Here's what you get when you study abroad with CEA in Granada:
While CEA highly recommends that you choose one of our Granada housing options provided, you also have the option to arrange independent housing. If your ideal housing scenario includes living in a particular neighborhood, having specific amenities or living with a specific person as your roommate, then independent housing could be just the ticket for you.
Use the online housing application form to request permission for this option no later than the application closure date. If your request is approved, you will receive a rebate for your housing payment, however CEA will not provide you with any assistance setting up independent housing. Keep in mind, rebates are not granted to students who move out of their CEA housing or choose to pursue independent living arrangements after the application closure date.
Excursions allow you to explore outside your host city and are offered for all semester, year, and summer programs. You’ll receive a calendar of the specific excursions offered during your program during orientation. Here are a few past experiences:
Deepen your understanding of Granada’s Arabic legacy by exploring three northern Moroccan cities: Tangier, Tetouan, and Chefchaouen. You’ll take a ferry across the Strait of Gibraltar to Tangier, where you’ll enjoy cous-cous at a women’s association, explore the souk (market) and old medina (old district), and ride camels. With a long, complex history, Tangier’s beauty and diverse culture has inspired artists and writers like Delacroix, Matisse, Jack Kerouac, Tennessee Williams, and Tangier native Mohamed Choukri. During the 19th and 20th centuries, the city also served as a global center for espionage and smuggling.
Next, you’ll tour Chefchaouen in the Rif Mountains. Founded by Moorish exiles from Spain, this city boasts blue-rinsed houses and buildings, a tradition left over from the Jewish population that once called Chefchaouen home.
Finally, we’ll visit the Martil Valley. Set among a string of orchards with the stunning Rif Mountains in the distance, you’ll find that the city of Tetouan deserves its reputation as a visual treasure. With its rich culture and history, Tetouan’s medina is a UNESCO World Heritage site that features a mix of mosques, shops, tanneries, and houses, all painted white with green doors and windows.
Your visit to Seville starts at the Reales Alcazares, a palace built by Arabs in the 14th century. You’ll explore the Barrio de Santa Cruz, once a Jewish neighborhood, before touring Seville’s cathedral, the world’s third largest and (allegedly) the final resting place of Christopher Columbus. Spend your free time relaxing at the Parque de Maria Luisa and the Plaza de España, one of the city’s most popular spots, with its fountains and mini-canals filled with rowboats. Take a stroll to the bank of the Gualdalquivir River to see the Tower of Gold and La Maestranza, one of the oldest bullrings in the world.
Ronda is a pueblo blanco (whitewashed town) sitting on the Tajo de Ronda, a 500-foot-deep gorge that divides the town. Here you’ll find monuments from the Roman, Arab, and Christian periods, like the hammam (Arab baths built in the 13th century), the Puente Nuevo (a stunning bridge that connects the old and the new towns), and one of Spain’s oldest and most beautiful bullrings. Authors Ernest Hemingway and Orson Welles spent time in Ronda and wrote about its beauty and traditions.
Cordoba was the capital of the Islamic caliphate in the Middle Ages. Once Europe’s most populous city and the intellectual center of the Western world, Jews, Muslims, and Christians lived peacefully together in Cordoba, and many philosophers, scientists, and artists emerged from the city. An understanding of Cordoba's cultural background enriches your exploration of its monuments, like the world-famous mosque with a cathedral built in the middle, known for its breathtaking rows of arches and columns. Enjoy a walk through the maze-like streets of the old Jewish quarter, filled with balconies decorated with colorful flowers, whitewashed patios, artisans’ workshops, and a synagogue dating to 1315.
Alpujarras, also known as the “Tibet of Europe,” was a place of refuge for Arabs who settled in this mountainous region after the 1492 Reconquest by the Catholic Monarchs. Here, they maintained their way of life for well over a hundred years, and their legacy can be seen in the mountain villages’ distinctive architecture and intricate irrigation system. Beautiful in their simplicity, the villages appear to descend from the hillsides facing the Mediterranean Sea.
The Andalusian city of Málaga is the region’s major port. Three thousand years ago, Phoenicians landed in Málaga and transformed the harbor into a center for salting fish. Málaga's history is still visible in the Roman Theatre and the court of Isabella and Ferdinand in its great cathedral. Explore la Alcazaba, a Muslim fortress dating back to 1065, the Pablo Picasso museum (and 35 other museums spread around the city), and enjoy Málaga’s rich history.
Considered by many to be one of the most beautiful spots on the Costa del Sol, Nerja boasts enormous prehistoric caves and eight miles of sandy beaches. We’ll visit world-famous Burriana beach and enjoy paella at a popular beach restaurant or chiringuito. Nerja is also home to small coves below the impressive cliffs of Maro, long the inspiration of artists who have set up residence here. Enjoy stunning sea views, explore the 17th century El Salvador Church, constructed in a baroque-mudejar style, and visit the 16th century Nuestra Señora de las Angustias Hermitage, decorated with paintings by Alonso Cano.
