Planning trips for your upcoming study abroad program? Consider adding Alicante, Spain, to your travel list. Ashley Barad, a Fall 2013 Associate Ambassador at Vassar College, has 10 good reasons why you should. Take a look! Beautiful beaches where the sand is soft, the sun is hot, and the water is peaceful. Be sure to check out “La Playa de San Juan”, which is a less crowded beach than the more local “Postiguet” beach. It’s only a short train ride away from the main city of Alicante. Easy access to the cities of Benidorm and Calpe. Get to the cities by train and experience amazing sightseeing opportunities and inviting nightlife scenes. Fun and interesting nightlife in Alicante’s “Barrio” where you can meet locals, or relax and dance the night away with your CEA buddies on the weekends! Discotecas and restaurants are open very late so that you can get the most out of your nights. Easy-to-navigate city with a useful and efficient train and bus systems. Although the commute to the university may seem intimidating at first, it becomes simple in no time! Great staff and tour guides who will introduce you to some of the most fun and exciting parts of Alicante. Get to know them, and you’ll have some lifelong friends as well! The gorgeous University of Alicante campus – equipped with palm trees and helpful and intelligent professors! The classes you take here will not only improve your Spanish speaking, reading, and writing skills but will also introduce you to other students from around the world. Increase your cultural knowledge past Spain and venture into the cultures of countries such as Russia, Korea, and Belgium! The festival of Hogueras!! This festival takes place in June, and is one of the most fun parts of being in Alicante. Fireworks every night, and people playing music in the streets will invite you to celebrate this Alicante tradition. Friendly and inviting local stores and restaurants where you can practice your Spanish or give it a try for the first time! Shopkeepers and waiters in Alicante are used to tourists, and will most likely be patient if you stumble with your language skills. Remember, they’re probably interested in practicing English as well! Also, make sure to try some of these adventurous-looking Tapas! Traditional Spanish foods are a huge part of the experience. The magnificent Castillo de Santa Bárbara – climb it to get an amazing view of Alicante! On the Alicante CEA trip you will tour the castle and get a history lesson to learn about the unique and exciting past of Alicante and its fortress. Enjoy access to numerous other European countries through cheap airlines – make the most out of your travels! Fly to France, Germany, or the Netherlands on the weekends to explore the world around Alicante. However, make sure to stay in Alicante as much as you can because it’s such a great city! Ashley Barad is a CEA Associate Alumni Ambassador at Vassar College for the Fall 2013 semester.
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