One of the program's main objectives is to integrate students to the Spanish society. We feel that a well-placed student will benefit most of his or her experience abroad. The Program finds host families for students trying to accommodate their expressed references.
Prior to arrival, students are informed of their housing situation and address as well as the expenses entailed. Students are charged for the full semester through GU student accounts. One must remember that living expenses in Madrid are high and the program tries to find reasonably priced housing.
Once in Spain, the Program Asssitant monitors their stay and helps students with their adjustments. If the housing placement is not satisfactory, the student is helped to find a new location.
WHAT TO EXPECT BY LIVING with a HOST FAMILy
Most Spanish students in Madrid live with their families while they are students. Thus, GU students choosing to stay with a host family will parallel the situation of their Spanish peers. By living with a host family, they will have the opportunity to learn about Spanish culture on a daily basis: family dynamics, foods, space issues, etc. Though they must be aware that they are guests in the home, they often become quite close to the family members. Students must adapt to basic cohabitation norms but will also enjoy a lot of freedom in their leisure time. Students are not expected to do babysitting or other chores and do not have curfews.
All students should have their own room with partial board (breakfast and one large meal). The other meal should be taken at the university or in one of the many restauants in Madrid. Homes have internet access. Only one GU student will be placed per family and hosts are asked to not have other students from English-speaking countries to ensure that Spanish is being used continuously. They may lodge other foreigners or Spaniards in different rooms. Most students confirm that most of their Spanish speaking is done in the home and feel it truely reinforces the use of the language.
"Families" vary from single professional women to full families (couples with children and or grandparents). Almost all the families live in very central locations in Madrid. Those that are not that central usually compensate this by their excellent relationships with our students.
All families live near a subway stop. Amost all students will have aproximately a 30-45 min commute to the university using public transportation. Madrid is a very large city!
One of the many positive aspects of the family is their personalized attention to our students. This is especially appreciated at the beginning of their stay (when students have not yet developed many friendships) or when they are ill. Also, families are usually very accommodating to food restrictions, though we urge students to try to be adapt to the Mediterranean diet. Participants requiring special food needs would do better in families without children since host parents will be more open to prepare special foods. If food restrictions are many, we suggest students choose a family offering kitchen rights and cook their own meals. This option is very limited, but does exist.
|Host mothers and fathers at 25th anniversary celebrationAPARTMENTS: