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Language degree year abroad in Spain - possibly Alicante
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nicky2512 · 11/11/2021 15:24

Hi. I was just wondering if anyone has a child who has recently spent their year abroad in Alicante and hoping for some reviews!
Dd is currently choosing location. She has decided on Spain over France and is going to study rather than work but due to all the recent changes, choices are very limited.
Out of those available she like the look of Alicante and there would be more flights than some of the others. She hates the thought of homestay and would prefer halls but might not be much she can do about that.
Any info would be much appreciated.

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TizerorFizz · 11/11/2021 20:18

What relationship does her university have with a uni in Alicante? This is the usual starting point for a year abroad. What is her uni offering? You may or may not get a room in a hall of residence. Depends if they offer them to overseas students. What does her uni here expect of the year abroad? Why is France a possibility?

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nicky2512 · 11/11/2021 23:22

*@TizerorFizz
Thanks for replying. The year is done through what remains of the Erasmus program so basically they were just told which universities still participate. Up to them to research and choose which one they want to apply to and they then apply direct to their chosen uni for accommodation once they get a place. The participating unis all offer either halls, homestay or local accommodation info. Uni fees are covered by Erasmus and they get a small monthly allowance towards expenses.
She is doing a joint honours degree in Spanish and French so could go to either. L

Alicante stood out as it is a campus, is close to airport, had more direct flights and more on site accommodation. She also likes heat! I would just love to hear from someone who had actually been or had a child who had been.

It’s all new and there’s more to it now that a visa is required.

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TizerorFizz · 12/11/2021 09:05

Does she not have to go to both? My SD did joint honours MFL and went to both. How would she make up the ground in French if she doesn’t go anywhere French speaking.

If the university offers halls you just apply! At one uni DD got a room because Erasmus students applied., At the other there were no hells. So she rented a room. Home stays didn’t come into it.

You have to read the precise info on each university web site about applying for accommodation and deadlines. But I would do one semester in France and the other in Spain or how will she catch up with the French? Assuming she’s marked on her year abroad in both languages?

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TizerorFizz · 12/11/2021 09:19

So if you know all about it, are you just asking for info on Alicante halls?

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nicky2512 · 12/11/2021 09:24

Hi *@TizerorFizz No they just pick one. Not allowed to split. If they are stronger at one they are advised to pick the weaker language but she’s much the same at both so had her choice.
They are advised to spend time in the holidays in the country they didn’t choose if that’s possible (and she will).
She will be applying for halls and hopefully will get that.
There are a few other options in Spain (Seville and Leon - can’t remember the others of the top of my head!). I would just love to know if anyone else chose Alicante and what their experience of it was.

Visa is obviously an issue too but we are in NI so have the option of travelling under Irish passport. Have to look into that.

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TizerorFizz · 12/11/2021 09:31

So she has no requirement to do any work based on French/France?? Gosh. That’s way less work than DD had to do. Frankly it’s dumbing down! Do they not have enough universities to go round? DD had to submit work based on her two cultural experiences. Not one. The year abroad was cultural as well as for language acquisition and that’s what the work was based upon. Not just language acquisition that most people seem to think.

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ecceromani · 12/11/2021 09:55

Relative of mine did joint honours French/Spanish and had to live in both countries.
She worked as language assistant in France sept to April, then did summer term at university in Spain.
She graduated from St. Andrews 3 years ago so this may be a recent change.

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nicky2512 · 12/11/2021 10:17

*@TizerorFizz Dd’s university has always been one location. She would quite like to have split between the two but it doesn’t work that way. If that’s dumbed down then we’ll just have to hope that the extra effort she’s putting in to arrange to spend the holidays in France and the time she has already spent there will be enough to get her to an acceptable standard.
Thanks for the help.

Would still love to hear if anyone or their child has studied in Alicante??

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TizerorFizz · 12/11/2021 17:35

Well I guess if you only are required to go to one country and produce work on that but one can be ignored altogether, I guess that’s what they want but it’s not as challenging as doing 2 sets of research. I have a suspicion Alicante might not be offered that much. Good luck in finding advice.,

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PAFMO · 12/11/2021 17:37

I'd go to Seville or Leon over Alicante.

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cafesandbookshops · 12/11/2021 17:41

Hi I spent my Erasmus period in Alicante. I rented a private room and met some amazing friends that way. The rest of the experience would have been pretty average without them. I hated the work I had to do unpaid for the uni and the classes were a bit boring. I had a great social life and spoke Spanish every day because of that so if she is really sociable and willing to force herself to speak as much Spanish as possible that’s the main thing. I think there are more interesting cities but it’s not bad and if she likes hot weather and the beach she will definitely find that 🙂

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nicky2512 · 12/11/2021 19:02

@cafesandbookshops That’s great to know, thank you. She’s definitely sociable and loves meeting people. She works at uni international student events and has made great friends that way.
The weather will be a big plus!

She imagined she would be going to somewhere like Madrid or Barcelona but unfortunately the phasing out of Erasmus and introduction of the new program means choices are very limited.

@PAFMO Do you mind me asking why? We don’t know any of the cities so would be grateful for any info.

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PAFMO · 12/11/2021 19:09

I love the middle of Spain, Castilla-Leon. I spent a year in Salamanca and it's still my favourite city on the planet. Seville is beautiful, totally different feel to Leon but still very Spanish.
Alicante has a more modern, international feel I suppose, due to proximity to the costas and decades of international tourists passing through. It still has a good vibe though. (imho you can't go wrong with Spain)

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TakeYourFinalPosition · 12/11/2021 19:09

I studied at Seville. I wouldn’t choose it for Spanish. The uni set up wasn’t great for Erasmus students; and I found it difficult to practice Spanish as the city is very set up for English speaking. It was immensely difficult to speak any Spanish; and halls weren’t an option. It was nice, but quite rubbish as a student experience, and it’s not the cheapest now that it’s more famous! Don’t get me wrong, as an adult I love the city, but it was rubbish as a foreign student.

To be honest, I’d go for a big city over Alicante or Seville. I love both, but the study experience is better in a bigger place. I know people who loved Madrid!

That said, if she’s happy with a “small” city, hot weather and a beach; she might be happy in Alicante. It’s a lovely place. She’ll just need to be proactive about putting herself out there and meeting people. She’s more likely to find people happy to converse with her in Spanish in Alicante than Seville.

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nicky2512 · 12/11/2021 19:19

@PAFMO Thanks - that’s very helpful.

@TakeYourFinalPosition Thank you. That is very good to know. Unfortunately no big cities available. Seville, Leon and Alicante seemed the best of what there was and she was leaning towards Alicante. She is very keen and I imagine she will make the most of it wherever she goes.
It’s just a big decision to make without seeing the places in person.

I really appreciate the perspective of those who have been there so thanks very much for the info.

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