Oficina de Study Abroad (Centro de Lenguas Modernas)
It’s funny to think that it was only a year ago today, amidst a pandemic that dismantled international education programs around the globe, the Center of Modern Languages of the University of Granada received an email from the Student Representative of a group of students that the Center would soon get to know very well.
Indonesia’s Ministry of Education and Culture, the Indonesian Endowment Fund for Education, Kampus Merdeka, and the Indonesian International Student Mobility Awards (IISMA) all worked together to carefully select students to be sent from Indonesia to 75 select destinations World wide.
For us here in Granada, it all started with a suggestion from Wenceslao Martín Rosales, the Director of Internationalization at the University of Granada. “You should look at this program; I think the Center of Modern Languages would be a great destination.”
The Center of Modern Languages scrupulously completed IISMA’s application process. And we waited. The CLM, as most every institute with international students, was empty. COVID-19 swept from east to west, leaving ruins in its wake. And we waited. Sometime soon, our partners would be able to lift the restrictions. Students will be back soon.
After months of uncertainty, we saw the first ray of light at the end of the tunnel; a simple email from Clara. She introduced herself as the Student Representative of the incoming group of IISMA Awardees for the Fall 21 Semester. If I remember correctly, I think our team nearly collapsed.
Three months later, after weeks of virtual meetings, reservations, cancelations, COVID restrictions and health regulations, on September 26th, 2021, we met our IISMA Awardees at the Granada Airport, and took them to their new home; El Colegio Mayor Santa Cruz la Real, in the center of Granada’s historic neighborhood; El Realejo.
It was the first contact for all us of with Indonesian culture, and we could not have asked for a better introduction. All of the CLM’s and the Residency’s team members were charmed by the kindness, dedication, professionalism and cultural awareness of the IISMA Awardees. Especially during such a volatile time for international travel as was the Fall 2021 Semester.
After having to say a painful and heartfelt goodbye to our first group, the Center of Modern Languages is happy to say that the collaborations between Granada and Indonesia have only grown stronger and grander. On January 14th, 2022, the Center of Modern Languages received the award for the Best University Partner for the IISMA Program, and on January 26th, was invited to the Kick Off Meeting for the IISMA Partner Week. Invited to speak at the event, Cassandra Souza, one of the two coordinators of the group of students, had the opportunity to share her thoughts on some of the CLM’s best practices and strong points that helped highlight the students’ experience in Granada.
Now, exactly one year later, we’d like to reflect on everything gained and learned since the start of collaborations between IISMA and the CLM. We are thrilled to say that we will be able to use that experience as a foreground in moving forward, as we prepare for our next incoming group of IISMA Awardees!
To our dearest 2022 IISMA Awardees: we look forward to your arrival to Granada this upcoming September, and are completely confident that you will find these next few months to be one of the most enriching times of your lives, and of ours.