Housing Options

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Housing options

Most language schools (but not all) handle housing arrangements for their students. When you submit your application you are asked what type of housing you prefer. The two most popular housing options are shared student apartments and homestays. There are other options, however, which may be of interest to you depending on how you want to arrange your stay abroad.

When the language school receives your application, they will match you to an appropriate student apartment or host family.

Some foreign universities that offer international courses for foreigners offer housing placement or assistance just as language schools do. The on-site staff in the International Relations office or the on-site staff at the International Courses can arrange housing for international students from all over the world.

Direct enrollment housing options:

  • Homestay (living with a host family)
  • Shared student apartment
  • University residence / dorm
  • Studio apartment
  • Youth hostel
  • Hotel
  • Hotel residence
  • Eco-tourism
  • Residential program

Homestay

In a homestay you live with a host family in the country you are studying in. Homestays offer several options. You have meals with the family and have the opportunity to practice your foreign language skills while gaining greater insight into the host country’s culture and traditions. The most popular are half-board, which includes breakfast and lunch, and full-board, which includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Accommodation is either in a single room or a double room, depending on your preference and accommodation availability.

Advantages of a homestay:

  • Homestays allow you to connect with Spanish culture in a more intimate, family setting
  • Homestays allow you to practice your language skills and enable you to immerse yourself in the host-country culture
  • You have the support of your "host mom" and all other members of your Spanish host family
  • Meals are taken care of
  • Homestays offer a supportive environment

Keep in mind that when you live with a host family, you have to respect the host-family's meal times, sleeping hours, and cultural and religious (if any) traditions.

Shared student apartment

Living in a shared student apartment will mean living with other students who may come from anywhere in the world. It is usually one of the most fun and educational parts of learning a foreign language abroad. You will meet students from different cultures who speak different languages, eat together, go out together, study together, and experience the host-country culture together.

Advantages of living in a shared student apartment:

  • You will immediately meet other students like yourself
  • You will become good friends with at least some, in not all, of your roommates
  • You will be exposed to different world perspectives, outlooks on life, political points of view, foods, and ways of living
  • You will have a supportive group of fellow students to rely on
  • You can come and go as you please (though you must still be respectful of your roommates

University residence / dorm

Some language schools offer summer housing in university residences. This option is usually available in the summer season, when university classes are not in session and students are not occupying the dorms.

Studio apartments

Studio apartments may be school-owned apartments, apartments owned by rental agencies affiliated with the language schools, or simply rented to a school’s students directly from the owners. These small apartments have all the basics you need to live comfortably and, of course, offer privacy and independence for those who want it.

Youth hostels

Youth hostels can be found in most cities and towns where you might find yourself studying a foreign language. Different hostels offer different experiences, so you should research this option thoroughly before your departure if staying in a hostel is of interest to you.

Hotels

Hotel stays are a more likely option for adults who are on short vacation stays to learn a foreign language. Hotels are a comfortable option for adult learners. They are, however, the most expensive option and don't offer the same supportive (and fun) environments that you find in homestays and student apartments. Most language schools will be able to recommend nearby hotels to you.

Hotel residence

Hotel residences are, for the most part, hotels set up for longer-staying guests. If a language school offers this housing option, you can request more specific information from the school or the hotel residence itself.

Eco-tourism

Eco-tourism can refer to different things in different countries. In Italy and France it may mean a nicely renovated farm house or country house, while it may mean something entirely more adventurous and outdoorsy in Central or South America. If this option is available, the language school will usually have a detailed description on its website.

Residential program

A residential program refers to a house or building that houses both the language school and living accommodation for the school's students, or it may refer to a group of buildings, cottages, or the like, that are situated closely together and house both the language school and student accommodations.