Life in Madrid: Madrid is a dynamic and exciting city, particularly in the summer when the daytime weather is very hot. Spaniards and tourists fill the streets, plazas, restaurants and shops through the evening and into the night. Madrid is famed for its incredible museums, lovely parks and squares, historic buildings and churches, and wonderful food and music.
Orientation: Students are required to book their own flights to Madrid. Depending on when you arrive, Prof. Prieto-Calixto and/or the Student Site Leader will meet you at the Madrid Barajas airport. Orientation will begin on the first night of the program at a hotel in central Madrid (the hotel is included in the program fee). Students have a welcome dinner the night of arrival and have a full orientation the next day—the orientation introduces students to the language school and the city. Students then meet their host families in the late afternoon/evening after the orientation and move into their homestays that night. Classes begin the following morning.
Housing: Living with Spanish hosts during the summer is an integral part of the program: because students are considered a member of the family, it gives them an inside perspective on Spanish society not available in a dorm room. Students complete a housing questionnaire as part of their application and, after acceptance, are carefully matched with families or single adults who are eager to welcome students into their homes. The host provides a room, two meals per day, laundry service, and all linens and towels. Homestays are available in residential neighborhoods in several different areas of Madrid; however, exact locations of the homestays will not be available until the day of orientation.
The exact family structure and arrangement of each homestay can vary. In general, students will share a double room with another Rollins student in a multi-room apartment with their host family. In most cases, other students who are also studying at don Quijote will occupy the other rooms of the homestay.
Meals: The homestay provides two meals a day—students choose which two meals depending on the location of their homestay, their schedule, and other considerations. Students also receive group lunches that are scheduled once a week across the program and meals during the orientation and weekend excursion to Candelario. For additional meals, consider budgeting about 8-12 Euros per meal for a simple, take-out style lunch or 10-20 Euros for a sit-down meal.
Insurance: All students are automatically enrolled in comprehensive international insurace. This insurance provides access to a local, english speaking clinic near the dQ school. If for any reason students need to visit the local clinic either the Faculty Leader or Student Site Leader will accompany them.
Transportation: Each student will receive an Abono de Transporte (a transportation pass) for use on Madrid's metro and bus system. This pass is included in the program fee and will give students unlimited access to Madrid's superb public transportation for the duration of the program. It will serve as a great resource for getting to/from classes, homestays, internships, and Madrid's many sights and events.
Excursions & Travel:
Weekend Excursion to Candelario: Candelario is a small town well west of Madrid, near the Spanish and Portuguese border. This incredibly popular group excursion is organized and led by Prof. Prieto-Calixto and offers students a genuine look at real Spanish life outside of the standard tourist destinations. Activities include a pottery workshop and a guided hike in the beautiful landscape around Candelario. All meals and accommodation are also included. Past students have often commented that the Candelario weekend was a highlight of the six-week program.
Day Trip to Segovia: the town of Segovia, with its famed Roman aqueduct, beautiful castle, gothic cathedral and picturesque Medieval steets is a favorite destination for visitors to Spain and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. During this day trip, students will have the chance to see the sights, explore the charming pedestrian-only neighborhoods, and sample delicious tapas and regional fare from the many restaurants.
Travel: Students may choose to travel independently throughout Spain and in Europe during free weekends. Within Spain, trains and buses are economical and offer many scheduled options. For destinations further afield, discount airlines like RyanAir and EasyJet usually offer great discount airfare. Hostels are a popular style of accommodation throughout Europe and, if selected with care, can offer safe, unique, and affordable accommodation. Some popular, trusted websites include Agoda, Lonely Planet, and HostelWorld. We also recommend purchasing a good guidebook for Spain (and Europe if you plan to travel) before departure— such as Lonely Planet or Let’s Go.