Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Melissa B - Granada, Spain - Fall 2014

Hello everyone!

I am studying with Arcadia Program Fall term in Granada, Spain. I've been here for a month now, and I can honestly say I couldn't have dreamed of more! Traveling alone for the first time to Madrid then to Granada was definitely nerve wrecking and long but couldn't have gone by smoother. Once arriving in Granada, I instantly fell in love with its people, lifestyle and food! Spain has been outstanding so far and have already traveling to three spanish beaches (taking advantage of the summer weather before it's gone): Playa Nerja, Cádiz, and Ibiza. All three were beyond words and all had something different to offer, from amazing history to fantastic views, but every time I return to Granada, I feel at home. The city is enchanting and my Spanish is improving so quickly! My Spanish family is so kind and makes me feel very welcome. Besides a short cold, my first month in Granada has been perfect (no culture shock here). I have so much more to do and want to do it all at once, but patience is a virtue especially on my wallet ;) . Feel Free To Ask Away Any Questions YOU Might Have!


Blogger Marie Sidlowski said...

Wow Melissa, that is GREAT you already feel at home! I would take advantage of the nicer weather too! Are activities abroad in Granada typically very expensive? Also, what is your favorite food so far?

11:43 PM  
Blogger Allen Riquelme said...

Hi Melissa! I'm Allen from Elmhurst, IL. I'm really glad to hear that you're enjoying yourself in Spain! I as well am looking into studying abroad in Spain for next semester! May I ask, what made you want to study abroad in this country? Was it hard for you to adjust to living with a new family? Have you attended any cultural events yet so far? Also, how is all of the Spanish food so far as well? Hope you have a great rest of your study abroad experience! Wish you all the best!

-Allen Riquelme

2:13 AM  
Anonymous Kinga Glowik said...

Hi Melissa!
I am so glad you are having a great time and that your Spanish is improving already! Do you find yourself speaking mostly English or Spanish with other students in your program? Are you taking classes at a local university? Thanks for your help!
-Kinga Glowik

7:14 PM  
Blogger Shannon Burns said...

Hi Melissa!
I will be studying in Granada this spring, so I am very happy to hear that all is going well so far. What classes are you taking? Are you planning any trips to other countries?

Shannon Burns

8:13 PM  
Blogger Melissa Betance said...

Hello Marie!

There is tons of activities to do in Granada it's awesome! Because it is so near to the Sierra Nevada mountains you can go biking, hiking, running and it is beautiful. If you are not the out doorsy type, you can also choose from cooking classes, dance classes, guitar lessons. Go see flamenco, visit the alhambra. Visit museums, the cathedral or just enjoy tapas with locals! So much more!

6:56 AM  
Blogger Melissa Betance said...

HEY Allen,

If you have just the tiniest desire to study in Spain. DO IT. without a doubt the greatest decision for me. I've always known I would pick Spain If I ever studied away because I love the culture and language, spanish is one of my majors, and my family speaks spanish. Adjusting to the new family couldn't have gone better. I was definitely nervous as the rest of my friends were mostly in apartments, that I wouldn't be able to see them as much. But that is so false. I see them everyday. And Granada is such a walkable city that the distance is no problem. The family is incredibly nice and makes outstanding food. I recommend a homestay because you get double the language and culture exposure. I've visited the alhambra, the cathedral, the royal chapel, I've seen live flamenco And hiked the Sierra nevada. All so awesome !! The food is out of this world. And tapas are FREE with your drinks. Couldn't get better than that. Granada also happens to be the cheapest city in Europe. Perfect student atmosphere.

6:57 AM  
Blogger Melissa Betance said...

Hi Kinga,

Because I live in a homestay, my spanish is used much more than my friends in apartments. I speak the language everywhere except when I'm talking to friends in the program. The first weeks we got here we chose to speak only spanish which was cool So definitely possible. I am one one level from being able to take courses at the University of granada, so right now I'm just taking courses at the center of modern languages. You must be pretty fluent in order to do so. Hope this helps!

6:57 AM  
Blogger Melissa Betance said...

Hello Shannon! I took part in the pre session intensive course of Grammer and now I am taking grammar, oral and writing, history of art in spain, literature of Spain. ALL great classes. I have been traveling within Spain mostly so far because I want to take advantage of my time here. I plan to see Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla, Toledo. But also, Morrocco, Italy, Paris, Switzerland and who knows maybe more haha! Very easy and fun to travel in groups!


6:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Melissa, I am glad you are enjoying your time in Granada. I was wondering if you had any advice about choosing classes?

Violet Luczak

12:29 AM  
Blogger Allen Riquelme said...

Hi, Melissa!

Hope all is well! May I ask, when you first went to Spain, did you personally ever experience culture shock from your time there? Did you ever experience a time where you also felt so out of place and homesick, that you just wanted to pack up and leave? If so, what caused you to overcome your fears? Thank you!

-Allen Riquelme

3:23 AM  
Blogger Sydney Zeig said...

It's reassuring that you are not homesick! Loved reading your blog and looking at your pictures. Your trip looks amazing.

8:05 PM  
Blogger John Overton said...

I will be studying in Barcelona in the Spring. Have you visited before?

2:07 PM  
Blogger Deyanira Chacon said...

Hi Melissa! It so great to read about what a wonderful experience you had in Granada this past Fall. I will also be studying abroad in Spain this upcoming semester and I am beyond excited. It's so reassuring and comforting that you enjoyed your home stay family since I will be living with one too. Besides visiting several beaches, did you get a chance to do any more traveling? To other countries perhaps? Thanks for sharing!

12:20 PM  

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