As conscientious as we are in our job (programming/ budgeting many months ahead), as focused as we get in our daily tasks (plus incidents coming up), it is easy to forget that we have actual students learning around us and “surviving” their study abroad experience.
Luckily, every semester there are one or two students that systematically make your week. You just need to pay attention to little details: who is really making an effort to use Spanish at all times? Who is learning from each and every experience abroad, be it getting lost, getting sick, getting sad, or discovering new things? Who is actually able to reflect upon these experiences in a healthy way, soaking in every moment?
I would like to present you with Katya Monarski´s interview. Katya studied in Granada in spring 2018, and I do believe she made the most of her time here. I am sure she will come back sooner or later. We sure do miss her!
I decided to study abroad because I had been raised with a global attitude by my mother and wanted to honor that and explore the world for myself. I chose Granada because my dream was to live in Spain, especially in Andalusia.
My semester in Granada was not what I expected, but in a good way. I learned how to live for myself and do things simply because I wanted to, not because there was a group doing it. I learned way more about the Spanish language and culture than I had thought I would, and I ended up feeling more at home that previously expected.
I wish I had known that there would be people to help guide me and mentor me when I was at Arcadia in Granada (special shoutout to Eugenia and Marta, mis salvadoras!). I would have been less nervous to leave!
The most challenging thing about living in Spain was the social aspect. You meet so many people from so many places, and you know you’re leaving in a matter of months, so it’s hard to navigate the social climate.
My highlights of the semester include: my trip to Morocco, my trip to Barcelona, my trip to Nerja, and my chit chats with Marta, Yoli, and Eugenia after class.
Every Granada student should speak Spanish as often as possible, explore the city to the fullest extent (do NOT be one of those people who leaves every weekend to see another country, you’ll miss out), and don’t be afraid to do something you want to do (even if you’re alone in doing it).
I recommend Granada to every student because it has everything: beach, mountains, night life, history, free tapas! I got so alive and at home in this city, I wouldn’t have traded it for the world. I recommend Arcadia in Granada to any student who has a passion for exploring, culture, language, and has a good attitude.
My advice for future students would be to live life to the fullest while you’re in Spain: sample those tapas you can’t pronouce, try the wine, go to that lookout point even though it’s touristy, walk around aimlessly just to take in the surroundings.
My future plans include: going back to Spain, using my Spanish in my medical career, going back to Spain, finishing school, going back to Spain, aaaaaand going back to Spain! Lo echo de menos :)