Photo of Caitlin McCollum-Martinez

Caitlin McCollum-Martinez

Caitlin is a travel writer and polyglot from sunny Southern California. She has traveled to over 15 countries, lived in Spain, the Czech Republic, and Scotland. She currently resides in South Korea where she is an English teacher. Her favorite thing to do while traveling is to try new and interesting foods from all over the world. You can keep up with her on Instagram @rambling.cat

Reviews
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Caitlin
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Just a month abroad in Granada was far too little. This city will be sure to steal your heart, just as it did mine. Despite the blistering heat of summer, I had such an amazing time exploring every rincón and tasting almost every (free!) tapa.

The local staff were very helpful and led many cultural excursions throughout the city and the surrounding community; I was able to learn so much about the culture and history of Andalusia. Having my intensive Spanish course for four straight hours each morning was difficult to get used to at first, but it gave me the rest of my day to take a siesta, spend time with my new friends, and enjoy the nightlife in Granada.

I opted for a residencia-style housing placement rather than a host family and was lucky enough to have my own room. The staff at the residencia were very kind and understanding of my then-low-level Spanish skill, however, as a very independent person it was somewhat weird to have my laundry done for me and to not cook my own meals. As I quickly learned, many places in Spain do not have air conditioning, which made the conditions in my room somewhat hellish during the hottest hours of the day.

That aside, I was able to make tons of amazing memories in Granada; I miss my time there immensely -- the sweatiness on the other hand…

Response from CEA Study Abroad

Thanks for sharing the good and sometimes hot aspects of studying abroad in Granada, Caitlin.

Photo of Caitlin McCollum-Martinez
Caitlin
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Choosing to study in Seville was quite easy for me. I grew up hearing stories about the labyrinthine streets and unchallenged beauty of the city from my family, who spent almost every summer there. I was able to walk the same streets my grandfather grew up on and make memories of my own.

I had the amazing opportunity to share my connection to Seville and several other stories as CEA’s Mobile Journalist (MOJO) for Seville during the Spring 2017 semester. A friend of mine had previously been a MOJO for CEA in Aix-en-Provence and recommended I study with them, and it was definitely the right choice!

The academics in Seville were a bit confusing at first and were not well-explained on their website or by staff. Some courses I wanted were canceled or were changed which was a bit of a disappointment, however, I thoroughly enjoyed all the courses I ended up taking and thankfully my major (International Studies) was incredibly flexible. Surprisingly my classes at the University of Seville (USS) were much easier than those at the CEA campus. I did feel a bit under-stimulated with my courses at USS, but that gave me more time to explore the city and to travel throughout Europe.

I was very lucky to have an amazing apartment, just a ten-minute walk to USS and the CEA campus. I heard from some year-long students that their previous apartments were not as nice, so it must be quite random which type of apartment you will be placed in. I enjoyed the freedom that came along with apartment living, especially since I am quite independent.

Overall, I had an amazing semester in Seville and hope to spend more time in the city in the near future. My one piece of advice for any prospective student in Seville would be to get out of your comfort zone and strive to meet locals and other international students; with the structure of CEA it is too easy to be surrounded by only other Americans, but you’ll have a more fulfilling time if you break out of that circle.

Response from CEA Study Abroad

Caitlin, so glad you decided to study abroad with us again and thank you for being a Mobile Journalist! We appreciate your insight and feedback and hope to see you again soon!