I have always wanted something different from life, and coming to Alicante was definitely what I needed. I chose to live in the dorms because I felt confident it would really be a piece of cake since I speak spanish fluently, however, making friends here was really up to me. Spaniards don't usually come up to you and ask how you're doing... you really have to step up your game and make an effort to do this. I try to be the most social as I can be. Once I arrived at the dorms with the other students in my program I realized that only sitting with them and speaking english wasn't going to get me anywhere since I am studying here for the year I really had to make some friends... That is exactly what I did. I would sit with spaniards and to be honest it wasn't that hard at all, once you tell them you are from the States they want to talk to you. Either to ask about the culture which involves how fast food is so BIG in America and/or they just want to practice their english.
You are assigned a "roommate" but you don't really share rooms, it's more like you share a little sink, microwave, and a mini fridge. I bonded with my roomie really fast, to the point where hangout and talk everyday, and you really learn a lot from each other... I know spanish from my parents but my spanish is completely different from Spain spanish so he helps me with stuff I don't know and I help him with his english.. it really is a win-win situation.
I am usually not a complainer at all but there are two things about the dorms that are not good at all!!!
1: The food - It's not very good, they honestly repeat the same thing everyday and it is just not working out for them.
2: You are kind of far from the actual city where the other students live with their host fams, so it gets annoying when they all go to the beach or out on a tuesday night because the buses stop running at 10:30pm and taxis are expensive if you don't split it between 2 or 3.
Regardless, I do feel I have an advantage here in the dorms...
The people who live with host families have a harder time making more friends because they can only meet people in el barrio and it is a little harder to just walk up to complete stranger and say "Hola, que tal?" while in the dorms you can just go sit with someone who is eating alone in the cafeteria and the conversion will start instantly.
overall, the dorms are a good idea, you make a lot of friends your age and you actually learn/practice the spanish young people our age actually speak.
Here's a pic. It is actually pretty comfortable... no complaints there.