Accommodation Host Family
Whenever possible, we attempt to house students at a 20 to 35 minute walking distance from your program. Wherever you live, you will probably end up walking much more than you are used to in your home country, and we encourage you to look at the positive aspects of this situation: Sevilla is a very flat city, the weather is nice most of the year, there are many people out in the streets all the time so you will never feel alone, and you will get in good shape without even noticing it! Sevilla has an excellent public transport system with modern buses, trams, metro and trains. Our facilities are next to a metro stop and many bus lines.
The Spanish medical system is quite advanced and you will probably be able to find the specific medicine you need. However, we advise you to bring all the medicine you will need with you from your country to avoid any problems because there could be a difference in the components of the medication in different countries.
If you use glasses you should bring a spare pair.
All of our host families and shared apartments have wireless Internet; it is a program requirement. You will be allowed to connect freely. There are also countless wi-fi connections throughout the city. Most cafés and several restaurants have a free connection if you purchase something (even just a coffee!).
If at any moment a family situation becomes uncomfortable for you, you must contact Spanish Institute as soon as possible and we will work with you to solve the problem. If necessary, switches will be accommodated.
The most common type of accommodation for a full immersion in the Spanish language and culture is living with a host family. Living with a family allows our students to fully discover the Spanish culture, life and people. At Spanish Institute we believe that this is an important aspect of the program. We choose families carefully and keep in constant contact with them. The family helps students to get to know Spain better and integrate them into the Spanish culture through sharing their gastronomy, talking and living together. On the first day they show students their way to Spanish Institute and everything the student may need to easily move around the city; public transport, places of interest, etc. We consider family involvement to be one of the most essential parts of the program that supports student safety and well-being.
You are probably very curious about your Spanish host family. The majority of our housing accommodations are in apartments (pisos), which is the normal type of home for 95% of Spaniards who live in urban areas.
You will be provided with a bedroom which will have some sort of storage space and a fan or air conditioner for the warmer months and a heater in the winter. There will be adequate space to study that includes a chair, desk and lamp. All towels, bed linens and blankets are included and you will have a key to access your Spanish home.
The family will take care of your laundry once a week. Keep in mind that Spanish washing machines tend to be smaller and slower (but more efficient and ecological) than the ones you are probably used to. Most households in Spain do not have a clothes dryer. Clothes are normally hung up to dry, something that may take more or less time, depending on atmospheric conditions.
Because of the economic and social changes that have taken place in the last few decades (not only in Spain, but also in most of Europe and other parts of the world), many of our host families may not be consistent with the most common notion that the word “family” evokes: father, mother and a couple of children. Many of our señoras are single women who are widowed, separated or divorced, often living with their children, who may range from grade school to university age. Sometimes, adult children who live on their own will come over at meal times or during the weekend, and will be very much involved in the family life.
We place students with families who welcome students with kindness and understanding. Most of the families we work with have been with the program for years, and they are more used to hosting international students than the average Spanish family.
Spain is a showcase for the Mediterranean diet. The most important aspects of this diet include legumes, seasonal fruit and vegetables, fish, meat (chicken, ham, pork and beef), olive oil and a moderate consumption of dairy products; mainly cheese and yoghurt. This healthy diet has awarded Spain with the world’s longest life expectancy after Japan!
Breakfast (desayuno) is usually small: the Spanish custom is to drink coffee, tea, or cocoa and eat some toasted bread, but yogurt and fruit are also offered. The main meal each day is "almuerzo o comida", which is sometime between 2:00 and 3:30 p.m. Supper (cena) is not big and usually later so the midday meal is very important.
If you have dietary preferences, Spanish Institute will work with you and your host family to make sure that these preferences are considered. The Spanish Institute program has maintained close ties with the families who house our students throughout years. These values have fostered a growing understanding among our señoras about how to modify their food preparation for students with dietary restrictions. All students with special diets and/or food intolerances or allergies will be accommodated. Please make sure that you let us know on your application form.
Some of our host families have pets so if you are allergic to them or if you have any other allergies, just let us know and we will find a family that meets your needs.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Yes, three meals a day, seven days a week.
The family will give you a packed lunch to take with you.
It isn't obligatory nor are they expecting one, but you can bring a present for the host family or for the mother of the family. It doesn’t have to be anything expensive; it shouldn’t be heavy or breakable. Look for a present that you can give to the family or the mother on your arrival. It doesn’t really matter what it is, it’s the thought that counts. Something traditional from your home state or region is always a good option.
Not all Spanish homes have a bathtub, but it definitely is preferable to take a shower instead of a bath. Spaniards are very environmentally conscious when it comes to water use. You can shower every day but do try to keep your showers short.