1) EL TIEMPO [the weather] When I studied in Valencia during the summer, it was almost always sunny. The temperature will be what many of us consider the “perfect temperature” ranging from 68° to 75° in May and June.
2) LA COMIDA [the food] From tapas to paella to patatas bravas, you will expand your palate and discover savory Spanish cuisine and delicious Spanish drinks. More importantly, you will learn to dine like Spaniards do, which means eating as late as 10pm for a few hours, relaxing and celebrating life with your peers.
3) LA PLAYA [the beach] Both Barcelona and Valencia are on the east coast of Spain. The beaches offer a lively coastal scene with restaurants, cafes, and shops in a boardwalk setting.
4) LA CIUDAD [the city] Valencia is the 3rd largest city in Spain and one of its largest tourist destinations. Walking around the city is an excursion in itself. You will see impeccable Baroque, Gothic, and Roman architecture and enjoy a plethora of plazas, parks, and shopping.
5) LA MOVILIDAD [the mobility] Once you get to Europe, it is easy and relatively cheap to fly or take the train to other places in Spain, AND to neighboring countries like Portugal, France, and Italy. Once you’re in Valencia, you can get an unlimited city bus pass. You can also get a metro card, which makes it easy to get around the city on the underground train.
6) LA VIDA NOCTURNA [the nightlife] The nightlife in Spain makes that of Americans look conservative. These “discotecas” have chic architecture, rooftop bars, and djs that play techno as well as a lot of American music. Be prepared to dance all night, the party usually starting after midnight and lasting until sunrise.
7) SU MADRE ANFITRIONA [your host mother] With my program, I was placed with a host family who took care of me. My host mother spoiled me with 3 meals a day, did my laundry, and helped me navigate the city.
8) LA UNIVERSIDAD [the university] I participated in a faculty-led program at The University of Valencia where I was surrounded by the comfort of my UNCW peers and faculty. I also got to take a language class from a Spanish-native instructor. Not to mention, the university is a fifteen minute walk from the beach!
9) LA SIESTA [the naptime] Between the hours of 2 and 5 pm, businesses close to break from busy mornings and prepare for activities of the night. Siesta also represents the nap taken during this time of day. The famous siesta will be quite tempting after your days at school, but don’t spend too much time sleeping, there is so much to see!
10) LA HISTORIA [the history] Valencia’s rich history dates back to Roman civilization and the city is full of ancient monuments and historical sites. You can visit La Lonja de Seda, the Silk Exchange, a UNESCO World Heritage Site dating back to the 15th century. You can also visit the site of the Holy Grail at la Catedral.