No Pasa Nada, Granada: A Journey Abroad (Pt III)

Sara Shimmel is a junior from Lewiston, New York, working on a double major in political science and Spanish. She is a member of the Women’s Chorus and takes voice lessons at the Eastman School of Music. She is also a member of the UR Quidditch team. A Gold Level Senior skater, Sara takes advantage of the Genesee Valley ice rink down the street a few times a week. Last year, she became a member of the Meridian Society and works giving tours for the Office of Admissions. Sara is currently studying abroad in Granada, Spain, and will be talking about many of her experiences abroad in this series of blog posts.

By Sara Shimmel

Mixed Emotions

As my time in Granada nears its end, I find myself excited to be returning home and sad to be leaving at the same time. Mostly, though, I feel like I have to cram as much into my last week here as possible.

After going to Morocco a few weeks ago, I came back with a different view of Granada, and really of Spain itself. The trip to Morocco was amazing; we had the opportunity to have discussions with Moroccans about the images of Islam and of the West in each culture, stay with a host family in Rabat, and even spend an hour or two in an Arab bath getting scrubbed to death by a large woman yelling orders at us in Arabic. What was neat about the return trip, though, was that we all felt like we were coming home to Granada. It’s funny how your study abroad location really does eventually become a type of home for everyone. It made me realize that there are a lot of things that I want to do before leaving. My goal this week, apart from doing pretty ok on my exams, is to go to a few new places that I’ve never been to before. I’ve already gone out to a new discoteca (Spanish nightclub) and gone to a park that I’d never been to before. I also want to take some photos of some of the nicer places in Granada that I end up taking for granted as I pass by them every day.

A lot of us are starting to think about what the process will be like going back home. It can be difficult speaking so passionately about some of your experiences abroad to people back home who, though genuinely interested, might not really be able to appreciate your stories as much as you wish, since they weren’t there. It’s certainly a different atmosphere here now, with everyone on my program thinking about all of these things while trying to enjoy every last minute here. We’ve been trying new tapas places, going to discotecas, relaxing in the Mediterranean sun, and, above all, enjoying the little time we have left in this unique place with the new friends we’ve made. So even though I sit here about to study for finals (I know I haven’t mentioned anything about classes really, but they do indeed exist during study abroad), I at least appreciate the fact that I am on the patio of my IES building, looking up at the Alhambra, with the sounds of Europe all around. I plan on enjoying everything about this last week—even the potentially dreadful attempt at packing all of my belongings into a suitcase of fewer than 50 pounds.

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