I write today from Abu Dhabi airport, having finished our Granada program in the blink of an eye. Two days ago, I left the beautiful city, saying goodbye to my wonderful new friends and my devoted host mother and heading back across the world in the direction of home. Already this incredible experience feels like it was all a dream!

 

I have good news – I passed my course! I was a little worried about halfway through because my teacher told me that I needed to speak more in class if I was going to make sure that I passed, as participation is a major part of our grade. I made sure to make more of an effort which was easy as I got to know my classmates and teachers even better. Finally, we finished the course and took our exams which were challenging enough and yet the relaxed energy of the teachers helped us keep a level head. After that, we began a week of practical classes, where we were split into groups of six (just us Aussies) and we practised speaking (with our teachers’ help). The classes were fun and relaxed and yet they helped to improve our Spanish skills so much! I feel certain that my language skills have significantly improved over the past month and I can’t wait to head back to Uni and share all my new-found knowledge!

 

As the program has now ended, I can’t help but reminisce on some of the more memorable times. I remember in particular how my feelings changed throughout the trip – so many ups and downs! It is not easy to leave your life at home and throw yourself into a new world for a month, but thankfully I had an incredible support network around me to keep me sane. My host mum was an absolute gem, always keeping me grounded and giving me the Spanish perspective of things. Our coordinator Maria Jose now has a reputation for being the nicest, most helpful and most supportive teacher at CLM! Absolutely any problem that anyone had was quickly solved by Maria Jose, who made an extra special effort to get to know the entire group a little bit. I can’t tell you how much it means to have someone you’ve never really met call you by your name when you speak to them – it’s like she already knew us before we arrived! And, of course, the amazing people that I met within the course who I will treasure forever. They made the whole experience so fun and exciting and gave me a taste of home even when I felt worlds away!

One of my favourite parts of the trip overall were our cultural classes and excursions. We did great things like wine tastings at a vineyard, walks through the Jewish and Muslim quarters of the city, tours of the Royal Chapel and Cathedral, hikes through the Cahorros and finally a farewell tapas on our last day. It was so wonderful to experience other parts of Spain and learn about the history and culture of this amazing country. I think my favourite part was probably the Cahorros hike – it was challenging but so much fun and the views were spectacular!

As the program has now ended, I can’t help but reminisce on some of the more memorable times. I remember in particular how my feelings changed throughout the trip – so many ups and downs! It is not easy to leave your life at home and throw yourself into a new world for a month, but thankfully I had an incredible support network around me to keep me sane. My host mum was an absolute gem, always keeping me grounded and giving me the Spanish perspective of things. Our coordinator Maria Jose now has a reputation for being the nicest, most helpful and most supportive teacher at CLM! Absolutely any problem that anyone had was quickly solved by Maria Jose, who made an extra special effort to get to know the entire group a little bit. I can’t tell you how much it means to have someone you’ve never really met call you by your name when you speak to them – it’s like she already knew us before we arrived! And, of course, the amazing people that I met within the course whom I will treasure forever. They made the whole experience so fun and exciting and gave me a taste of home even when I felt worlds away!

 

 

 

 

One of my favourite parts of the trip overall were our cultural classes and excursions. We did great things like wine tastings at a vineyard, walks through the Jewish and Muslim quarters of the city, tours of the Royal Chapel and Cathedral, hikes through the Cahorros and finally a farewell tapas on our last day. It was so wonderful to experience other parts of Spain and learn about the history and culture of this amazing country. I think my favourite part was probably the Cahorros hike – it was challenging but so much fun and the views were spectacular!

 

Granada truly has been a once in a lifetime experience and I am so grateful for having had the opportunity to go there. Spain, I will be back!

 

Mia Anderson is a second year Education/Arts student at Monash University. She has been studying Spanish language for two years, although she frequently forgets the word for “pencil.” Mia is an avid language student, having studied both linguistics and Italian language, and relishes the opportunity to explore new cultures and their forms of expression. Along with studying and speaking, Mia is a Yoga and Pilates instructor and thoroughly enjoys teaching as well as participating in new types of fitness classes. Although Mia has travelled overseas before, this will be her first trip to Spain and her first trip on her own. Find her on Instagram at @riseandyogablog