Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Study Abroad Spotlight: Fordham in Granada

A study abroad experience is highly encouraged here at Fordham.  The study abroad office offers amazing opportunities to study in a foreign country.  Students have participated in programs in places like Australia, India, Argentina, and European favorites like England, Ireland, and Spain.  Each program has a ton to offer, but make sure you do your homework before applying to a specific program!  The study abroad office and your office work one and one with you to make sure classes taken abroad will count towards your major/minor back at Fordham--you want to make sure you graduate on time!

In the spring of 2012, I was a student in the Fordham in Granada program, which is based in Granada, Spain.  Applying to this program for me was a no-brainer; I knew I wanted to study in the south of Spain, and since it's a Fordham program, every single class transfers over to Fordham, as does any financial aid or scholarship you may have.  I discovered when working with my advisor that when I finished my classes in Spain, I would be eligible to bump my Spanish minor up to a major in addition to my International Political Economy major.  What a deal!  When looking for a program, I was most concerned with what classes I could get to count for my major and minor back at Fordham, and this program eased all of the worries I had.  I was also interested in a program that only offered classes in Spanish and placed students in a home-stay.  These are two requirements of the program, and not as daunting as they may seem.  Another plus about this program is meeting new people at school.  People from other universities can apply to the Fordham in Granada program, but in the past, it has primarily been only Fordham students.  It is a great way to get to know students in your grade, as well as have a piece of Fordham with you in a foreign country.  Professor Lamas, a Spanish professor at Fordham originally from Madrid, is the director of the program and teaches one of the classes you are required to take in Spain.  He is also a great way to stay connected to Fordham when abroad, as he knows all the ins-and-outs of the study abroad process.  Classes are held at the Centro de Lenguas Modernas, a satellite school of the Universidad de Granada.  Here you will have the opportunity to take classes with students from all over the world--I had students in my classes from more common places like Illinois and California, but also Japan and Poland!  One thing to mention--this program is only available in the spring.  There is also an abbreviated version offered in the summer, but you will need to look elsewhere if you would like to study abroad during the fall semester.

A view of the famous Alhambra in Granada, Spain

One of my favorite things about this program is the planned trips throughout the semester.  While you have plenty of freedom and time to travel by yourself, these preplanned trips relieve the sometimes stressful process of planning a trip on your own.  Within the first week or so, you will have the opportunity to travel to Morocco.  The best part?  You get there by ferry!  Yes, a ferry to Africa!  This is an amazing opportunity to see a completely different part of the world.  You really get to know the people, especially because you will be living in a home-stay for some time with a Moroccan family in Rabat.  You will be eating traditional foods, trying on traditional clothes, and you may have the opportunity to learn some Arabic!  From Rabat, you will have the opportunity to travel to the Rif Mountains and have lunch with another family, and then spend a night in Chefchaouen, a popular market town.
Care to ride a camel on the beach in Morocco?

Sunrise in Chefchaouen

I loved my time spent in Granada.  It is a small, vibrant city situated near the Sierra Nevadas filled with students and friendly people.  I absolutely loved my home-stay mother, and feel that I was really challenged to my best ability to speak and write Spanish in my classes.  I truly feel I was immersed in the Spanish culture during my semester abroad.  I had the most amazing time traveling and seeing different parts of the world, and I strongly encourage interested students to consider a study abroad program, especially Fordham in Granada!
A view from inside the Alhambra

1 comment:

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