FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Packing

Simplify! The overwhelming majority of our events (classes, activities, etc.) are casual. There is no need for fancy clothes. A few nice outfits for dinners, going out, etc. are fine. A more extensive suggested packing list is provided for students. It is important to pack in carry-on luggage any essential items, as well as up to two days of “emergency” clothes (in case of lost luggage).

Arrivals

We provide transport for students within Spain. After collecting his/her belongings from baggage claim, your son/daughter should walk outside. A Centro MundoLengua coordinator will be waiting with a sign. We will communicate and confirm this information in writing by email beforehand. The coordinator will be available to help with any concerns (lost baggage, etc…).

We normally have a coordinator in the airport all day during arrivals, so this should not be a problem. There are many students arriving on certain days. As well, students and parents will have access to a set of emergency 24-hour numbers. Simply by calling one of these numbers, we can make the necessary arrangements for the revised pickup.

Schools

We offer classes for all levels of Spanish ability. Some are advanced, such as our AP prep classes, whereas others are for students who have had absolutely no Spanish at all.

Typically they are young university students (25-27 years old), who are doing Masters or Doctorate work. Teachers are friendly, outgoing, extremely approachable, and above all else; they genuinely care for their students. All of our professors are native speakers, and classes are conducted entirely in Spanish.

Students are normally in class for several hours a day. Considering the fact that most Spanish classes in their home country are one hour or less, it’s almost like doing three days of class in Spain for every one day back home. In two weeks time, this would be the equivalent of thirty days of class. Add to the fact that all of our teachers are native speakers, able to conduct the classes entirely in Spanish, and this can mean significant language learning. Students are immersed in the language from every angle… in the classes, at home, and on the streets. You will be amazed at the difference!

Family Homestays

Please see the part on families for an explanation of this extensive process.

Students might find this strange, but just about everyone lives in apartments. Space is at a premium. They are clean, comfortable, middle class apartments, providing the usual comforts of life. Students normally are sharing a bedroom with another student in the program, along with sharing a bathroom with other family members. Students can select their own roommate.

We try to place students in homes where there are children of a similar age, but it’s not always possible. Although we do have families with a mom/dad/children, many families also consist of a middle aged woman who might be married, separated, or have lost her loved one. She might have children living at home (as most Spanish sons/daughters live at home until getting married), or children living in the same city, but outside of the home. Given the closeness of Spanish families, even if your son/daughter is not living with siblings, he/she will most likely meet the entire family as they drop by for meals, to talk, etc…

We only ask that you communicate this to us in advance. We have all types of students with special allergies/issues (nut, lactose, vegetarian, Crohn’s disease, etc.).

Communication

Depending on the location of the program, students may have access to one of our computer labs. Some families have Internet at home. There are also numerous Internet cafes around town, as well as many Wi-Fi spots for free. Students who bring mobile phones with them have used these to connect and speak with their parents. It’s also possible for parents to call the host family’s home at any time. As an additional service, Centro MundoLengua has provided phones through Piccell Wireless during the past years. These are mobile phones (unblocked international phones and yours to keep) delivered to your home before departure, with a working Spanish mobile number. Upon arrival in Spain, you simply need to turn the phone on. More information can be found at: www.piccellwireless.com/mundolengua

Money

This depends on each student. Some have extravagant tastes, while others spend hardly anything at all. Students do have everything included with the program, so extra money is really only necessary for souvenirs, gifts, going out with friends, etc. A good rule of thumb is perhaps about 100-200 euros of extra money per week of the trip.

We recommend that he/she bring about 100 euros in cash to start. This will provide immediate access to funds, in case of any emergencies. Beyond that, we recommend that students bring a credit card (Visa is widely accepted) with numeric pin. This will allow them to take money out of the ATMs (everywhere in the city), and to obtain the best possible exchange rates.

Health

Unless otherwise stated, all students enjoy full health insurance. Centro MundoLengua will make all of the necessary arrangements, including accompanying students to the doctor. We never allow students to be alone for medical appointments. Students and families have a set of 24-hour numbers for emergencies at any moment.

General

We have been organizing study abroad programs since 2005. We select academically challenging host institutions for our students, and serve as a liaison for all of their academic needs. This even includes one-to-one tutoring. We carefully select their host family. We provide high quality cultural activities and excursions. We also arrange community service and internship opportunities for students.

Application

Students must be in good academic standing at their home university. Some programs will also have a grade point average requirement. Check with Centro MundoLengua.

The majority of students apply one semester, or several months (for summer) in advance of the program. Centro MundoLengua does accept late applications (see the deadline dates), subject to space availability and a late fee. Also, remember that we have early application discounts available.

For summer programs, no. For semester programs, they will need one. You need to start the process as early as possible, even months in advance. Once accepted into the program, students need to contact their nearest embassies for a student visa application.

Centro MundoLengua programs attract students from all majors, as most programs allow students to choose from a variety of subjects, both in English or Spanish.

Payment

In some cases, you will send payment directly to Centro MundoLengua. In other cases, you may be paying your son/daughter’s home university, and they will send in payment on your behalf. Payment is normally made as a deposit upfront to secure a place, with final payment due six weeks prior to the program start date.

