My name is Christopher Nova and I’m a junior Healthcare Administration and Spanish major. I chose to study in Alicante, Spain for several reasons. One being I am very passionate about learning more about the language and culture. Although I’m a heritage Spanish-speaker, I love getting the opportunity to further expand my vocabulary and learn new things. However, the main reason why I chose Alicante specifically, as oppose to the other cities I’ve previously visited in Spain, was to have the opportunity to participate in a direct exchange as oppose to going through a program. I felt that when I participated in the short-term study abroad program in Sevilla last summer it was too geared towards beginners and it wasn’t the right fit for me. It was a great experience overall though and it definitely helped me be able to refine my search for selecting the right place for me to study abroad. So far I am confident that I chose the right place in order to get the challenge I’ve been looking for.
Although this isn’t my first time in Spain, there are always news things that surprise me or take me a little while to get used to. In my case, I have a hard time getting used to the schedules of businesses because they are very inconsistent and there isn’t a set 9-5 schedule like in the U.S. and it can make things pretty inconvenient. This is probably because the culture is more relaxed and most of the businesses here are privately owned and there are not many franchises. Another thing I am still adjusting to a little is how people here tend to go out really late and come home at around 5am with no issue. Not that I dislike these differences, but since they are uncommon in the U.S. it took a little while for me to get used to.
Overall I have been enjoying Alicante and making good friends with several other international students along with some of the natives. I’m looking forward to experiencing more of Alicante and continuing to learn new things everyday.