StoriesSarah Anderson ’20

Global Studies in Granada, Spain

Global Studies student Sarah examines the cultural significance of Granada in Spanish and European history.

Sarah Anderson-Granada

From Blueprint to Reality

As a senior Global Studies major with a minor in Political Science and Sociology, Sarah Anderson decided to study abroad with Academic Programs International (API) in Granada, Spain for the fall 2019 semester. As a student at Lesley, Sarah had the opportunity to study abroad through hundreds of different programs or partner institutions, but after careful consideration and planning, she chose the University of Granada through API. 

For Sarah, choosing Granada was a decision based on the rich cultural and historical significance Granada has within Spain. “I wanted to be in the Andalusia region of Spain because of its cultural history and differences, which include Islamic and Jewish influences," Sarah says. After reviewing the provider's study abroad programs, she was also convinced by their interesting classes, guided tours, and multiple excursions.

While in Granada, Sarah had a few goals. First, she wanted to learn about another culture and history, as well as their societal norms. To this end, Sarah took three elective courses that she wouldn't have been able to take at Lesley. These courses included Environmental Politics of the European Union, where she learned about the European Union's governmental structure regarding environmental politics. She also took Spanish Culture and Civilization where she learned about Spanish culture, customs, and norms. The third class was a history course—Islamic Culture in Spain—that delved into Muslim identity in Spain regarding the inquisition, architecture, and the Muslim empires of Andalusia.

Sarah's also wanted to improve her conversational skills in Spanish. And to achieve this goal, Sarah took multiple Spanish language courses while immersing herself in the language each day. She was also able to fulfill her major's requirements by taking a foreign language.

“My three main goals in Spain were to learn about another culture, improve my conversational Spanish skills, and learn about the country’s history, thus it’s societal norms. This insight is beneficial towards my Global Studies major at Lesley University and qualifies as a unique experience for my résumé. As a Global Studies student, it is crucial to learn about various cultures when understanding foreign relations from multiple perspectives other than those belonging to a westernized lens”.
Sarah Anderson ’20, Global Studies

Reflecting on Her Experience

Sarah says that her experience in Granada, though at times challenging, was an immensely rewarding learning experience. “I was able to see the beautiful architecture, hear the fast and multiple dialects of the Spanish language, taste the subtle ingredients of the cuisine, feel the handmade bags made of cork and genuine leather, and lastly, smell the fresh bread baking from a local Pandaria," she says. "All five of my senses were activated in this interesting place, which I'll never forget."

Learn More about Study Abroad at Lesley University

At Lesley, we offer a variety of study abroad options, from short-term travel study courses to semester- or yearlong programs. Lesley students have studied all over the world and they can fulfill program and internship requirements abroad. Learn more about Study Abroad.