IES Abroad Granada – Study in Granada

Video and Photos

View of the city at sunset
View of the city at sunset
Alhambra's Palacio
Alhambra's Palacio
My friends and I during the field trip to Morocco!
My friends and I during the field trip to Morocco!
A group of us went on a hike in the foothills of Sierra Nevada.
A group of us went on a hike in the foothills of Sierra Nevada.
A beautiful view of the Alhambra in the spring.
A beautiful view of the Alhambra in the spring.
Studying practical applications of the local art and architecture.
Studying practical applications of the local art and architecture.
We visited a mini-theater performance.
We visited a mini-theater performance.
One of our professors took us out for ice cream.
One of our professors took us out for ice cream.

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.

Scholarships

IES Abroad Scholarships
IES Abroad Scholarships and Financial Aid

As far as we're concerned, financial limitations shouldn't prevent you from studying abroad with us. That's why we offer more than $5 million in scholarships and aid.

Value
$500 - $5,000

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 78 reviews
  • Academics 8.2
  • Support 9.7
  • Fun 9.5
  • Housing 9.6
  • Safety 9.5
Showing 31 - 45 of 78
Kweku
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Phenomenal Semester in Granada

Before I started my semester in Granada, I had no idea what to expect. Nevertheless, I could tell by the the excitement of the staff I had met so far that I was going to have a great experience. On the first day in Spain, we underwent a very well thought out orientation program which ensured our basic cultural competency before going into our homestay. The hotel accommodations were ideal and I am still friends with my hotel roommate to this day. During the Spring semester, all students had a week long break during which most decided to travel. We had organized field trips for some of the classes and the staff almost always spoke to us only in Spanish to ensure our engagement in the language from the very first day. Javier Martinez de Velasco, the Director and the staff organized a week long trip to Morocco and a weekend long trip to Cabo de Gata. These two are just examples of the many extracurricular activities we could partake in whether mandatory or optional.
If I could go back into the past and choose a study abroad program all over again, I would IES Abroad Granada in a heartbeat. My only regret is not being to live there longer.

What would you improve about this program?
Perhaps providing housing for students closer to the IES Center.
Default avatar
Preston
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Falling For Granada

I didn't realize that I would miss Granada, Spain as much as I do. This is one city that I will definitely return to one day soon. There is something about this little city in Andalucia (Andalusia), the southern region of Spain, that evokes a strong sense of nostalgia. It has been almost three months since I departed from Granada, yet I constantly think about my short time there. I felt a degree of liberty, safety, comfort, and ease on my daily walks up and down Calle Recogidas, one of Granada's central and busiest streets, that not every city can provide. This city like so many others has a culture of its own that in certain ways cannot be matched by any other. Its history can be seen in its architecture and its spirit can be seen in its people.

Over the past few months I have realized that I have fallen for Granada. I continue to be fascinated by its history (it is a city that has seen the rise and fall of Islamic empires, and a Spanish dictator) and amused by its intricacies ( random holidays that call for spending long hours in the streets drinking cerveza with friends or watching processions for saints). IES Granada is in part responsible for my falling for Granada. IES staff pushed me to get out, see, and explore Granada in depth. My anthropology class allowed me to personally investigate gentrification in the Albaicyn, a section of the city that has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and my art history course extended my appreciation and admiration of La Alhambra ( one of the most beautiful and fully intact castles in all of Andalusia).

Granada is a city that is loved and has been loved by so many. There's something that must be said for a city that has taken the hearts of many for more than 400 years. Granada is special, and if you take the time to truly to get know it, which means talking to people in the city and learning about why things are the way they are, you may just fall in love. But then again, if your not the type looking for love...Granada is also the perfect place for a one-semester stand ;) ...

What would you improve about this program?
More integration with local students. The majority of IES students and all IES classes are only with other US students. This can be limiting. However everyone does have the option to take university courses. I just wish that their was more integration between IES and the University; some programs are arranged to offer this. Also I would be nice if IES Granada would give a stipend for dinners or at least to travel during semana santa since we are not allowed to stay in our home stays during that week! Some other programs offer this.
Default avatar
Ana
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Granada

Overall, my four months in Granada were amazing, and now that I'm back in the US I really miss the city. Granada is a city that's full of complex history, amazing architecture, life in the streets, and its easily navigable by walking. IES abroad staff was good at orienting us to the new abroad life and was eager to make sure we engaged with our host families, university professors, and any other extracurriculars. The program "field trips," especially the one to Morocco, were definitely highlights of my time abroad. Also, the flamenco class and water color class were definitely favorites in the program. IES staff really makes an effort to connect with students and create an awesome, chill, inviting environment. Students came from lots of different schools and majors and we all just came together to enjoy Granada for four months. Basically Granada IES, 10/10 would recommend.