We do offer some scholarships for our summer programs. For semester programs, there is no aid offered.

Packing

Simplify! The overwhelming majority of our events (classes, activities, etc.) are casual. There is no need for fancy clothes. A few nice outfits for dinners, going out, etc. are fine. A more extensive suggested packing list is provided for students. It is important to pack in carry-on luggage any essential items, as well as up to two days of “emergency” clothes (in case of lost luggage). It is also a good idea to bring a laptop computer.

Family Homestays

Please see the part on families for an explanation of this extensive process.

Students might find this strange, but just about everyone lives in apartments. Space is at a premium. They are clean, comfortable, middle class apartments, providing the usual comforts of life. Students normally are sharing a bedroom with another student in the program, along with sharing a bathroom with other family members.

We try to place students in homes where there are members of a similar age, but it’s not always possible. Although we do have families with a mom/dad/children, many families also consist of a middle aged woman who might be married, separated, or have lost her loved one. She might have children living at home (as most Spanish sons/daughters live at home until getting married), or children living in the same city, but outside of the home. Given the closeness of Spanish families, even if your son/daughter is not living with other family members, he/she will most likely meet the entire family as they drop by for meals, to talk, etc.

We only ask that you communicate this to us in advance. We have all types of students with special allergies/issues (nut, lactose, gluten, diabetes, vegetarian, Crohn’s disease, etc.).

Communication

Depending on the location of the program, students may have access to one of our computer labs. Some families have Internet at home. There are also numerous Internet cafes around town, as well as many Wi-Fi spots for free. Students who bring mobile phones with them have used these to connect and speak with their parents. It’s also possible for parents to call the host family’s home at any time.

For our semester programs, we do. Students will receive a basic phone, with some credit. They will have their own Spanish number. Parents can call these phones at any time, as it does not cost money to receive calls.

Money

This depends on each student. Some have extravagant tastes, while others spend hardly anything at all. Students have almost everything included with the program, so extra money is really only necessary for travel, souvenirs, gifts, going out with friends, etc. Of all things, travel will be the biggest part of any incidental expenses.

We recommend that he/she bring about 100 euros in cash to start. This will provide immediate access to funds, in case of any emergencies. Beyond that, we recommend that students bring a credit card (Visa is widely accepted) with numeric pin. This will allow them to take money out of the ATMs (everywhere in the city), and to obtain the best possible exchange rates.

Health

Typically, most students travel with the international insurance plan provided by their host university. If you wish to have additional health insurance while in Spain, please ask for further information. In some cases, students will already have health insurance included with Centro MundoLengua. In any case, Centro MundoLengua will make all of the necessary arrangements, including accompanying students to the doctor. We never allow students to be alone for medical appointments. Students and families have a set of 24-hour numbers for emergencies at any moment.

Pre-departure

Teachers announce the trip at school, usually some time in advance. The trip may be a school sponsored trip, or a trip taken by the teacher outside of the school system. Teachers encourage students to consider the trip, and spread interest. They will normally hold an informational meeting with parents and students, to inform them about details. A Centro MundoLengua director can be on-site for the meeting, or available by Skype/phone. They will answer follow-up questions by parents and students, always with the full support of Centro MundoLengua.

In terms of flights, we will either purchase the tickets for you, or put you in touch with one of our agents to help you with this component of the program. In terms of payments, this can be done online by each individual student (so teachers do not have to handle any money).

This is the cornerstone of our program. That is, you are able to custom-design each component of your program. We will put you in touch with our academic director to design the classes. We will work with you to include the most relevant cultural activities and excursions. You will have direct access to our housing coordinator to make your wishes known. We don’t have one stock program for all. You and your students are unique!

Besides travelling for free, teachers can earn free courses and stipends.

While Abroad

Chaperones normally come to school each day, in order to check-in with their students. Some come at the beginning of class, while others choose to come during the break, or even after classes have ended. Chaperones normally accompany the students and Centro MundoLengua guides during cultural visits, as well as any excursions. In the event that a student becomes ill, Centro MundoLengua will always accompany him/her to the doctor. The chaperone will normally come along, for added support. In general, in case of any type of issue with students, Centro MundoLengua relies on the added advice and support of chaperones before taking action.

Cultural Activities

Absolutely. Given that our program is highly structured, you will find that you have a lot of free time to pursue outside interests, or to simply relax. Each group is assigned their own Centro MundoLengua coordinator who takes care of them. As well, there is always a program director onsite for added support. Some teachers use the time to study, investigate, get in shape, shop, lay at the beach and catch up on summer reading, etc.

Payment

In short, nothing. Teachers travel for free. They receive the entire student package gratis, with housing included in a host family (individual room), or hotel. As well, we can work with you to include the airline tickets for chaperones for free.

Application

It is completely online and easy. Nevertheless, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at yayebaena@centromundolengua.com.

Payment

In some cases, students will send payment directly to Centro MundoLengua. In other cases, students may be paying their home university, and they will send in payment on their behalf. Payment is normally made as a deposit upfront to secure a place, with final payment due six weeks prior to the program start date. Payments can be made online.

