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 61 - 75 of 78
Default avatar
Justice
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Living in Granada Spain

An amazing experience. The teachers at IES were incredible people and always supportive. We learned Spanish that was used in everyday life in Granada and lived with host families. I loved my host mother who cooked gluten free food for me and I felt safe and comfortable in this beautiful walking city. There's a stunning view of La Alhambra from the windows of IES. I had fascinating classes and also had an internship with a local flamenco dance studio. We learned how to work in a Spanish work environment and write resumes in Spanish. I learned so much and am so grateful, I highly recommend this!

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

Best Semester of My Life

IES Abroad Granada is a pretty incredible program! A daily routine consists of walking to school (there is very little public transportation in Granada, but the city is very walkable. In addition, it's beautiful and full of history, so every walk is a new adventure!) You will attend class almost every day with the IES professors, who are all amazing, and many are professors at the Universidad de Granada. You'll go home for lunch with your host family who will have cooked a fairly large meal (lunch in Spain is like dinner in the US). You will likely take a nap and then maybe head back to the IES center. Afterwards, you might run errands or do schoolwork. At night, you will go out to dinner with your friends (8 at the earliest, but usually around 9 or 10) for tapas! You'll order drinks (sangria!) and they'll bring you small plates of food with your drinks!

What would you improve about this program?
The schoolwork for the program is really backloaded, which is hard because you get used to having tons of time to yourself to travel and explore the city, and then at the end of the program you have something like 40 pages of writing due (in Spanish) and 5 finals. It's difficult and it kind of sours the end of the program, but I think that's due to how education is generally set up in Spain.
Default avatar
Julia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Four Unbelievable Months

My time in Granada was nothing short of extraordinary, all thanks to the amazing IES staff and professors, my incredible welcoming and loving host family, the wonderful new friends I was able to meet along the way, and the enchanting city I can now call my second home. IES Granada is organized, energetic, fun, and passionately dedicated to creating the best possible cultural experiences for their students. They did a fantastic job all-around, from matching me with the best host family and "Intercambio" student from the University of Granada, to helping me choose the right classes and activities, to setting up excursions and informal outings to introduce us to the beautiful city and its unique culture.

I especially loved my Lorca Literature class, in which we learned all about the revered poet and playwright Federico Garcia Lorca who grew up not far from Granada, and my Islamic Art and Architecture class. We got to explore the city's most historic buildings, including the breathtaking Alhambra, which casually sits on a hill overlooking the entire city. I loved cafe con leche and huge family lunches, singing karaoke with my host brother, listening to and admiring my host mom's stories, getting (free) tapas with my new Spanish friends, and even getting to perform in a local band. IES made it all possible... I highly, HIGHLY, recommend this sensational program.

What would you improve about this program?
I would have liked to be paired with a student from the University of Granada a lot sooner. I didn't get matched with my "intercambio" until about halfway through the semester, because I was in the highest level language class and the lower level classes got matched first. I think a lottery system for being matched in the Intercambio program would be more fair.
Default avatar
Meghan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Part of My Heart is in Granada

Studying abroad in Granada, Spain with IES was a phenomenal, life changing, eye opening, opportunity providing experience that causes you to grow into a better, independent, more aware, and educated citizen of this world we live in. This is what my life reflects now that I have returned home. My time in Granada provided me with a variety of experiences - learning how to make travel plans, communicating solely in Spanish, using public transportation, meeting people from all over the world, and more - that enriched my life.

Granada is home to La Alhambra, el Sacromonte, el Albaizin, amazing Spanish people, beautiful vistas, extraordinary food, marvelous music, and vivacious life. IES Granada supported my interests in the Spanish language, had weekend trips all over southern Spain, provided an amazing host family, and the staff was there for me throughout my entire experience. The staff truly cares about each individual on the program and is there to be a resource and support you in any way necessary.

The program is also tailored to the group of individuals who come and their interests. There were many hiking trips organized during my program because that was something my group was passionate about. The hiking was phenomenal! There were also different workshops available for students including a cooking workshop and a leather workshop. They were both very fun and didn't cost any extra money!

My experience in Granada was phenomenal and I strongly recommend studying abroad with IES.

