First, hi everyone, my name is Kaymen Hustrulid, and I am a Humanities: International Studies & Spanish major. My first time abroad was in the Spring of 2023. I was a junior at UTC, and I chose to study in Granada, Spain. I had zero questions about where I wanted to go (Spain) because of a multitude of reasons. First, I obviously wanted to go to a Spanish speaking country. I also really wanted to do more outside traveling during my abroad experience, and I actually got to visit the UK, France, Italy, Morocco, and the Canary Islands. Additionally, I had never been outside the U.S. before, so South America seemed too close to home for me. Granada was perfect for me, and it is situated in the south of Spain, near the Mediterranean Sea and the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
The location and size of Granada are what enticed me to choose this city, but I also had heard that Granada was a student city, which made it one of the safest cities in Spain. I made the decision to live with a host family while in Spain because I really wanted to learn as much Spanish as possible. Living with a host family is something that can either really enhance or taint your experience. Personally, I had less problems living in someone else’s space than some of my friends. It can be really difficult to adjust to the norms of the households you’re placed in, especially when you are used to living on your own. On the other hand, I really feel like my homestay significantly impacted my language skills, and it is such a phenomenal way to fully immerse yourself, if that is your intention.
As far as my program, I really wasn’t picky with it, but I tried to stick with a program that was affiliated with UTC because you get a little discount. I went with ISA, and if I can recommend any program it is this one. I think it is a little less well known, but my program managers were absolutely amazing. I did not plan on loving my program as much as I did by the end of the semester. Throughout the entire process the ISA Granada staff were so attentive, and made you feel like part of a big family. Also, I thought our excursions and activities really brought our group together.
Some excursions included in my Spring 2023 program included overnight trips to Madrid, Toledo, Las Alpujarras, Sevilla, Cordoba, and a beach day in Malaga. With my program everything was optional, so if you didn’t feel like going there weren’t any questions asked, which I thought was nice. Our big Morocco trip was an additional $925, so some people didn’t attend that one, but it ended up being one of my favorite trips. I couldn’t imagine trying to plan something like that on my own, so if you get the opportunity, I highly advise you go with your program. We were able to camp in the Sahara, ride camels, tour the historical Medina of Fes, and so much more. It was such a surreal experience.
One of the things I am most compelled to talk about is how much I feel like studying abroad allows you to grow as a person and see the world in a whole new light. I am so astonished by the knowledge I gained not just in school but just by interacting with people from different backgrounds than me. I loved my time abroad so much that I am going to Spain again for the Fall 2023 semester. I want to live in Spain and I am so passionate about getting others to try studying abroad. I now have friends all over the U.S., and I even made friends with people from other countries, too.
Studying abroad was life changing, and since being home, I am so antsy to get back to Spain. It was seriously the best decision of my life. If you have any specific questions about funding/making friends/traveling tips feel free to DM me on Instagram @kaymenhustrulid.
Kaymen Hustrulid (BA Humanities: International Studies and BA Spanish) spent Spring 2023 studying abroad in Granada, Spain through ISA. Kaymen had the following to say about studying abroad, “Studying abroad has been one of the most rewarding experiences. The things I learned about the world and about myself would never have been uncovered unless I had gone abroad. Full send it! I can’t rave enough about my experience.”
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