Packing

Simplify! The overwhelming majority of our events (classes, activities, etc.) are casual. There is no need for fancy clothes. A few nice outfits for dinners, going out, etc. are fine. It is important to pack in carry-on luggage any essential items, as well as up to two days of “emergency” clothes (in case of lost luggage). It is also a good idea to bring a laptop computer, if you plan on working.

Programs

For summer programs, we design completely personalized programs. Provided there are a minimum number of students (normally at least 10-15), we will develop an entirely customized curriculum according to your specific needs (Linguistics, Art History, Business, Medicine, Law, etc.)

For semester programs, students will choose with our guidance among the wide variety of courses offered in English and in Spanish by our partner universities. The students will have the chance to study in Spanish with Spaniards or in English and Spanish with foreigners, according to their preferences and level of Spanish.

Our proven track record since 2005, combined with our knowledge of worldwide university systems, allow us to organize high-quality programs targeted to your students’ needs.

Besides the professors of the associated universities, in some cases, the accompanying professors can choose to teach certain classes (generally for summer courses only).

For semester programs, the university professors of our associated universities will teach the classes. Our professors in Spain are well-prepared, holding a Masters or Doctorate degree in their relevant field.

Of course. Check with Centro MundoLengua and we will send you examples of syllabi at the earliest opportunity.

Of course. Before making your choice, Centro MundoLengua will give you all the necessary details to check if they match the requirements of the syllabus of your home university. We can send you the material that students will work on before your arrival in Spain.

This is our prime concern. Many professors travel to Spain, entering into classes with their students and interviewing professors. We provide direct access to the study abroad directors in Spain at the various universities, facilitating one-on-one meetings. Centro MundoLengua is also there to advocate for the interests of our partner universities, making their needs known to the Spanish universities.

Depending on the city where the program takes place, students have the option to walk, bike, or take the bus, tram, or metro to the university campus.

Transfer Credits

We know that when studying abroad, transferring credit is perhaps the most important academic concern. Courses successfully completed at the host university can be transferred directly to your students’ degrees. Centro MundoLengua will provide any necessary support during the credit transfer procedure, but students are encouraged to speak with you or their academic advisor beforehand about how certain courses in Spain will transfer over. We of course will provide all the relevant documentation concerning courses here in Spain beforehand.

Cultural Activities

Absolutely. Besides the academic program, we also organize cultural and gastronomic visits for visiting professors. Upon arrival, you will be provided with a personalized guide with suggestions.

The transport network in Spain and Europe is excellent. There are many low-cost airlines to travel in Europe in a cheap manner. We can help you organize your excursions and trips during your free time.

Accomodations

It will depend on the duration of your trip in Spain. We can help you find the best hotel if you will only be in Spain for a few days. If you are going to stay for a longer time, we can help you find the perfect apartment.

Health and Safety

Typically, most professors travel with the international insurance plan provided by their host university. If you wish to have additional health insurance while in Spain, please ask for further information.

The cities where our programs take place are very safe. We have had a lot of students and we have never had any serious issues. These cities are used to having tourists and the local authorities do a good job to ensure that the environment is safe for everybody.

Application

Just follow our online process. It’s fast and simple!

Packing

Most of you know by now that many areas of Spain tend to get hot in the summer. It’s dry heat in Seville and somewhat more humid in Madrid and Barcelona, for example.

We do have AC at the school, but do not count on this with the families. Hotels and residencias will invariably have AC. Your best bet is to rely on comfortable and light clothing. Most importantly, bring along comfortable shoes. You will probably do more walking in these two weeks than you have done in your life. People walk everywhere in these cities. You might also want to bring a few nicer outfits for going out at night. People do tend to dress up a bit if they are going out for a night on the town.

Arrivals

Round-trip transport from the airport/train station/bus station is not included (for teachers travelling with students, this is included).

Please remember to confirm with us your arrival date/time/location. This will be extremely important for those teachers that are staying with families. You will go directly to your host family and we will need to inform them of your arrival so they can plan to be at home to receive you.

  • Seville: Seville´s airport is located about 15-20 minutes from the city center. The airport itself is tiny. There is only one exit door for all flights. After exiting outside, you will have two options for transport into the city. The first (and easiest) is to simply take a taxi. There is a fixed rate from the airport to the first stop anywhere in the city (it changes somewhat depending on the day, luggage you have with you, etc.). This fixed rate tends to be about 25-30 euros total (not per passenger). For those unsure of tipping practices in Spain, generally it is not necessary to leave a tip when taking a taxi.

The second option is to take the public bus, which stops at the far end of the terminal (opposite end from where the taxis line up). If it doubt, just ask. This bus runs every 20-30 minutes or so and will take you into the city center. The fare is about 4 euros. The only problem with this is that once in the city center, you will most likely need to take a taxi to get to your final destination. It’s a good idea to have some small change if you opt for this option, as the bus drivers will not accept bills larger than 5 euros.

