The Ultimate Guide to Studying Abroad in Alicante

Authored By:

College Study Abroad

Alicante is the Spanish city you never knew you needed to see. But you so do. And you can get there with CIEE! 

In this guide to studying abroad in Alicante, you can discern for yourself why this centuries-old seaside city in Spain may be the exact right site for you. Let's dig in! 

Is Alicante a Good Place to Study Abroad? 

Let us first ask you: Do you like a city that is sunny 300 days a year and sits on the Mediterranean Sea? If so, then yes. For you, Alicante is an ideal location for your study abroad experience – 100%! 

What’s more, Alicante is a smallish city with a population of more than 300,000. So, it’s less touristy than other more well-known spots in Spain, which is perfect if you really want to connect with the local community.  

Of course, these aren’t the only reasons you should study abroad in Alicante. Here we offer three more great excuses to sign up: 

alicante study abroad city guide

Reason #1: Alicante is the gateway to Costa Blanca. 

The port city of Alicante sits at the southern end of the Costa Blanca, a 120+ mile stretch of dreamlike coastline along the province of Alicante. The White Coast is a magical place to visit, drawing countless visitors each year. If you study here, you will no doubt have fun winding through Costa Blanca’s many sandy beaches and charming villages. 

Sidenote: Yes, there is an Alicante city and an Alicante province – just so you know. 

study abroad in alicante benefits

Reason #2: La comida es muy buena!  

Alicante is the right place if you really want to experience traditional Spanish and Mediterranean cuisine, of which rice and legumes are key ingredients.  

Study here and we see many tapas and paella dishes in your future. Oh, and the Spanish ham, too. Eras afortunado! (Lucky you!) 

Reason #3: You will build strong Spanish-language skills in Alicante’s rich Spanish culture. 

It’s true, too. Living and learning overseas in Spain is the best way to improve your Spanish-language skills. And doing so in beautiful, historic Alicante will only deepen your appreciation for the language and the Spanish culture. 

While practicing your Spanish communication skills in Alicante, you will have the added bonus of taking in all the must-see destinations: Santa Cruz, Castillo de Santa Barbara, Algar Waterfalls, Canelobre Caves, the Archaeological Museum, and so much more. You will have the best time! 

Alicante vs. Barcelona: Which is Better for Study Abroad? 

If Spain is luring you in and you’re thinking coastal, then choosing between Alicante and Barcelona is likely your biggest question. Fortunately, both are great. 

The biggest difference is the size of cities. As noted above, Alicante is rather small with a lively but comparably modest population in the 300,000 range. Barcelona is much bigger with 1.4 million residents.  

Cost of living is another factor you may need to consider. In that case, Alicante is slightly more affordable than Barcelona across all major out-of-pocket budget buckets: food, shopping, and general daily expenses. Barcelona, it should be noted, is also reasonably affordable, just slightly less so than Alicante. 

How to Study Abroad in Alicante 

Eager to study abroad in Alicante? Great! Here’s how to get started on your journey. 

Step 1: Map out your journey.  

Determine which time of year is right for you to travel, be it in the spring, summer, or fall. Then choose the best Alicante program for your academic goals.  

It’s also a good idea at this stage to research any scholarships and grants you may qualify for. We offer millions in merit-based scholarships, need-based grants, and other discounts for specific programs each year. Moreover, your school may know of other scholarships, as well. Be sure to check with your study abroad advisor to research all the opportunities available to you. 

Step 2: Get expert guidance.  

About nine months to a year prior to your program’s departure date, schedule a time to meet with your school’s study abroad office to get direct one-on-one support as you plan your journey. You’ll also want to meet with your academic advisor to ensure your study abroad plan aligns with your academic path as well as career goals. Your parents should also be brought into the loop if they aren’t already.  

In addition, a CIEE admissions advisor will be happy to help you sort through the many options available. So don’t forget to lean on us, too. 

study abroad student with ciee in alicante

Step 3: Get your travel in order. 

Is your passport current? You do have a passport, right? If not, act now!  

Then, six to nine months before your leave date, make sure you’ve submitted your CIEE application and school application (if applicable) on time. To help keep you on the straight and narrow, we’ve compiled a series of short application FAQ videos to make things super simple. 

Step 4: Pack your bags and go! 

Need we say more? (Okay, you may want some guidance on packing. More on that below!) 

Alicante Study Abroad Packing List 

Pack well and your study abroad experience will be that much better. Not to mention more affordable, since you won’t have to buy those forgotten essentials abroad.  

Your essential documents: 

  • Passport + a photocopy (just in case) 
  • Visa + a photocopy  
  • A second form of valid ID (e.g., driver’s license or government-issued ID) 
  • Plane tickets  
  • Proof of health insurance 
  • Proof of CIEE enrollment 
  • Cash (Spain uses the Euro) and a credit card accepted in Spain 

Other essential items: 

  • Comfortable walking shoes, ideally closed-toe and waterproof 
  • Camera to capture the beauty of Spain  
  • One nice outfit for special occasions 
  • Prescription medications, enough for the stay if possible 
  • Preferred over-the-counter medications 
  • Prescription eyewear 
  • A reusable water bottle that you can fill up at the airport and use when on the go in Spain 
  • Adapters to charge your current tech in Spain’s electrical outlets 
  • Sunglasses + sunblock 

A note about the weather: Summers in Alicante are hot and humid, the winters are cool and windy, and it’s dry year-round. Pack accordingly, and remember that comfortable shoes and dressing in layers are always good ideas. 

student group on cultural excursion in alicante spain

Alicante is Calling

So, what’s stopping you? It’s time you learn more about this magical Spanish city and explore CIEE’s amazing Alicante study abroad programs!