Insights: news and views from the International Center

International Center

University of Missouri

Alicante Adventures

Filed in Blog, Scholarship, Spain by on August 21, 2019
by Savannah K.

As I sat in the Kansas City airport I thought about what the next four weeks would entail. I had so many expectations and I couldn’t wait to arrive in Alicante. However, my expectations were cut short as the American Airlines attendant told me that my flight to Chicago was delayed and, in turn, I would miss my international flight to Madrid. This is not at all how I wanted to begin my adventure but I was rerouted immediately which calmed my nerves. I had two hours until my new flight departed which felt like an eternity. I was so excited to embark on this journey and meet so many amazing people. When I arrived in Paris, I had a short time to get to my connection to Alicante. I found myself lost in the airport and couldn’t find anyone who spoke English or Spanish. As I stood there stressed as can be, an Australian man walked up and asked me if I needed help. I was so thankful. He told me where I needed to be but said I needed to move quick. I ran through what seemed like the entire Paris airport and FINALLY arrived at the correct gate. This was a relief. All was well until I landed in Alicante to find out that my bags had not made it on the flight and I wouldn’t have my luggage for five days. Because I was traveling alone, I began to freak out and thought that it couldn’t get any worse. Thirty minutes later, one of my good friends landed in Alicante. I told her all about my situation and she calmed me down immensely by telling me that everyone would be more than willing to help me out. We then took a cab to the villa and although the trip to Alicante was nothing short of stressful, I was so excited for what the next four weeks would entail. Traveling taught me that sometimes things don’t go as planned but having such amazing people surrounding me was a huge help.

Three students smiling in water next to waterfall

WaterFALLING in love with Alicante.

The first weekend we traveled to Tabarca Island. It was a small Island located an hour away from Alicante. It was a nice change in pace from the stress of traveling I had just endured. When we arrived, we had the opportunity to snorkel in the caves and go cliff jumping. When we got to the top of the cliff, I was so nervous to jump but I knew it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. It was such a freeing experience. Tabarca was one of my favorite experiences of the entire trip. The next day we hiked up the castle in downtown Alicante. I had never hiked before and I wasn’t sure what to expect. It wasn’t easy but the view was so worth it. Even though it was only the first weekend I had already learned that overcoming your fears can lead to amazing things.

That week we started classes with students from all over the world. I felt so grateful to work alongside such ambitious students with so many different backgrounds. I was skeptical on how I would be able to balance school work with traveling around Europe but my new friends and I managed it well. I also loved getting the opportunity to get to know the Mizzou professors that were on the trip with us.

Student sitting on ledge high above ground in front of ocean

Hiked up the castle in downtown Alicante to find the most amazing view.

I really enjoyed the Alicante travel abroad because there were only 20 students from Mizzou. This allowed me to create meaningful relationships that I hope will last much longer than just four weeks. I found friends that I may have never known if it wasn’t for study abroad. The second weekend we all went to Granada. This city was nothing short of beautiful. We had an amazing tour guide who brought us to see some of the biggest and most gorgeous cathedrals I had ever laid eyes on. It was like nothing I had ever seen before. I really enjoyed learning all about the history of Catholicism in Spain. Seeing such ancient buildings and thinking about all of the hard work that was put into them was mind boggling. It was a picture-perfect place.
On two of the weekends we had the chance to travel wherever we wanted. A few of us decided to go to Prague on the first free weekend to visit other Mizzou students who were completing their internship there. I fell in love with the amazing architecture and history of Prague. The food was great, the scenery was beautiful and the shopping was so fun. It was also awesome to have the students that were staying there show us around the most popular parts of town and act as our tour guides. I was so glad we made the decision to go.

Three students posing in Prague's city square

City square lovin’ in Prague.

The other free weekend we flew to Amsterdam. I didn’t know much about it but I was happily surprised at how amazing this city was. The culture was so different from what I was used to but it was eye-opening to experience it first-hand. I was also shocked at how AMAZING the food was. I had by far some of the best meals of my life while in Europe. We also had the chance to visit the Anne Frank House and Museum. Getting to walk through such an important piece of history was breathtaking and emotional. I had learned about this story growing up in school and to see it in person was truly unbelievable. Amsterdam has a piece of my heart and I can’t wait to go back!

All in all, study abroad taught me things that I will never forget. It showed me how to be independent, cultured and open minded. It also brought me the most amazing friends. We now have so many memories that I will hold dear to my heart for many years to come. I am so thankful for this opportunity and I am especially grateful for the financial assistance from the Smith Family Scholarship. I hope that anyone reading this that is considering Study Abroad now knows how much this experience can give you. I feel like a new person and I am so thankful that I chose to study abroad.

About the blogger

Savannah K. is studying abroad on the Business: Spain program in Alicante, Spain.

Comments are closed.