The moment I stepped off the plane, I fell in love with northern Spain. My flight from Alicante to Bilbao was on a plane so small that we didn’t even disembark at a gate, instead walking down the stairs straight onto the tarmac. Cool, fresh breeze washed over me, and where the airport pavement ended, lush green hills began. I felt like I had fallen into a fairy tale – a feeling which quickly increased when I had met up with my hosts, the Blanco family, and the…

Homesickness affects students in different ways. In Granada, I’ve met students who aren’t suffering the effects of homesickness at all. I have friends who say that they would live in Granada if they could. They never talk about missing their family and friends, and what’s going on at home.  For the most part, I feel like I’m closer to this than being homesick. I really love living in Granada. The culture, the food, the sights…. What’s not to love? Yes, there have been days where I was homesick…

If you are fascinated by history like me, and you had to pick anywhere in the world to live, where would you choose? Rome? Saint Augustine? Paris? What about Sevilla, Spain? Located in southern Spain on the Guadalquivir River, Sevilla is one of Spain’s oldest cities, inhabited from before the time of the Romans, and has been occupied by the Tartessos, Romans, Visigoths, Muslims, and Christian kingdoms. Everywhere you go, there is a beautiful blend of cultures in this old port town. And so, after learning about all…

For our first CEA excursion we spent a weekend in Valencia, which quickly became one of my favorite cities in Spain. Valencia is the third largest city in the country after Madrid and Barcelona, and is the capital of Comunidad Valenciana. It’s a city of both ancient and modern beauty, and we got to experience both! La Lonja, the old silk market On Saturday afternoon we took a walking tour through the historic city center, where we saw the centuries-old buildings that give Valencia its rich cultural heritage….

At Goshen College, my university in the U.S., I am a Spanish and music double major. The Spanish component is the reason I am here studying abroad in Spain, and I couldn’t be more glad that my major requirements include a semester abroad! However, music is also incredibly important to me, not only for my studies but for who I am as a person. I admit, I had some doubts about taking a break from my usual routine to spend three months in Spain – I was afraid…

In October, I started to think about the possibility of studying abroad. I wanted to find a program with classes that I was interested in and the opportunity to improve my Spanish. I finally narrowed it down to Granada or Barcelona. Five months later, I’m positive that I made the best decision for me. Since I’ve arrived in Granada, I’ve realized that a majority of the people here only speak Spanish. I’m immersed in a Spanish-speaking world; I hear and speak Spanish basically the entire day. When I…

Study abroad is an experience best shared with good friends; either the friends you meet or the friends you came along with. In my case, I decided to go to Rome with only two people from my college. The rest of my friends from the University of Colorado at Boulder are spread across the world! I have friends in Florence, Prague, Spain, Greece, Paris, Sweden, and even some on Semester at Sea. Even though we decided to experience other places, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have…

Carnaval is one of the most important holidays of the year, not only in Spain but also in the majority of Spanish-speaking countries in the world. Luckily for my CEA group and I, Alicante just happens to be the Carnaval hotspot of Spain – people come from all over to join the festivities in the city center of Alicante. It is without a doubt the biggest, craziest, most fun party I have ever experienced! Carnaval is a very old, well-loved tradition, which originated as part of the Christian…

What do you do on a somewhat average Tuesday night sitting in your living room? Turn on Netflix? Play a board game? Talk with your family? Some friends? If we were playing Family Feud, I can promise you none of the answers would be what my friend and I did last Tuesday: “Let’s go to Barcelona! Friday through Sunday? Let’s do it!” Studying abroad in Europe makes this more possible than ever. Maybe you take casual trips to go see one of Spain’s most famous cities on a…

Tortilla  There are different types of treats in Granada. Obviously, the cuisine of Granada is one of the best treats for me. Over the course of two months, I’ve had the opportunity to taste traditional lunches and dinners of Spain. My favorite typical Spanish dinner is a tortilla. It is similar to an omelet in the United States, but it is made with potatoes and onions (instead of bacon and cheese, like it would be in the States.) It is also a lot thicker than an omelet in…