Don’t say, “Aww, I can’t” to studying abroad; say “Alicante” to studying abroad! This historic Mediterranean port on Costa Blanca in southeastern Spain boasts its long waterfront and the Castle of Santa Bárbara, perched on Mount Benacantil and overlooking the city. Alicante attracts visitors from around the world — with good reason — from its relaxing lifestyle and white-sand beaches to its tapa bars and café culture. Not to mention the educational opportunities when it comes to learning one of the most spoken languages in the world: Spanish. Study abroad in Alicante and live la buena vida!
How to Study Abroad in Alicante
Students have a wide range of courses they can study in Alicante in conjunction with taking Spanish classes, from business and engineering to fashion design and creative writing. Many of the programs also offer experiential opportunities to intern, volunteer, and explore Alicante and other cities in Spain.
Popular subjects to study in Alicante. While a myriad of subjects are available, most students come to Alicante to study Spanish, culinary arts, or architecture. Spanish programs offer homestay placements, smaller classes, one-on-one tutors, and intensive language classes for students to become fluent in the language. With Alicante’s culture revolving around food and the arts, it comes as no surprise that students are interested in these subjects.
Short term and summer programs vs. long term programs. The university academic year in Spain typically starts in October and ends in June, and some of the programs will start in September to coincide with Spain’s universities starting in the fall. Several programs are in the summer, so you’ll be able to gain extra credits without missing out on the year back home. You could also choose to enroll in courses as short as a spring break or May term as well.
Attending university vs. other program types. Some students might choose to directly enroll in the University of Alicante (one of the most all-inclusive and modern campuses in Spain) through their own university or find a program provided by an external company. Your university study abroad advisor will be happy to help you decide what kind of program will best fit your educational needs and desires.
Student Life in Alicante
Alicante will please culture lovers, outdoor enthusiasts, and foodies with its plethora of museums, Baroque-style architecture, parks, promenades, cathedrals, beaches, restaurants, and more. Whether you’re strolling down the palm tree-lined Explanada de España or cheering for the local football teams at a game, you’ll feel at home in no time here.
Some of the popular landmarks in Alicante to visit include Basilica of St. María, El Palmeral Park, Monastery of Santa Faz, Castle of San Fernando, and the Archaeological Museum of Alicante, which contains artifacts dating back 100,000 years. If you’re studying in Alicante in the summer, you won’t want to miss out on experiencing the Bonfires of Saint John, a festival with pyrotechnic contests on Playa del Postiguet.
You have plenty of choices when it comes to transportation as you study in Alicante. You can walk, ride the tram, take the bus, or rent a car. If you’d like to visit nearby neighborhoods, take the commuter rails. When you’re planning a weekend in powerhouse cities like Barcelona or Madrid, take the RENFE train. For deeper explorations of the coastal life, take the ferry to Ibiza.
Benefits & Challenges
Alicante is a hotspot tourist destination that is fairly affordable with plenty of free sites to visit. Unfortunately, you’ll need to exercise caution while you’re studying in Alicante. Always keep an eye on your valuables when you’re in public places, stash some credit cards and money at the place you’re staying, and place your wallet in front, and sling your purse over both shoulders. Don’t walk down abandoned walkways, and don’t walk alone at night.
It’s not all bad though because you’ll eat, drink, and be merry while you’re here! Sip the local wine at Vinart, savor fried aubergines in honey at Calle San Francisco, and salivate before you bite into paella at Rincón de Antonio. You’ll definitely want to budget for drinks and food here, especially with Alicante’s thrilling nightlife and exciting festivals. Salud!
Appease the adventurist and beach bum in you. After you study abroad in Alicante, you’ll have a stellar tan, a deep understanding of Spanish culture, and higher Spanish proficiency. ¡Andale ándale!