3 Reasons Malaga is the Perfect Place to Study Abroad

Kelley Wollak is a student at the University of Nebraska, Omaha, and an ISA Featured Blogger. She studied abroad with ISA in Malaga, Spain.

Alcazaba, Malaga, Spain, Wollak - Photo 4
This is the Alcazaba at the top of the mountain in Malaga. We went to the top during an ISA excursion to see where the Saltan once lived.

Nestled between the Mediterranean Sea and the Mountains of Malaga in southern Spain is a city that isn’t too big and isn’t too small. Malaga has been my home for the past month, and it is the perfect place to study abroad if you’re looking to become a better Spanish speaker or looking for a cultural adventure.  It  has a little bit of everything: beautiful weather, rich culture and history, beaches, easy access to adventure, coffee and more coffee.  Here is a little snip-it of what Malaga has to offer!

1. Beach or Mountain? Your Pick!

Whether you are in the mood for an adventurous hike up the mountain or want to take a dip in the Mediterranean, in Malaga you can do it! If I have some assigned reading to do for the day, I like to take it to the beach to read while I lay out. Not only is there the beach, but there is also a beautiful port area with restaurants to grab some tapas. If I need to get my adventure fix in for the day, I can walk up the mountain to see the most amazing view of the city.  It is the best of both worlds.

Port, Malaga, Spain, Wollak - Photo 2
Port of Malaga is a great place to grab some tapas, relax with friends and see the boats come in and out of the port.
Beach, Malaga, Spain, Wollak - Photo 1
La Malagueta beach, located right near the city center, is where I take a little siesta, read a book or jump in the sea to cool off in the afternoons.

2. Tons of Coffee Shops and a Unique Way to Order

Ordering coffee in Malaga is quite an experience when you run into a cafe on every block.  If you want to order like a local, you have to know the special lingo.  It all depends on the ratio of espresso to milk you want.  Just a little bit of espresso and a whole bunch of milk is called Nube, the Spanish word for cloud.  La mitad is half espresso and half milk. Solo is popular especially around final exams.  It is all espresso with no milk.  Any combination of espresso and milk you could want, Malaga has a name for it. It all started at Cafe Central in the heart of the city.  I recommend going to this historic cafe to get familiar with Malaga’s special coffee lingo.

Street View, Malaga, Spain, Wollak - Photo 3
View from one of the cafes in Malaga of the winding streets in the center. Enjoy an espresso while people watching and chatting with friends.

3. Rich Mix of Cultures

Malaga is one of the oldest cities in the world. It was founded by the Phoenicians almost 3,000 years ago. Since then, the city has grown into an amazing mix of cultures and people. Each civilization has left its mark on the city.  There are ruins of a Roman Amphitheater, Moorish Palace called the Alcazaba and the Cathedral of Malaga which still isn’t totally finished. I would tell you the story why, but I want you to visit and find out for yourself!

Roman Amphitheater, Malaga, Spain, Wollak - Photo 5
At the base of the Alcazaba are the ruins of the Roman Amphitheater. We also visited here on an ISA excursion.

I have enjoyed my time immensely here in Malaga. It has a little bit of everything for everyone.  But, wherever you decide to study, make the most of it, soak in the culture and have the time of your life!

Want to discover history, culture, and an amazing cup of coffee? Find out more about studying abroad in Spain!