I was born in Los Angeles and raised in Sacramento. After graduating, I would like to work abroad to build experience and within years come back to the U.S. to eventually receive my doctorate and work in Latin America or Europe.
I knew that studying abroad would open up many opportunities for me to see another part of the world. I also knew my family could not support me financially, so I decided to raise money in scholarships. It took time and dedication, but I was able to raise the funds to pay for my entire study abroad experience and here I am today, in Granada.
On the third week in Granada, CSU IP took us to one of Andalucía's national parks, where we were able to get to know each other. Many of us went canyoning in the Guadalquivier River, known as the Great River of the Arabs.
Water and heights were two of my biggest fears, however, I was able to overcome them through the canyoning experience. By facing two of my biggest fears at the beginning of the school year, I felt more than prepared to overcome any obstacle I could come across throughout my study abroad experience.
When I first arrived to Granada I was given about two weeks to find housing. There were four barrios, which are living communities, to choose from: Realejo, Albyzin, Centro, or Camino de Ronda.
Realejo is a beautiful barrio close to La Alhambra and to El Centro de Lenguas Modernas, where most of my classes are located. In Camino de Ronda and Centro, you can find Spanish university students. Although I was intrigued by the beautiful, white, Spanish adobe houses in Albyzin, walking to the top of a hill was not something I could see myself doing every day.
I lived in Realejo for three months, which was a rewarding experience, however, I found my home for the remainder of my study abroad experience in El Centro. My house is known as Casa Cuchilleros, which was constructed in the fifteenth century. Seventeen other students studying abroad from all over Europe live here with me.
I am delighted with the Spanish culture and have learned to adapt to it quite well. I start my day with a warm café con leche, a Spanish tostada, and fresh, natural orange juice.
From two until about four in the afternoon, the Spanish have their siestas. At the beginning of the study abroad experience I felt somewhat guilty for having two hours to nap and relax but I have adjusted to the Spanish way of living. I use that free time to do homework or take walks around the city.
Just minutes up the hill from Realejo is La Alhambra and Generalife's beautiful gardens.
The University hosts fact-filled tours to La Alhambra and towns in Andalucía with one of the professors from El Centro de Lenguas Modernas.
One of the unique traditions in Granada is the religious processions held throughout the year. During the processions, local Spaniards come out to walk through the streets of Granada holding religious icons. The processions can go as late as one or two in the morning, ending the procession with beautiful, bright fireworks.
In my free time I like walking through El Centro and coming across the local markets filled with Moorish-influenced gifts. I have found that the Moorish influence in Southern Spain had an immense impact both on the culture, architecture and Spanish traditions.
I enjoy my classes at la Universidad de Granada's Centro de Lenguas Modernas because the classes help me understand Spain's history, culture and traditions.
Although I rarely get homework or have tests, professors are helpful and make sure students fully understand the concepts being taught in class.
I enjoy spending time in water, and one of my favorite aspects about studying in Granada is having the Mediterranean Sea only forty-five minutes away by bus. I took this picture in Almería on the first of November. Almería is sunny about 300 days out of the year!
The Sierra Nevada is only about forty-five minutes away from Granada by car. My German friend rented a car for the weekend and drove one of my best friends and me to Monachil, a national park located twenty-two minutes outside of Granada.
After our hike we decided to drive up twenty more minutes to spend the rest of the day in the snow. I never thought I would experience such drastic change in environment in one day but it has been one of the most memorable days thus far.
The holidays in Granada are filled with beautiful Christmas lights and bright decorations throughout the city. Students walk around the city in the night with Christmas lights illuminating the streets. I really like this tradition because the decorations put me in the holiday spirit.
I have met people from many parts of the world in the three months that I have been in Spain and I am looking forward to learning more about other parts of the world in my remaining time in Europe.
When I decided to study abroad I left home with an open mind and ready to absorb other cultures. Half of Granada's population is composed of students from all over Europe and the Americas who are also studying abroad. I have learned so much about other parts of the world in the three months in Granada. This is my new home.
Learn more about the study abroad program in Spain