Past Review

By (Non-Professional General Legal Studies (Undergraduate)., Ithaca College) for

SSA Education Abroad: Alicante - Semester, Year or Summer in Alicante

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
THE BEST EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE. IF I COULD AFFORD TO GO AGAIN--I WOULD!! and I would spend a longer time there. I learned so much, improved my language skills, became so much more independent and confident. Opened my eyes to a new culture and different way of living I knew nothing about.

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: Universidad de Alicante
The term and year this program took place: Spring 2009

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

It was hands down the best experience of my life. I loved my classes and the professors and I absolutely loved the Universidad de Alicante and its campus.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Pepa was awesome!! So incredibly helpful and welcoming and available. She was an awesome program director.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived with two different host families. THe reason being that the first one didn't work out as well as I would have liked and Pepa wanted me to get the most out of my living situation so she recommended that I switch for the last month. I didn't want to switch at first but in the end I was definitely glad I did. I don't regret meeting or living with the first family at all. They were a very nice family, a mother and her two children, one boy (11 yrs) and one girl (13 yrs). They were just super busy with school and sports and extracurricular activities and didn't have the time to really be a host family and talk with me/interact with me as much as I wanted them to. The second family I lived with was an older woman whose children were all grown up and moved out of the house. Her mother lived in the same building and would come over and eat lunch with us everyday! I loved living with my second host family because she was always wanting to talk to me, especially at meals, but she also let me have my space and do my own thing. <br /><br /> With a host family in their apartment.

* Food:

In the end I learned to love the food, although it did take some getting used to. HOwever both host moms were very accomodating in terms of my food allergies/likes/dislikes.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We took a trip to Granada, saw a flamenco show and it was totally amazing!! I absolutely loved that trip!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I was sick--possibly food poisoning early on in the program, but the director was very understanding and helpful and I got over it very quickly. My host mom also went to the store and bought me things to help me get better. As in any city, you can't be stupid, like walk around late at night all by yourself--although I did do this and nothing bad ever happened. I felt that Alicante was an extremely safe city and being that it wasn't all that big, it was easy to get from one end to another either via bus or walking.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? probably close to $25/week or something not including travel to other cities/countries.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? travel--which you will want to do and books! and bus passes!


How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
Language acquisition improvement?

They improved so much, it is unbelievable. I went to Spain afraid to speak the language and returned being able to understand native speakers and comfortably respond using the language skills I have acquired over the years. Although some people spoke a little English, neither of my host families did, so I was forced to practice it there as well as everywhere else, in stores, at restaurants, at the bars etc.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Other
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Go!!! I chose Alicante because it was a lesser-known city--not as commercialized as say Barcelona--but you aren't living in the middle of nowhere. The nightlife was awesome! The restaurants and tapas bars were delicious! There was plenty of shopping! Did I mention so close to the beautiful beach--like a 5/10 minute walk depending on where you live!!? The atmosphere of the city was lovely and embodied the Spanish culture!