As I wrap up my last week in Granada I am very glad that I spent this month abroad. Not only have I enhanced my knowledge of the Spanish language but also witnessed a culture I knew nothing about before coming to Spain. I tried traditional food and drinks from Spain and even made Paella and ate it too. This country has many sights to see and things to do and is deeply rooted in history, not just Spanish but Arabic too. Living in a homestay definitely will challenge you because majority of the people in Granada do not speak English, but I am left with the ability to understand and speak Spanish better than when I came. However, I do recommend that if you are an individual who likes certain foods or the benefits of living on your own to try living in an apartment. For the most part your host family will cater to your dietary needs but will also make food that they know from Spain. There are pros and cons to both staying in a homestay or in an apartment and I strongly recommend to take them into consideration when choosing your country to study abroad. Neither option is wrong it is really what you like as a person and what you are willing to pay.
Taking classes in Spain was a challenge too, because even the most basic classes are not integrated with English they are all full blown in Spanish. This is to the benefit the student that is studying abroad but it will take a few weeks to adjust for sure. Another important thing to mention about the classes is that the professors expect the students to be independent which is similar to colleges in the United States, except when exams come. There is not a defined “finals week” the the review is not something the professor will just mention, so studying is important. Taking finals at the Centro de Lenguas Modernas was not difficult and as I mentioned if you prepare yourself a few days before the final then you will do fine. The grading system is different in Spain too so make sure that the credits and grades will transfer over correctly to your home institution.
Lastly, Granada is a city filled with social and nightlife, there is always something to do. There was never a time when I could not just go get tapas and enjoy my time in Granada. Walking is a must because driving is not popular to go from place to place in Granada. Buses and a metro system is available too with just one line that takes you from one end of the city to the next. Shopping is big and so is sightseeing, you can probably spend a full three days covering all of Granada. IT is important to mention that never once while I spent my time abroad did I feel nervous walking around, of course the buddy system is recommended. Visiting neighboring cities like Seville and Cordoba is something to do on the weekends and if you are looking for the beach, visit Cadiz. If you find yourself wanting to go to another country close to Spain then just make sure to look up the entry requirements first. However, Granada is a city that never sleeps and there will always be something to do or see. Finally, I genuinely enjoyed my time in Spain and I appreciate the country I am from now that I have spent my time aboard. Solely because I miss my family and the food!