Alumni comments

Colbee Cunningham. Spring 22. My semester abroad in Spain was undoubtedly the most impactful experience of my entire life. Not only did my experience abroad allow me to grow as a Spanish speaker, but also as a person. 

Moving halfway across the world is a daunting task, especially when you choose to do so completely alone and in the middle of a pandemic. At the beginning of my time abroad, I feared the unknown and was unsure if I had what it took to live abroad. However, I quickly adapted to life abroad and I began to outgrow my comfort zone. Within my five months in Granada, I met friends from across the globe, learned life lessons, and made memories that I will last a lifetime. By the end of my semester abroad, I had built a beautiful life for myself in Spain and it was one of the few places in which I had ever felt truly at home. 

As a result of my time in Spain, I was able to become more adaptable, culturally competent, and confident. I returned to the U.S. with a changed perspective and a desire to share my newfound knowledge with those around me. 


Rylie Conway. Spring 20. Living in Granada was a once in a lifetime experience that I will never forget. I arrived in Spain as a timid, self-conscious girl, but left feeling stronger and more confident than ever before. My time living with a host family, completing an internship, going on excursions, meeting new people, and being independent made me realize who I am and what I can achieve. 

While abroad, I had the opportunity to complete a Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) internship at a local school in the city. I am extremely appreciative of this internship because it allowed me to form close relationships with the students and teachers while learning new teaching strategies. I was directly immersed in the Spanish culture, and I loved it! I will never get another opportunity like it again, and I’m so glad that I took it.


Abigail Ihrke. Summer 19. I am SO grateful for my time in Granada; it was truly transformative. The experience was not just about diving into the Spanish language, but immersing myself into the beautiful culture behind it. I’m so thankful for my host parents for welcoming me into their home and their world. And, if you are smart enough to take a chance on study abroad, do not pass up any opportunity to experience Granada- it will make you a more confident and well-rounded individual. Thank you Central… a month and a half wasn’t long enough!!


Mary Gray. Summer 19. My experience studying abroad in Granada created more opportunities than I ever thought possible. I was forced out of my comfort zone in the best way, whether it was adapting to the cultural differences, the language barrier, or even traveling alone for the first time, Granada was by far the most enlightening experiences of my life. To me, my trip to Granada established lifelong relationships, memories, and a sense of independence I am confident could only be achieved through my study abroad experience in Granada.

I chose to study abroad in Granada because I was confident that I wanted to establish strong connections and stay with a host family to better understand the culture, language, and people. Not only did I gain incredible knowledge from staying with Carmen, but my relationships with my CLM professors provided me with new perspectives on Spain and the world.


Michael Kuzma. Spring 19. As a guitar player, I had a sole mission to learn Flamenco guitar where it originated. This goal did not include becoming fluent in Spanish, exploring 8 different countries, snowboarding the Sierra Nevada, riding sled dogs in Norway, and genuinely embracing a rich and loving culture. All the rest of the stuff kind of just happened because I chose THIS program in Granada, Spain

Study Abroad in 2 minutes: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1AshdnuwflSeIAaoiV56DYk4BA-9UzFH6/view?usp=sharing


Lauren Moll. Spring 19. Deciding to study abroad in Granada, Spain was the best gift I could have given myself. Everything that I already loved was in Granada, like amazing parks, trails, shops, and places to go out and explore. More important were the new loves that I discovered while I was there, like flamenco, late nights with new friends, and my host mom’s paella, only to name a few. After my internship in Granada, I looked into teaching English as a second language when I arrived back home. Now, when my students ask about my screensaver, which is of La Alhambra in Granada, I get to tell them, “I lived where that is”. It’s fun to share and answer their own.


Phillip Garcia. Spring 18. When I think of Granada, I think of my host family. They introduced me to a beautiful culture and taught me some tasty Spanish recipes. The encouraged me to explore what Granada had to offer and I am forever grateful for their hospitality. In Granada, I was able to explore and create wonderful friendships. I found great traveling buddies to share unforgettable experiences with. The best part was that I was able to bring some of those friendships back home with me.

Although traveling to another country sounds lonely, Veronica was always there for support. Whether it was talking about my day, sharing my traveling experiences, or getting some information about upcoming events, she helped me make the most of my time in Granada. Without her, I would not have had the same experience.


Alexa González. Fall 17. Although it is cliché, I’d have to say the best part of my collegiate experience was my abroad trip to Granada Spain, in the Fall of 2017. From the lifelong friends made, to unforgettable memories there is not one negative thing I have to say about my semester abroad. My Spanish speaking skills improved ten-fold, I gained new perspectives, and I had the opportunity to live in the most beautiful country in the world!

Not only was the trip incredibly transformative on a personal level, but the opportunity to immerse yourself into a culture other than your own is imperative for professional growth in our now global economy and network. I now work for a premier Public Relations Agency in Manhattan, NY and the global perspective and insights I gained abroad have helped a lot when dealing with and ideating around national campaigns, events etc.


Sarah Micucci. Spring 17. My experience abroad is one that continues to shape my life today through the friendships that I made, the independence and confidence that I gained, and the extreme appreciation for the culture and language that came with living in a home stay five months. I have used my time abroad as a talking point in interviews, and even wrote my undergraduate senior thesis on Catalonia’s push for independence; something I first learned about at the CLM and then was able to see first hand when visiting Barcelona. Studying in Granada continues to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and I look forward to when I will be able to return in the future. 


Olivia Henry, Spring 2015. I went into my study abroad experience with the intention of fully immersing myself in every way possible, and of course elevate my fluency in Spanish (especially speaking & listening). What I didn’t expect was how hard it would be to leave at the end of the semester. Everyone has a favorite city or place for their own reasons, and Granada is certainly mine. From the moment I arrived, to the very moment as I write this, Granada has my heart for so many reasons. I was fortunate enough to go back to Madrid (and other cities) in Feb. 2019, and Granada in Dec. 2019 to visit with some of my friends. I’m also happy to say I have a little piece of Granada with me here in the states through studying flamenco. There is no way to truly describe the people that became my family (and my host family), who are still in my life today. I cannot imagine having lived anywhere else.


Lindee (Russell) Jeneary. Primavera 07. Studying abroad in Granada was—by far—one of the most impactful times of personal growth. My time in Granada allowed my to step outside my comfort zone and gain a tremendous appreciation for other cultures and traditions. I was able experience a different way of life that included siestas, tapas, flamenco, discos and more. My semester abroad has opened so many doors for me; it became a pillar of individual evolution for me, which has made me a better and more accepting leader. I currently serve in a senior executive position with the United States government.

With my host mom
With my cousing Kristen who attended the program during Summer 09


Robert Lamilla. Spring 2010. Studying abroad in Granada introduced me to great people and fantastic experiences. I was able to improve my Spanish by leaps and bounds and make friends playing soccer every saturday with a local pub team. I grew immensely as a person and returned to the United States with the knowledge and confidence that I could successfully navigate any situation which came my way. Ultimately, confidence allowed me to attend graduate school in a location across the country without hesitation.


Jessica Fernandez-Bill. Spring 2006, Spring 2007, Summer 2007 internship with my resident director. Studying abroad undoubtedly changed my life for the better. From the moment I stepped foot in the Centro de Lenguas Modernas, my love for Spain and adventure increased exponentially. Since then, I completed my Masters at the University of Granada, I have traveled to over 40 countries, I’ve taught ESL, Spanish, and bilingual science/reading, I married my best friend and had two beautiful boys and I am now a Spanish interpreter for my local school district. Muchísimas gracias to my resident director and her devoted advice and counseling through it all. She is the best of the best.


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