Spain has all the potential to be your next home away from home. InterNations, the largest international community for people who live and work abroad, has listed three University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC) spotlight cities in the top 10 on the Expat City Rankings 2023 — all are in Spain.
Alicante comes in second place overall for people wishing to settle abroad for an extended period of time. Better yet, it is the top city on the survey for affordable housing. Respondents reported that it was an easy city to settle in and they quickly felt welcomed. Overall, expats in this area are the happiest with their social lives. 92% say they are pleased with their lives in Alicante, compared to 72% globally. Many study abroad students enrolled in the USAC Alicante program have similar experiences in Spain. They can find new locally-based peers when taking a course at the University of Alicante or immerse in the Mediterranean culture when performing an internship in the area.
Valencia comes in a close third. The general cost of living in the city is ranked 3rd worldwide, and the same was said about the availability of healthcare. 79% of respondents said they are happy with their work-life balance in the city, compared to 63% globally. The USAC Valencia program offers enrolled students the option to audit classes at the Universidad Politècnica de València and meet with local citizens pursuing similar academic interests.
Madrid landed in sixth place, overall. Like most Spanish cities on the list, it has affordable housing options, a high-quality public healthcare system, and a low crime rate. The city is home to the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, where USAC Madrid students can take classes in art, Spanish, and European studies.
The survey also listed three other USAC spotlight cities in the top 39. The cities of Lisbon, Portugal; The Hague, Netherlands; and Prague, Czech Republic are ideal locations for extended or permanent foreign stays. The InterNations report validates the quality of USAC’s portfolio of study abroad program locations, and anyone interested in adding an international education experience to their resume is encouraged to use our search tool on usac.edu to start your journey.
Download the full rankings report for extensive details. The Expat City Rankings are based on the results of an online questionnaire to the InterNations community with more than 12,000 participants. If more than 50 people in one city responded, it became a contender on the list. 53 cities qualified for the 2023 rankings. The survey asks people to rank their areas for quality of life, ease of settling in, working abroad, personal finance, and expat essentials.