Alicante, Spain

Before traveling to Europe this summer, I had only been out of the country one time. Knowing this, I had a good bit of nerves when the day finally came to leave for Spain. Luckily I had my good friend Jack to share this month abroad with me, so I wasn’t too overwhelmed. When we arrived we got a hotel on one of the main streets in Alicante called La Rambla. We were exhausted from the long day and slept for a couple hours, then went out and explored the city a little bit. Alicante is a port city right on the Mediterranean Sea, and is extremely pretty. The staple of Alicante, I would say would have to be the castle that sits at the top of the city. It is named Castillo de Santa Barbara. After we made the trek up to the top, which took about 45 minutes, we made our way back down and went to sleep. We moved into our new apartment the next day, and met some of the other people in our group. We lived with other international students. There was Ellis, and Marianne, who were from Scotland, Rikke who was from Denmark, and Sebastian who was from Chile. They had all been in Alicante from 8 months and over so they really helped us out and showed us around.

The Universidad de Alicante was a very beautiful university, which used to be an old military base. I took a European Economics class, and a Women’s Gender Studies class, both of which were pretty interesting. My Professors were both wonderful and really helped us understand the concepts, and also helped us get use to the way of life in Spain.

Me and Jack made some pretty good friends in our program who we spent a lot of our time with. The social life in Spain was very fun, and everyone was always friendly. We got to travel to Morocco in Africa and ride camels on the beach. We visited Gibraltar and drove up the big rock and took pictures with monkeys. We saw traditional Arabic dances in Morocco as well and traveled through the cities of Chefchaouen, Tangier, and Tetuan.

We were in Alicante during their biggest festival of the year called “Las Hogueras.” Basically a bunch of people build these big elaborate bonfire structures, and on the 24th of June, the firefighters in the city burn them down. (They keep it under control as well) Millions of people travel to Alicante to watch this event, and throughout the whole week there are other events and parties that happen every night. We didn’t get much sleep this week because every night music would go until 5am and then it would start back up at 10am the next day. But this was definitely the best week we had in our time in Europe.

All in all my time in Europe was, and will be, a very special memory in my life. I made some genuine friendships that I am sure will continue, and did things that not many people get to do in their life time. If it were my choice, it would be a requirement to study abroad during your 4 years in college, and if you are thinking about it, I highly recommend Alicante as your destination. This was, and will be one of the best months of entire life.

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