Cosmopolitan Madrid combines modern infrastructures and its status as an economic center with centuries of cultural and artistic heritage. The city hosts renowned museums like the Prado, the Reina Sofía Museum of Modern Art, and the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. Madrid is full of landmarks like the arcaded square Plaza Mayor, the Royal Palace, the Palacio de Comunicaciones, and Gran Vía street, as well as vibrant cultural activity and trendy shopping areas. You’ll even stumble across the unexpected in Madrid, such as the Egyptian Debod temple, located in an exclusive area of the city with amazing sunsets and incredible views of the Royal Quarter.
Take advantage of the unique flavor of Granada through a variety of local cultural activities to match your interests. Whether you enjoy concerts, clubs, sports, language exchanges or something entirely different, CEA Granada staff will help you get involved in the local culture.
A palace, fortress, and citadel constructed in the 11th century, the Alhambra is Europe's largest Arab palace and Spain’s most visited tourist site. This artistic-historical monument is surrounded by a forest and the snow-capped Sierra Nevada Mountains, forming a palatial city of six palaces and two tower-palaces. There’s nothing else like it in the world. The lush Generalife Gardens and the sound of the wind blowing through the trees and water insulate visitors from noise of the city below, creating an unforgettable experience.
The Albaycín, Granada’s Arab quarter, is the site of the ancient city of Elvira. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Albaycín is lined with hundreds of narrow streets, churches, monasteries, and palaces. Here you’ll discover the remains of an Arab bath, Granada's archeological museum, the church of San Salvador, the great mosque, and stunning views of the Alhambra, Generalife and Sierra Nevada. The Albaycín is also home to many restaurants, including several streets whose eateries are inspired by North Africa.
Dating back to the 15th century, Flamenco is a music and dance that’s considered both art and a vital part of the Spanish culture. The Sacromonte, a Romani neighborhood, is home to caves that’ve been converted into zambras where flamenco is performed. Attend the show at the Zambra la Rocío, a well-known cave visited by the former King & Queen of Spain and, more recently, Michelle and Sasha Obama.
Visit to the Jewish Granada: El Realejo
The city’s name derives from a Jewish municipality called Garnata Al-Yahud, or “Granada of the Jewish,” before Catholic Monarchs arrived in 1492. You’ll learn about the city’s history, explore its beautiful areas and monuments, and get familiar with its museums and attractions.
Visit to the Sephardic Museum
The Sephardic Culture Museum illustrates the importance of the Sephardic (Spanish-Jewish) community in Granada and Spain. The Museum’s exhibits cover topics like the role of women in the Sephardic community and the Inquisition. You’ll learn about the culture, history, peoples, and traditions of the Jewish Spaniards in the times of Garnata al-Yahud (Granada of the Jewish) and learn about the most relevant figures in the life of this community.
Romani Granada: Sacromonte
The historical Romani neighborhood of Sacromonte sits atop catacomb-riddled Valparaiso hill. Spend an afternoon hiking to the top, where residents still live in caves carved into the mountain. We’ll visit the Romani Caves Museum to learn about the culture and history of this unique environment, including tours of caves that recreate the living conditions and traditions of inhabitants.
Flamenco Dancing Workshop
Andalucía is known as the birthplace of flamenco and Granada has contributed many prestigious singers, dances, and guitarists to the art form. You’ll have the chance to attend a dance workshop at one of most popular flamenco schools in Granada.
Belly Dancing Workshop
Belly dancing combines traditional elements of Arabic, Middle Eastern, and North African cultures. Learn the basics of belly dance technique, posturing, language, and execution in this fun workshop, led by one of Granada’s most well-known instructors.
Bullfights play an important role in traditional Spanish culture, and bullrings are often masterpieces of local architecture. During the visit to the Granada bullring, you’ll have the chance to feel like a torero as you tour the albero (arena).
Guided Visit to Science Park Museum
The interactive Parque de las Ciencias is the largest museum in Andalucía. Exhibitions cover a broad range of STEM and cultural topics; one of the most visited is the Al-Andalus Pavilion, which illustrates the historical and social link between Arabic and Mediterranean countries through artistic and cultural events.
Churros con Chocolate
Satisfy your sweet tooth with churros con chocolate, a traditional local treat. Churros, a doughnut-like fried pastry, are a popular food served with a cup of thick Spanish hot chocolate for dipping. No matter if its time for breakfast, a snack, or dinner, it’s always a good time for churros!
Carmen de los Mártires
Feed the ducks as you stroll through Carmen de los Martires, one of Granada’s most romantic gardens. Considered a paradise for the five senses, you’ll enjoy its rich greenery, fountains, statues, and exotic peacocks. Not only is Carmen de los Mártires a beautiful spot, it also has a rich history and offers amazing city views.
Huerta de San Vincente & García Lorca’s Park
Visit the summer residence of the world-famous poet Federico García Lorca. García Lorca wrote some of his most famous works at Huerta de San Vincente, including Blood Wedding (Bodas de Sangre) and Yerma. Today, the gardens surrounding his home have been converted into Granada’s largest park.
An Interesting Cultural Perspective
Not only is Granada a smaller, centralized college town (you can walk everywhere!), it also provides a very interesting cultural perspective. Granada does not give you exposure to only Spanish culture, but also the Arabic culture that is so prominent in the city.