The program homestay policy aims to maximize language learning opportunities for VWM participants while providing them with the personal support necessary to enable their cultural integration. The program places students in private homes, screened by the program staff, where Spanish only is spoken. Year-long participants may choose to find their own housing for the spring semester, so long as they do not live with other English-speaking foreigners. Those planning to do so should start searching well in advance of the Winter Break, since apartments are expensive and difficult to find.
Questions regarding housing should be addressed to Pepa Eizaguirre, the program’s Assistant Director and Housing Coordinator.
The program staff has developed the following set of norms (see below, in Spanish) designed to ensure the most satisfactory and rewarding living experience for students in Spain. Students and families alike are expected to abide by these norms and are encouraged to read them carefully. The program staff will counsel students regarding Spanish customs and strategies for making the most of their homestay.
Receiving Postal Mail in Spain (Letters vs. Packages)
If you wish to receive postal mail in Spain, use your host family address. Ask them first if the mail carrier is likely to be thrown off by seeing your name on an envelope: if so, in addition to your name add the Spanish equivalent of c/o (in care of), which is a/c (a cargo o a cuidado de), and the name of your host. However, for any packages ask the assistant director (Pepa Eizaguirre) whether the program office or her own home address might be a safer bet. Bear in mind that in 2021-2022, during the Covid pandemic, mail delivery within the US has been unreliable at best: the director and several acquaintances saw even certified mail go missing.
Food and Transportation to the UC3M
Students receive breakfast and one other meal daily in their homes. A food stipend (dietas) is provided in the form of a monthly check to cover the other daily meal, which is set to cover a standard three-course menú del día (fixed-price meals offered by most restaurants from 1:30 to 4pm).
The money needed to cover transportation within Madrid (including the Carlos III campus in Getafe) is automatically included in the students’ monthly reimbursement from the program. The subsidy covers the abono mensual de transporte B1, which allows unlimited travel on subways and buses within Madrid and on the trains and buses to Getafe.
Housing, Final Exams, and the Group Flight
Room and board costs are covered by the program for the duration of the academic program. Students interested in paying to stay in their homes beyond that date may discuss this independently with their host family. Such arrangements are considered personal (they do not involve the program staff) and they should not be taken for granted.
VWM participants needing to modify their return reservation (Madrid – JFK) must contact the ticketing agent in the US: Frosch Student Travel (tel. 800 467 5032, attn: Mr Saiyed, firstname.lastname@example.org). Students must communicate changes in their travel plans to the Program Director.
|Normas de alojamiento
Para facilitar una mayor comprensión entre los estudiantes y sus familias, se han establecido las siguientes normas. Con ellas esperamos contribuir a la integración de los estudiantes en su nueva vida familiar, algo que consideramos beneficioso tanto para los estudiantes como para sus familias.