What would you improve about this program?
If I could change one thing I would make sure every student was individually placed in a host family. When there are roommates from the U.S. it is very easy to fall back into speaking English. However, some people feel more comfortable having a roommate and it is hard to find enough families for each student to be individually placed.
Default avatar
Annie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Really think about what you want from your city

Granada is a wonderful city to study abroad in, because it is a university city. This means that there are a bunch of other young students, from all over the world. It is still small enough however, that you won't get swallowed up as in the large metropolises.
Granada has an incredible history: it was the last Muslim stronghold in Spain. IES classes do a really good job of incorporating the history in our classes through direct field trips around the city.
Granada is a city that is overflowing with art. There are so many different types of art (but especially music and performances) and so many opportunities to become a part Granada's art.

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

A Semester in Granada: Learning - Loving - Thriving!

My semester abroad in Granada is something I will remember forever. My courses encouraged deep knowledge and love of the city and my professors were incredibly passionate about their subjects. Walking to the IES center every day was not always the best fun (especially in the rain when I forgot to pack rainboots!), but with every foot the city became more like home. A definite highlight was the trip to Morocco, where I was pushed far out of my comfort zone and from that was able to gain understanding of other ways of life. My biggest difficulty was trying to befriend local students in Granada, which was hard to do even with the help of the Intercambio program. However overall, I could not have chosen a better way to spend my time abroad! Granada is a magical city that will inspire you to say "No pasa nada!" and teach you to truly embrace life in all its little moments.

What would you improve about this program?
Another way to better integrate IES students with the students at UGR. Though the intercambio program was helpful, it only allowed for a limited entrance into the local student culture/life.
Default avatar
Jamila
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Go to Granada, it's a must!

Studying abroad in this beautiful, multi-influential city was the best decision I ever made in my college career. Granada is a small city, but the people, the culture, and events made up for it and made it feel bigger. The city is vastly influenced on Islamic culture, but had influences of Jewish, and Christianity. Take advantage of the free tapas that come along with your drinks! The food is amazing there, my recommendation is get cafe con leche and napolitana from bakeries. You must try a shwarma at least once there. Since there's a university in the city, there's a lot of international students. Even though it was a small city, I walked around everyday with my friends, finding new places.

Program provided excellent classes that require active participation, along with class trips where we see what we are learning. I had multiple trips to the majestic Alhambra and other places around the city and saw a lot theater shows. The field trips of the program was the best part, my favorite was going to Sevilla, Morocco, Cabo de Gata (beach trip). Morocco is optional but I recommend it, it was great experience of meeting and really getting to know students the same age as us and families and getting a better understanding of their views in an Islamic Country.

IES Staff were very helpful and supportive, they always posted events such as festivals, concerts and shows that was happening in town. They help you with anything to the best of their abilities, for example, going to the pharmacy to help get your medicine and so much more. The staff is very supportive and I'm very thankful for that. They also create events to get more involved in the city and also with spanish students.

I lived a 30 minute walk away from the center, which was annoying because I lived far away from everything. However, my host mom was amazing. Took me a while to get comfortable but her hospitality, sense of humor and how helpful she was with my spanish and how supportive she was made things better. In general, the locals were nice and helpful, especially when you are lost. I recommend, speaking as much spanish as possible!

What would you improve about this program?
Better organization of the sections, such as it was hard to fit certain classes because the sections were close to each other. More involvement with Spanish students
Default avatar
Emily
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An Amazing Program and Place

To be completely honest, before leaving for Granada I wasn't sure how I felt about studying abroad. I had heard great things about the program, but I was terrified to leave the comforts of my home college go to a place I'd never been to before. It turned out that parts of studying abroad were scary, like when I got lost in the city walking back from class, or frustrating, when I couldn't think of the right Spanish words to communicate with my host family. But overall studying abroad was an extremely rewarding experience. I was worried before about living and fitting in with my host family, but the people in my host family were some of the nicest and most laid-back people I had ever met.They answered all of my questions and cooked some of the best food I've ever eaten. The teachers at IES were smart, enthusiastic, and fun to talk to about any topic. I felt my Spanish getting better all the time. I loved being able to buy pastries filled with chocolate on the way home from class, or going out to tapas bars and getting wine and food for two euros. I've been back in the United States for about five months, but I still think about and miss Granada all of the time. I hope I can go back some day soon.