Default avatar
Maya
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Hidden Gem

My experience in Granada exceeded my expectations tenfold. I didn't know much about the city before the semester, but even after my first week I knew I had stumbled upon a special place. Granada is a relatively small city (~250,000 people) but there is a ton to do. It has all the benefits of city life (clubs, bars, restaurants, cultural attractions) but it's only a walk or bus ride away from some incredible hiking trails, beaches, and other natural wonders. The IES program is exceptionally organized and well run thanks to their wealth of experience working with the typical problems that occur during an abroad program. I felt safe and well supported throughout the semester. If you are looking for a bit of everything during study abroad then Granada is a good place for you.

Default avatar
Sarah
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Una ciudad espectacular

My time abroad gave me a great opportunity to really think about culture, the impact the US really has on so much of the world, how much privilege we have living here, and of course language. Through the experience, my Spanish improved a great deal, especially my confidence when speaking. I always knew I wanted to study abroad in Spain, and I decided to study in Granada because it's a smaller city. It was nice to be in this size of a city because I could truly get a feel for it and all of its different neighborhoods in the short time there, there was less influence of the English language so I was forced to speak in Spanish all the time, but it was still sizable enough to have a lot of life and excitement at any time of day (and I mean any time--the discotecas don't usually get busy until 2:30 AM).
The IES program and staff were great and very helpful as I tried to navigate my way through my time abroad. Most of the staff members in this program were enthusiastic, helpful, and really seemed to love what they do and interact with their students.
Granada is a beautiful, exciting city and I loved being there for four months. The city itself is one of my favorites that I visited in Spain, as it has a unique vibrancy, incredibly interesting architecture, upbeat and beautiful city streets and plazas, and of course an amazing tapas culture. One of my favorite parts of the city was that it's in a very mountainous area, making it incredibly picturesque in every part of the city. Every day as I walked home to my homestay I would look up at the end of the street and see snow covered mountains in the distance. This kind of terrain also provides for some of the most incredible views I have ever seen. I really felt like the city was my home for my visit and I felt comfortable traversing and exploring it independently.
All in all, my stay in Granada was incredibly positive. I grew a lot as a global citizen, a Spanish speaker, a traveler, and a person. I would highly recommend this program to other students looking for a Spanish study abroad experience!

Hanna
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Granada: un sueño verdadero

I always imagined studying abroad in a Spanish-speaking country, but Granada exceeded my wildest dreams for a study-abroad experience! Granada is the ideal city for study-abroad: it’s small enough to feel intimate, yet large enough to have a bevy of concerts, bars, and cultural activities. It’s a youthful college town, yet has centuries of rich cultural history –from the Islamic empire to “Los Reyes Catolicos.” That being said, Granada makes for the perfect hands-on classroom –with IES, I took a class on Islamic Art and Architecture where class consisted of weekly visits to the Alhambra. Also, Granada is surprisingly affordable! 2 Euro wine with a free tapa of paella have forever spoiled me for American prices.
IES does a great job coordinating all aspects of the program and catering it to your specific needs/goals. My goal was to fully immerse myself in Spanish. Not only did IES offer courses entirely in Spanish, but they also helped me register in classes at the University of Granada. The Program Director, Javier, is incredibly dynamic and genuinely cares about each student –by the second day of the program, he already knew everyone by name! The IES staff helps immensely with cultural immersion: they connected me with a local hiking club as well as sending out weekly agendas with local cultural activities. The program also included free trips to major sites like Sevilla, Ronda, Cordoba, and Cabo de Gata, which were great bonding experiences and enabled me to get a better sense of Spain as a whole.
One of the most memorable and immersive parts of the experience was my homestay. My host mother was an incredible woman –always cooking delicious Andalusian dishes, asking us about our lives, and trying to find solutions to any challenges that came up. She called me her “niña” and insisted on celebrating my birthday as if I were her own daughter. We still keep in touch over email and Skype, and she sends me photo updates of her adorable new grandson.
After spending a semester in Granada, I can honestly say that it was one of the most positive and powerful experiences of my life. Immersing myself in another culture gave me new perspective on my own culture and daily life. I learned to slow down from the fast-paced American lifestyle, appreciate all the wonderful people in my life, and when something doesn’t go according to plan, just shrug it off with a “no pasa nada” (the Granadino catchphrase). I have definitely become more open-minded, flexible, and independent because of this experience!

