IES Abroad Granada - Study in Granada

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About

Our curriculum takes full advantage of Andalusia and all southern Spain has to offer. The program offers two unique program options that are designed to improve your Spanish proficiency: the Intermediate Spanish Program and Advanced Spanish Program.

Students placed in the Intermediate Program take IES Abroad courses in both English and Spanish. The Advanced Program courses are conducted entirely in Spanish, including study at the Universidad de Granada. Both options introduce you to Spain’s Moorish heritage and Jewish past, and its continuing links to North Africa through Islamic and Contemporary North African Studies. Advanced students can also experience Arabic language courses of all levels, at the Universidad de Granada.

Questions & Answers

Most people walk to the IES Center from their homestays, and most people's commutes were under 30 minutes. Only a few more around 40 minutes, and a lucky few were less than 10 minutes away. As far as public transit, Granada only has a bus system, and while it can be helpful (especially for getting to the larger bus station or the University of Granada, if you decide to take a class there), a lot...
There are many ways that you can meet Spanish people without taking classes at the University. IES sets each student up with an "intercambio", a Spanish student that also wants American friends. You can get in touch with each other and hang out as much as you want. You will also meet many Spanish people when you go out to tapas, bars, salsa clubs, etc... I would definitely recommend living with a...

Reviews

96%
based on 73 reviews
  • Academics 8.2
  • Support 9.7
  • Fun 9.5
  • Housing 9.5
  • Safety 9.5
Showing 1 - 15 of 73
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Ellie
10/10

Un Nuevo Hogar

I came into my semester in Granada nervous. I would describe myself as someone who likes routine and familiarity and these 4 months were anything but that. But looking back, going abroad to Granada with IES Abroad was absolutely the best decision I could have made. Although it may sound cheesy and/or unrealistic to some, I can honestly say that since going abroad I can see so much self growth in myself. At the end of the semester, I was so surprised by how hard I found it to say goodbye to the new life I had created. Today Lately I have been finding myself missing so much about my "2nd home". I miss the relaxed "no pasa nada" lifestyle in Granada that was such a refreshing change from my always busy U.S. life. I miss being able to walk anywhere and everywhere. I immensely miss my incredible host mom who not only always made sure my housemate and I were well fed, but also always supported and comfortable. I miss the IES staff and professors who taught me so many new things I would never have been able to learn at my home school, organized amazing activities for us in Granada (ex. cooking classes, wine tastings, open mic nights), planned trips for us ranging in location from nearby Cordoba to Morocco, and most importantly, were always there if we needed anything at all. I miss being able to meet up with my friends for tapas and tinto de verano and maybe gelato from Los Italianos afterwards. I miss studying in the IES center and getting to look up and see the Alhambra above me. Most of all, I miss the person I was able to be in Granada: similar, but also different to the person I am back in the U.S. Both the city of Granada and the IES Abroad program gave me so much, both personally and academically, and I will be forever thankful that I chose to push myself to go far outside of my comfort zone and study in Granada. Although it may have only been 4 months, I know that I will hold this experience close and continue to learn and grow from it for a long time.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Devon
10/10

Best choice I made for my education!

I studied abroad with IES Granada in the spring semester of 2018 and it was one of the best choices I could’ve made. Though it’s hard to capture the essence of my study abroad experience with words, here are a few things that could help you imagine what the city and program is like:

In terms of academics, the classes that are offered all integrate Granada’s rich history and character into the coursework. I took classes like Watercolor Workshop and Art History that allow you to go out and explore the city with your class every single week. I loved how interactive these classes were. If you have other interests, but don’t see any classes that the program offers that cater to them, you also have the option to take classes at the University of Granada.

The city is also very accessible in terms of public transportation. There are taxis, busses, and even bikes that can take you to important spots like the downtown area, the university, the airport, and the bus station. This will especially come in handy if you decide to travel on weekends. There are beautiful nearby pueblos that you could (and should!) easily visit in a day—Nerja, Marbella, Cónchar, Málaga, El Chorro-Caminito del Rey, to name a few. The program also takes students on excursions to Sierra Nevada, Sevilla, Ronda, Córdoba, and Morocco. All of these trips were great experiences to get to know the region of Andalucía. The Morocco trip was unforgettable. There, we stayed with Moroccan homestays in the city of Rabat, which is just a small part of what makes that excursion so unique.

