Studying Abroad in Granada: My New Home, My New Love
I have arrived! I’ve been studying abroad in Granada for almost two months and I could not be happier. Since day one, my host family has been incredibly welcoming and kind. My mother, Adela is a wonderful cook and helps me a lot with my Spanish. My sisters, Natalia and Belen are around my age and it’s fun to hang out with them–we laugh a lot together! They too have been helping me with Spanish by introducing me to Disney movies in Spanish. I would definitely recommend having a host family to others–mine is adding so much to my experience, and I know we will stay close after I leave.
I’ve gotten into a routine so I feel like I’m at home. This is what my typical day looks like:
7am: Alarm goes off. (I actually wake up this early everyday.)
7:30am: I walk into the kitchen, where my host mom has toast and coffee waiting for me. (I know, I’m spoiled.)
8am – 12:30pm: Class. I’m in a language intensive program, which is very rigorous, but worth every minute. I can already understand most of what everyone is saying and (attempt to) respond!
12:30pm -2:30pm : Trabajo! My community service work is in a large private school in Albaizin, the oldest part of Granada where the Alhambra is located. I am teaching English to 9- and 10-year-olds. Their attention spans are limited, but I have fun with them.
3:30pm: After I get home, I eat lunch with my mom and sisters. Yes, at 3:30pm. The Spaniards have a very different time system than I am used to, but eating late has its perks.
4:00pm : Perk # 1 of eating late: After lunch, because it’s the biggest meal of the day, it’s completely acceptable to take a long nap (otherwise known as a siesta).
7:30pm: I joined a gym here! It’s a great way to meet people and I am learning to dance in my Zumba class. It’s hard because I’m rhythmically challenged, but I’m having a great time
9:00pm: Normally I go out for a tapa or two with friends. A spanish tapa–in Granada at least–is a small plate of food you get gratis (for free!) when you buy a drink. The food is delicious no matter what they give you, so if you come here, don’t be afraid to try something new!
10:30pm: Dinner with my host family! We eat a lot of meat, especially pork. One of my favorite meals is simple, but delicious. Toasted bread, tomato/garlic puree, jamon iberico, and manchego cheese.
11:30pm: Watching the news after dinner is the perfect way to wind down after a long day, catch up on current events, and learn a little Spanish!
Because there is so much to explore here, we have been going on many excursions during the weekends. So far, I have gone to Seville, Cordoba, and Sorvilan. I absolutely love walking around and visiting all of the tourist attractions. My favorite trip so far has been to Sorvilan. It is in Las Alpujarras, which is essentially mountains, beach and vineyards–no big deal. Everything was so beautiful and tranquil compared to the city. It was wonderful to get out of the city for a while.
“Nunca es tarde cuando la dicha es buena.”
– It’s never too late for joy.