Alicante at a Glance
Living in Alicante
Education in Alicante
Expatriates living in Alicante will be able to send their children to a public school without paying fees as long as they register on the Empadronamiento or Padrón, the municipal register, at their local town hall.
However, as the public system teaches in Spanish, many expatriates living in Alicante will instead send their children to an international school, which will generally teach in English, and will offer either an British, American, or international curriculum. The main international schools in Alicante are the International School in Alicante, the COBIS British School of Alicante, and the Kings College British School of Alicante. Alicante has one institute of higher education, the University of Alicante, which is located in San Vicente del Raspeig, just to the north of the city.
Healthcare in Alicante
Whether or not you will be able to use the public healthcare system for free whilst living in Alicante depends on your residency status. Expatriates living in Alicante on long-term residence permits are allowed to use the system for free, provided they have obtained a social security card by registering on the municipal register. Expats that are non-residents are able to apply for the pay-in scheme, “convenio especial”, which reduces the cost of treatment. The public healthcare system in Alicante is of excellent quality, and due to the many expatriates living in the city, many doctors and other staff will speak English. However, some expatriates living in Alicante choose to take out private medical insurance, so that they are able to use the private healthcare system for major treatments. Pharmacies are well stocked and it is easy to find almost all prescription medicines.
Transportation in Alicante
Expatriates living in Alicante can use their foreign driving license in conjunction with an international driving permit for up to six months, after which they must obtain a Spanish license. During the summer months at the height of the tourist season, traffic is common is Alicante, and the roads can become heavily congested. Outside of the tourist season, however, the roads are usually clear. Expatriates should be aware that there are extremely large fines in place for speeding in Spain, and that you are required to flash your lights at other cars before overtaking them.
Alicante also has many public transportation options for expatriates, including an extensive electric tram system that runs throughout the city and to nearby Benidorm. Alicante train station has links to other towns and cities in the surrounding region and beyond, including Valencia, Barcelona, Madrid, and Murcia. There is an international airport that has flights to destinations around the world.