Why I chose to study abroad in La Coruña

During the fall of 2016, I was able to study in Spain for the semester. Where in Spain you ask? Well the title already gave that away; but, I’m guessing you haven’t heard much about this city. I always got asked why I chose La Coruña instead of Madrid or Barcelona. So, now is the perfect opportunity to share the top three reasons why I chose this beautiful city as my Spain study abroad destination.

La Coruña
Playa Orzán

La Coruña, My Spain Study Abroad Destination

La Coruña is a coastal city located in the northwestern region of Spain, known as Galicia. It is home to several beaches including Riazor, Orzán, and more. The perfect combination of beach and vibrant city life is a great reason to visit La Coruña.

I live in San Diego, California.  At home, I go to the beach as much as possible; so, I saw myself being able to connect with the city already. I pictured myself relaxing on the beach often, running along the paseo marítimo, or enjoying a cup of coffee at a beach cafe.

La Coruña Spain study abroad destination
La Coruña, Spain

City Size

Unnoticeable on the surface, La Coruña has a big city feel yet is actually a smaller city. I was scared of being lost in a big, foreign city all alone. So for me, a smaller city size was an important factor. Going abroad in general can be overwhelming.  I knew that a bigger city may have been too much for me. At first, La Coruña felt like a big city. However, it only took me a week or so to get around confidently and easily. La Coruña is just big enough not to get bored yet small enough to learn to navigate quickly. 

Emily in La Coruña Spain study abroad destination
Emily at the top of La Torre de Hercúles!

Spanish Immersion

While city features were important, even more important to me was learning Spanish. That was the main reason I was going abroad in the first place. Really, truly learning the language can only be done when you immerse yourself fully.  Taking my business classes in Spanish helped; but, I also wanted to learn more outside of my classes. There is no way to fully avoid English while traveling; but, other Spain study abroad destinations, like Madrid, get a lot of American tourists and use English more often. This made La Coruña an easy choice for Spanish immersion. I wanted to go to Spain and speak Spanish, not English.

These were only a few reasons why I chose La Coruña. Everyday I am happy that I did! I didn’t want to study in a place that was a tourist destination. I wanted to be immersed in the culture in a place that was off the beaten path. What I found turned out to be amazing! I came back to the United States with a fluency in Spanish and a desire to return to the city I knew would always be my home. 

About the Author

Emily Vihonsky is an international business student at San Diego State University. She is passionate about the city of  La Coruña, the Spanish language, and travel! Currently, Emily is interning with Linguistic Horizons and is looking forward to helping other students achieve great experiences abroad.