Skidmore in Madrid provides students the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of living
with host families. Living in a foreign country is exciting, enriching, interesting,
and sometimes frustrating. It is a fascinating experience in which one learns about
different customs and how to speak another language. For this reason, the home stay
experience is one of the program's most valuable aspects, as it allows students to
fully participate in Spanish culture on a daily basis.
As the family experience is so important, we take it very seriously. We have staff in Madrid whose job is the personal welfare of the students. The Director visits the Skidmore campus each semester to meet with students, review their housing questionnaires, and answer any questions they may have.
The student's preferences concerning personal comforts, eating habits, health requirements (smoking, allergies, etc.), and family composition are all taken into consideration during family selection. Once the student has been placed in a Spanish home, the program staff is in regular contact with both the student and the family to assure that the adaptation continues to go smoothly.
The home stay allows our students to be totally immersed in the Spanish way of life on a daily basis. Because of the importance of this experience as a source of contact with the culture and the language, we place only one student per family. You learn not only about the Spaniards firsthand, but also about yourself: your own values, ideas and beliefs.
Your housing includes:
- An individual room with adequate furnishing to facilitate studying
- All meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) during the academic year (with the exception of the Winter and Spring breaks). Most students take breakfast and dinner with their families and they receive a weekly allowance for lunch.
- Moderate use of the family telephone is permitted (1 or 2 local calls per day)
- Laundry, including weekly changing of sheets and towels or washing machine access
We recommend that all full-year students change families for the second semester.
This change tends to enhance the students' experience by exposing them to a variety
of family situations and neighborhoods; the second semester selection is made directly
by the students.
Other housing arrangements are allowed in special cases, by approval of the Resident Director. Please be aware that any outside housing arrangements are organized solely by the student.
The Program has special arrangements with a group of English-speaking doctors who will treat our students in case of illness. Medical bills in Spain must be paid upon receipt of treatment; in case of need, the Program can advance this cost until insurance is received. Students should bring their insurance forms with them to submit for reimbursement. Visa and American Express credit cards can be used at the English-speaking clinic.