  • Madrid: Madrid’s airport is located about 25-30 minutes from the city center. There are many options for transport, including taxi, train (both Cercanias and metro), and bus. The easiest option is to simply take a taxi. It should cost about 30-40 euros to go the center, depending on your final destination. There is also a Cercanias train that runs every half hour from Terminal 4 to various stations in Madrid. More information can be found here: http://guias-viajar.com/madrid/capital/trenes-cercanias-aeropuerto-barajas/

If you are feeling a bit more adventurous, you may consider taking the metro. This is a very economical alternative, but it will certainly take a bit more time, and could involve changing lines. More information can be found here: http://www.metromadrid.es/es/viaja_en_metro/red_de_metro/planos/index.html

  • Seville: Seville has only one train station called Santa Justa. The station is located very close to the city center and taxis will be waiting in front. Your best bet is to take a taxi to your hotel or family. This should be a short ride and no more than 5-10 euros.
  • Madrid: Madrid has two main train stations – Atocha and Chamartin. Both are located on metro lines, so you will be able to transfer to the metro, if necessary. It is also possible to take a taxi located out front to your final destination.
  • Seville: Seville has two bus stations called “el Prado” and “Plaza de Armas”. Both are within the city center. After exiting, you will find taxis waiting outside and your best bet is to take a taxi to your home or hotel. This should be a short ride and no more than 5-10 euros.
  • Madrid: Madrid has several bus stations, with the major one being Mendez Alvaro, or Estación del Sur. It is located in the south, a short metro ride from Atocha. It might be easier to simply take a taxi outside of the station to your final destination.

Classes

We will schedule to meet at a designated location on the first day. This information will be communicated through our social media pages, as well as a group email to participants. We will start with a group breakfast to go over the specifics of the program, before starting with our classes or activities.

  • Seville: classes take place at a partner school of ours in the center of Seville, very close to the charming neighborhood of Santa Cruz, on calle Fabiola 26. As we maintain agreements with many local schools, please consult with us before each session to make sure of the classroom location.
  • Madrid: Our partner school is located at Barbara de Braganza 11, very close to the Colon metro stop.

For both the Seville and Madrid programs, the instructors are College Board certified teachers. We anticipate having both Ken Stewart from NC and Laura Zinke from AZ as instructors.

College Board materials are included, as well as special materials developed by MundoLengua´s professors for our student AP prep program.

All participants will receive a College Board certificate upon completion of the program for the total number of AP contact hours.

Graduate Credits

We have an agreement with the University of California at Riverside. On the first day of class, we will hand out to all participants a form. The fee for these 5.0 quarter units of credit (3 semester hours) has typically hovered around $325-$350 total.  Payment can be made by credit card (Visa or MC) or personal check. There will be some additional work required if you are opting for the credits and the instructors will let you know what is expected.

Cultural Activities / Travel

We will review this program on arrival, but expect to delve into the history of Spain and take back ideas for your students. This is one of the nicest additions to the program and something that cannot be gleaned from sitting in a classroom in the states or abroad doing a similar program. All entrances are included, so there is no need to budget extra money for this. For teachers travelling with spouses, etc., it might be possible for them to join us on certain activities. We will let you know in advance, in addition to any related cost.

The weekend is free for you to plan travel on your own. This is an excellent opportunity to visit Andalusia, southern Portugal or even Lisboa, Morocco, Barcelona, Valencia, etc. The possibilities are endless, as the cities where our programs take place are well connected.

Check www.rumbo.es if you want to get an idea of fares. For those of you that may be planning train travel within Spain, check www.renfe.es. We are always happy to offer suggestions and work with each of you on an individual basis to work out travel plans.

Accomodations

Some of you have opted for staying with a family. You will be staying in an individual room (unless otherwise agreed with our housing director), and will have three meals per day provided. In Madrid, it might be possible to opt for less meals per day. You also have reasonable laundry service for any dirty clothes (your host family will wash these for you).

Please understand that families are compensated for their participation in the program. This is not intended to be a “money making operation”, but rather an “ayuda”. It is imperative that you communicate with us immediately any problems (big or small) with your host family. Our housing director is in Seville and can resolve most problems very easily. Communication is key.

Some of you will have done study abroad back in college, but all should realize that the concept of family is somewhat different here and you should be prepared and maintain an open mind for these differences. Let´s talk about just a few differences:

  • Food: Breakfast (around 8am-9am) usually consists of a simple piece of toast or bread with olive oil, jam, butter, etc. People often accompany this with a cafe, juice, or milk. If you prefer to eat at one of the many bars where you will inevitably see many Spaniards standing packed together eating in the mornings, you might opt for your tostada outside of the home. A morning routine is a tostada con jamón serrano, aceite de oliva y tomate y un zumo de naranja. This costs about 3-4 euros. Lunch is the biggest meal and usually consists of a starter salad or soup, followed by a meat or fish dish, and dessert. Water is completely safe to drink from the tap here and will accompany many meals. Lunch is usually served around 2pm-3pm. Dinner (served around 9pm-10pm) is a meal somewhat lighter than lunch. People do not tend to eat heavy meals for dinner. It is of course possible to eat out at the many restaurants that the cities have to offer. You will find every type of food and something for all budgets. If you are not eating with your family, it is important to let them know as soon as possible so they are not waiting with a meal prepared. It is also very important that you let your family know about your eating preferences on day one (vegetarian, vegan, etc.).
  • Space: Forget about the concept of detached housing with backyards and alleys. People here are living in close quarters, normally in small apartments that are shared with an extended family. Room and home sizes will vary, but expect smaller and expect to share a bathroom with other members of the family. Also, do not expect air conditioning. If you are very hot, it may be possible to request or buy a fan, but you must check with your family first about leaving this on for extended periods.

