Katelyn Hart Universidad de Granada
San Josť State University - Majoring in Spanish, Minoring in Magazine Journalism
The idea of finishing school at home, when I could go somewhere different and exciting, seemed ridiculous to me. So I raised the money in scholarships and now here I am in Granada, Spain!
The Spanish language has always been a passion of mine, and Iím having the time of my life studying it in Spain.
In this photo: I am holding my ticket to my first corrida (bullfight).
One thing I love about Granada is its Plaza de Toros, the bullfighting ring. The tickets are relatively cheap for students, and the stadium is generally uncrowded.
Also, the plaza is home to a famous discoteca and several fantastic restaurants where you can eat carne de toro (bull meat).
Another neat thing about Granada is that there is always something going on here. Since I first arrived in August, there have been five or so festivals, mostly celebrating Catholic saints.
It is common to see men selling balloons in Granada, but during festivals their loads are exponentially larger!
Bread is a huge staple of the Spanish diet, but I've never seen loaves as large as the ones being sold at this festival stand during a local Renaissance Fair.
My living situation has been the most rewarding part of my study abroad experience.
I was lucky enough to find a room for rent with Ines and her daughter, Alejandra. They are a lot of fun, and living with them has improved my Spanish IMMENSELY and given me many opportunities to meet and befriend other locals.
I absolutely love my roommates!
Staying with Ines and her small family has also exposed me to many Andalucian customs, like tapas hopping.
Iíve also been able to share some American customs with them. On Halloween, I had fun teaching Alejandra how to carve a pumpkin for the first time.
Halloween is relatively new to Spain, and Spaniards only started celebrating it about three years ago.
As for school, my classes are amazing. I absolutely love all of my teachers at the University of Granadaís Centro de Lenguas Modernas.
School is a little different here than in the U.S. We seldom get homework, for example, and half of my teachers donít believe in tests.
In my free time, I love to walk around Granadaís old neighborhoods. They are full of Moorish and gypsy history, as well as beautiful views.
Around the corner from my piso is this beautiful plaza where my friends and I sometimes go to eat traditional Spanish hot chocolate with churros.
I recently discovered that it used to be the "Execution Plaza" during the Spanish inquisition.
Nowadays, the plaza is home to Chikito (the white building on the right), a restaurant where famed Spanish poet Federico GarcŪa Lorca used to meet up with his artist and writer friends to share his work and discuss the art issues of the day.
So far, my stay in Granada has been really rewarding and not at all as hard or complicated as I thought it would be.
I am very glad I chose to study here!
Learn more about the study abroad program in Spain