Life in Granada

The City

Located in the southeast of Andalusia, at the foot of Sierra Nevada, Granada is a stunning city with a wealth of opportunities to keep students engaged. The city is a contrast between old and new, offering both rich historic sites and contemporary amenities. The area surrounding Granada also offers opportunities for activities beyond the city, including options to ski at one of Spain’s best resorts or enjoy the tropical climate and beautiful beaches of the nearby Mediterranean Sea.

Practical information

Granada Program Estimated Costs 2022-2023

Before coming to Granada, it is advisable that students plan out their anticipated expenses for the whole semester. The budget should take into account spending on food, transportation, cell phone charges, school materials, cultural and social activities, as well as independent travel.

The budget presented below is approximate and reflects a range of basic expenses that students should anticipate covering. It does not include estimates for personal independent travel outside of Granada nor for social activities, as these expenses will vary widely by individual student.

Unless otherwise noted, the amounts listed correspond to the entire semester (typically 4-4.5 months in the fall and 4.5-5.5 months in spring). Meal expenses will vary according to whether students enroll in the meal plan(s), purchase groceries and do their own cooking, eat out, or any combination thereof.

EXPENSE EXPENSE TYPE FALL SPRING
Program Fee (includes tuition, health & accident insurance, student services, cultural activities & excursions, etc.) Billed by home institution Refer to home institution Refer to home institution
Residence Hall Housing Fee (includes single room with private bath & shared kitchen, utilities, wifi, linens & weekly cleaning service) Billed by home institution $3,814 $4,768
Breakfast Meal Plan Direct Student Cost $ 168 $ 211
Lunch Meal Plan Direct Student Cost $ 412 $ 515
Dinner Meal Plan Direct Student Cost $ 412 $ 515
Full Meal Plan (3 meals) Direct Student Cost $ 782 $ 977
Eating out (per meal) Direct Student Cost $ 10- $ 30 $ 10- $ 30
Groceries Direct Student Cost $ 936- $1,872 $ 1170- $2,340
Personal Hygiene Direct Student Cost $ 140 $ 175
Laundry Direct Student Cost $ 150 $ 187
Books Direct Student Cost $200 $200
Phone (unblocked from US) Direct Student Cost $ 47- $140 $ 58- $175
Daily Local Transport within Granada (city bus, metro, taxis) Direct Student Cost $ 562 $702
Airfare (estimate varies based on departure location) Direct Student Cost $1,300 $1,300
Visa fees* Direct Student Cost $160 $160

*Visa Fees: For some programs, students may need to apply for a visa or register upon arrival. Costs for processing of individual visas and registration range from $50 to $500, depending on the country and on the citizenship of the student.

Students have a number of options to obtain cash in Euros (€):

  • Credit cards
  • Traveler’s checks
  • Bank transfers
  • ATMs (Cajeros automáticos)

Credit cards are handy but they carry a high interest rate, especially when used in ATMs for cash transfers abroad. Travelers' checks are more secure in case of theft, but banks often charge commissions to redeem them. Bank transfers to Spain (in addition to incurring a high commission), may take more than three days to process.

Therefore, the most convenient option is to withdraw money from ATMs with a debit card. Granada has many ATMs that can be used without having a bank account in Spain. In addition, it is useful to have a second (credit) card in case of theft or loss of the debit card. It is highly recommended to keep the second card in the safe at the student dorm.

Bank and savings bank hours: Monday to Friday, from 8am to 2pm. In the summer, they are also open on Thursdays until 6pm.

Students should be prepared to use and pay for local transportation to get around the city, to and from classes, internship locations, etc. The public transportation system in Granada (buses and light rail) is very economical, safe and efficient. Students’ classrooms are spread out around the city and, although Granada is very walkable, sometimes weather or time constraints make using public transportation more practical than walking.
Taxis are a safe and affordable way to get around on a cold, rainy day or late at night. Students can hail a taxi on the street, get a taxi at one of the numerous taxi stands located throughout the city, or call the company at 958-280-654.

Food

Granada offers a wide range of restaurants and bars serving Spanish and international meals.

One of the most common and cheap ways to eat is the menú del día, a fixed-price menu that includes two courses, a drink and a dessert. It always works out better than asking for each dish separately (à la carte). The day menu usually costs between €9 and €15. Some restaurants also offer this menu for dinner.

Another typical way to eat is tapas. Going for tapas is a pleasant way to share portions of different dishes with friends. . Granada is one of the few Spanish cities where they serve you a free tapa when you order a drink in a café or bar. For this reason, students frequently have dinner by simply ordering tapas in the bars of the city.

Schedules

Meals: breakfast, which usually consists of orange juice, bread or a sandwich and coffee, is served between 7 and 11 in the morning. The midday meal is the most important and largest meal of the day, and it is taken between 1 and 3:30pm. Dinner is later than in other European countries. Generally, restaurant kitchens do not open before 8:30pm, but serve dinner until 11:30pm (and sometimes even later).

