Students in Valencia live with Spanish host families that have been hosting students for 25 years. Food and laundry are provided, and students may be housed with one or two other students. English is not spoken in the home, greatly contributing to an improvement in language skills throughout the experience.
Several weekend excursions are incorporated into the semester. Students visit the beaches of Peñíscola as well as the Roman town of Sagunto. These excursions are included in the program fees; however, students may choose to take additional trips, which can be very convenient and affordable. Students can hop on the train and visit other cities in Spain or find inexpensive airfare and visit neighboring European cities during breaks or long weekends.
One of the most important things to remember while you are in Spain is that Spain is different than the United States. When you start making comparisons, you begin to get homesick and focus on what you miss. There are some things to keep in mind as you prepare to go to Valencia. First, you will be walking a lot. Make sure you have comfortable shoes and plan on spending a lot of time walking from place to place. The food is different. Count on seafood and vegetables and try everything. People dress up in Spain, so you will find that the clothing is quite different. Valencia is a diverse city with people representing many different countries so get out there, meet new people, and learn new things!
Intercambios are a great way to make Spanish friends and practice your language skills. There are many Spanish students looking for Americans to practice their English with and opportunities will be provided for you to meet them, practice, and make new friends. Many students leave Spain with an “intercambio” as a new lifelong friend.