Study Abroad in Alicante

With moderate, Mediterranean weather year round, Alicante provides a beautiful seaside setting for learning Spanish. While tourism is important to the moderate-sized city, it is not dominated by sightseers like some nearby locales. Instead, Alicante offers a livable balance of real life and night life.

Study Abroad in Alicante - Alicante Beach

photo by Jose Antonio Andres


If you study in Alicante, you'll likely be taking classes at the University of Alicante -- a young, dynamic Spanish university. Language teachers have extensive experience working with international students. Complementary courses expand comprehension of both Spanish language and culture through the study of film, literature, art and more.

A Night on the Town

Spaniards like to start the evening with el paseo, a stroll through town--or in Alicante, along the marina. Do some people watching, eye the fanciest yachts and debate names for your future boat. This is a good way to pass the considerable hours until the locals eat dinner. And since clubs also get going late, take your time at dinner.

Eat This

Valencia, Alicante's home region, is famous for paella. It is cooked in a large, shallow platter over an open wood fire. While paella can contain chicken, rabbit, seafood or a mix of the above, it should definitely be made with the local, short-grain rice. The highlight: A well-cooked paella has a layer of delicious crusty rice at the bottom of the pan.

Study Abroad in Alicante - Seaside Staircase

photo by Paco Peña

Sites to See

The Bonfires of Saint John -- a mash-up of pagan solstice celebrations and the feast day of Saint John--take place in Alicante in June. Astoundingly complex effigies are torched in a frenzy of flame, fireworks and fiesta. If you can't be there for the festival itself, check out the Museo de Fogueres for samples of the beautiful, often satiric effigies and other bonfire-related exhibits.

Taken by Castilian forces on Santa Barbara's feast day in 1248, the Castillo de Santa Bárbara has its origins in medieval Moorish rule. The castle features ocean views and a nice sculpture garden--or a dungeon and drawbridges, if that's more your style. Lit up at night, it is a lovely sight at the top of Mount Benacantil.

One of the main reasons to choose to study in Alicante is, of course, the beach. Wide, sandy Playa San Juan just north of town is considered one of the most beautiful spots on the Costa Blanca. Breathe in the Mediterranean air and work on your Spanish eavesdropping skills!

Weekend Trip

Visit nearby Valencia's Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, a huge complex with dramatic, futuristic architecture by Santiago Calatrava. You could try to see everything--planetarium, Imax theater, opera house, science museum, gardens--but make L'Oceanogràfic your priority. Almost entirely underground, it is the largest aquarium in Europe and includes beluga whales, sharks, penguins, walruses and much more.

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