Default avatar
Kensey
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Granada 2016

During my time in Granada, I fell in love with the city. The atmosphere is great because there are so many young people, and while there is always a lot of activity, the people are very relaxed. People say the Spanish live in the calle, and it’s true. The streets are always bustling with Spaniards having a chat, walking to work, or meeting friends for a café con leche. There are always hippies playing music or blowing bubbles. People are spontaneous and will drop everything to meet a friend for a beer and a (free) tapa. Especially in Andalusia, people are very expressive and get excited over the smallest things. Living with a host family was definitely the most important part of my experience. Since this program is with American students, it’s great to live with a Spanish family to learn more about the culture, eat home-cooked Spanish food, and speak more Spanish. My family really treated me like a fourth daughter and constantly tried to give me the best experience in Granada possible. I also had an intercambio who I became good friends with, so I definitely recommend the intercambio program. Another way I interacted with locals was by playing on Granada’s ultimate Frisbee team. I ended up going to three different tournaments with the team to different parts of Spain. The IES staff does a great job organizing activities around Granada, and they will do their best to help you out with whatever problem you have. My Spanish class was probably my favorite because we always talked about different kinds of Spanish food or slang and lots of our assignments required us to try the food or talk about the slang with our host families. With IES we took lots of trips to other places in Andalusia and one trip to Morocco, which was my favorite. We stayed with host families, talked with Moroccan students our age, and even visited a family living in the countryside for lunch. I felt like with IES, I learned as much as I could in 5 days about Morocco. Overall, this is a fantastic program in a beautiful city.

What would you improve about this program?
We had a lot of "busy work," which wasn't very useful and took a lot of time. I would have had more time to explore the city and be spontaneous if the classes had been structured more like the Spanish system than the American education system. That's to say I'd have liked the classes to have been more about independent study than constantly turning in assignments that inevitably became low quality work.
Default avatar
Julia
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Te Amo, Granada

Before setting eyes on Granada, I was definitely nervous about studying abroad. I'd heard wonderful things about IES Abroad Granada from my friends who had studied there before, but I didn't know if I would have a similarly wonderful experience. I was eager to experience a new culture, try new foods, and meet interesting people, but I didn't know if all my expectations would be met. Turns out they were — and actually exceeded. Granada is an absolutely amazing city with an exciting culture, beautiful architecture, and tons of street life. It's not too big but not too small, which was comforting and allowed me to explore new areas without getting lost or feeling overwhelmed. From hiking up in the mountains, to climbing up to the Alhambra, to dancing flamenco, to going to outdoor markets, to taking part in street fairs and processions, to helping cook new foods, my time in Granada was a blast. IES Abroad was spectacular in helping me to acclimate to the environment and feel at home away from home. The classes at the IES Center are challenging and stimulating and exciting, all at the same time. The professors are great at helping you to improve your Spanish and develop new skills on an individual level, and you get small classes and personalized attention, which I very much appreciated. My Spanish when I entered the program was not amazing, but with my professors' help, I was able to improve so much. Moreover, IES organizes hikes, excursions, and other fun outdoor activities to get to know the area. Through these activities, I was able to better see the countryside and surrounding sites, as well as make better friends with my program mates and additional Spanish locals who would accompany us. IES also helped pair us with students from the University of Granada so we could practice our Spanish and meet more Granadinos. Through this "intercambio" program, I was able to meet some wonderful Spanish friends my age who could show me their favorite spots in the city. And I also got to see Granada from a new perspective, which increased my appreciation for the city. Overall, I really appreciated the time and effort that the program put into helping us acclimate to the environment, and I couldn't recommend Granada as a place of study enough. It's personal, it's lively, it's exciting, and it'll be one of the best decisions you've ever made. Just make sure to keep an open mind and try at least one new thing every day, and you'll have a wonderful time.

Default avatar
Emmet
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Granada: Five transformative months

The five months that I spent in Granada had a profound impact on my sense of self; since returning, I am more confident, comfortable, and excited about my future. I recommend the program without hesitation! There are three main reasons - along with a whole bunch of secondary ones - that I say recommend it so enthusiastically.