People are extremely conscious about using electrical appliances, leaving lights on, etc., as electricity is expensive.

  • Phone usage: Teachers are typically not permitted to use the phone at home to make calls. People use the public phones on the street to make calls. You can buy a simple phone card from any Estanco (where they sell tabaco, etc.) once you arrive. This might be your best bet as you are guaranteed that it will work. You might also buy a local SIM card for your mobile phone, if you bring one.

Some teachers might opt to buy phone cards from the states or abroad, but realize that usage of these cards might incur a cost while here. Cards that promise to be “toll free” often times are not, or simply do not work. Buying a phone card here will solve this problem (and cost you no more than 5-10 euros). You are allowed to receive calls at the home, but please let relatives know of the time difference when calling Spain.

We are also offering teachers the opportunity to purchase mobile phones before leaving their home country. Please let us know if you are interested in this service (alternatively, see www.piccellwireless.com/mundolengua). This is an unblocked international cellphone for a low fee, and could be quite useful for keeping in touch with friends, family members, etc. back home or here in Spain. You are under no obligation to purchase the phone, but we offer it as an additional service to make your lives easier.

You will receive a detailed description of your family before the program begins (about 2 weeks before). You are welcome to call them and introduce yourself. Remember to dial 01134 before the number if dialing from the states (0034 if dialing from Europe outside of Spain). You can also write directly to our housing director, Isabel Martin: alojamiento@centromundolengua.com. Isabel speaks both Spanish and English fluently and handles all housing requests.

 

We can help with finding economical hotels located close to the school. Please let us know if you need help here.

We also recommend www.airbnb.com for apartment rentals. There are plenty of nice, affordable apartments in both cities for rental. This could be in the form of a private room, or having the entire apartment to yourself / for your family.

Student Travel

Each year, we have a group of high school students coming from different areas to participate in our AP prep program (AP Spanish Language prep and AP Spanish Literature prep). We are available if you would like to discuss planning a group trip for your students for either spring or summer to our schools. We offer programs for all levels of students, in addition to educational tours, volunteer opportunities, school exchanges, etc.

Communication

Our schools offer wireless internet. Consider bringing a laptop computer for assignments and group work in class. A flash drive would be useful. We will provide the course workbook, notebook, pen, pencil, etc. The instructors will get in touch with any additional requirements.

Security / Health Insurance

Our programs take place in safe cities. We have had a lot of students and we have never had any serious issues. The cities where we operate are used to having tourists and the local authorities do a good job to ensure that the environment is safe for everybody. Summer is a wonderful time to be here because you are going to see that the people do not stay indoors at night. After the afternoon siesta and it’s cooled down a bit, everybody hits the streets to socialize, walk, drink, eat… it’s a festive atmosphere every night. This means that you should expect to see people strolling casually in the streets until the wee hours of the mornings. This often includes little children with their parents. The only thing we tend to caution people with is minding your wallet, purse, camera, etc. in crowded spaces or restaurants, bars, etc. Almost all crimes that have been committed against our students have been pick-pocket type crimes. Again…this is not rampant and nothing to worry about, but you should be alert.

This can be purchased for $US5 per day for the program (see the add-ons when paying online for prices in your respective currency). The insurance covers all medical emergencies, but does not cover the cost of ordinary prescription medicines. No teachers have insurance included with the program, so if you do not hear back from you on this, we will assume that you do not want it. It is also possible to pay for medical visits on-site (costs are not anywhere near what they would be in many other countries), or in some cases pay and have your insurance companies reimburse you when you return home.

Travel

  • Keep in mind that you will need a valid passport in order to enter Spain.
  • You do not need a visa (visas are only for stays of 90 days or more).
  • You are responsible for purchasing your own plane ticket (unless you are travelling in a group where the ticket is included in the group package).
  • As a general rule, individual students should plan to arrive on the Sunday before the first day of classes, and to leave on the Saturday following the last day of class. If you arrive earlier or depart later, extra days of housing will be charged accordingly.

We strongly recommend that you purchase your plane tickets for Spain as early as possible. Spain is a popular destination year-round with tourists worldwide, especially in spring and summer.

Some websites include:

www.kayak.com

www.rumbo.com

www.skyskanner.com

www.statravel.com

www.vayama.com

www.renfe.es (for all train connections in Spain)

Unless otherwise stated, round-trip airport/train/bus arrival to destination is included in the program price.

Arrival

Once at the airport, you should collect your belongings and exit the baggage claim area. A representative from Centro MundoLengua will be waiting with a sign.

If you get out the exit door and, after looking around thoroughly, you don’t see a representative from Centro MundoLengua, don’t panic. Simply call one of our program directors (David and Stefanie) on their 24-hour mobile numbers, which will be provided to you in advance.

DO NOT FORGET THESE NUMBERS WHEN TRAVELLING.

