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Study Abroad - Salamanca, Granada or Valencia?

Hi,

I will be studying abroad in Spain for a semester and I can't choose between Salamanca, Granada or Valencia, as they all have pros and cons.

I know they all have a large international student community, which is important to me because I think it will help me make friends. I really liked the idea of Granada because it looks beautiful and is said to have a great nightlife, but I know the Spanish in Andalusia is one of the hardest accents, and I'm scared I will be making things harder for myself going somewhere where communication is even more difficult. This is why Salamanca is appealing to me, because I know their Spanish is one of the easiest to understand, which will help with making friends, but I'm worried it is too small, and isn't as great in terms of social aspects. Then there is Valencia, which is the near the beach, and being one of the biggest cities in Spain will mean I'm less likely to run out of things to do.

I would really appreciate any insight or advice on this. Thanks!
Original post by Elisamary30
Hi,

I will be studying abroad in Spain for a semester and I can't choose between Salamanca, Granada or Valencia, as they all have pros and cons.

I know they all have a large international student community, which is important to me because I think it will help me make friends. I really liked the idea of Granada because it looks beautiful and is said to have a great nightlife, but I know the Spanish in Andalusia is one of the hardest accents, and I'm scared I will be making things harder for myself going somewhere where communication is even more difficult. This is why Salamanca is appealing to me, because I know their Spanish is one of the easiest to understand, which will help with making friends, but I'm worried it is too small, and isn't as great in terms of social aspects. Then there is Valencia, which is the near the beach, and being one of the biggest cities in Spain will mean I'm less likely to run out of things to do.

I would really appreciate any insight or advice on this.

The only one of those cities I have any real experience with is Granada and it’s indeed stunning. La Alhambra is a masterpiece and the views of the whole city from the neighbourhood of Albaicín are to die for, to name just a few pros. Granada also has the curious tradition that in so many places you get free tapas with your drinks and these tapas are famous for being huge and often almost like full meals, so you can go out for drinks and essentially have dinner without paying for it. However, it’s true as you say that the accent there isn’t the easiest to understand for non-native speakers and that’s not a trivial worry. Because if you live there as a student you will probably have to speak quite a lot to cashiers in supermarkets and shopkeepers and the like, who often have relatively strong regional accents.

So based on your requirements I would personally consider the top choice as Valencia where the accent is relatively mild and you won’t run out of things to do. And it won’t get as blisteringly hot in the summer as Granada!
Hi there!

I did my year abroad last year and studied in Valencia. It was the best thing I've ever done! Valencia is so close to the beach and it's where everyone would go to make friends and meet up. The city is small enough that you won't feel overwhelmed but big enough that there is an abundance of things to do like the iconic science museum, Las Fallas festival, or just trying the hundreds of cafes and bars on offer. Not to mention, the accent is pretty easy to understand. It has it's own airport too which was ideal for family and friends coming to visit and when I wanted to come back home.

I loved Salamanca when I visited for a couple of days but I'm definitely glad I didn't base myself there as it was pretty small and quiet with nothing much going on. Also, it got super cold in the winter (it snowed!) which I wasn't prepared for. Valencia is always above 17/18 degrees so we were always on the beach, even in December!

If you have any more questions about study abroad, please do get in touch!

Best wishes,
Alice
Final Year Modern Languages Student
Reply 3
Original post by Plantagenet Crown
The only one of those cities I have any real experience with is Granada and it’s indeed stunning. La Alhambra is a masterpiece and the views of the whole city from the neighbourhood of Albaicín are to die for, to name just a few pros. Granada also has the curious tradition that in so many places you get free tapas with your drinks and these tapas are famous for being huge and often almost like full meals, so you can go out for drinks and essentially have dinner without paying for it. However, it’s true as you say that the accent there isn’t the easiest to understand for non-native speakers and that’s not a trivial worry. Because if you live there as a student you will probably have to speak quite a lot to cashiers in supermarkets and shopkeepers and the like, who often have relatively strong regional accents.
So based on your requirements I would personally consider the top choice as Valencia where the accent is relatively mild and you won’t run out of things to do. And it won’t get as blisteringly hot in the summer as Granada!

I am always here for you, whatever you need.
Original post by Elisamary30
Hi,

I will be studying abroad in Spain for a semester and I can't choose between Salamanca, Granada or Valencia, as they all have pros and cons.

I know they all have a large international student community, which is important to me because I think it will help me make friends. I really liked the idea of Granada because it looks beautiful and is said to have a great nightlife, but I know the Spanish in Andalusia is one of the hardest accents, and I'm scared I will be making things harder for myself going somewhere where communication is even more difficult. This is why Salamanca is appealing to me, because I know their Spanish is one of the easiest to understand, which will help with making friends, but I'm worried it is too small, and isn't as great in terms of social aspects. Then there is Valencia, which is the near the beach, and being one of the biggest cities in Spain will mean I'm less likely to run out of things to do.

I would really appreciate any insight or advice on this. Thanks!

Hi!

I studied abroad in a small town not far from Valencia. I would recommend Valencia - I don't think you'll have a problem with the Spanish and there is so much to do! One thing I would say is that when I was there, a lot of English students were there too, so you have to really make an effort to not just spend time in your comfort zone, speaking English with other British students.

I have also briefly visited Salamanca on a placement - it's a lovely city but it is fairly small. I'm sure your Spanish would improve loads, though! It is worth bearing in mind that you can't fly there directly from the UK.

I think your time abroad often comes down to what you make of it - if you immerse yourself and make an effort, you should have a good time. That being said, there's absolutely no shame in choosing to go wherever you would feel comfortable - studying abroad is quite an undertaking and can be quite stressful!

Maya

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