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

Amazing program

I absolutely loved my experience with IES Abroad Granada. My homestay was fantastic--my host mother was kind, welcoming, and made me feel instantly at home. I lived a 20 minute walk from my abroad center, which while at first seemed daunting, became one of my favorite parts of my day as I got to know all the vendors and people on the way to school that I would say hi to in the morning and chat with on the way home. The people in Granada were incredibly kind and helpful and very helpful and patient with my spanish.

Going out to dinner every night was also incredible. I love the "free tapas" culture of Granada -- it made eating out every night very affordable and also forced me to try new foods almost every day, which was fun. I also loved the open and relaxed atmosphere of dinner every night because it meant meeting tons of people all the time.

My only complaint (which I partially resolved) was that I quickly grew bored with the clubbing scene. Granada isn't an enormous town, and so nightlight can get a little stale. I tried to get around this by going to different tapas places and not going to clubs very often, but if you're looking for a wild and constantly changing partying scene, a bigger city might better suit your tastes.

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

El que no ha visto Granada no ha visto nada

I walked to school every morning from my home stay to the IES center through the busy streets of Granada. I got to see the majestic and beauty that is the Alhambra multiple times and explored the streets in the Albayzín, embracing the Islamic influences and culture. I ate amazing food with my host mom, enjoyed tapas throughout the city, made lasting friendships and learned so much. I could not have pictured a more incredible experience.

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

Can't Beat the Beauty In Granada

My time in Granada was simply amazing. Everything in my environment was brand new, the sights, sounds, and even the smells. It was overwhelming at first, however, refreshing and invigorating too. I stayed with a host family and though speaking only in Spanish was rough off the bat, as the weeks passed I quickly improved. I took a diverse group of classes in Spanish that allowed me to gain understanding of the local culture: Islamic Art, Flamenco, a literature class, and a Spanish language class. In the art class we visited various important sites such as the Great Mosque in Cordoba and a three-part specialized tour through the Alhambra. The program's trip to Morocco stands out as one of the experiences I'm most appreciative of. I spent four days in the country and stayed with a local family. The memories I made there are so vivid because I had never been anywhere remotely like it before. My time in Morocco was just a cherry on top of an amazing semester filled with beauty, wonder, and encounters with the other.

I'm still in awe of all that happened during my time abraod that even now it's hard to process it all. I got to visit five different countries, spend time in sixteen different cities, and meet hundreds of new people. I played futbol with Spaniards and shared some great nights at the discotecas with my intercambio. I'm really glad I did the IES program in Granada.

What would you improve about this program?
More time there.
Default avatar
Kayla
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Spain in Real Life

Granada is truly a great city to study abroad. If you are seeking out a place to learn more outside the classroom than inside, I highly recommend this city. It has a lot of history, culture and wonderful people. There are so many options for exploring and opportunities to participate in local activities.

What would you improve about this program?
The program center is relatively small because it is in a original Spanish building and the classes are primarily with other American students, but there is also the option of taking classes at one of the local university departments. There is going to be a lot of walking or bus riding so be prepared for that.
Default avatar
Sarah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Granada

Studying abroad in Granada was one of the most incredible experiences I have ever had. I could talk about it forever, but here are some of the things about IES Granada that I think set it apart:

IES staff/professors:
The IES staff are some of the nicest people I have ever met. The program director, Javier, knows every single student by name and does a wonderful job making everyone feel at home. Everyone who works for IES Granada is dedicated to making the students feel comfortable with classes and the city, and will take extra time to help with personal problems or trip planning. Every professor I had challenged us with interesting and relevant material. I took all of my classes in Spanish, and it was very rewarding to know that I not only understood the language, but also I could also comprehend challenging academic material in Spanish. The Spanish grammar class aimed to teach us practical, local Spanish usage, so it really helped with day-to-day life in Granada. The work wasn't too difficult, but I really felt like I was leaning useful information.

