First things first, look at the weather of where you're going. I added Alicante to my weather app about as soon as I knew that I'd be going so that I could figure out what kind of temperatures and climate I would be dealing with. Alicante is in the south of the peninsula, so on the whole it's warmer than what I'm used to. But there are parts of Spain that have snow right now and places not far from here that have Michigan type temperatures. So, that's the first thing I would do, check into the weather of the region you're travelling to because you might be surprised by what you find.
Now, the good part, what to bring. I'm obviously here in the fall so it's cooling down while I'm here, but it did not start off that way. I wish someone would have told me how hot it would get here because I was not prepared. I know that Alicante is mostly a spring program so the weather is probably opposite to what I've experienced, but I don't think I had enough information to help me not melt when I got here. Alicante is the lowest place in Spain, it's right on the Mediterranean. That being said, it's relatively close to Africa so it gets warmth from there but it's a very humid heat the heat has to travel over the Mediterranean to get here. When I arrived here it was a good 90 degrees most days and very, very humid so I was perpetually moist. Not fun. I had only brought two pairs of shorts and a couple of skirts and dresses--all that I had heard and researched about what people wear here is that they wear pants all the time. This is not completely true. At all. From what I've seen and experienced, the people here dress about the same as we do. So when it was 90 degrees there were shorts galore, skirts, crop tops, the whole nine yards. So, if you're coming in the spring, make sure to pack some clothes that are appropriate for heat. If you're coming in the fall, I would say pack enough warm weather clothes that can last for a month because that was about how long the heat spell lasted.
The weather now is quite different from what it was like when I got here. Clearly it's November and going into winter so it's colder. That translates into a range of mid 60's to low 70's in terms of temperature. While that sounds lovely compared to the snow that Michigan has, it's not what it seems like. The best way that I can think of to describe this is what it's like in the spring when the snow is just starting to melt but it's still cold outside. It's a deceptive sort of heat. It's warm in the sun but really chilly in the shade. Alicante is also pretty windy because it's right on the sea so that factors into the temperature as well. This cold is kind of humid as well, thanks again to the sea, so it's more clingy. What should you pack? Bring a jacket of some kind. It might sound silly, but it really is necessary, especially in the mornings and the evenings when the temperature can drop into the 40's. Bring things that you can layer as well, so that if you have class early you're warm but if it gets hot in the afternoon you don't burn up. It might not be a bad idea to bring a hat or scarf or something as well to keep the chill away. The difference in temperature might not be a whole lot, but how it feels is very different.
Most of what I brought was a lot of very plain clothing- solid colored shirts, nondescript jeans, lots and lots of scarves. I brought things that I could wear repeatedly but that I wouldn't get sick of. With plain clothes like these you can wear them a lot of different ways without feeling like you've worn the same shirt 6 weeks in a row. This also helps to keep the weight low in your suitcase because you don't necessarily need to bring as much with you if you have a lot of versatile clothing.
I hope that this helps for anyone looking at coming to Spain in the future. I was told some of these things, but I didn't believe it until I found myself mall-walking to class to keep my hands from stinging in the cold. I'm headed to Granada this weekend so my next blog will be more exciting than the last few. And it will have lots of pictures, yay! Until next time.
|This is what I wore today and it was about 70 degrees.|