It’s because of the connections that the staff at IES Granada has that allowed the program to have such wonderful opportunities. The staff, advisors, and orientadores all made me feel really welcome and were very helpful in connecting me with resources or activities that I was interested in. If you want to volunteer, join a club sports team, get an internship or just explore the city in general, everyone who works at the center in Granada can help…just ask! I became good friends with the orientadores just by hanging out with them whenever they organized something, and I really appreciated having people my age to show me around.

I also walked to the IES center every week for classes and was amazed by the historical sites I saw every day on my short walk. The cathedral and the Alhambra are two of the biggest historical sites that I was fortunate enough to learn about in my classes, and then visit during my time in Granada. Along with this are beautiful areas to hike, run, walk, and even ski (in the nearby Sierra Nevada Mountains)!

Granada is also a really cheap city to live in, compared to other cities in Spain. So take advantage because a little bit of money can really go a long way. You especially cannot beat the tapas deals offered here! The program also offers great financial aid opportunities, which really helped me enjoy and experience my study abroad dreams. I highly recommend studying abroad with IES Granada, it is an opportunity that has made a deep impression on my life. It is where I learned a lot about Spanish culture, the Spanish language, and most importantly about myself.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Dorothy
9/10

Just the Beginning!

I really enjoyed my time in Granada for a few different reasons. I visited and lived in one of the coolest parts of Spain for a semester; getting to know the people, places, and history surrounding Andalucía. I learned how to speak better Spanish, I met very amazing Spanish people, ate tapas, and visited many different sites. In terms of academics, I took five courses and all but one was taught in Spanish. In some of the classes I learned about the history of Sephardic Jews, Flamenco, and how universities like UGR utilize technology for different social causes. One of my favorite aspects of this program was the different excursions that we were able to participate in. We had about five excursions during the semester that were free to IES students. During these trips we went on hikes, tours of different Cathedrals, museums, and old sites. I also loved being able to get to know the city of Granada itself. I walked nearly everywhere; to the Albycin, the Alhambra, and cafes. There were so many different places to visit- and most in walking distance. But it also wasn't hard to get to visit other cities from Granada- you could take a day trip to another major city using an ALSA bus, which was cheap and convenient. The community in Granada was pretty laid back and fun, I made some really great friends with Spanish university students, other IES students, and also my host mom! I think one of my favorite memories was being able to participate in the open mics that IES put on. I was able to practice, have jam sessions, and conversations with IES and local university students. From this experience, I got to know the people in Granada and felt more connected to the community there. Overall, I really enjoyed my time in Spain and I consider it as just the beginning of my adventures in Spain!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Meredith
10/10

Everything I Dreamed of and MORE

You always dream of the perfect study abroad experience, but much to my surprise, my time at IES Abroad Granada exceeded my expectations! I hadn't been planning to study abroad with this program, or in this city, but I am SO thankful I did! Granada is the ideal city in Spain to immerse yourself in the traditional Spanish culture, and the IES program there is run in an incredible manner. The staff at IES cares about you having an immersive, self-reflective, amazing journey, and they help you along the way. I stayed with an amazing host family and got to know other Spanish students through orientation leaders and friends I made through out the program. I am so grateful that the program created such a safe and inviting atmosphere to share with others all of the challenges and awesome things you experience while live abroad for a semester. I would highly HIGHLY recommend IES Abroad to anyone who would listen! You're going to experience an authentic Spanish city, see amazing historical landmarks, and practice your Spanish everyday! You'll be talking about your semester in Granada for years to come!

How can this program be improved?
Ideally I would like more classes to be offered at the IES center. It is a limited selection, but I still was able to find classes that covered credits at my home university!
Yes, I recommend this program
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Anna
10/10

The Pomegranate of my Eye

"Granada" translates to "pomegranate" (just to make sure the title of this review makes sense!). My experience in Granada was unique, challenging, inspiring, thought provoking and something I cherish so deeply. I experienced ups and downs as studying abroad challenges you to leap out of your comfort zone. I definitely was thrilled to be doing this, but it was definitely a bit overwhelming at times. One of the reasons I found IES Abroad Granada to be such a great program was because of the staffs commitment to understanding students' individual experiences, meeting them where they are at, and supporting them the best they could. The staff of this program in Granada radiated kindness and made a genuine effort to know each student. The warm and empathetic attitudes of the staff created a very positive environment that felt optimal for personal and community growth. Additionally, the IES Abroad Granada program includes many trips and participating in these adventures broadened my perspectives and also helped me to develop and strengthen relationships with those around me. During my semester in Granada, I lived in a homestay and this was a major highlight of my experience. Not only did it greatly help me improve my Spanish skills, but it also made me feel like I truly had a second home. It was also a very positive experience getting to know my host family and others from Granada as I was building relationships in a different language. An aspect of this program that I found very beneficial is that each student is paired with a student who attends the University of Granada and are encouraged to get together and help each other improve their language skills. Overall, the IES Abroad Granada program provided me with amazing opportunities to learn and grow in a setting previously unfamiliar to me. It led me to build meaningful and lasting relationships and it gave me experiences that I continue to learn from even while I am back at home. Lastly, the city of Granada is a place of jaw-dropping beauty and amazing history, and this program helped me to get to know this place like it was my home.

