When I pause and try to reflect back on the last year of my life, it honestly still doesn’t feel real. I got on that plane to Spain last September with absolutely no clue what I was getting myself into. Of course, as in any adventure, there have been plenty of ups and downs, but the good has more than outweighed the bad. Here are some of  the “highlights” of my year abroad, accompanied by a bit of nostalgia, as my time in Granada begins to draw to…

When I committed to studying abroad in Granada, one of the first things people asked me was “What are you going to pack?” To be honest, I was asking myself the same thing. I had never been to Spain before and had no clue what to pack to avoid looking like a tourist; however, after 8 months living here, I’d like to think that I’ve more or less gotten a feel for the Spanish style. Below you’ll find some of the trends I’m currently seeing in the streets…

Before even coming to Spain, I prepared myself for the homesickness and culture shock everyone assured me would strike at some point during my first weeks in Granada. I told myself that if I expected those feelings, they would be easier to manage. As the weeks went by, however, I became more and more comfortable in my new city and absolutely enamored by the Spanish culture. I had met amazing new friends, was continually seeing improvements in my Spanish, and was busy traveling and exploring new cities. Sure,…

Did you know out of the approximately 300,000 people who call Granada home, 82,000 of them are college students? With that many students milling around the city, there is a continual focus on student life, making Granada an endlessly entertaining and incredibly affordable place to study. However, there are a few extra-special features that truly set Granada apart from any other “student city,” so without further ado: TAPAS Most everyone has heard of tapas and associates the small-plate wonders with Spain, but the tapa tradition is especially unique…

During your time studying abroad, one of the best parts of living in a new city is exploring and finding your favorite spots. In this video, you’ll see three of my favorite spots in Granada. The Cathedral The façade of the Cathedral of Granada always looks stunning, and in the Royal Chapel next door you can see where Queen Isabel I of Castile, King Ferdinand, II of Aragon, their daughter Juana “la Loca”, and Philip I are buried. Olympia Café and Pastry Shop The locals flock here for…

When someone says the word “art,” what comes to mind? Do you immediately envision the light, breezy colors of Monet or Degas, majestic white marble Roman sculptures, or an Andy Warhol piece that leaves you dizzy and mesmerized? If you use your time abroad well, with a bit of luck you can see all of this and more. It’s no secret that in Europe there is an endless amount of art to take in, but if you pay attention you’ll begin notice each city, with its different personality,…

Settling into a new country is no easy feat. That much can be acknowledged right off the bat. You’ve come to learn, to travel, and to see everything your country has to offer. Here are three tips to ensure you’re mentally and physically prepped to enjoy every second of your time abroad: Stay Balanced In those initial days (or weeks) after your arrival, you’ll be full of nervous energy. You’ll likely want to immerse yourself in the culture and experience everything you possibly can “like the locals.” This…

If you close your eyes and try to picture a stereotypical Spaniard, what comes to mind? For many, Spanish culture goes hand in hand with the image of a striking dark-haired girl, wearing a floor-length red dress trimmed at the bottom in ruffles, and holding a fan dramatically in one hand while she dances. The image is easy to conjure up, but the history and culture behind this image are much less familiar. The girl is a representation of a flamenco dancer, historically from the Gitano (gypsy) population,…

As I start my walk through the city center, I’m struck again by how happy and alive the Spanish language sounds. All around me, the air buzzes with conversation. It seems all of Granada is out tonight. I can hear people chatting about their day at work, what they’ll do for dinner, or asking after one another’s family. The air is crisp and cold, and with the Christmas season approaching, there are roadside stands selling roasted chestnuts and filling the air with a sweet smokiness that adds to…

What does a “normal” day look like while studying abroad in Granada, Spain? (Is there any such thing as normal in a city this beautiful?) In all the excitement getting ready to study abroad, it’s easy to imagine the big things, but the normal parts of life seem impossible to grasp! In this video, I’ll give you an overview of what my day-to-day looks like here, including everything from my walk to school in the morning, to homework time, coffee dates with friends, and meals with my host…