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What It's Like Living and Studying Abroad in Alicante, Spain

January 16, 2024
by Paige Bily

Apartment Living in Alicante 

Housing in Alicante is very unique. The city is extremely walker-friendly. Everything is centrally located, apart from the University of Alicante. In the specific apartment I lived in for the semester studying abroad, I lived with two other female roommates. There were two bedrooms and one bathroom; I shared a bedroom with one other roommate and my other roommate had a bedroom for herself. The apartment is located on a pedestrian-only street, Calle San Francisco, also known as the Mushroom Street. It’s known as the mushroom street because there are tall mushroom statues along with toad houses that are scattered throughout.  

study abroad roommates taking a selfie in water

Fatima, left, Paige (me), and Sophia, right, all shared an apartment on Calle San Francisco.

Fatima and I share a bedroom while Sophia has a single room in the back. We all met each other for the first time when moving into the apartment.  

In the Apartment 

Within the apartment, we had a big living room with two balconies overlooking the pedestrian street, a kitchen, a smaller bathroom, and a dining room. In the kitchen is a washing machine, but there’s no dryer. We were provided with a drying rack and clothes pins, though.

study abroad kitchen with stove, pans, washer

In our kitchen, we have a stove, oven, and washing machine.

The washing machines are typically in the kitchen because there is no other place for them. Then all the utilities are centrally located. In Spain, there are rarely dryers to go with the washing machines. Everyone has drying racks, as pictured, or clothing lines out their windows. You'll walk around the city and see everyone who has their clothes on their balconies, drying. 

clothes hanging on a drying rack on a balcony

Our drying racks on our balcony.

Our apartment came fully stocked with kitchen utensils, bed linens, towels, and Wi-Fi.

a study abroad student washing dishes at a kitchen sink

Sophia washing dishes and cleaning up the kitchen to prepare for the next day.

CEA CAPA gave us utensils in the kitchen along with leftover cleaning supplies that the previous students purchased. 

a small bathroom for study abroad students with a sink shower and toilet

This is our single bathroom in our apartment that we shared with three other students.

Our bathroom was compact but functional. There's plenty of room to move around, but it's really only big enough for one person at a time, otherwise people are bumping into each other. 

We were even blessed with a TV that had a few Spanish channels on it. One of our favorite things to do at night as roommates was to sit in the living room and watch a Spanish reality dating show.  

study abroad common area with couches and a balcony

This is our common area where we spent most of our time hanging out and catching up throughout the day.

We liked to watch TV, play cards, nap, or just chat it up in the living room common area. We had two balconies that allowed us to get some airflow along with listening to the music and chatter from the sidewalk. 

One thing to note: not all apartments are equipped with elevators. My roommates and I had to learn that the hard way. We’re on the third floor and had to carry our 50-pound suitcases up narrow staircases, so be smart when packing for study abroad because depending on where you live, you’ll probably have to carry it up a set or two of stairs.  

a study abroad student standing on a staircase looking down

For reference, these are the staircases that led us up to our apartment.

The staircases are very narrow and steep, making it extremely difficult to carry heavy suitcases up. Most apartment buildings don’t have elevators, especially in the older buildings. There are lots of unique touches to the buildings in Alicante, making them all so different.  

Near the Apartment 

With our apartment being located in the city center, we’re steps away from all the shops, restaurants, bars/clubs, and even the beach. It takes about five minutes to walk to the beach from our apartment! There are also supermarkets that are close by. The larger one, El Corte Inglés, is a five-minute walk where you can find anything you may need. There are smaller ones in the area that’ll carry the essentials within two minutes of the apartment as well.  

a boardwalk near a beach and palm treesLa Playa del Postiguet is roughly an eight minute walk from our apartment.

Along the beach, there are restaurants and bars to sit at that overlook the sea. At the beach, you'll find all sorts of activities going on. Chairs and umbrellas are for rent, and there’s plenty of space for just laying a towel down.  

Getting from point A to point B is extremely easy from Calle San Francisco. The tram stop is eight minutes away from our apartment, which is how I choose to commute to classes at the university. Living downtown, you’ll need to have a means of transportation as it takes 25-30 minutes on the tram to arrive on campus. But, once you get on the tram, you don't have to switch lines and you can stay on the same one until you get off.  

Overall, I’m very blessed with my housing opportunity with CEA CAPA. It’s very beneficial being so extremely close to everything downtown, making it easier to explore and become immersed in the culture. 




Paige Bily is the Content Creator - Photographer in Alicante, Spain, and is currently studying at St. Ambrose University.
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