Granada is a charming city of roughly 300,000 people in the South of Spain. It’s an incredibly popular tourist destination for obvious reasons, it has a little bit of everything to offer. Within the same day you can ski in the snowy Sierra Nevada mountains and then in just a short bus ride you can be at the beach. When people think of Granada the first things that usually come to mind are: the Alhambra, flamenco shows, and of course, the free tapas. Although these are all beautiful must-see and must-try attractions, studying abroad has given me the opportunity to recognize that Granada is so much more than the sum of its parts. Granada is a vibrant multicultural city with a way of life and a cultural diversity that is unique and deeply refreshing.
Studying abroad means so much more than merely traveling the world, for me it represents a rare opportunity to be fully immersed in a different culture and to discover myself in a global context. It is a once in a lifetime experience that truly allows us to expand our intercultural and linguistic horizons. My family immigrated to the U.S. from Sonora, Mexico, so Spanish is my first language. I grew up speaking Spanish at home and with my family in Sonora, but unfortunately over the years I lost touch with the language. So, when the time came to decide on where I would study abroad, I knew from the get-go that I wanted to study in a Spanish speaking country where I could fully immerse myself in the culture and explore the beauty of Hispanic culture and history. When I was researching different programs, Granada almost immediately caught my eye: it’s a smaller city, it has a more laid back and tranquil lifestyle, and a historically rich and diverse culture, which was exactly what I was looking for.
Having been in Granada, Spain for a little over a month now I can honestly say that this has been one of the most amazing and gratifying experiences of my life. Every day is an exciting new adventure from simply going out for tapas and trying the delicious gelato shops to strolling through the cobblestone streets of the Albaicín and the Sacromonte neighborhoods, you could explore Granada for weeks on end and still have only scratched it’s surface. Each moment here is filled with so many wonderful opportunities to connect, explore, and truly appreciate the richness and beauty of life in Granada.