Greetings from Granada: A semester in review

Hansbury reflects on her time in Spain as the semester comes to a close

Three months ago, I was sitting in my bedroom in Massachusetts excited and looking forward to the adventure I was about to take: a semester abroad. I was nervous, as anyone would be before moving to a foreign land with a different language, cultures, and expectations. I didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t know anybody in my program, I didn’t know what classes I would be taking, and I didn’t even know where or who I would be living with. There were so many aspects that were unknown that I didn’t know what to do, and I didn’t know how to feel about my semester besides nervous and excited.


My journey abroad has really been such a life-changing experience. I remember being so homesick and anxious my first month here that I didn’t think I would be able to survive this semester. I remember barely sleeping and eating because I was in such a state of shock. I didn’t think that I would survive being away from home for so long, but not only did I survive –– I flourished. I had a strong support system at home and I made some amazing friends here in Spain. In retrospect, those first few weeks probably made my experience that much better, because I was able to grow so much. I have met some amazing people along the way: friends professors, administrators, and of course, my host family.


Fast forward three months and I am sitting in my bedroom in Spain knowing that studying abroad was both the best and hardest thing I have done so far in my life. Throughout my time I Granada, I have accomplished so many things that I never would have dreamed of doing. I have travelled to three continents, four countries, and 18 cities. I have improved my Spanish language skills and have increased three levels in a semester. I have travelled by myself to big cities and different countries. I have pushed myself outside of my comfort zone more times than I can even begin to count. I have seen myself grow as a person and have a new-found confidence that I hope follows me home to the United States. 


I am truly grateful for the opportunity to study abroad and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It was the hardest thing I have ever done and I survived it. I urge any student thinking about going abroad to consider it, because it will be life changing. As long as it took to for me to appreciate Granada for all its worth, I know I am going to miss it here. I have been counting down the days until I return home since the day I arrived in Spain, but now that there are less than 20 days left it’s hard to believe that I have been here for so long. It doesn’t feel like it should be ending so soon, but I know that Granada will always have a place in my heart.