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Trip Report Valencia, Spain - A Study Abroad Experience

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Valencia, Spain is one of those undiscovered gems of Europe. Standing at the 3rd largest city in Spain, overshadowed by Madrid and Barcelona, Valencia has everything you could possible want. With wonderful beaches, a historic city-center, and plenty of park space to relax and enjoy your day, Valencia is a city you must visit during your travels.

I have had the privilege to study here in Valencia for 4 months at the Universidad Politecnica de Valencia (or the Polytechnic University of Valencia). With my major in Business, Management Information Systems, I focused my studies at the Business school at the UPV. I am currently in my senior year of college and beginning my last month in Valencia.

I knew that I wanted to study abroad from New Jersey the moment I started college, but could never decide where. After studying the Spanish language and culture for many years in middle and high school, I considered Spain as my option. My university in New Jersey (NJIT) has three partnerships with universities in Spain - Madrid, Bilbao, and Valencia. After seeing the varying climates between these cities, I knew my choice was Valencia. Being that Valencia is located on the east coast of Spain, towards the South, the weather was bound to be nice all year, and that has proven to be the case.

The city center is absolutely fantastic - with a ancient cathedral, housing the Holy Grail, and many famous plazas throughout the city, there is much history to be learned through visiting the city center. The city does offer a tourist bus that will take you around the city, teaching you about the many valued historic moments in Valencia.

As for the complete opposite, the beaches are wonderful - specifically near the port and Malvarrosa beach. These are must-visits! With a fine sand and clean, warm water, you're bound to have a great day at the beach. While you're there, visit a restaurant down by the port and have the paella. After all, paella is believed to have been first-created in the Valencian region, so this is the best paella you'll ever have! From what I've tried, this is definitely the truth!

And finally, the park that surrounds the city center is absolutely beautiful. Miles and miles of trees, green areas, and bike paths are offered in the Jardin del Turia. Believe it or not, this park used to be a river back in the 1950s before it flooded the city. After an executive decision, the river was moved and transformed into a park for the entire city to enjoy. It's one of the few places in all of Valencia where families can take their kids and spend a day out in the open and away from all the cars, since the park itself is set down below street-level in what used to be a riverbed.

If you want to know any more about Valencia, Spain, please let me know. I am here for another month and would be happy to answer your questions! Thanks!

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