Shopping: shops are open Monday through Saturday from 9am-2pm, then close at lunchtime. In the afternoon, the schedule is usually from 4:30 to 8:30pm. However, shopping centers and major brand stores in the city center are typically open throughout the day. On Sunday, the vast majority of stores are closed, except for some neighborhood supermarkets.

Work: Spaniards usually start working between 8am and 9am and also take a break to eat. In the afternoon, the workday lasts until 8:30pm.

Telephones

For safety and convenience, the program highly recommends that students have a cell phone during their time in Granada. Increasingly, students bring their smart phone from the U.S. and either use their U.S. number or buy a Spanish SIM card for the duration of their stay. It is advisable for students to contact their home service provider before departure to determine whether it offers any international plans. Buying a Spanish SIM (and, therefore, acquiring a Spanish cell number) is often times the cheaper option. There are mobile phone stores throughout the city and a basic phone plan can cost between €25 and €50/month. The price of the calls varies according to the operator, and it is always cheaper to call a mobile phone of the same company.

Mail

Students can buy stamps at tobacconists and at any post office. To send letters, students can use mailboxes that are on the street or at post offices. To send packages, students will have to go to a post office or use a courier service, which is much more expensive - but also a faster and safer option.

IMPORTANT: Sending a package to a student from the United States: It is advisable to use a reputable courier service rather than the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). When the package is sent via USPS, it is detained at customs and often the student has to pay taxes in order to be able to withdraw the package. For international dispatches, these means that packages are detained in Madrid making it more difficult for the student to retrieve any sent item. As taxes are declared/paid at source when using a courier service, it is a more secure and efficient way of sending items from the U.S.

Post offices

  • Central Office: Puerta Real de España 2. Open from Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 8:30pm

Press

The major newspapers/news web sites in Spanish are:

Laptops

It is very common and convenient for students to bring laptops with them when studying in Granada. They will need to ensure that their laptop or power cord has an internal transformer. Before bringing it abroad, students should check with the manufacturer and take the proper measures to protect this valuable piece of equipment. Low quality power transformers can damage a student's laptop. To avoid problems with laptops, it is advisable to only recharge the battery when it is switched off, then use it once the battery is charged without plugging it in.

Electricity

Compared to the U.S., where the standard electric current is 110 volts/60 cycles, the most widespread electric current is 220 volts and 50 cycles. Electrical items brought from home will need to be adapted for European current and electrical outlets by use of both a transformer and a converter plug, which allows students to plug an American item into a European wall socket. Students will find that most electrical appliances (hair dryers, shavers, etc.) can be purchased in Barcelona for reasonable cost at any appliance store.

Internet

Internet, via WiFi connections, is available at the student hall of residence, the local university as well as most cafés and restaurants.

Other Helpful Links

Granada Information
http://www.turgranada.es/en/
http://granadainfo.com
http://www.andalucia.com/cities/granada.htm

Andalusia Information
http://www.andalucia.org/es/

Spain Information
http://www.spain.info/

Local newspaper
http://www.ideal.es/granada/

Student Reflections

“Mi experiencia en Granada fue incomparable a cualquier otra experiencia que alguien pueda tener cuando se va afuera. Tenía la oportunidad de hacer clases en la UGR, estudiando con y conociendo gente no sólo del EEUU, pero de España y más de Europa. Aprendía el ritmo de academia y adaptaba a todas las diferencias que había entre el UGR y mi universidad. Fue difícil pero de superar obstáculos y sentirme en casa a la terminación del 6 meses, servía como señal que he alcanzar mis metas de integrarme completamente en la vida española. Tengo amigos de todos países y nunca voy a perder y estoy muy agradecida que está experiencia me empujaba a aprender de y apreciar diversas culturas y tradiciones.”

–Charlotte Biren, Brown University, University Studies Program, Fall 2014

“It is hard to describe in words how much I loved my semester abroad experience in Granada. I didn’t speak any Spanish when I arrived, but with the support of the program staff, the professors at the CLM and my host family, I was both proficient and confident in Spanish by the time I left. Granada is a city with a large college student population, and the community of Granada is unlike any other. Everyone was surprisingly friendly and welcoming, especially to Americans like me who were trying to learn Spanish, and there is so much to do in Granada, both during the day and at night. It’s also very easy to travel around Europe from Granada – I went to places like Paris, Morocco, London, Florence, Venice, and many, many cities all over Spain. Anyone who is looking for an amazing semester abroad experience where they can learn (or reach fluency in) a language and fully immerse themselves in a fun, rich culture with great people and delicious food should absolutely consider studying abroad in Granada.”

-Melissa Hill, Brown University, Intensive Language Program, Fall 2014