Spain: Alicante - Spanish Language, Linguistics, European, and Gender Studies

Video and Photos

The view from El Castillo
The view from El Castillo
La Explanada: The main shopping/eating strip in Alicante
La Explanada: The main shopping/eating strip in Alicante
El Barrio Santa Cruz
El Barrio Santa Cruz
La Explanada

About

Study abroad at the University of Alicante in Spain! Coursework concentrates on Spanish, European and Women's/Gender Studies, as well as many options to help students improve their Spanish language skills.

Alicante is a beautiful Spanish city located right on the Mediterranean. Its consistent temperatures and sandy beaches make it a prime destination for students interested in relaxing outdoors and on the coast.

Highlights
  • Study at one of the most beautiful campuses in Spain with gorgeous landscaping, modern architecture, and a modern sports center, indoor swimming pool, and other facilities
  • Immerse yourself in Spanish culture with volunteering opportunities, internships, direct enrollment at the university, workshops, conversation partner program, and excursions
  • Enjoy sunny weather and lovely beaches by the Mediterranean Sea with many opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking, rowing, sailing, and windsurfing
  • Join in local celebrations, open air markets, and the lively atmosphere of the Mediterranean lifestyle

New Program: Comparative Studies: Uruguay and Cuba Summer Session

Study abroad Summer 2020 for eight weeks, beginning in Montevideo, Uruguay and continuing to La Habana, Cuba, for a comparative Latin studies program ideal for any student and of particular interest to health, gender and Spanish language students.

Scholarships

USAC Scholarships
USAC Scholarships and Financial Aid

USAC awards over $2 million in scholarships and discounts each year to assist students with their study abroad expenses.

Value
$500 - $1,000

Questions & Answers

Hi Mackenzie, thank you for your question and I apologize for the delayed response. Yes, during the summer session the Elementary Spanish class will most likely be five days a week! If you have any additional questions feel free to email us at studyabroad@usac.edu

Hi Allison, Most track 1 students can expect to be in class 5 days a week, but it will depend on where you are studying abroad. You will get your class schedule during orientation. If you have further questions about courses you can always email our enrollment team at enrollment@usac.edu. Thank you!

We have some pictures on our website here: http://usac.unr.edu/study-abroad-programs/spain/alicante/photo-gallery. For specific location information you can email us at studyabroad@usac.unr.edu Thank you! -Sara

Most classes through USAC are in the morning but if you take classes directly through University of Alicante, they really vary. I had a class from 4-8pm for a week but my USAC classes all ended roughly around 2pm =)

Reviews

99%
based on 61 reviews
  • Academics 8.3
  • Support 9.9
  • Fun 9.7
  • Housing 9.7
  • Safety 9.8
Showing 31 - 45 of 61
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Michelle
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Polar opposite habits, incredible lifestyle

At first, I had issues with the customer service in Spain - it is downright awful. The people in Spain tend to be more straightforward and cold, but then you realize you don't have to do things like leave a tip ever and it is more apparent why. They are very proud people which for me was an issue being the descendant of indigenous people who were oppressed and killed by the Spanish. You will see no recognition of that genocide caused by Spain but that is more pertinent to Latin American people for those who care about those matters. They WILL think your spanish is funny if you are a native speaker from another country, but for the most part I saw much more respect for other races than I do in the US. They are not as modern in Spain like in the US but very sustainable nonetheless. Their transportation system is incredible. There is a tram that goes everywhere and a bus. You can also walk almost everywhere- it is amazing. The city is one of the safest cities I have EVER been in. My roommates and I go out to parties, come back home late, and never felt in danger. It is a very laid-back, liberal city, and despite some rude people- the lifestyle they have makes you never want to leave! I traveled a good amount on weekends to other countries and truly grew attached to Alicante. I honestly feel like it is my second home. I would always miss it, even on weekends. I love how close the beach is, the clubs overlook the water, there are always great deals so it is also very cheap!!! I was very undecided between studying in Madrid, San Sebastian, or Alicante and I am so glad I chose Alicante. If you are into very big cities, then Alicante is not for you. It does not have a big city feel in my opinion, but it has everything you need. Big shopping malls, nice clubs (although not crazy ones like Barcelona obviously), a really clean beach, a beautiful view of a castle, great restaurants, and an amazing lifestyle. I learned to go party every single night and still went to school the next day. People don't drink the way Americans do, drinking is purely social. I thought it would be crazy and at times it was, but for the most part I think Spanish people just know that going out and being outside is crucial for happiness and being social! There is never an excess of drinking or being crazy. I really love it. There is no better place to be as a young person than Alicante! Also, the advisers at USAC will go OUT of their way to help you. They are truly amazing. Luis especially. The classes offered at USAC were challenging but fun, and you will learn much more than Spanish. The professors were so well rounded and always talked about current events, and so much more than the topics in class which were equally educational. Europeans are just so much more well rounded than Americans. They were also very supportive of our weekend travels and always had good advice. I will always carry this time period as the best time of my life. I hope to return very soon!

