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Off-Campus Study

Notes from Abroad: Nancy in Granada, Spain

Notes from Abroad is a new feature on the Off-Campus Programs website, in which we highlight small snippets of a student’s experience.  This week’s feature is from Nancy Cardenas ’17, a Spanish and SOAN major currently studying abroad in Granada, Spain.

Time goes by very fast! It has been more than just a month since I left the U.S to study abroad in Spain. It is my first time being in Europe and living in the city of Granada has been a great adventure. One of the things that I did not expect was the energy of the people in the city. The city streets are very busy during the day with a lot of people going to and from work, shopping, taking tours, eating, biking, and driving on motorcycles. Dinner starts around eight at night. This means that the night is also full of energy with even more people eating and having a great time with their family and friends.


Home. I really feel at home. My host family is really nice and I am learning how to live life like a Spaniard. There is a saying in Spain that people from the U.S live to work and that in Spain it is the opposite, you work to live. I can see how people work to live in Spain through my experiences as an intern at the University of Granada. My co-workers are a family. They all know each other and help each other out. They all make me feel conferrable when they say “no pasa nada” (it’s okay).  Work is slow but I am getting use to it. I am learning to take my time with my work. It gives me less stress and less things to worry about. Furthermore, I get to enjoy the moment and the people around me.


One of the things that I am especially enjoying in Granada is learning. I love my class of Lorca and the Andalucía Literary Tradition, a course dedicated to studying the literature of Granada’s most famous poets and writers: Federico Garcia Lorca. This class gives me the opportunity to travel and visit the houses where Lorca use to live. These trips help me understand more about his life and what influenced him to write. There is a lot more to explore in Granada. My class of Islamic Art and architecture also gives me the opportunity to travel to historic places. One of my favorite trips so far has been the Mosque of Cordoba.  There is still a lot more to explore and learn in Granada and I can’t wait to continue exploring with my classes.


I worked hard this past summer to be mentally prepare for this trip. I told myself to be more open minded and not be afraid to try new things. Thank you G. Dale Smith and Ruth Peterson Smith for giving me the opportunity to learn and become part of another culture while also learning about my own identity. This experience is not only helping me fulfill my credits for my majors in Spanish, and Sociology and Anthropology, but it is also helping me become strong and more mentally prepared person to work in Peace Corp. Muchas gracias (Thank you so much).