FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Once you have enrolled with us, you will get a password for our website. You will have to do a placement test for Spanish to enable us to guide you better with your classes and your options.

The student is treated like a member of the family, it is not like renting a room, but being a part of a family, eating together, chatting, perhaps watching TV together, it’s up to you! You will be completely free to come and go as you please, and to live your life, study, go on field trips, etc. The family supports the well being of the students, indeed the family represents the human side which helps you to get to know the country better and to practice Spanish on a daily basis.

You have the option to live alone or with another student with the same family. You choose!

Yes, three meals a day, seven days a week.

The family will give you a packed lunch to take with you.

The family takes care of the laundry once a week. Dryers are not usually used; the clothes are hung out to dry.

Most Spanish families live in apartments. European housing is usually smaller in comparison with American housing, however you will find all the commodities you will need during your stay here.

All the families involved in the program in Seville live in the neighborhoods of Nervión, Triana and Los Remedios. You can walk to the center of Seville from there in less than half an hour. The meeting points to catch the buses for the field trips are also in the mentioned neighborhoods, close to everyone. What’s more, as part of the program, the students receive a public transport fare card.

Could I change family? Yes, it is possible to change. We keep contact with the families and when a problem arises we always recommend you talk about it. Quite often any tension is caused by misunderstandings. However, if the problem cannot be solved, a change of family is organized.

We eat very well in Spain. Spanish people eat healthily within the Mediterranean diet. The most common components of this type of diet are: bread, pulses, cereals, rice, a lot of fruit and vegetables, cheese, meat, plenty of fish. It is a healthy diet, which uses olive oil as the basic fat. Fried food and stews are common. It is not very hot and spicy. The food is mild. Indeed one of the best cultural experiences is to try to get to know Spanish food and to be willing to try new things. The level of hygiene and quality of the products is very high.

Yes, it is perfectly fine to drink without any problem.

Spanish people usually have breakfast between 7:30 and 8:30. They do not have a big breakfast, a white coffee, or hot chocolate or tea, with toast and butter or biscuits. Lunchtime is between 14:00 and 15:30. It is usually the biggest meal of the day. Dinner is usually lighter and is from 21:00 to 22:00.

You should inform us in the application form about any need or restriction so we can tell the family so they can take this into account at mealtimes. However, it is important to note that it is not possible to follow a Kosher or Halal diet in a Spanish family.

Spaniards are very environmentally conscious when it comes to water usage, however you can definitely take a shower daily.

Wherever possible, it is better to bring only essential items. The electrical power in Spain is 220 and it would be necessary to bring an adapter, and the plugs and wall sockets are also different.

Yes. Especially if you are staying for more than a month. It will be of great use to you in your studies.

All host family options include Wifi. There are also places in Seville with free Wi-Fi and you will be given information about this upon your arrival.

It could be very useful for you, especially if your program lasts longer than one month. At your house you can receive short phone calls when necessary, but you should not use the phone to make calls as it is very expensive in Spain. That’s why it is good to have your own cell phone. If you do have a cell phone in your country it is very expensive to use it abroad as all the calls will be international. It is better to buy a cell phone or a Spanish SIM card once in Spain.

We can advise you and help you find a shop in Seville but the final decision will be yours. You will have to decide if you want a cell phone with a prepaid card or a contract. Everyone has different needs.

It depends on how long your program lasts. Don’t forget that all the costs of living, your studies, transport, field trips and insurance are already covered in the program. Therefore, you should only consider extra expenses such as buying presents, souvenirs, snacks or drinks, personal expenses, shopping or trips that you want to go on. Don’t bring very much cash. 50 euros will be enough for the first few days. You can use your bankcard to take money out of the cash point. You can also open an account in a Spanish bank as a non-resident. The program will give you information if you need it.

You should bring little cash and a bankcard (bring a photocopy of both sides of the card in case you should lose it or in case of robbery and you can cancel it immediately).

The family will look after you if it is not serious and if it is not for long. They will give you a special diet if necessary. However, if it is something more serious you should go to the doctors immediately. The program has good insurance, which covers all needs and emergencies that could arise. You will have to tell your host family and the program staff if you want someone to go with you to the doctors.

The program has a medical insurance as well as repatriation insurance. Helvetia is the insurance company working with the program covering both health insurance and a "Family Assistance Plan". The "Family Assistance Plan" covers administrative, procedural and actions of repatriation.