How can this program be improved?
I think that this program could be improved by having more events that bring IES students together with students from Granada. The experiences I did have in settings with students from both were wonderful and I think many would enjoy spending more time getting to know students from different places and cultures.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Ashley
10/10

An unforgettable semester under la Alhambra hill

It was so bittersweet to leave the place that became my home in more ways than one. I’m so grateful to have had the experience of watching as, day-by-day, a place that bagan feeling so unfamiliar and big became a place filled with loved ones, favorite cafes, and memories at every former. It was a semester filled to the brim with café con leche and tinto de verano, sunset picnics and spontaneous weekend trips, Spanish conversations that varied wildly in their successfulness, and so many new beautiful friends. Granda is an incredibly beautiful, authentic, and culturally and historically rich small city. It has everything you could possibly want in a study abroad location but it’s also small enough that you can walk almost anywhere. All of my classes at IES were interesting and the professors were very passionate about their jobs. I also took a class at the local university and the IES staff was extremely supportive in finding a class and professor that fit well with my interests and abilities. IES was also wonderful in organizing several weekend trips. The trip to Morocco was a one in a lifetime experience – I was able to meet a family through a homestay as well as so a variety of Moroccan youth. I would absolutely recommend this program to anyone and everyone.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Lindsey
10/10

Granada stole mi corazón!

Studying abroad through IES Abroad Granada was the best decision I could've made. From the amazing program staff, to my beloved host mom, and the city Granada itself, I felt supported, challenged, and excited on a daily basis. I had the opportunity to take fun and engaging classes- a Spanish class, flamenco dancing, a literature course, a feminist film course, and a class on Islamic architecture (you get to have class in the Alhambra!!). The program offers support in helping students engage in the community. Through IES, I was able to take an extracurricular painting class at a local community art center. Every week, an email of all the amazing events and activities going on goes out- language meet ups, cool tapas bars to check out, museum exhibits... anything under the sun! IES takes students on incredible excursions- one of my favorites was our trip to Morocco, where we had the opportunity to stay in homestay families in Rabat and explore a bunch of different cities. I cannot say enough good things about the staff- Javier is absolutely the best person on the planet for this job, and I loved getting to know the folks at IES Granada. They strike an excellent balance of making students feel comfortable and supported while giving students independence and opportunity to shape their own experiences.

Granada itself is truly a magical city, with beautiful mountains, tons of nooks and crannies to explore, an abundance of tapas, and wonderful people. I loved sitting in a plaza with a café con leche after class, soaking up the Spanish sun and reading a book or talking with a friend. It's very walkable, very beautiful, and the ideal size for studying abroad- big enough where I felt like I had plenty to explore, but small enough to get to know well. There is also access to nature right outside of the city. I would hike often in the nearby rolling hills, or take a short bus ride to the beautiful Alpujarra, where you can explore the Sierra Nevada and take a breather from the city.

One of the biggest highlights for me was my host mom- she was undoubtedly my best friend while I was abroad, and I learned so much from living with her. She made me feel like family right off the bat, and hanging out with her skyrocketed my Spanish speaking abilities. We went shopping together, went for churros and chocolate, and spent many hours having long chats about life! Living with her was so special, and an experience I will hold in my heart forever.

I also had a really special experience with my intercambio, a local student from the University of Granada. She became one of my close friends, and we would meet for coffee or tapas every couple of weeks. I loved hanging out with the orientadores, local students who lead fun excursions for IES students and also help with orientation at the beginning of the semester. I did a bunch of cool activities with them- went to art exhibits, to cafés, on a hike in a nearby town. I established a strong relationship with one of them, and was invited to her house for lunch at the end of the semester! (a big deal in Spanish culture!)