The first is the IES Granada program. The staff at IES Granada is engaged, compassionate, and experienced - they do a tremendous job with integration into the city. Javier, the director, does everything in his power to provide you with whatever opportunity you're interested in, and the rest of the staff make it happen. What is more, every time I walked into the IES building, it felt a little bit more like home.

The second reason that I unequivocally recommend the IES Granada program is the city itself. You'll fall in love with the Granada on day one! Because it's a young city of students, it's incredibly cheap. The University of Granada plays a big role in its character, which makes the night life fantastic as well. The people are the best part, though. Andalucians in general are nicer than their northern counterparts, and life is slow-paced. People take the siesta; no one seems to be in a hurry. No pasa nada. During my time in Spain, I visited all the big cities, and I have to say, Granada is definitely the most beautiful! People from from Barcelona and Madrid will tell you the same.

The final reason that I give the IES Granada program ten stars is the amount of cultural assimilation that the program facilitates. The program works with nice families in good neighborhoods to arrange homestays. For example, I lived in a third floor apartment about twenty minutes from the IES center in a residential part of the city. My host mother was proud to share wonderful spanish food with me, and I was never hungry. My host family was also committed to helping me connect with Andalucian culture; they brought me to concerts, introduced me to their extended family, and taught me a great deal of colloquial spanish. I will never forget Manoli, Marcelo, and Andrea.

Because I had such a fantastic and formative time in Granada, time seemed elastic. Five months passed in what seemed like five days. Reflecting on the experience now, I realize that I wouldn't have had it any other way. If you're thinking about studying with IES Abroad in Granada, do it!

Default avatar
Ana
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Exploring Granada

My semester abroad in Granada was an unforgettable experience. It gave me an opportunity to learn more about the language, culture, and the importance of a siesta. I met amazing people and saw beautiful sites. It was the perfect city for me. It was small, easy to navigate, beautiful and full of culture. I was able to improve my Spanish and study flamenco and had the opportunity to learn about Spanish architecture by visiting the Alhambra, walking in the Albayzín, and other historic sites throughout the city. I enjoyed the challenge of having to rely on a new language. It was great exploring the city and the surrounding area, studying in cafés, eating free tapas every night, and seeing the Alhambra daily from the roof of the IES center. The program staff were also extremely supportive and always around to help you with any problems. Being in Granada was one of the most enriching experiences I have ever had.

Default avatar
Megan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

No Pasa Nada

IES Abroad Granada truly is the perfect study abroad program. Initially, when I chose Granada, I only thought of it as a small city in Southern Spain. I didn’t know anything about the local culture, the rich history that every inch of the city holds, or the Alhambra. I had never used the words “siesta”, “tapa”, “tinto de verano” or “no pasa nada” (all of which a local uses at least 5 times a day). The laid back, easy-going way of life makes it very easy to fall in love with the city.
One of my favorite memories was celebrating my host mom's 54th birthday. Her birthday fell on our last Saturday in Granada, so she wanted to celebrate with us. In the morning, my roommate and I had our final performance flamenco show (from our flamenco class) that our host mom and host sister attended. When we got home, we found that our host mom had prepared a huge feast with traditional seafood paella, tons of bread and olive oil and tossed salad. Her daughter bought mini cakes at a local bakery for us to eat once we were stuffed from lunch! My roommate and I bought our mom a "birthday crown" and had her wear it throughout the meal. We sang happy birthday to her, watched her blow out her candles and gave her a present (a dark H&M scarf that she had been admiring). The best part of this lunch celebration was talking with our family. In total, the meal took 4 hours because we just sat and talked (in Spanish, of course:) about life. This was an extremely special experience for me.
Each day was a new learning adventure while I was there: whether it was learning a new Spanish word with my host mom at lunch, finding a new tapas restaurant with friends, exploring a portion of the Alhambra, watching flamenco performances on the street or wandering aimlessly around the city. My study abroad experience in Granada provided me with countless life lessons that I could not have possibly learned in a classroom. My 4 months in Granada gave me some time to step back, relax and reflect on my life. I would strongly encourage anyone to look into this program, because it truly changed my life. Granada no longer is a small city in Southern Spain, Granada is home.

What would you improve about this program?
I would love it if the program could be 6 months instead of 4. I would have loved to spend more time in Granada, everything went by too fast!!
Default avatar
Casey
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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.
Default avatar
Ben
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

Default avatar
Scott
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!

What would you improve about this program?
I would have liked to see more integration with the IES Granada program into the university.
Default avatar
Anna
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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.