When in Spain, it is only necessary to insert a 2 euro coin into the phone and then dial the numbers exactly as written above. Money goes fast, so be sure to have some additional coins. It is extremely important that you call either David or Stefanie if there is ANY change in your travel plans.

The process is even easier if you have a Piccell phone provided by Centro MundoLengua. You can find out more about buying a phone for your trip through:www.piccellwireless.com/mundolengua

These phones are inexpensive, and extremely useful for staying in contact with your family and friends at home, in addition to being able to locate friends and Centro MundoLengua staff in Spain. Phones are delivered to your home before leaving for Spain, with a working Spanish mobile number. The unblocked phone is yours to keep for future trips. Please note that you are under no obligation to purchase the phone and Centro MundoLengua is not affiliated with Piccell.

If you are coming from outside of the European Union, upon arriving to your first point of entry into Spain (typically Madrid or Barcelona), you will have to pass through customs. Passing through customs is easy. Simply follow the crowd after leaving your flight toward baggage claim, and you’ll come to customs, where people line up single-file to have their passports examined.

After this, you will then be allowed to move on to your next gate for the connecting flight or, if you’re not connecting, to collect any luggage. In any event, you will notice customer service counters in all airports here in Spain. If in doubt about where to go or what to do, simply ask someone at one of these counters.

Packing

First, please pack lightly! For our Centro MundoLengua programs, casual dress is preferred – casual without being sloppy. Keep in mind that Spaniards’ “everyday clothing” tends to be more formal than the ´flip-flop/halter top/faded tee shirt´ version that some students opt for. Be careful about wearing skimpy clothing when visiting some monuments – in many churches they will not allow you to enter if you are not dressed appropriately.

Work around a basic scheme for mixing, matching and layering when it turns cool at night or during the early morning hours. It can get cooler later in the evening when walking along the beach, or even in the cities.  Plan on bringing at least one nicer outfit – though nothing too formal – for some group evening activities.

Here are some ideas:

  • Plane ticket
  • Passport
  • Spending money (especially some money to get started…in euros)
  • Backpack to carry items for excursions
  • Money belt or pouch to carry your money and cards inside your clothes
  • Travel alarm clock (or use your mobile phone)
  • Laundry bag
  • Comfortable clothes for daytime and evening activities (don’t forget dark socks, white socks, undergarments, etc.)
  • Jacket/sweatshirt and clothes for layering when it gets cool/cold
  • Pajamas and shoes to wear around the home (Spainards don’t go barefoot at home)
  • Beach towel. Flip flops for the beach and home.
  • Travel size umbrella
  • Rainboots
  • One nice outfit for going out or a school dance (nothing too formal)
  • Athletic clothes for running on the beach, etc
  • Tennis shoes or “comfort” shoes (you will be doing a lot of walking)
  • Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, shampoo, etc.).  These items can be purchased in Spain, but it is a good idea to bring some starter items along (travel size)
  • An extra pair of glasses or contact lenses if you wear them.  Also a good idea to bring a good supply of contact lens solution, etc., as it tends to be more expensive in Spain.
  • Sufficient quantities of any prescription medications that you are taking, i.e. enough to last through the entire program. Include over-the-counter medications if you have strong preferences about the brand you use.  If you suffer from motion sickness, bring medication with you because you will be riding tour buses for the program excursions
  • A pair of washcloths if you use them.  Spaniards’ towel linens will generally not include a washcloth
  • Window screens are uncommon in Spain. If you are allergic to mosquitoes, you might want to bring a non-aerosol repellent to help with this, although mosquitoes are not much of a problem
  • Camera and extra film or memory cards for your digital cameras
  • Journal (optional).
  • Photos of home, family, pets, etc., that will help tell your host family about you (optional)
  • Small gift for host family
  • IMPORTANT: Pack up to 2 days of extra clothes in your carry-on in case your checked bags get lost. Don’t forget to pack any essential items in your carry-on bag

Of course this list is not exhaustive, but it gives you an idea of some of the things you might need.

It is best to get along without appliances such as hairdryers or laptops, which add weight and bulk to your luggage. For American students, in order to operate American appliances abroad, you will need both a plug adapter and a voltage converter (which are also heavy and bulky) because Spain’s electrical system is 220v, versus the 110v used in the US.  You can purchase a standard converter or buy an appliance with a converter built in, but they do not always work.

School

  • Spanish Language and Culture: students of all ability levels can attend this program. Students complete an online placement exam prior to arrival in Spain. There are no grades for this exam. Together with a candid assessment of level from your Spanish teacher, along with some questions about number of years of Spanish studied, we use the results of this exam as a means of placing you in the correct class.
    If you have no previous knowledge of Spanish, we’ll place you in a class for absolute beginners.
  • AP Programs: to participate in the AP Spanish Language Program or the AP Spanish Literature Program, generally you will need to have completed 3 to 4 years of Spanish and have plans to enter into an AP Spanish course at your home institution in the school year following the Centro MundoLengua program.

Class sizes are typically 10-15 students, with a maximum of 15 students per class (average of about 12). This allows for a good amount of personal interaction with our teachers.

