Study Abroad Feature: Katie Gehring’s Spring Semester in Granada

Today’s guest post is from Spanish major Katie Gehring, who studied abroad in Granada, Spain, for the entire spring semester of 2018. Katie is a Spanish major, pursuing a dual-degree in Spanish and Family Studies and Human Services in the College of Human Ecology. She is also the President of Spanish Club. Read all about her Spring semester below!

“Dale limosna, mujer, que no hay en la vida nada como la pena de ser ciego en Granada.” — Francisco Alarcón de Icaza

 (Give him alms, woman, because there is nothing worse in life than to be blind in Granada)

Katie_Granada-Alhambra
View of Granada’s Alhambra from the Mirador San Nicolas, Granada.

I studied in Granada, Spain during the Spring 2018 semester. Living in Spain has been the most amazing life experience. Every day I would walk through centuries of history that I only read about in books. Granada is a spectacular city and there is a lot to do, but it doesn’t feel overwhelming. I was able to walk only about 15-20 minutes to get to the CLM (Center of Modern Languages) where I took my classes. While in Granada, I took four classes: (1) Spanish culture and civilization, (2) Latin American culture and civilization, (3) Grammar, written and oral practice, and (4) Diversity of Spanish of the World. All of my courses were very interesting, and I especially enjoyed taking the Spanish culture and civilization course while being able to experience everything I was learning about – like the Alhambra palace on the hill overlooking Granada.

Katie_Alhambra
A glimpse inside the Alhambra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of my favorite places that I visited, right in Granada where I was living.

Another thing Granada is known for is free tapas, which are a small (or big, depending on where you go in the city) portions of food that come with your drink at tapas bars. It is very common in Granada to go out for tapas as an entire meal (mainly dinner). My favorite tapa was either huevos rotos con patatas or a tortilla española.

Ruta-por-las-mejores-tapas-de-Granada
A sampling of Granada’s Tapas. Image via sehacecaminoalandar.com

Other places I visited in Spain were Madrid, Toledo, Almuñécar, Salobreña, Sevilla, Cordoba, Fuengirola, Malaga, Nerja, and Capileira in the Alpujarras. I even visited the beach for the first time – ever! – on a program trip to Almuñécar (below left). Apart from Granada, Nerja, a small coastal city with another beautiful beach, was my favorite place that I visited while in Europe. There is nothing quite like swimming in the Mediterranean sea and seeing the Sierra Nevada mountains in the background. Below (right) is the view of this beautiful Spanish beach from Nerja’s Balcon de Europa.

If you have any doubts on whether or not you should study abroad, don’t be afraid to ask questions to find out what would work best for you! You can visit K-State’s Education Abroad office, talk to you Spanish professors, or ask juniors or seniors — like me, Valeria, or Cat — who have already studied abroad.  It is a life-changing experience that you will never forget. My heart will always have a little piece of Granada in it and I will never forget the view of the Sierra Nevada mountains peeking through the thin alleys as I wandered through the city… or the smell of the panederías as I walked to class… or the amazing gelato from Los Italianos while sat in the Plaza Bib-Rambla after exploring the Alcaicería (Granada’s great Bazaar).

Katie_Gibraltar
From a balcony in Gibraltar, UK, located on the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula (Spain/Portugal).
Katie_Ronda
The famous cliffs of Ronda, Spain

In addition to traveling throughout Spain, I was also able to travel to Morocco, Portugal, Ireland, and Northern Ireland. Living in Europe, it was fairly easy to travel within and outside of Spain, and my program offered several opportunities to do so with a group of students – such as a trip to the Sahara.

Katie_Sahara-Merzouga
My morning view of the sand dunes in the Sahara Desert, near Merzouga, Morocco.

Muchas gracias, Katie! 

Are you interested in studying abroad while at K-State?

The Spanish section offers a 2-week trip to Costa Rica every January, and there are TWO new faculty-led programs coming in the summer of 2019:
(1) Professor Bender’s trip to Spain (Spain Today in Madrid-Pamplona-Barcelona) from May 25-June 27th, for students at the SPAN 550-level and up; and
(2) Professor Valentin-Rivera’s trip to Mexico (Spanish and Culture in Mexico, Queretero-Mexico City) from May 30th-July 5th, for students at the SPAN 410-level and up.
Contact each professor — [rbender] or [lvalentin] — or visit Education Abroad for details.

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