There is no “typical” homestay family. Just like in the USA, families in Spain will range from A to Z. Some families have two parents in the home, while others only have one parent. Some families have children, while some do not. Some homestays have young children in the home, while others have high school or college aged children, while other families may not have any children in the home. Some homestays are comprised of a single woman, a widow, or divorcee who has space in her apartment to house foreign students. Each homestay family is carefully evaluated and reviewed by our on-site staff prior to becoming part of our homestay program.
Will I live right next to where I have classes?
No. The homestay families are located throughout the city of Madrid. You will commute to school, internship, and social outings using Madrid’s fantastic metro and bus system. All homestay placements will be near public transportation. The AU Madrid Center is centrally located near the “Nuevos Ministerios” metro stop. Each student’s commute will be different, but will often include a short walk to the metro, then a metro and/or bus ride, and then a short walk to the AU Center. Student’s commutes can range from 10 - 45 minutes depending on the location. Read more about public transportation in Madrid here.
Will I live in a house or an apartment?
Your homestay placement will be in an apartment. Madrid is a huge, dense city. Most people live in apartment buildings unless they live far outside of the city in one of the surrounding suburbs.
Will I have a curfew? Will my social life be curtailed by being in a homestay?
No. You may be apprehensive about living in a new home for your semester in Madrid. Spaniards are extremely social, and your homestay family will expect you to be out and about enjoying your time in Madrid also. Your family will treat you like an adult and you should treat them with respect. Being treated as an adult brings with it the requirement to behave as an adult. There are certain rules of behavior that you will be expected to follow when you are in the family’s home. These rules do not restrict your freedom in any way, but they do require you to act with courtesy and respect for the lives of the people with whom you will be living.
Can I live in an apartment on my own or with another AU student instead of in a homestay?
No. All students in the AU Madrid Center programs are required to live in a program sponsored homestay. Immersion into the Spanish culture and improvement of Spanish language skills are the primary goals of AU's study abroad programs in Madrid. The best way to be immersed is by living with Spaniards and experiencing Spanish life on a daily basis.