You bet. Classes are conducted entirely in Spanish, including beginner classes.  After all, you’re in Spain – so take your Spanish and run with it.  And when you flub up a line in Spanish (inevitably, you will – and repeatedly at that), have a sense of humor about it.

It is important that you always try to communicate in Spanish, even when you’re not at school.  It is only fair to other students who have come to Spain expecting a true immersion experience.  You’ll see how this extra effort will pay off by the end of the program.

The overwhelming majority of work will be completed in class.  There may be some “homework” to do, but any such assignments are intended to be light.  Your real advancement will come from practicing the language in real life situations – applying what you have learned in class – not from doing homework exercises.  In some cases, there may be a shortened exam at the end of the program and/or short quizzes each week. Advanced students may be expected to complete outside journal assignments on a weekly basis.

You will receive a final grade and evaluation for the course. This is nothing to worry about, as it’s not a competition. Above all else, this is intended to help you focus on areas for improvement in the future. We don’t want students worrying unnecessarily about grades.  Instead, our aim is to have students learn at their own pace and in a relaxed atmosphere.

Typically, the teachers (‘profesores’) are young university students (25-27 years old) who are finishing up their academic careers in the university or doing Masters or Doctorate work.  Professors are friendly, outgoing, extremely approachable, and above all else, they care about their students.  If a student needs additional help, professors are available after classes for tutoring.

Our classes are divided based on two main requirements: 1) that all students have a similar level of Spanish; and 2) that class sizes do not exceed 15 students.  Therefore, it is very possible that you will be in classes with students from other schools, and even other countries.  Over the course of the year, we tend to have international students – from Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, and France – as well as our American students.

Family Homestay

Yes, most likely.  And that’s a good thing, since the purpose of the program is total immersion in the Spanish language and culture.  Families may have children that know some English from school, but your expectation should be that families will speak little or no English.  This of course has the potential to create extremely funny situations.  The important thing is to take everything with a sense of humor.  It is possible to communicate and make your needs, wishes, etc. known to a family having little or no prior Spanish background. Centro MundoLengua’s own program director started his studies in Spain – with no previous knowledge of the language – by living with a Spanish family.

You might find it a little strange at first, but in Spain just about everyone lives in apartments.  Space is at a premium. The homes are within walking distance to the school, and/or along the route of a public bus going in the direction of the school.  They are clean, comfortable, middle class apartments providing the usual comforts of life.  You’ll have full room and board (3 meals per day) and laundry services once per week.
Families provide company, conversation, and the warmth of a “home-away-from-home” environment.  Our families enjoy receiving foreign students and are very hospitable.

The first meeting might be somewhat awkward for you.  Students are often nervous before meeting the people that will be involved in their lives during the following weeks.  A few words of advice: relax, relax, and relax.
If you’re arriving to Spain as part of a group, our families will be waiting with a Centro MundoLengua coordinator to meet students at a central location in the city.  Our coordinator will introduce you to your family (note:  in Spain the customary greeting is two kisses – one on each cheek).  Then you’ll go with your family to the house; once there, you can unpack, unwind, and get settled.
If you’re an individual traveler (i.e., arriving without a group), a Centro MundoLengua coordinator will meet you at the airport/train/bus station and take you by taxi directly to your house, where your family will be waiting for you.
As with all new situations, it takes time to adjust.  Be patient and understanding.  In no time at all, you will be feeling right at home.

We try to place students in homes where there are children of a similar age, but it’s not always possible.  Although we do have some families where you will have a mom and a dad, many families consist of middle aged women who might be divorced, separated, or widowed, and have older children living outside the home.  Taking on students is a way of reconnecting and being able to share with our younger students.
Given the closeness of Spanish families, even if you’re not living with other siblings your own age, you’ll most likely will meet the entire family as they drop in for dinners, lunches, weekends, etc.  Spanish families are very close and this is common.

Some families do and some don’t.  Those that do are likely to have small dogs or birds.  If you’re allergic to any pets, let us know on your application form.

As with all things, we try our best to fulfill the wishes of students to be placed in non-smoking homes, but it’s not something we can guarantee.  In families where somebody smokes, usually this person will try to respect the fact that you view smoking differently, and will adjust their behavior accordingly, whether by smoking less in the home, smoking outside on a balcony, or only smoking in designated areas of the home.  If a family member’s smoking bothers you, make your complaint known to our program coordinator.  We will contact the family to discuss the issue and look for an equitable solution.

 

In most families, you will be sharing a room with another student from the program (you can request to live with a friend).  If the room is large enough, three students may be sharing the same room, though the norm is two students per room.  Almost certainly, you will also have to share a bathroom, not only with the other students living in the home, but also with some family members.  Due to both space restrictions and the ever-increasing cost of living in Spain, homes are often modest-sized apartments with limited space.  You should remember that you are now part of the family and thus you should be mindful of the amount of time you spend in the bathroom, length of showers, etc.  Welcome to another aspect of living in a Spanish family!

It might be the case that your family is also housing a student from another program. It isn’t that uncommon, and it works out fine; Centro MundoLengua maintains strict control to ensure that your home runs like the other Centro MundoLengua homes. If you find there are too many students in your home and you feel uncomfortable, communicate this immediately to our program coordinator.  We will deal with the issue directly with the family.

