Ask me where I've been: Spain

Annsley McKinney

Major(s) Anthropology
Hobbies eating, singing
Hometown Winnetka, Illinois
Program/Study Site Granada, Spain
Annsley McKinney | Spain

Why study abroad?

I wanted to improve my language skills by mingling with locals, as well as have the opportunity to study a culture while I was living in it.

Why did you choose Spain?

I only had four semesters of Spanish and was really interested in going to Spain. Granada is also a very unique historic place with an even more unique culture. It was small enough I could walk around and feel like I knew the city but still large enough I had plenty to explore.

What courses did you enroll in while abroad?

As an anthropology major I took lots of culture classes like Spanish Culture, Islamic Culture, Hispano-American Culture, as well as Grammar and a Writing/Speaking practice class. With the program we took a phonetics class, as well as a tutorial teaching us "Granadian" colloquialisms, and a seminar on "all things Granada" which included several field trips.

What was your living situation?

I lived in a home stay 30 minutes from our program center with an older woman. I did not have a roommate and had my own room. She had four grown children who I met on several occasions, and was able to form relationships with them as well.

What did you do for fun?

My friends and I went out for tapas frequently, visited nearby cultural sites like the Alhambra, went up into the Sierra Nevada mountains, and spent time in the city center shopping and having coffee or churros with chocolate. We also enjoyed the nightlife by visiting various bars and clubs, as well as spots of interest for other Spanish university students. We went into the caves of an area called Sacramonte and saw a gypsy flamenco show with our program.

Highlights of the program:

The four day excursion to Morocco was incredible, and a great way for the group to bond. All of the program oriented trips were great, as well as the organized get togethers in our own city, which felt much like our shared home by the end of the experience.

Final comments or suggestions for future participants:

While studying abroad has become somewhat of a normative activity these days for colleges like Scripps, it is important to include all the factors when making a decision. When your friends go and where they go is important, but more important is to pick a place where your mind and your soul can flourish. It is daunting being so independent and in an unfamiliar place, but with an outgoing attitude, the experience will be much more fulfilling. The transition is not an overnight one, but once it happens, it will be well worth it.

 

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