Alicante is a vibrant modern town that maintains its beach vibes and historical monuments, unlike any other city. One of Spain’s most beautiful beaches is just minutes from the city center and chic shopping district. The Alicante skyline is defined by the Castillo de Santa Barbara, a fortress created by Muslims in the 9th century, that overlooks the Mediterranean sea from the top of a hill. This is the perfect spot for watching the sunset over the Mediterranean. You can’t miss the beautiful historical neighborhood of Santa Cruz at the base of the hill, where there are always local events taking place. Locals get their fresh produce and fish from the beautifully reconstructed Mercado, which was bombed during World War II. Alicante is the perfect university town to study in and truly immerse yourself in the laid back Spanish lifestyle.
USAC classes are located at the University of Alicante, which has an enrollment of 30,000 students and contributes greatly to the diversity of the area. This innovative university is set upon a magnificent campus with modern architecture, beautiful landscaping, and an art museum. The campus is completely pedestrian and 70% of it is comprised of gardens, arboretums, and fountains. You have full access to all sports facilities, libraries, medical services, dining halls, wifi, etc, and an excellent transportation system to connect you from your city center housing to campus.
Interesting Fact about the City:
The area is referred to as the Costa Blanca, meaning White Coast, for its luxurious sandy beaches. The Costa Blanca has one of the healthiest climates in Europe according to the World Health Organization.
Best Weekend Travel Destinations:
Alicante is connected to the rest of Spain and Europe by high-speed train system and Alicante-Elche Airport. A weekend trip to Madrid or Valencia is as easy as a two-hour train ride. Students can travel all around Europe easily, to places such as the UK, France, Portugal, Italy and more. Not to mention, island-hop to Spain’s famous Canary Islands or Mallorca and Menorca islands. The coast just north of Alicante is a major European travel destination and students should take advantage of their easy access to the beaches of Benidorm and San Juan. When the weather is nice, which it is most of the time, the beach is just a ten-minute walk from the city center and perfect for relaxing on the weekend. The USAC staff also plans a few weekend trips, hikes on the coast, and an optional field study tour.
Field Trips (vary by term):
Guadalest, Fuentes de Algar, & Calpe
Visit the sixteenth-century Moorish fortified town of Guadalest, perched on the side of a cliff, swim at the waterfalls of Fuentes de Algar. You will end the trip with on the beautiful beaches of Calpe with its famous Penon de Ifach, a massive limestone outcrop over 300 meters high. On a different day trip, you can go and hike the Penon de Ifach for incredible views of the coastline.
Join our three-day field trip to the vibrant city of Barcelona and enjoy Gaudi’s masterpieces such as the famous Sagrada Familia and Parque Guell. Barcelona will amaze you with its rich history, culture, architecture, and design.
Cabo San Antonio & Javea
Take a morning hike up to the Cabo de San Antonio, and have a picnic with your friends overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. After, you can spend a few hours on the beach in Javea lounging in the sun or playing volleyball. This is the perfect end of the semester “farewell” day trip.
Make sure to sign up for the two-night field trip to explore the capital of the last Moorish kingdom in Spain with the famous Alhambra palace and tour the beautiful grounds and gardens. Granada is also very popular for its Arab baths, flamenco shows, and tapas. There is always something fun to do in this beautiful, ancient city.
Morocco Tour & Field Study
This field study analyzes the mutual bond and influences between both sides of the Mediterranean, Spain and Northern Morocco. You will cross the Strait of Gibraltar between Europe and Africa, a mere six-mile distance that separates two wildly unique cultures, to visit the city of Tetouan, Assilah, Chefchaouen and Tangier. You will also visit many Moroccan associations that help women and people with disabilities, and have the opportunity to discuss current global issues and the differences in Western and Eastern cultures with Moroccan students. This field study will expose you to a culture very different from the United States and provide you with the opportunity to learn more about the world’s various cultures more in-depth than any class.
What students have to say
The on-site staff directors in Alicante want to help you as much as possible. They are very friendly and create several USAC group activities so that you can get to meet and befriend other USAC students. I made lifelong friendships with people in the program and out of the program -friendships with people from all over the world. USAC also allowed me to do several paid internships in which I would teach English to children, teenagers, and adults. It came in handy because I got to travel and explore a lot of Europe with the extra money. I also learned a lot about teaching English as a second language. I highly recommend studying abroad in Alicante – if possible for a full year! – Joe Perez
Alicante is a great city to study abroad in if you’d rather be in a smaller city. It is very convenient to get from point A to point B. You are able to get everywhere within minutes, except the university which is about a 30 minute tram ride. An amazing tram ride that shows the early morning sunrise over the beach! The views of the city are astonishing and it is easy to remember how to get around. Soon after this city will be home. The university courses are fun and interactive. The onsite staff is amazing and show their love and support for each student. Aside from the core Spanish classes. Sailing, cooking, dance and service-learning is also offered. Students can even become a teacher’s assistant at a local high school or become an English tutor and tutor young children. El Barrio Santa Cruz is also a great place to take a walk and take in the views as you explore on your way up to the Santa Barbara Castle. I personally loved living in Alicante and already dream of going back! – Liridian Gamboa
USAC Alicante program is a great way to improve your language skills in a beautiful beach city. I stayed in a home-stay to fully immerse myself, which was great. The staff with the USAC office went above and beyond and really knew all of the students well. They clearly cared and made the experience transition smooth and easy. Classes were all very small and personal with a focus on in-class work and discussion rather than extensive homework. The excursions planned by the program were great-I wish there were even more they were my favorites. Language partners “intercambios” at the university gave greater opportunity to improve our conversation and tutoring local children in english was another great after-class activity. I would highly recommend this program to anyone interested in studying spanish in Spain. Emma Williams
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