Life in Madrid: Madrid is a dynamic and exciting city, and 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 fly independently to Madrid and are met at the airport by our Faculty Director and Resident Director. Transportation to a hotel in central Madrid is provided. Students have a welcome dinner the day of arrival and have a full orientation the next day—the orientation introduces students to the language school and the city. Students 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: it gives students 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. Students are considered a member of the family. Homestays are available in residential neighborhoods in several different areas of Madrid.
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. The program also includes group lunches (see below) and meals during the orientation and weekend excursion. 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.
Group Lunches: Once a week Prof. Prieto-Calixto organizes a group lunch at a local restaurant. That meal is included. If budget allows, Prof. Prieto-Calixto will add extra group lunches to help offset the cost of meals on site.
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.
Excursions & Travel:
Weekend Excursion to Candelario: This incredibly popular group excursion to Candelario is organized and led by the program Faculty Director. Candelario is a small town well west of Madrid and this excursion offers students a genuine look at real Spanish life outside of the standard tourist destnations. Activities include a pottery workshop and a guided hike in the beautiful landscape around Candelario. All meals 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. However, for weekend travel, students must figure in travel time, which might be significant. For destinations further afield, discount airlines like Ryan Air and Easy Jet, allow students to travel at low cost. Student hostels abound in Europe and offer inexpensive accommodations—plus websites with reviews now allow students to research hostels and even book ahead of time very easily. We recommend purchasing a good guidebook for Spain (and Europe if you plan to travel) before departure—the Lonely Planet and Let’s Go series are popular with students.