The Study Abroad Magic Sauce: 5 Reasons Students Keep Coming Back to Valencia

Born and raised in gorgeous Valencia, Spain, ISA Student Services Coordinator Bárbara Gasquet, is part of an ongoing series on ISA Today called “Resident Director’s Journal.”

Just another day in Valencia. Photo by Angela Skowronek.

#5. The Climate

Sun snobs for sure, with over 11 months of sun and temperatures that rarely remind visitors into slipping into something warmer than a sweater, spending a relaxing day at the beach with your friends in the middle of February is just another day in paradise. Students can’t seem to get enough of the tan-to-perfection/fun-in-the-sun weather in this Mediterranean hotspot.

#4. Fresh Local Food at your Finger Tips

Valencia’s huerta, a vast fertile land best described as an inland garden, produces some of Europe’s tastiest fruits and vegetables. This oasis is simply a steal for students living in this wonderful city who want to indulge their all natural sweet tooth and stay health and beach ready. Lemons, oranges, olives, lettuce, onions, etc. grow in abundance and are served fresh in local restaurants or purchased at prices even students can afford in local markets.

study abroad valencia students
Jumping off a sailboat fountain on the beach in Valencia. Photo by Sajen Hernandez.

#3. The Not-So-Watery River Turia.

Yes we have a waterless river running through the middle of town. Here the scoop, the Turia used to be a river that peacefully flowed through the city, but after a catastrophic flood back in the 1950s, they changed the direction of the river and transformed the empty river bed into a 5.6 mile leisure park. Picnickers and fitness enthusiast now play where the old Turia used to flow, but recreation areas where you can skateboard or play putt-putt as well as soccer fields are also available to the public.

#2. Explore the Spanish Countryside

If leisure park seems a bit too, well leisurely for you, get out and explore the Spanish countryside around Valencia. In less than an hour you can be in the mountains where hiking, rafting, kayaking, rock climbing and exploring the rugged natural beauty of the Valencian region.

#1. FALLAS, Don’t Just Youtube It, Just Experience It

To put this into perspective, Fallas is the 3rd biggest festival in the world!! Think of fire, lights, and a kaleidoscope of colors when trying to envision the absolute craziness that engulfs the city for a whole month every spring. This celebration is a very old tradition that began in the 18th Century and brings over 4 million people a year to the shores of Valencia. Free concerts flood the streets with music as firecrackers explode and locals dance around in folk costumes. Booming and majestically brilliant fireworks light the night for 30 minute shows as flowers, lots of flowers, pour from the balconies and stages where music seems to flow endlessly through the alleyways. This is definitely one festival you just have to experience for yourself.