What would you improve about this program?
I would have wanted to be able to pay rent online like we do in the US. This was actually a big cause of stress for me. Our landlord was constantly wanting to set up times to meet and one of us would not show up or be late and she would become extremely upset. This is very old fashioned and we should not have been treated like children. There should be a drop box to leave rent or something. Also, I wish the program would have done icebreakers or introductions or something so we could all get to know each other better.
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Kendall
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

USAC ALICANTE

I just finished my semester abroad in Alicante using the USAC study abroad program. This program is supportive of you from day one when you decide you want to do study abroad. Your advisors in Nevada are fantastic and go the extra mile to make sure you are ready and prepared for going to study across seas. Once you get to Alicante or wherever you are going the support continues on. In Alicante, the staff there are very nice people, and want you to succeed and have a great time. I had a fantastic professor named Lordes. She really cares about her students and has a passion about them learning Spanish. If you are ever struggling she is more than happy to spend time with you outside of class to help you improve. The program offers so many fun field trips and events so you can get to know other USAC students. The housing I was provided was perfect for me. I asked to not live with USACs students. I wanted that arrangement so that I could have both friends from USAC and friends from other places in the world. I lived with 2 British , 1 Malaysian, 1 Polish, and 1 Spanish roommate(s). This opened me up to new cultures and amazing new friendships. I was living with Erasmus students. Having Erasmus roommates allowed me to make friends from all over Europe and learn about different cultures and ideas. I recommend you bond with USAC students, but also make time for making friends with locals and people who are not American. I strongly recommend doing the Intercambio program. This allowed me to be paired up with a Spanish local that wants to learns English just as much as I want to learn Spanish. We helped each other improve in our language skills. My intercambio became a good friend of mine. Lastly, I know many of you will want to explore the other surrounding countries which is great, however do take time to get to know the beautiful city of Alicante or wherever you go, and also explore many cities of your host country as well. My time in Madrid was so magical. Toledo is also a very interesting city to see. If you are studying in Spain during the fall semester you may want to visit Zaragoza in October and observe and participate in the Fiesta del Pillar. I was lucky to have a Spanish friend from Zaragoza who took me to her home in Zaragoza and introduce to me this annual week long party and celebration there. Enjoy your time abroad and savor each moment. The time goes fast because the experience is amazing.

What would you improve about this program?
The only thing I did not like was that most of our work we did was not from our textbooks. It came from many copies of paper. We are asked to buy many textbooks that we barley used and that costed me a lot of euros that I could have used on other things. Either the program should be using the textbooks more or the textbooks should not be used at all.
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Jenn
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Perfect way to spend my summer

I studied abroad with USAC in Alicante last summer. I was 26 wih a Masters and was my first time studying abroad and first time spending an extended amount of time in a foreign country. I was going with the goal of taking a graduate level course and learning a bit of Spanish along the way. The USAC program helped me achieve these goals and so much more. My professor for Spanish Gender Studies (Pilar) was one of the best professors I've ever had. She cares so deeply about the subject, her students, and education in general. She helped me tailor my research paper to be relevant to the course, my interests, and my job, and she was an invaluable resource throughout the project. I decided to audit an intermediate Spanish course as well, and had a wonderful professor (Paloma) who understood that I was a beginner and challenged me to learn as much as possible in our short four week course. I did spend a lot of time Monday through Fridays on campus at UA , but I don't think that got in my way of spending time with my apartment mates , going out for tapas, salsa dancing, shopping, to bars , museums, and playa posiguet. I had an intercambio who I still keep in touch with, and went on a few awesome excursions led by the incredible director, Luis. In the short 4 weeks of this summer program, I made long term friends, learned about The history and role of women in Spain, aprendí un poquito de la lengua, explored parts of Spain I never would have seen on my own, lived in downtown Alicante, and had an overall amazing time.