IES Abroad Granda is an amazing program! I truly loved it and I would recommend it to anyone looking for an immersive experience full of challenge, fun, and adventure!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Jessie
10/10

How to fall for a city in 4 short months

Granada has my heart! From the constant life on the street to sunsets from the top of old fortress walls and hills covered in olive trees and murals, playing pick up soccer before watching Granada FC home games with the extended homestay family or stumbling upon festivals and music on my walk home, I absolutely loved my time abroad with IES. A week without tapas or shwarma seemed unfathomable, a day without watching motos weave around on the street just silly. Granada is a beautiful blend of a city with architecture from many different times, religions and styles and a huge student population that keeps it young. It's walkable but not too small, a true city city but not without great hikes and the Sierra Nevada mountains close enough to touch. I'm so grateful for my warm and wonderfully wacky homestay parents and the Spanish pace of life and sense of time. IES program staff, professors, and orientadores are very supportive and provide unique immersive opportunities and excursions. Trips around Andalusia and Morocco helped us understand and explore social and political contexts. Classes were diverse and helped improve my Spanish (the accent and slang in southern Spain is notorious) while allowing for time to get to know and be a part of the city. I had the chance to take a course at the University of Granada through which I made my best Spanish and international friends, people who I will cherish forever. Every day in Granada can be, and was, its own little adventure.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Kristen
8/10

The Perfect City to Study Abroad

Granada is truly a beautiful and unique city with a wonderful overall atmosphere. One of the first aspects of the city that I loved upon arrival was the ability to walk to almost any area of the city that I wanted to explore. Granada is truly the perfect size for studying abroad as it is not too big that it would cause one to feel lost; however, it is also not too small in that you will always be able to find and discover something new. One aspect of this program that I truly love is the cultural enrichment it provides. The courses that one is able to take directly correlate with the history and culture of the city. Therefore, one is able to learn and discuss their daily experiences and observations within the classroom. The ability to participate in an internship is another aspect of the IES Abroad Program that I loved! I had the opportunity to teach English at a local school during my time abroad and made amazing relationships with the children there! Furthermore, my Spanish and awareness of cultural differences was heightened through my working with these students and choosing to live with a family through a homestay. There was never a dull moment that I experienced while in Spain. Whether I was going on a field trip to explore a city within the Andalusia region, embarking on an excursion recommended by our orientation leaders, or finding a new cafe or tapas bar with some wonderful people who I know I will remain friends with throughout my lifetime, Granada gave me the chance to breathe, reflect, and most importantly listen and learn.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Maddy
9/10

No place like Granada

I wouldn't trade my study abroad experience for the world. Granada is so special and I’ve never been anywhere like it. IES made my experience so special with amazing resources and opportunities to fill my time with meaningful things. My classes were fulfilling and really interesting and encouraged me to learn in a style that I was unfamiliar with. Walking down Granada’s magical streets kept me amazed and always made me smile.
The homestays made my program really unique and made me feel more culturally connected as well as the other opportunities IES provides for cultural immersion. One of these opportunities was traveling to an unforgettable trip to Morocco filled activities I wouldn't be able to experience alone. I miss watching the sunsets with Alhambra as the background and walking through vividly colored streets. I have so much appreciation for IES for all that they did for me during my time in Granada. Granada is a part of me now and I can’t wait to go back and visit in the future.

How can this program be improved?
Start earlier for fall programs.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Casey
9/10

I Went Overseas and I Wish I Never Came Back

Where to even begin? My semester abroad in Granada, Spain with IES was by far one of the best experiences of my life! Not only was Granada the perfect city to study abroad in, but IES helped make it feel like home. My host family was phenomenal; they were warm, funny, energetic, generous, and welcomed me into their home with open arms. The classes were interesting, and while not the most academically rigorous, they allowed me to both vastly improve my Spanish skills and have the free time to explore the city and travel. Speaking of travel, the IES led trips were some of the best I took all semester. The five days in Morocco were not only incredibly fun, but insightfully organized and educational. The other day and weekend trips throughout Spain were also great, as they brought me to beautiful Spanish cities I otherwise wouldn’t have explored. But the most incredible part of the travel was how happy I was to come home to Granada every time. Granada is beautiful, the people are friendly, it’s exciting but never feels overly touristy, and most importantly to me, it was small enough (but not too small) that I really felt like I got to know it by the end of my time there. Studying abroad in Granada was the best decision I ever made, and while it definitely had its difficulties (as all adventures do) I still wake up every morning wishing I was in Spain again.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Hayley
9/10

