Alicante: The Perfect Summer of New Friends and Family Past Review

By (Spanish, University of Iowa) for

CIEE: Alicante - Summer Language and Culture

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Absolutely! My speaking ability improved immensely and I will never forget the friends, family, or memories I made in Alicante. I wish I could go back for a much longer time. I was much more self-aware after studying abroad, and I feel like I understand not only Spain better, but my own country as well.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

My summer program consisted of two classes, both of which I found pretty easy. The professors are what made this program so very great. They truly wanted us to not only improve our knowledge of the Spanish language, but the Spanish culture. We went on many field trips during our 6 weeks which enhanced our academic experience. I thought the Spanish teachers were very similar to our American ones in that they wanted us to participate. They valued discussion and knew that speaking in Spanish about the culture was the best way to improve.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

We had a WONDERFUL on-site administration!! The program directors in Alicante were young, fun, knowlegable, and helpful, and organized our program amazingly well. They made our 6 weeks so much fun and our program wouldn't have been the same without them!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I had the absolute best host mom ever. She was what made my study abroad experience so great! I was in a safe neighborhood, a close distance to downtown and the bus stop to school, and a short walk from the beach! My host mom was an amazing cook, and so helpful whenever I needed anything. But more than that, she was a great friend, and by the end of my six weeks she truly felt like a second mom. I miss her conversations and her warm, generous heart.

* Food:

My host mom made sure that I never went hungry! I was so spoiled with amazing food. Make sure to try the natilla when you're there!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I became extremely close with two of the girls in my program, and, 6 months later, we're still great friends! The three of us took a weekend trip to Valencia that was incredible! Other stand-out trips include a professor-led trip to a bullfight, a program-led wine tasting, and a ladies night out in Altea with my mom, her sister, and their friend.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I felt very safe and comfortable in Alicante, and the program directors prepped us very well for how to stay safe in the city and taking extra precautions to ensure that we were street smart.

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

Language acquisition improvement?

Most people in Alicante spoke only Spanish. My host mom didn't speak any English and we got along GREAT! I practiced the language everyday with her and we had wonderful conversations. I also talked a lot in Spanish with some of my friends in the program, and their host families as well.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Hotel
  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Host Family

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Host Family!
  • The city
  • Professors
* What could be improved?
  • It would be nice if there was an option of having an 8 or 12 week program.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Be open-minded!! Try as hard as you can to speak Spanish all the time and make the extra effort to get to know your host family! They are such a valuable resource and really want to love you!