What would you improve about this program?
I loved the Alicante program and would certainly go back. This summer I was interested in traveling to Central America and ISAC didn't have enough graduate level options in that area, so I went with another program.
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Sydney
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

January in Spain

I LOVED living in Alicante. Even though it was winter, it never went below 60 and was sunny everyday. Friends and I traveled to Barcelona one weekend as well. The Resident Director was so friendly and helpful!

What would you improve about this program?
I wish I was there for longer!
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Holly
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

USAC Alicante Experience

There is a local market where you can buy fresh groceries and the sellers are so kind and happy to help teach spanish. I lived a 5 minute walk from the beach and in the center of downtown. Everything is centrally located and I could easily see the entire city in a day. You can take the metro to school with a pass. Living here is really cheap compared to many parts of Europe. In USAC, the staff is great and will help at anytime with anything. They set me up with housing, roommates, and a job. When my boyfriend hurt himself riding his bike they took him to the ER with no questions asked. Everyone was so welcoming and I don't regret a single day.

What would you improve about this program?
Make classes closer in time during the day so you can have free afternoons..
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Bridget
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Summer Session in Alicante

My session was short; classes were small and teachers did not follow the syllabi but instead changed lesson plans to focus on our weaknesses. I learned more in 5 weeks there than in any of my classes back in the US.

The host family I was placed with absorbed me into their family right away. I felt extremely welcomed, included, and loved. I was terrified to move to another country and live with strangers but my house mom was more accepting and helpful than I could have dreamt of.

The program offered multiple weekend field trips to nearby cities in a very short time frame. This program was well rounded; I feel like they were able to share every aspect of Spanish life with us in every way imaginable (through trips, food, class structure, housing, etc).

My experience in Alicante changed something in me; I have realized how much I do not know about other cultures and how much more I want to learn. Because of this program, I have returned to Spain and am working as a language assistant in Palma de Mallorca. I had to find a way to come back and I am not sure I ever want to go home!

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Zak
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best International Experience

My time studying abroad was everything I had wished for, a good host family, great classes, amazing program directors, and good people. My best tip would be to live with a host family in your city and have an open mind - especially with meeting the locals.

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Amanda
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life Changing!

Everyday riding the bus to school, to becoming a spanish college student, to being an independent women in this new city of Alicante. This experience USAC provided me with was a never ending learning and life changing experience. I not only grew as a person, but was a ble to fully embrace another culture with the means USAC thoughtfully provided me with. The was endless possibilities, opportunities, and experiences that were handed to me and was really able to take it all in mentally, physically, emotionally. I am still liberated off this life changing opportunity I am so grateful to have had. Being a college student with little means to be able to travel overseas, USAC made it happen. The Staff, the USAC Community, the entire organization made one my life long dreams come true. If it wasn't for their constant support, kind advise, and willingness to work with your financial situations, I wouldn't be on here to express my gratitude. So thank you USAC, I 100% support all that you do. Thank You.

What would you improve about this program?
I know there is an orientation meeting in the beginning when we first arrive in the new country but maybe a check in meeting with your students half way through their voyage.
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Erica
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

San Sebastián

The experience I had in this city and the study abroad program was unreal. Any fears, doubts or nerves went out the window when I arrived in San Sebastián with all my new friends and the USAC advisors. They made it clear that they would be there to help with anything we needed and they were not lying. After a month or so there I got extremely sick and I had an advisor take me to the doctors and translate my symptoms and medicine I needed. In San Sebastián it was easy to get to school by foot but also by bike and usac made it easy by giving us bike rental places to go get them. All of the students housing there was also amazing. I lived in an apartment with 3 other girls and we lived right in the art of old town. Everything about my experience was incredible. From the travel the travel and weekend trip to immersing myself in the Spanish cultures. I highly recommend studying abroad and using usac as your program.

