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Postcards from Abroad

Study away highlights submitted by Duke students

duke in alicante students

I have spent the last six weeks in an intensive Spanish program in Alicante and I couldn't imagine being anywhere else. This city is a gem of all cities.

One memory from this program in particular that will always stick with me is when my host mom complimented me on how much my Spanish had developed. I can still remember how nervous I was walking into her small apartment, stuttering between every word of Spanish I thought I knew, and that is really what this program entitles – the ability to learn Spanish to an extent to where it is comfortable and natural and I feel like I have gotten near that level.

In addition, living in a city with such culture and tradition like Alicante, it also has really opened my eyes to be more culturally aware of all things old and new. I hope to return back to the United States with more of an open-mind and the mindset to just be happy and enjoy life because that is what it seemed like every person of Alicante embodied.

I want to end my post by just saying that everyone should try and live with some discomfort at times. Being in uncomfortable situations often forces you to go beyond what you would typically do and allows you to really expand your horizons. Go to that country abroad. Struggle through and master that language. Become immersed in other cultures. Be uncomfortable.

Jason Kim '20

Programs Featured:

Duke in Alicante



Alicante Tea

"I look forward to continuing talking with my Spanish speaking family and friends on campus. Traveling throughout Europe was a blast and has led me to consider traveling again next summer."

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Caminos, Castles, and Centering

"Upon arrival, the entire group centered to the top of the castle, but after this, it became a practice that spurred reflection and friendship (and a little exercise after demasiado paella)."

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Duke in Alicante: My First Experience Traveling and Studying Abroad

This was my first time outside of the United States, and my love for this study-abroad experience has sparked my interest in spending a semester abroad in Madrid."

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Immersion in Action in Alicante

"The people of Alicante commission dozens of enormous art pieces on street corners throughout the city, and at midnight on Saint John’s Eve, the statues are set on fire."

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Cassia on Duke in Alicante: Cultural Immersion

"I observed the daily telephone conversations between my host mom and her daughters; the locals walking and holding hands; the students at the University of Alicante offering to hang out despite their exams."

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Liat in Alicante

"My favorite part of this experience was really all of it. I especially loved the daily excitement and the constant learning and exploring. I loved living in Alicante, a small, compact city on the Mediterranean. I loved living with my host mom, a feisty, energetic woman who cared for me deeply despite the language barrier."

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Hogueras in Alicante

"As I look back on my experience in Alicante, I hope to continue learning Spanish at Duke so that I can apply my language learning skills both in volunteering and a career in medicine."

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Las Hogueras: Festival of San Juan

"How incredible is this statue made entirely of paper and wood? During our last week in Alicante, these gigantic hogueras (Spanish for “bonfires”) appeared in the streets almost overnight, blocking major roadways and decorating the city."

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