The city:
Granada is a great city for students. There are tons of international students there, so it's easy to feel like you fit in. It's also a perfect size. It's a small enough city that you can walk just about everywhere, but doesn't feel too small. I lived about 30 minutes from IES and walked every day. Walking around and exploring with friends is a great way to discover the lesser-known parts of the city and meet interesting locals. There is also such an incredible history and mixture of cultures in Granada. The city has so much to offer to students.

Trips:
IES field trips were one of my favorite parts of the program. The first trip was to Cabo de Gata, where did a 13-mile hike along the coast of the Mediterranean. We also went to Málaga, Sevilla, Ronda, and Córdoba. The best trip was to Morocco. This is something you just have to do. We stayed with host families in Rabat, talked to University students about Moroccan culture and politics, and cooked lunch at the home of a family that lived in the mountains and spoke to them through a translator. It was one of the most amazing trips I have ever been on.

Recommendations:
-Speak Spanish!! Speak to locals in Spanish. Don't try to get them to speak English. It's really the only way to learn.
-Take as many classes in Spanish as you possibly can.
-Take Islamic Art and Architecture--this was by far my favorite class. You get to learn about the history of Granada and go out on weekly visits to architectural sites, including the Alhambra and the cathedral. We had several classes in the Alhambra and got to visit locations closed off to the general public.
-Go out for tapas with friends.
-Make friends with the locals. They can show you a side of Granada you would never get to see otherwise.
-Explore and take advantage of every opportunity given to you.

Overall, my experience in Granada was amazing. I loved everything about the city and made friends that I will keep for life.

What would you improve about this program?
I didn't take any classes at UGR because it was difficult to fit them into my schedule. It takes a while to get to the University from IES and the class times don't match up, so it's not exactly easy to fit them into your schedule. I would have loved to take classes there so that I could experience a real Spanish university and meet more local students.
Default avatar
Anna
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Granada!

One of the difficulties that I faced as a non-native Spanish speaker in Granada was the fact that many of the people in restaurants, cafes, and bars wanted to speak English to my friends and I. A large reason I was in Spain was to truly learn and practice my Spanish, and it was frustrating to be spoken English to. Generally, I would just respond to all their questions in Spanish until they got the hint, or I would request for them to speak Spanish to me, explaining that I was a student.

What would you improve about this program?
At the time I attended this program a few years ago, it was still quite new and quickly gaining in popularity. A major issue that many of us faced was the availability of computers and printing, as well as hang out space at the IES building. Places to hang out were easier to come by, so that didn't remain an issue (and in fact was probably set up intentionally so we could spread out into the community).
Default avatar
JM
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Granada

Granada

In one sentence, IES Granada is fantastic. Here's why you should go:
The City:
Granada is a great size, small enough where I felt like I could navigate well but big enough that there is always something interesting going on. It's walkable, which makes it easy to get together with friends and to explore. And there's so much to see! The Alhambra is fantastic of course, and so are the free flamenco concerts, the Albayzin, the cathedral. Plus the weather is gorgeous and Granada is close to both the ocean and the mountains (I took independent trips to both). And it's easy travel to the rest of Europe and to Africa!

Academics:
The IES teachers are some of the best teachers I've had. There classes are interesting because they're about the city (and because the teachers are excited to be teaching them). The class work was not very hard but I felt like I learned enough to make them worthwhile. The university classes, on the other hand, were a struggle. They are hard to coordinate with the IES schedule, the class I took wasn't very good, and the program ends before exams so it's a hassle trying to make everything work.

General Awesomeness:
The IES "field trips" set the program apart for me. While my friends and I planned trips on our own as well, it was so nice to have a few that were planned for us, and to such cool places! Definitely go on the Morocco trip, it's well worth it.
My host family was fantastic and while I had two friends who didn't enjoy there stay, everyone else I knew on the 150ish person program was very satisfied. The IES meal plan works really well in this setting because you get a delicious lunch from your host family and then get to enjoy the "free" tapas (with the order of a drink) at bars for dinner. It makes nights a great time for bonding and hanging out.

What would you improve about this program?
Coordinating classes between the university and the IES center was hard to do.