The program’s health insurance covers the following:

  • Primary Medical
  • Paramedic or Emergency Care
  • Specialists
  • Hospitalization
  • Special Treatments
  • Preventative Medicine
  • Second Opinion
  • Obstetric or Neo-natal Care
  • Travel Insurance
  • Dental (fillings and removals)
  • Rehabilitation
  • Other Services (ambulance, nursing care, home care…)

The insurance company has arranged the health care to be with the best private hospitals in the Seville area and also includes care in any hospital in Spain or in any other European country.

The Spanish medical system is well developed 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 problem. You should also bring the prescription with the generic name of the medicine in case you need to get more.

It is not essential, but it is good to have one. You can get a discount at many places all over Europe with a student card. There are several organizations that can give you your student card. The following link is one of them: International Student Identity Card.: www.isic.org.

At the beginning of the course the program will give you all the books and class material for the orientation.

If you come from a country in the European Union it is not necessary. On the other hand, Spain has many agreements with other countries not in the European Union, and their citizens are allowed to stay in Spain without a visa if the stay is less than 90 days. However, if you do stay longer you need a student’s visa. You have to apply for this through the following link of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: www.maec.es.

Once you have enrolled at our school, and if your stay is going to be longer than 90 days, our school will send you the necessary certificates for you to be able to apply for the student’s visa. It is a long process, it usually takes 45 days, so you should begin to apply as soon as you can. Any student who has ever needed a visa has been assigned one; don’t worry! However, you should be aware that all the Consulates do not work in the same way, and in some places it is more difficult than in others. You should also realize that if you are going to stay for an academic year you have to supply your criminal record, which makes the process even slower. The school can send you the necessary certificates but we cannot carry out the process for you.

The program will give you a public transport fare card, which you can use on the bus, underground and the tram (which is in the center). Another very nice way of getting around is walking; indeed Seville is a very nice city for that. Another option is the public bike system and bike lanes all around the city.

In general the weather is very nice, in summer it gets very hot, in winter the temperatures are mild. If you come in September it will be warm until mid October. From then until mid or the end of November the climate is very mild and pleasant. It is usually cold in January and February although the temperatures do not usually go below 10 degrees C. It hasn’t snowed in Seville for more than 60 years. In the winter we enjoy a lovely temperature when it is sunny. It feels cold here because most houses do not have central heating. The temperature starts to go up mid February. During the Spring, the temperatures are warm and mild and it is very nice. The weather in May and June is like in the summer.

However long you are coming for, the first thing we would like to tell you is to travel lite. The houses in Spain do not have large rooms for you to keep too many things and you will probably get more things during the stay. Traveling with a lot of luggage is not recommended nowadays and we would strongly advise you against it. Choose well what you want to pack!

Concerning clothes, you should bring comfortable clothes and one or two items which are dressier for special occasions.

Concerning underwear, you should bring 10 changes of underwear if you come when it might rain, in case there are problems to dry clothes. If you come when the weather is good, 8 changes of underwear are sufficient. In spring and autumn you will need light sweaters and in winter a winter coat or jacket and thick sweaters. Don’t forget comfortable shoes for walking and some slippers for the house. In Spanish houses it is not the norm to walk around barefoot, as the floors are not wooden or carpeted. If you come when it is hot you must bring a bathing costume.

You should bring a camera, (don’t forget the charger and several memory cards) something for listening to music to and your laptop if you want.

You should bring any medicine you need to take and a photocopy of the your prescriptions or the generic names of the medicine as well as the correct dose necessary.

If you use glasses you should bring a spare pair.

The most important thing is that you shouldn’t bring anything of great value, for example jewelry, expensive watches or anything, which may be of sentimental value to you. Everything you bring should be easy to replace.

It is not necessary to bring towels or sheets, these items will be provided by the host family. Beach towels are cheap so it might be worthwhile buying one once you get to Spain, rather than bringing one with you from your country.

Regarding personal hygiene products, do not bring large quantities of anything unless it is special to you. You can buy whatever you need in Spain and so avoid carrying heavy products, which take up room in the suitcase.

You do not need to bring a bag for your books and class material because the school will give you one on your arrival to Spain.

It isn't obligatory nor are they expecting one, however it is a good idea to 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 is the thought that counts.

Spain is traditionally a Catholic country and many religious festivals and traditions are still celebrated. However Spain has evolved a lot over the last 30 years, it has opened up and its population has grown and become more diverse. Spanish people are open and flexible and are used to living with people of different religions. It could be difficult to find a place of worship for other religions but we will give you any necessary information.

The school has a program of internships in schools and companies. We also have a list of volunteering opportunities. All internship and volunteer programs must be requested through home university prior to arrival. At the end of your stay you will get a certificate for your internship.

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