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Making Connections From the Get-Go!

October 04, 2016
by Esther Yoo
There are several reasons why I chose to study abroad in Granada, and boy did I make the right choice. Choosing a place to study abroad can be extremely difficult, especially when you haven’t been anywhere and want to go everywhere. A huge factor in choosing my destination was that I wanted to go somewhere where I could still take classes that would count toward my major and not prolong my time in school. I also wanted to choose a place that was not so common. I wanted to really step out of my comfort zone and go to a place I never heard much about.
 My amazing student director Jorge showing us around the city to help us get more familiar with our new home!

A good friend of mine studied abroad through CEA in Granada in the Spring of 2015. He had nothing but amazing things to say about his experience. After I did my research, his advice and great words were the big push towards my decision in studying here. It was definitely a more comforting, knowing someone else studied where I was going to go. It really made me feel more of a connection to this unfamiliar place.
 More exploration around the city. Getting to know my turf a little better. Ya know.. casual view of the Alhambra behind me

Now that I have been here for a few weeks, making connections with places and people in the area is the best advice I can give in order to make Granada feel more like home.

If you’re anything like me, I cannot function without my coffee in the morning. Let me tell you, the coffee here has now made me think that I can never again drink the coffee in the States. The coffee here is either extremely strong or just plain espresso, which I am not complaining about whatsoever. So yeah, it rocks.

I am currently in a month long intensive Spanish course. What is that you ask? It is a Spanish class for 4 hours, 5 days a week… yay right? You can imagine the amount of coffee that I need to survive. Luckily, a few friends and I have become regulars at the cutest cafetería right by school. While they are becoming rich from our business everyday, it is worth every centavo.

 What the cafetería looks like! Definitely hit up this place if you are here! It is on Calle Molina!
 My "regular". Sometimes I like to switch it up with a straight espresso shot on my super tired days. Also, sometimes I will get "pan con tomate", which is just toasted bread with tomato spread. You cannot go wrong with anything you get here.

There really is something that makes you feel like a local when you walk in everyday and the three same ladies that work there know what you want and start making it when they see you walk through the door. Connecting with these ladies and just this little act of familiarity is such an amazing feeling. I don’t think that I even have a connection to a certain place like this in the States… the closest thing I have is probably Chipotle... Because if I’m being honest, I probably went there more than twice a week… I know, it's an embarrassment.
 May be my biggest trouble getting familiar
with here... The conversion of
kilograms to pounds at the gym.

I have loved every moment here thus far and making connections and stepping out of my comfort zone has really helped me settle in and feel like this is place my home. I cannot wait to see what the next 3 months have in store for me.

Te amo mucho Granada. Te amo mucho.

Esther Y. is the Fall 2016 CEA MOJO in Granada, Spain. She is currently a senior studying International Studies, Media Studies, and Spanish at Virginia Commonwealth University.


Esther Yoo is the Fall 2016 CEA MOJO Blogger in Granada, Spain, and is currently studying at Virginia Commonwealth University.
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