Juliet’s Time in Granada, Spain during her Transition Year



My name is Juliet Murphy, and I am a student from Cork. I have just arrived back from a six week stay in Granada, and although the thought of six weeks in a different country was definitely daunting at first, I had the best time!



As you can imagine, when I first arrived at Dublin airport, I was overwhelmed by a feeling of nervousness, I was unsure of what to expect and the idea of leaving everything I knew behind for six weeks was terrifying. However, once I stepped foot off the plane into the heat of the sunshine, I knew that, without a doubt, I had made the right decision. There was a transfer waiting for the other Irish students and I at Málaga airport. This gave us the opportunity to get to know each other, which was great because some of us,including myself, had come alone.



When we arrived in Granada, our host parents were waiting for us. I was particularly nervous about meeting my host family, but they instantly made me feel welcomed! Throughout my stay, they continued to make sure I felt at home and they always included me in their family outings.




I was feeling apprehensive about having to go to school in a different language, however my feelings of anxiety were gone as soon as I met everyone in the school. They were all so welcoming and they helped me to settle in and get used to the change. Nevertheless, for the first week I still struggled to adapt to school in a different language. The school day is very different in Spain, school started everyday at 8am and finished at 2:30pm. We had a 30-minute-break at 11am, however, we ate lunch everyday after school. I loved finishing so early everyday as it gave me the opportunity to explore Granada after school. I enjoyed experiencing what school was like in a different country and it also gave me the opportunity to make Spanish friends and practise my Spanish on a regular basis.





The academy was great as they organised lots of trips for us to go on and this also allowed me to get to know the other Irish people! We did so many things including a tour of Granada, a ski day and many beach days! Skiing was my favourite outing as it was completely different to anything I had ever done before and it was fast paced and exhilarating. I made friends for life from both Spain and Ireland which is something I will forever be grateful for.




Not only was I immersed in the Spanish language, but also Spanish culture. I tried many different foods such as spanish omelette, jamón de trevélez, and much more. I was also fortunate enough to experience a spanish festival El Dia De La Cruz, one of the most popular festivals in Andalucía. There were huge crosses made from flowers set up all over Granada with food and music nearby, and many girls wore flamenco dresses. It was definitely one of the highlights of my trip and I had a lot of fun.



If anyone is wondering whether or not they should do an exchange, I would say the answer should be a definite yes! While it’s definitely nerve-racking at first, it is so worth it. Not only will you see a huge improvement in your Spanish, you will also get to experience a different culture and lifestyle, and you will make so many new friends!


Juliet Murphy

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