Anabel – Spain

March 26, 2024

Hola a todos!

This is my final blog post! I am now back in the United States! The three months flew by, and I could not be happier that I studied abroad. It feels odd being back at home. The lifestyle in the United States is so different than Spain and things picked up quickly. I have lots of things to get done, especially since I graduate this semester!

As I reflect on my overall experience, it was totally worth it. I did have a bit of a rough start because the adjustment period was difficult for me. It took time for me to use to the food, the culture, the weather, the language barrier, but as I stayed longer, I become well adjusted. I would say it took about a month. I had meet lots of new friends, learned more Spanish and found activities that made me feel a little more at home. I got a gym membership and started going on daily walks.

Towards the ends when it was time for me to leave, I wanted to stay. Majority of my friends I had made are staying until the end of May, so it was sad to be the only one leaving! If I could do it again, I would do a full semester or a year. I will be going back to visit at least once a year or so. I am happy I got to explore other areas in Spain as well, I really enjoyed traveling around. My favorite place was Malaga. If you ever go to Spain, Malaga is a must visit!

To anyone debating on studying abroad, my best advice is to go with a group or a friend. Travel while you are there. Try lots of food even though you might think you won’t like it. Do a full semester or a year, and if you study somewhere where they speak a different language, take the intensive course, and focus on learning the language. You won’t regret it! Thanks for keeping up with my posts!


February 8th, 2024

¡Hola a todas!

Welcome to another updated blog post! I have been in Granada for over a month now, time has started to speed up! I have less then 2 months left. Lots of new things to update you on so let’s get started.

I have traveled around Spain to different places nearby including Madrid, Barcelona, Cordoba and Almuñecar. Barcelona is an absolute must location to travel too, it’s the best of both worlds, you get the big city and the beach. I will be back! Almuñecar is a great small town beach near Granada. It takes about an hour on the bus and costs about $20 euros round trip. If you go to Spain take advantage of the local transportation like the buses and subways. I use Alsa bus to travel, even as far as Madrid.

My Spanish has finally started to pick up too. My comprehension skills have improved. I am also getting used to the food, although I enjoy American food more, there has been some Spanish dishes I have liked and will miss.
If you love coffee and attend the Centre de Moderna Languages or are near there a great coffee shop is called Las Flores! They have super cheap coffee, tostadas and pastries. A lot of international students go there during breaks between classes.

It is still pretty cold here in Spain. Since lots of homes, apartments and schools do not have heat, I definitely recommend packing lots of warm clothes. Hopefully it starts to warm up soon. That’s all for now!


Spanish Cuisine
Spanish Horizon
Barcelona, Spain

January 14, 2024

¡Hola a todos!


This is my arrival blog post. Today marks day 7 of being abroad in Spain. I will not lie, this week has consisted of many ups and downs. It is very hard and can be stressful to adjust to a new culture, food, location, norms, and just a general way of living. For me in Spain, it has been a challenge but it’s a process to learn the language. I have all Spanish classes 4 hours a day, 5 days a week so I am learning a lot. It has been also hard to make friends so I recommend living in student living with other students in an apartment or residence style. Homestay is better for students who are comfortable with complete immersion and have a better understanding of the language. 


Granada offers so many things to do. I am living downtown so I am walking distance from so many stores, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, thrifting, pubs, libraries, parks, yoga studios, and my school. You can take a bus to the Sierra Nevada mountains to ski and it only is about a 30-40-minute ride. The weather is quite chilly in January so it’s important to pack warm but also keep in mind that you need to pack light because there are lots of shopping places and thrifting! 


The food here is very different from North Carolina. In my homestay, I eat a lot of soup, bread, potatoes, and rice. The meat varies, chicken, rabbit, and fish. I would recommend being snacks from home when you need a comfort meal. 


Phone plans! I was quite concerned about a phone plan because I did not have this figured out until I arrived which can be quite stressful. although, my advisor here helped me set up my phone plan. I am here for three months so the at-home international plan was extremely expensive. I would recommend getting a SIM card when you arrive at local phone stores. Mine is 10 euros a month and includes 50GB of data! Then to talk to people at home I use WhatsApp for calls and texts.

That is all for now! 



Spanish dinner

Spanish dinner

Spanish courtyard

Spanish courtyard

Streets of Granada

Streets of Granada

January 3, 2024

¡Hola readers!

My name is Anabel Harper. I am a senior at ECU majoring in Criminal Justice with a minor in Hispanic Studies. I will be studying abroad in Granada, Spain this semester for 3 months. I will be documenting my experience through this blog, and I am so excited to begin my journey. My program is the EDUCA Trip, and I will be attending the Universidad de Granada with many other students from all over the world. I will be living with a host family so that I can dive into the Spanish culture and language. I am going to be taking 4 classes while I am abroad, all in Spanish. The EDUCA Trip offers many extra excursions for students to travel around Spain including touring the Albayzin neighborhood, the Alhambra, the Catedral, and the Royal Chapel as well as taking day trips to Cordoba and Seville.

I am currently packing and am a bit overwhelmed! I was told to pack light, but with as many things as I have, that’s extremely hard! I am so excited to meet new people, travel to new places, and fully immerse myself in the Spanish language. I leave in a week and two days. I just said goodbye to my friends and my sister, which was not fun, but it is only 3 months, and I am ready for this exciting change!

I can’t wait to share my journey abroad with you. By the time I post my next update, I will be in Spain!

¡Adios amigos!

– Anabel