Study Spanish Abroad
in Alicante, Spain

Providing unique learning experiences for North American university students since 1969

Overview

Alicante, the jewel of the Costa Blanca, is a Mediterranean harbor city rich in history. Its long promenades and endless white beaches have long been guarded by the Castle of Santa Bárbara, perched on top of the Benacantil Mountain. Alicante’s culture, architecture, language, and people have been shaped by the Phoenician, Greek, Roman and Arab traders and conquerors that left their imprint at this crossroads of trading routes over the centuries.

Cultural Information

  • Population: 322,431
  • C. Valenciana
  • Euro
  • Harbor, Santa Barbara Castle, Mediterranean coastal beaches

Alicante, the jewel of the Costa Blanca, is a Mediterranean harbor city rich in history. Its long promenades and endless white beaches have long been guarded by the Castle of Santa Bárbara, perched on top of the Benacantil Mountain. Alicante’s culture, architecture, language, and people have been shaped by the Phoenician, Greek, Roman and Arab traders and conquerors that left their imprint at this crossroads of trading routes over the centuries.

Spanish Daily Routine

Breakfast/Desayuno is not a major meal, consisting of small amount of food and is generally eaten early in the morning.

Lunch/Almuerzo is the biggest and most important meal of the day and is generally eaten between 2:00 and 4:00PM.

Dinner/Cena is a small meal, although more substantial than breakfast and is generally served between 9:00 and 10:00 PM.

Siesta is a time to rest. It starts around 1:30 PM when all the shops begin to close, and lasts until 5:00 PM. Almost all shops are closed during siesta while Spaniards may sleep or watch TV, leaving you no choice but to also relax.

Traditional Spanish Dishes

Paella is a rice dish commonly mixed with a variation of seafood, meat, vegetables, and beans.

Tortilla is a dense omelet full of fried potatoes (sometimes onions or another vegetable as well).

JamĂłn Serrano is a salted, cured ham that is sliced thin and is typically served either on its own or in a bocadillo (sandwich).

Vegetarians/Vegans: Spanish culture is not particularly vegetarian/vegan friendly due to the importance of ham and other pork products in their diet. While the salads may not be filling, Spain offers delicious breads, cheeses, and vegetables dishes.

How to dress in Spain

Most Spanish people dress up more than the average American. Young men wear jeans and t-shirts or soccer jerseys, but you’ll also see men wearing nice pants and shoes. Women generally wear very feminine clothing.

To fit in with your surroundings, avoid wearing grubby jeans, sweatshirts, and sneakers. Nice, fitted clothing is what most people wear.

Life Outside the Classroom

Spanish people tend to be very friendly and open. However, you will need to make an effort to introduce yourself. Some of the best ways to do so are by signing up for a local speaking partner, attending Spanish Studies cultural activities, or by going to the places Spanish students hang out.

Spanish Studies Abroad wants you to have fun while studying abroad; however, you are expected to meet all of your academic responsibilities. Spanish nightlife is probably unlike the social scene you have experienced in the U.S. The Spanish often plan to go out at midnight or later, which is just the start of the evening. Many friends you meet will stay out until six or seven in the morning, then go straight to breakfast, and rest during siesta.

Spanish Studies

Take courses in Spanish specifically designed for study abroad students. Attend classes with other international students studying Spanish language, culture, history, business, education, social sciences, and more. Spanish Studies Abroad on-site resident directors and local professors teach a cultural reflection course to help you understand and integrate with the culture.

Integrated Studies Programs

Advanced students enroll in one or more regular courses in Spanish at the host university to complement the Spanish Studies Program curriculum. Sit side-byside with local students. We provide you with all the benefits of direct enrollment, including access to campus resources and integration into the university community. On-site resident directors assist each student individually with course selection and registration, and select a tutor for academic support.

International Studies in English Programs

Take coursework through the local university, in English, with local and international students. Most courses are in English, while some courses are offered in Spanish for those with more advanced skills. Take a Spanish language course and electives in English, benefit from cultural activities, study tours, and support from our resident director. A variety of courses include humanities, business, science and more.

Short Term Programs

If you can’t get away for a full semester, short-term programs are the best option. Courses offered at all levels of Spanish, in most disciplines: general Spanish language, Spanish for the professions, literature and history, business and economics, education and health sciences, social sciences, and more. We offer January, May, and/or Summer Terms.

