Alexa Steve is a student at Michigan Technological University, and is an ISA Featured Blogger. She is studying abroad with ISA in Valencia, Spain.
I will forewarn you there’s about to be a lot of personal bias in this post, but my experience studying where I have has been incredible. I want you to be able to take advantage of this same opportunity!
For starters, in my opinion Valencia, Spain is this place to be. I’ll do a bullet list further down about why I think that, but it’s a big city with a lot of fun things to do, it’s fairly low cost, and it really challenges you to learn more Spanish (though most people speak some English too, if you’re worried about that!).
Of course, I came to Valencia through ISA, and I’m studying at Universitat Politécnica de Valéncia (UPV/Technical University of Valencia). I attend Michigan Tech for a bachelors in Mechanical Engineering and wanted to study abroad in my degree, but there are many other majors offered here. I have some friends from ISA that go to the University of Valencia (UV), and we agree that UPV has the better campus between the two. I have not been to Florida State University’s Study Center in town, but UPV’s campus grounds are hard to beat. UPV is a big campus that’s spacious, but in a condensed area (not like some college campuses in the States that extend throughout the city) with a beautiful park/grass area where you can sit and enjoy the sun. I seriously feel so fortunate to be able to call this place my campus for 4 months! Also, the friends that I have at UV have all their classes in the same room, whereas I get to walk through campus to my classes.
Univeritat Politécnica de Valéncia’s Campus
Reasons to Study Abroad in Valencia:
- They don’t translate many things to English. It forces you to practice Spanish! If you do happen to see translations, it’ll be in Valencian because that’s the second language here (another interesting reason to come!)
- They are known for their Paella. You can get it other places, but you gotta go to its origin!
- It’s a beach city, and you can definitely swim all year round
- It has the best weather in Spain. Everyone will tell you that!
- Valencia has an amazing laid back atmosphere
- Great bus, metro, and bike system
- It’s the 3rd biggest city in Spain
- It’s the City of Science and Arts and pretty hip
- You get the big city feel AND culture without so many tourists
- El Rio or “the river” is an old river bed that they turned into a beautiful park and a great place to ride a bike
- Las Fallas (March 14-19): One of the biggest festivals in Spain (along with Sanfermines in Pamplona)
- There are great transportation lines to almost everywhere in Spain
- It’s an affordable city for your wallet!
I haven’t been to Granada or Sevilla, other options that are available through ISA. But I have been to Barcelona and Madrid, and they’re just too touristy for me and my personal preference for what I wanted when studying abroad. In summary: Study abroad in Valencia, Spain at the Universidad Politecnica de Valencia… YOU WON’T REGRET IT!