Fall in Granada, Spain

Studying abroad with IES in Granada was one of the absolute best experiences I've ever had. Granada is a beautiful, extremely walkable city with countless things to do and sites to see. IES does an amazing job of helping its students find opportunities to integrate themselves into the culture and everyday life of the city. Classes within the program are challenging and diverse in their subjects. I found that my Spanish improved significantly while abroad through the daily Spanish class, the other classes I took in Spanish, speaking with my host mom, and through daily life in the city. IES also has many amazing field trips around southern Spain as well as an incredible five day trip to Morocco. I made some of my best friends abroad and would not change the experience for anything in the world.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Quinn
9/10

The Best Semester

I cannot think of a better place to study abroad than Granada. It is a beautiful, safe, eccentric city and you get to live right in the center of everything!

I have done two study abroad programs and IES definitely sticks out in my mind for their thoroughness, fun experiences in Granada and various other cities, attentiveness to students, and the way that they foster great relationships among the students throughout the whole semester. From the beginning of the semester, they set up great activities and excursions to meet friends early on. They really gave us the chance to ease into living in Spain. I liked the small to medium size of the program and that I knew a lot of people in my program by name.

A favorite memory of mine was the trip to Morocco. It was a true bonding experience as we spent the few days with the same small group of students and this was most of our first time experiencing a culture so different from that of the United States. IES planned everything so we just got to have fun and did not have to worry about a thing!

Another couple of highlights from my semester abroad were my homestay and the faculty at the center. My host mom was so loving and I loved having the chance to be more immersed in the language. Overall, the professors at the center were great as well. While the classes themselves were not always super interesting, most of the professors were really committed to getting to know the students as individuals. The course load was manageable, obviously the work picked up around midterms and finals but in general I had plenty of time to enjoy my abroad experience.

I cannot recommend studying in Granada through IES Abroad enough, when I look back, I know those months spent in Spain will be regarded as some of the best in my life.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Marissa
10/10

Granada la Fantástica

My experience in Granada was everything that I could've hoped it would be. I chose the city for its culture and history, having recently written a research paper on the influences of Arabic on Spain and the Spanish language. In Granada, it was so cool to see these influences play out in real life; the mix of culture that is unique to southern Spain stood out and created a study abroad experience like no other. More than that, though, I enjoyed Granada for the variety of academics courses offered, the program trips they planned for us, the city's culture of siesta and tapas, the Spaniards' love for soccer, and the political science class I got to take at the local university. I took classes on Spanish literature, the local art and architecture of the region, and the history of Andalusia (Southern Spain and North Africa). Although I am fairly competent in speaking Spanish, the required language class that we had to take was extremely helpful in teaching us about Spain and Granada-specific culture, slang, social tendencies, and differing grammar and vocabulary. I could not choose a favorite memory, but if anything, I will always treasure the nights my newfound friends and I went out for dinner, participating in the culture of tapas. Tapas meant that if you bought a drink, then you could choose from a range of appetizers to accompany it for free. So instead of eating large meals for dinner, the lunch meal would be the main course for the day and then we would go out for drinks and appetizers at night. I would say that my favorite memories came from those nights, when we forced ourselves to practice Spanish with one another and to try new foods and new restaurants. The friends I made, both American and Spanish, will stick with me for a long time, and the memories of a fantastic study abroad experience will last forever.

How can this program be improved?
By encouraging more students to study there! The program itself needs no improvement.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Liza
10/10

The best place for a student

Granada is the ideal city for anyone looking for a study abroad experience in which they can immerse themselves as much as possible in Spanish culture. Granada is known to be one of the safest cities in Spain and even Europe, and I definitely felt even safer there than I do in many cities in the U.S.
I chose the host family option for housing, and was placed with a single 64 year-old woman who was so loving and welcoming to me. I had a roommate but we each had our own room. My host mom was an amazing chef (some of the best food I had in Granada was made by her!), very clean, and extremely caring. I had bronchitis during the semester, and she insisted on coming to the doctors and pharmacy with me, and took special care of me while I was healing.
The program staff struck the perfect balance of helping us when we needed and providing activities and trips, while also letting us be independent and make our experiences our own.

How can this program be improved?
I personally felt that there might have been too much homework, but it also depended on the classes you chose. At the same time, the work was manageable.
Yes, I recommend this program

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IES Abroad offers 140 programs worldwide for college students. We are a highly charged force of study abroad enthusiasts. Every day we have the privilege of witnessing how study abroad changes our students’ lives. We also believe that every student...