Alicante, Spain: The best place ever! Past Review

By (Spanish/Criminology, Indiana University of Pennsylvania) for

CEA: Alicante, Spain

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I feel so much more independent and cultured. I traveled throughout other parts of Europe as well. The appreciation of language and cultural differences. I hope to live and work in Spain in the future and have absolutely no doubt in my mind that I will return! Studying abroad is the smartest and best thing I've ever done. I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

Review Photos

CEA Global Education: Alicante, Spain Photo CEA Global Education: Alicante, Spain Photo

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: Universidad de Alicante
How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The teachers were excellent and were so helpful and patient and my Spanish improved drastically. We usually had workbook homework every night. Every day I had a 3 hour grammar class plus an additional hour of either Culture or Conversation. The grading system was out of 10 and I was told it is very difficult to receive a 10.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

CEA was very well organized and super helpful in helping you get organized before your trip and while abroad. The coordinator challenged us in the city to make us "learn the hardway" which I preferred but he was also there to help us if we needed it. He showed us how to go to the market, use the bus and metro systems among other necessary things. I really enjoyed the excursions to other towns and felt like I really got the full experience. The program size was perfect! There were 8 of us first semester and 17 of us second semester.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I felt safe walking home at an hour of the day/night. I was about a 15 minute walk to the best nightlife area. My host family immediately treated me like family and helped me feel right at home. I couldn't have asked for a better family. Everything I needed was provided, food I like, sheets, desk, ect.

* Food:

My host mom cooked for me all the time and we cooked together a lot as well. She taught me how to make some Spanish dishes and I taught her how to make some American desserts! Tapas are a popular thing among Spaniards, they're cheap and easy and perfect for in between meals.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Where to begin? We went to Madrid, Toledo, Granada, Valencia and Barcelona along with some other little towns along the Costa Blanca. We went to paellas festivals, food fairs, cultural festivals and parades.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I only went to the doctor once while I was there. It was a semi long wait and they just do a quick scan and then write you a medicine ticket to take to the pharmacy. I never felt threatened for my safety once while in Alicante. Just be aware and always keep an eye on your stuff. Never leave your purse, phone, ipod or anything out in the open because unfortunately theft and pick pocketing are pretty common in any European city.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
Language acquisition improvement?

Immerse yourself, get away from other American students and really have the dedication to learn the language. What I loved about Alicante is that not a lot of people spoke English therefore you had to use your Spanish. Practice with store clerks, your host family (if you have one) other Spanish students on campus, your teachers, and yourself. Read aloud from your textbooks to really grasp the sounds of the language.

If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Flexibility
  • Program size
  • Helpfulness
* What could be improved?
  • More class options
  • More details about the university and city
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Stay open minded and adjust yourself to the cultural differences and be patient. This city is perfect for students dedicated to learning and/or improving their Spanish. Also good for students who want the city feel without being in a big city. Alicante is easily walk able to where ever you want to go. Great nightlife and great environment.