is a very much "hand-holding" program in which they help and arrange things for you in any way they can. I loved Granada and I was very happy with my experience!

How can this program be improved?
Provide the option to live in an apartment. The homestays are nice but I very quickly realized I missed having the freedom to have friends and guests over and cook my own food. It would be nice to live in a homestay for the 1st month and then transfer to an apartment once you are familiar with the people in your program and the city.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
RM
10/10

Go to Granada!

When I reflect back on my time in Granada I am nostalgic for the free tapas, the laid-back people, the beautiful mountains and the stunning Alhambra. My routine in Granada was so different from the fast paced life of college in the States. The long lunches with my host mom and roommate in the middle of the day followed by some downtime during siesta allowed me to appreciate each day and relax before continuing classes or heading out for tapas with a friend. IES Granada is a great program. The staff and professors are all very friendly and very eager to help you get to know Granada and the Spanish people. One of my favorite things about the IES Granada program was the trip to Morocco which was lead seamlessly by Moroccan guides and IES staff. Morocco was truly a special experience, as was Granada. Thank you IES for a great semester!

How can this program be improved?
I would encourage the students to speak more Spanish rather than English with each other. Also, allowing Spanish students to take classes at the center would be a great way to increase cultural exchange.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Carley
10/10

Time of my Life

I had the privilege of studying in Granada, Spain las semester and it was incredible! I would recommend this IES program to any student looking to study abroad in a Spanish-speaking country. I would argue that Granada is one of the most ideal places to study abroad. Fore me, the size of the city is ideal as it is not as large as a place like Madrid, but big enough for you never to get bored. The people there are all so friendly and welcoming as well and there is also a large population of students. And don't forget the free tapas! This provided for a unique and fun social culture, and allows you to stay on a college student's budget. Without a doubt, I fell in love with the city and it will always have a special place in my heart. I can definitely say it was the time of my life. The IES staff were a crucial factor in making my experience what ti was as well. They fostered an environment that allowed me to grow and learn in and outside of the classroom. There are a variety of classes to choose from and many allowed me to gain a thorough understanding of the culture and history of Granada. They also plan a lot of exciting field trips both in and around Spain, which were all so memorable. I will be forever grateful for IES, as I don't think I would have had the experience I did without them.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Callie
10/10

The best semester of my life

I had the time of my life in Granada. From the super friend IES staff to my wonderful host family to the lifelong friends I made, I would recommend IES Abroad Granada to everyone interesting in studying abroad.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Jimmy
10/10

Ya te extraño, Granada.

I would wholeheartedly recommend IES Granada to anyone even remotely considering studying abroad. The program is very focused on meeting its students' requests and providing the best experience possible. To outline a few instances....
•As I had signed up to stay with a host family, I was paired with a host mother and host sister that live in an apartment ten minutes away from the IES building.
•I didn't do very well on the written portion of my Spanish language entry exam, but the staff was very responsive in making sure I was placed in a class that reflected my true level of Spanish speaking/writing/listening.
•One night I returned home around midnight after having had a tiny hiking accident. Once my mom noticed my scratched face and crippled gait, she called the program staff member on duty that night and asked her to escort me to the hospital. Within fifteen minutes, she was at our doorstep to help me down the stairs into the taxi. She waited with me for about an hour until the doctors were finished with my MRI, then she brought me home. It was so nice to have her with me--I'm so glad I didn't have to deal with that hospital visit on my own.

One of the more annoying parts about returning to school has been that some people want me to condense my entire experience abroad to a thirty second conversation. I simply can't do that. I treat those people to some friendly chatter, smile a bit, then wrap it up by saying something like, "Yeah, definitely a pretty cool experience!" But then there are others that want to hear more. I've found some people who've travelled, or studied abroad themselves, or are considering studying abroad in the future, that earnestly want to hear about my Argentine host mother who devoted nearly all of our two hour sobremesas to converting me to Catholicism.....and how I took an Islamic Art and Architecture course that offered four guided visits to the Alhambra and one to the Great Mosque of Cordoba, both of which (I remain steadfast) stand as two of the most beautiful pieces of architectural mastery one can ever hope to see.....and that I got hitched with a group of musicians from my program, and that we jammed with locals in the Andalusian courtyards as the sounds and heat of Granada's nightlife pulsed around us....and how we became buddies with the owner of an adorable hole-in-the-wall crepe shop called La Creperie, and how his rotund, cheery face and bulgy French belly always welcomed us with free crepes and delicious imported beer. I've talked to some friends that have even given me enough time to explain that I missed the morning bus for our trip to Morocco and, with the periodic help of the IES staff, managed to find my way to Tangier alone.
Now that I'm "home," I can't help but tear up as I think about my host mom, tapas, Javier (the IES program director), La Qarmita (a friendly cafe in town with a very personal waiting staff), the view of La Alhambra from El Mirador de San Nicolas, hiking in Las Alpujarras, and my friends and how we spent three and a half beautiful months actually living a dream.

How can this program be improved?
I would've liked to've been able to meet more Spaniards my age earlier in my stay in Granada. Instead of pairing each IES student with a student from the University of Granada, I think a mixer with IES students and volunteers from the University might work better. The relationship I formed with my exchange student didn't seem very genuine, whereas the relationships I made with people I met on my own accord (on the streets, in cafes, at tapas bars) did and continue to, as we're still in contact!
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Maya
9/10

Granada, te amo!

"Dale limosna, mujer, que no hay en la vida nada como la pena de ser ciego en Granada." -Francisco de Icaza

The quote above is not only very telling of the city of Granada, but also of my own personal experience there. Granada was an incredible environment for studying abroad; it offers the best of so many worlds. The Andalusians and other Spaniards I met in Granada were kind and open people, the popularity of UGR brought international students from all around the world to the city, the night culture is very lively while also very safe, the city center plus the surrounding neighborhoods offer a diverse urban environment not only in terms of people but also in terms of places and things to do, IES home-stay mothers/families are chose selectively, very accommodating and a huge part of your cultural immersion, IES provides a wide range of courses and work hard to help create the right schedule for you, IES also organizes numerous field trips within Granada but also to other cities in Spain, and the list goes on and on! The best part of the experience, hand down, was the people I met and built lasting relationships with, this not only include the faculty and staff at IES and the amazing group of American students this particular program attracted, but also the Spaniards, Europeans and other foreigners the city brought together in one place. I can't exactly put my finger on it but Granada has this special energy that, like I said before, fosters a very stimulating study abroad experience. I can genuinely say that I had the time of my life studying abroad in Granada with IES. The city has become a home away from home; I fell in love with the history, the people, the lifestyle, the culture and so much more. I have and will continue to recommend this program to anyone and everyone I talk to about studying abroad.

Yes, I recommend

Interviews

About IES Abroad

IES Abroad offers 140 programs worldwide for college students. We are a highly charged force of study abroad enthusiasts. Every day we have the privilege of witnessing how study abroad changes our students’ lives. We also believe that every student...