What would you improve about this program?
Off the top of my head honestly there isn't much I can really think of they could improve. They were very informative, helpful and were always there for us.
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Emily
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Most incredible experience of my life

I do not have enough amazing things to say about USAC or about Alicante. The on-site staff (Luis, Sylvain and Veronica) are incredible and are always in the office available to help with anything you could possibly need, such as travel or restaurant recommendations. All of the USAC professors are great- they're very clear, extremely fun to be in class with, incredibly nice and overall great teachers. What I am most grateful for is that I decided to live with a host family. I knew from personal experience with different program providers in other parts of Spain that host family situations could be risky, however USAC did an exceptional job choosing the families and everyone who decided to live with a family loved the experience. I only had a host mother in my family and she treated me like family and was an amazing cook. For anyone considering studying abroad, I believe that living with a family is truly the only way to become fully immersed in the culture and the best way to learn the language. I also really enjoyed being set up with an intercambio (a local student language partner) as it was a great way to meet/hang out with locals and practice my Spanish. The excursions USAC took us on were a lot of fun (and we were always fed really well!) and Alicante is an amazing city. It is small enough so that everything is relatively close (and walkable) but it still has everything I could want in a city (good shopping, fun night life, great restaurants, beaches, etc.). It is also very close by tram to many cute cities nearby that are beautiful and fun to explore so there is never a shortage of things to do. Overall, this summer I met a lot of great people, improved my Spanish drastically and experienced a lot of personal growth. I cannot wait to have the opportunity to return to Alicante and I highly recommend USAC and Alicante to anyone interested in studying abroad (which I believe everyone should do).

What would you improve about this program?
I believe some of my courses could have been a little more rigorous and I would've liked to have more time to explore the cities we visited during our excursions.
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Gina
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

BEST TIME OF MY LIFE

I knew going abroad for the first time alone would be a challenge. I knew it would be a challenge for me, but with the people of USAC to guide me- I was never alone. The staff was always cheerful and willing to help. They made the students a priority and I felt so valued. I took a sailing class in which our sailing teacher (Esperanza) gave us her full attention and helped my boat practice spanish every session. Sailing in the Mediterranean was a highlight of my trip that I will never forget. The excursions were well thought out and planned and left me stress free. I enjoyed every minute. At times- homework was avoided because there were so many fun things to do (especially during hogueras), so I would have preferred more classwork and less homework. I wish I had a heads up on what to wear before leaving the states. Every one dresses well... every day. I wound up buying a bunch of new clothes and leaving half of my suitcase behind. Prepare to spend lots of money on lots of cool new things you'll want to try. Be open, be active , be freeeeee! Spain is a wonderful country and I was so lucky to be there. I am looking into moving to Alicante to teach English after I graduate :)
I highly highly highly recommend studying with USAC and studying abroad in general! But for Spain, you couldn't find a better group than Veronika, Luis and Sylvain.

What would you improve about this program?
Less homework. Possibly an overnight or weekend stay in Valencia! I felt that there was so much to see there and we only had a day trip.
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Serena
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Alicante es de Puta Madre!

From the second you land in the airport and step foot in Alicante, you get this reassuring feeling that yes, self, you have chosen the correct place to immerse yourself in a different culture and make amazing memories in. Alicante's natural beauty of playa and castillo made it perfect to go wander the city and get lost in. It's a city but has a small town feel, which made it a great home away from home. The program and university staff are super accommodating, helpful, and genuinely excited to meet and help their students. The nature, city life, and el barrio make it a super fun place for students explore. The staff also takes students to near by towns and beaches for cultural exposure and group bonding. The memories made will last with me forever and were some of the best anyone could ever wish to have in a lifetime. Alicante will always hold a special place in my heart as a place in which my mind and soul grew tremendously.

