Read this page to learn more about our homestay program in Salamanca, Spain, including information on safety, where we find our homestay families, and what students should expect.
What to expect from your homestay experience
All study abroad students at our Salamanca, Spain site will be provided with homestays for their housing and meals. A homestay simply means that a student stays and eats meals with a family from Salamanca, in an extra room that they have in their home which has been reserved for this purpose. Our host families vary quite a bit, ranging from more traditional families, such as couples with children, to divorced women living with one child, to widowed women living alone. All students will complete a homestay form as part of their application, which will be used to match them with roommates and families.
Although this is our first year with a homestay component at one of our study abroad sites, our partner IES has been working with our homestay families in Salamanca, Spain for years, and in some cases, decades. Housing at the Salamanca site that IES runs rates consistently high in student post-evaluations, and is often the top ranked for all IES sites around the world.
In addition to having our pool of families preselected by IES, our Housing Coordinator in Salamanca goes through a rigorous selection process to find the best fit for our students, including a thorough application that requires at least one recommendation, as well as an interview and a visit to the home. The home visit includes interviews with all residents, as well as a safety inspection to ensure that the home is suitable for our students. After the initial safety inspection, all homes undergo an annual safety check.
Students will be eating on a traditional Spanish schedule, which means that breakfast and dinner will be relatively light, with the biggest meal of the day being lunch, which will be taken around 1:30pm.
We will be sure to have lots of morning snacks during class and activities for students to account for this later lunch. Breakfast is typically bread or pastry with cheese and cold cuts and/or a piece of fruit. Vegetarians will be accommodated, but students considering Salamanca should know that meat features heavily in the Spanish diet, and therefore students are asked to be flexible where possible when thinking about their diet during the Academy. Lunch is a large, typically multi-course meal. Dinner is also lighter and taken late, usually between 9pm—11pm.
Note: Unfortunately, vegans cannot be accommodated at our Salamanca site.
All homestay houses are within walking distance of the city center and the school, anywhere from a 10 to 20 minute walk. Students typically do not need to take public transportation in Salamanca, as the city is very walkable.
The Benefits of doing a Homestay
Because students are abroad with the primary goal of acquiring Spanish, the homestay is an ideal scenario for strengthening language acquisition. By living wtih a family of native speakers, students are given the opportunity to continue their immersion when they return home, speaking Spanish during meals and at other times around the house. An added benefit is being able to speak Spanish with people from different age groups while at home!