Internship & Service Learning Programs

Gain hands-on experience side-by-side with local workers and volunteers while earning credit and learning Spanish. Learn through experience and reflection. Spanish Studies Abroad draws from its extensive network of collaborators to find the most appropriate placement for each student.

Get Started

Here’s what you need to do to take the next steps:

Start an application

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Connect with your campus study abroad office

Connect with your on campus study abroad officer of registrar.

Contact us

Send us an email if you still have questions or need information about applying to this program.

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Excursions

To enhance your cultural experience in Alicante, Spanish Studies Abroad organizes various excursions, study visits and other activities throughout the summer. These activities are coordinated to enhance your class studies and designed to expand your vision Spanish arts and culture. Visits vary by program.

In addition, Universidad de Alicante’s international students program Centro Superior de Idiomas (CSI) organizes cultural travel for international students attending Universidad de Alicante. For more information, please visit the CSI Website.

ALC - Summer 2019 - Duke University CP - group shot at the Castillo
Castle of Santa Bárbara, Alicante, Spain

Study visits may include:

  • Castle of Santa Bárbara
  • Cathedral of San Nicolás and Basilica of Santa MarĂ­a

Day and overnight* excursions may include:

  • Local museums, such as the Bonfires Museum, Museum of Fine Art, and the Museum of Archeology
  • Local day trips to locations such as Valencia or Orihuela
ALC - Fall 2018 - hoto contest entry
Alicante, Spain

Housing

Homestay

Cross-Cultural Learning – which is seeing the world as others see it – begins with life outside school. That is why Spanish Studies Abroad offers students the opportunity to live in a Spanish home during their program. Your Spanish home will be the focal point of your social experience– where you will sleep, eat, study, and relax.

This immersion in Spanish language will help you gain an understanding of daily life and customs in Alicante. There too, sharing in family conversations, you begin to learn “unspoken language” – the family values and subtle beliefs that underlie actions.

Your homestay includes full room and board as well as laundry and the cleaning of your room. Special dietary or housing accommodations may be made, but may require an additional fee. To ensure that your home will provide a warm and tranquil atmosphere, one conducive to learning, Spanish Studies staff discusses norms and policies with hosts and regularly inspects the homes.

Our Housing Coordinator chooses housing placements very carefully. Most of the families who host Spanish Studies Abroad students have been working with us for years and come with the highest recommendations from former students.

 

Local family

Tutoring Local Kids Learning English

In Seville and Alicante, Spanish Studies Abroad students have the option to participate in English Tutoring Program to assist Spanish children who are learning English. This is a great opportunity to both teach about American culture and learn about Spanish culture from a new perspective. Students interested in tutoring are encouraged to approach the Spanish Studies Resident Director or office staff once they arrive on-site to set up a tutoring partnership.

Past students in the CĂłrdoba Semester Programs have also volunteered as tutors with local Argentine students. Students interested in setting up a tutoring partnership should talk to the Resident Director once in CĂłrdoba.

tutoring kids

University

Spanish Studies students in Alicante study onsite at Universidad de Alicante (UA). Though established in 1979, UA was founded to carry on the traditions of the University of Orihuela (1545-1834). As the fastest-growing university in Spain, with an enrollment of 33,000, the UA is dedicated to its mission to cultivate students’ academic and professional skills, while developing critical thinking and social awareness. In addition to its academics, UA prides itself on its beautiful modern campus of innovative architecture and wide green spaces.

Along with the resources provided by UA, Spanish Studies students benefit from having an on-site Resident Director who teaches the Spanish Studies cultural integration course Social Realities of Spain assists students with cultural and logistical challenges of studying abroad, and organizes Spanish Studies Abroad site visits and events.

Through university coursework, homestays with native families, and multiple cross-cultural opportunities, students will find Spanish Studies Abroad in Alicante to be a highly immersive and integrated study abroad experience.

universidad-alicante

Meet your Resident Director

My role is to provide you with the necessary resources with which to maximize your experience in Alicante. You will choose courses to satisfy your intellectual and academic requirements. Extracurricular activities supplement your coursework, allowing you to live the culture as you further your own interests. These activities include dance, theater, sports, cooking, volunteering, tutoring in English, etc. The key is to find a good combination of study and leisure so that you may achieve your individual objectives and benefit each day from this unique experience.

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