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Felíz Cumpleaños: Celebrating My Golden Birthday in Spain

by Anais Sawyer
What It's Like to Celebrate Your Birthday While Studying Abroad in Spain | AIFS Study Abroad | AIFS in Granada, Spain

If you study abroad, chances are that your birthday may fall in one of the five months you will be overseas. If so, then you are like me, and you get to spend a birthday in a foreign country! It’s such a memorable experience and I am so fortunate to have been able to spend it in Granada.

I turned 20 on February 20th, so it was my golden birthday, and what better way to experience it in Spain? This is how I celebrated:

The Day

7:00 AM: Wake up and get ready! Even though it was my birthday and I really wanted to sleep in, I had to make it in time for my 8:30 AM class!

What It's Like to Celebrate Your Birthday While Studying Abroad in Spain | AIFS Study Abroad | AIFS in Granada, Spain

This is one of the two buildings where I have my classes!

1:00 PM: After having my two classes, with a break in between, I finished up classes and headed to my homestay for lunch. My school is about a 25-minute walk away from my homestay, so I put my headphones in and listened to music on my walk home!

2:30 PM: My wonderful host family made a special lunch for my day! My host mom made a typical Andalusian dish called “migas alpujarreñas”. The base is similar to couscous, with green chiles, onions, and small pieces of chorizo. It was served alongside salad and bread! Afterwards, they surprised me with pastries and sang “Feliz Cumpleaños.”

My birthday pastries!

4:00 PM: I called my family and friends and thanked people for their birthday wishes and cards. Even though I am surrounded by wonderful people here, it is so nice to hear from people back home!

10:30 PM: After a quick dinner, my friends and I met at a local tapas bar to celebrate. We had a round of sangria and Tinto de Verano, and ate tapas made of thinly sliced jamón. After our tapas, we went to grab milkshakes and ended the night with a sweet treat.

My friends and I grabbing tapas.

The Weekend

For the weekend, a group of us went to neighboring town of Málaga to celebrate. Along with my own, two additional girls also had their birthday that week!

On Saturday we took the two-hour bus ride to the coast. Málaga has a rich history, with one of the oldest ship ports in the world. It even has remains of a Roman amphitheater in the middle of the city. It’s also the birthplace of artist Pablo Picasso!

On Sunday, we explored the city and saw the gorgeous beaches. While it was too cold to swim, we all agreed that we wanted to return to Málaga to enjoy the coastline again.

My birthday, and the weekend that followed, were incredible and I am so glad I was able to spend it with all of the friends I have made here in Granada!

This post was contributed by Anais Sawyer, who is spending her spring semester studying abroad with AIFS in Granada, Spain.

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