What would you improve about this program?
I'd suggest a mandatory questionnaire be filled out by each student asking about his/her living habits and lifestyle, that way the program can do its best to assure similar/compatible roommates.
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Kelsey
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Choose Alicante! You won't want to leave.

I've never been more grateful for an experience in my entire life. As a first year college student, I already knew I wanted to explore the world as much as possible while I had the time. USAC's Alicante program gave me the opportunity to EXPLORE. I learned how to sail in a super fun course with multiple other students 3 days a week for a month. My roommates and I were located in an apartment on a main street called Rambla Méndez Nuñez. The street leads almost directly to the beach and all of the fun night life bars/restaurants in under a 3 minute walk. I was there during the 2014 World Cup and the streets were always full of young adults and students like myself. My spanish class was challenging but I never felt like I didn't have time to complete my work. USAC provides information about the area right when you arrive; best restaurants, beaches, and places to explore. The staff is extremely approachable and fun to talk to. During the weekends I traveled to Paris and also to Barcelona. I recommend taking these side trips because the flights and train rides are extraordinarily cheap and you'll make memories you'll never forget.

What would you improve about this program?
I took advanced 1 Spanish in Alicante and the course was very difficult. I was the youngest of the course by a few years (19 at the time) and felt like it was difficult to keep up sometimes. I learned a ton though! The Spanish composition class I took the month before in Madrid was much more at my level which made the month a bit more relaxing. I recommend choosing your classes wisely! Haha!
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Kristina
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Summer Study Abroad in Alicante, Spain

I highly recommend this program for anyone interested in Summer study abroad in Spain. If you want to be immersed in the language, Alicante is a great place to be. Many people know English, but you obviously will be surrounded by Spanish everywhere you go.

I lived in a home stay, which I also recommend for students wishing to improve their Spanish. My host mom only spoke Spanish and was also one of the sweetest people I have ever met. I felt so welcome in her home from day one. She was very talkative, whether I understood what she was saying or not. This allowed for a lot of practice speaking and listening to Spanish.

The university program was also wonderful. The supervisors, as well as the teachers, were very helpful and approachable with any issue you may have. I learned so much in my Spanish classes that I never would have gotten at my home university. It is helpful to constantly be thinking about Spanish while taking these Spanish classes.

Alicante has a small, beach city feel, which I loved. We walked everywhere and I never felt unsafe. A perk of studying there in the summer is getting to experience their yearly five day long festival. It was such an authentic, Spanish experience that I will never forget!

What would you improve about this program?
The only thing I wish to improve is receiving more detailed information about the program many months before leaving, so I felt more prepared. Once I got there, however, I always felt supported and aware of what was going on.
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Ryann
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Un Tiempo Increible

Studying abroad in Europe was the best decision of my life. I spent a semester in Rome, Italy in the fall (which was incredible), but I wanted something smaller and more immersive during my second semester abroad. And so, I decided to go to Alicante, Spain through USAC. The program was cheap, the location was wonderful, and the courses offered were perfect for my academic interests and goals. I knew the smaller city would help me improve my Spanish language skills, and it would enable me to really understand the Spanish people and culture. I was fortunate enough to have an amazing host family who taught me so much, and I would even consider them my second family. I also made some wonderful friends, many whom I believe I will have for the rest of my life. The USAC program enabled me to study abroad for a second semester because it offered numerous courses that allowed me to finish college in 4 years with 3 majors and a minor. I majored in Spanish, Sociology, and Anthropology, and fortunately many of the sociology courses in Alicante were taught in Spanish, so my home university counted them for both majors! My Spanish communication skills improved immensely, and I truly believe I learned more during my semester in Spain than I had from the 9 years I spent learning Spanish it back in the states. I was also fortunate enough to have an exchange partner, and an internship in which I worked at the local museum. The USAC staff there made all of this possible, and they worked diligently to make sure I was happy and safe. They planned so many amazing field trips and activities, and made my second semester abroad spectacular. I loved every minute of my experience, and I wish I could go back everyday! USAC is an incredible program, and Alicante is a lovely city.

What would you improve about this program?
It was pretty close to perfect... I really can't think of anything that I would have changed to make it better.