You should aim to have the majority of your meals with your family:  it’s the best way to sample authentic Spanish food and – more importantly – to integrate yourself into family life.  And the more you integrate yourself into the family, the more you will find your family investing time and energy in your development as a Spanish speaker and international citizen.
That said, in Spain, you have reasonably-priced restaurants, outdoor fruit markets, etc.  As you make new friends, you’ll want to try some meals out on the town.  This is perfectly fine and normal.  So if you’re not going to be eating with your family on a particular afternoon or evening, you should call well ahead of time to let your family know – the night before if at all possible.

You will have laundry service once per week.  This includes washing one load of clothes per week, including your bedding.

Normally, your family will give you a set of keys so you can come and go freely.  It is extremely important to not lose your house keys.  If you lose the house keys and the family decides it is necessary to change the locks, you are responsible for all costs involved.  And changing locks in Spain can be expensive.  Please take care with your belongings to avoid unnecessary problems later.

Your family will provide you with towels and sheets, and, in accordance with the laundry service they offer, they’ll wash them once per week.   If you use washcloths, you might want to bring some, because Spaniards’ linens typically do not include washcloths.  You should also bring a beach towel.

It is a good idea to bring some small gift to your family.  They’ll enjoy receiving all kinds of souvenirs of your hometown or region (calendars, photos, cards, etc.).

 

Absolutely.  If you are travelling with a friend and want to be in the same family, please include a note indicating that on your registration form.  Have your friend do the same.

Communication

Phone usage is extremely expensive in Spain, so you’re not permitted to make phone calls from your Spanish home (unless granted permission, or in the case of an emergency).  The exception is if you have a prepaid phone card with access number (see below), but even in that case, we recommend that you make all calls from the public phone booths on the street.

You’re allowed to receive phone calls at your Spanish home, but please be aware that you are living in a family and it is considered rude to occupy the phone for long periods of time.

There are three main phone card options.

  1. If you already have an unblocked mobile phone, you may consider simply buying a local SIM card upon arrival.
  2. Bring an international phone card with you.  It should have a toll free access number suitable for Spain.  Please note:  1-800 numbers DO NOT WORK when dialed from Spain, or anywhere in Europe for that matter.  So make sure your card has a Spain-appropriate toll free access number.
  3. Buy a pre-paid international phone card once you arrive in Spain (very easy).  They are available at local tobacco shops (which also sell postage stamps, by the way).  It is possible to use this card for both local and international calls.

In the overwhelming majority of cases, no.  Our families tend to be middle class families with the basic comforts of life.  However, it might be the case that your Spanish “brother” or “sister” has a computer and you are able to check email, etc. from your home. They may even have Wi-Fi at home, but do not count on this.

Yes.  Depending on your Centro MundoLengua program and the time of the year, you may have access to the Spanish school’s computer lab.  In any event, there are always numerous Internet cafes around town, and students are able to check email, send messages, etc. for a very economical price. There are also many cafes and plazas that offer free Wi-Fi.

Food

People in Spain not only eat different foods, they also eat at different times.

  • Breakfast: served around 8:00 AM – is generally toast with accompaniments (olive oil, butter, jam, etc.), juice, and coffee or tea.
  • Lunch: served at around 2:00 PM.  It’s the largest meal of the day, typically starting with a salad, or a soup (may be hot, as in vegetable soup, or cold – as in Andalusia’s famed gazpacho:  cold tomato soup).  Next comes the main dish (fish, chicken, stew with meat and potatoes, etc.), and finally, dessert.
  • Dinner: served late –  around 9:00 PM –  and tends to be lighter version of lunch.

All meals are accompanied by water (which is completely safe to drink from the tap) or another beverage if requested.
Spain offers excellent fresh fruit, vegetables, fish, bread, cheeses, and nuts.  Most families will do their food shopping daily to restock on fresh goods.
Maintaining an open mind and trying new foods will only add to your overall experience.

You should make this known to Centro MundoLengua by including a special note on your registration form.  We will communicate your special needs to your host family ahead of time so they can make the necessary arrangements.  We have handled all types of special dietary cases, so this is absolutely not a problem!  Still, it is a good idea to remind your family on the first day of the foods you eat/don’t eat.  You will not be hurting their feelings – in fact, families will be glad to have this information.

Money

The currency used in Spain is the euro (€). You can check the current exchange rate with your local currency on the Internet. It is advisable to have about 50-100 euros in cash upon arrival because you may not have immediate access to an exchange office or bank.  Any local bank back home can order foreign currency for you with a few days advance notice.  Larger metropolitan areas can provide foreign currency without delay.

For your incidental expenses while in Spain
Your budget for incidental expenses will depend on your personal tastes/extravagance. Some students spend excessive amounts on clothes and gifts for friends, whereas others limit their expenditures to more basic items like ice cream, movies, snacks, etc. Given that you have all of your meals included with your homestay, the only real additional expense related to the program would be your transport within the city, or going out at night. As a general rule, you might want to have 100-200 euros of spending money for each week that you plan to be in Spain.

ATMs are abundant in Spain.  This is by far the easiest and most convenient way of accessing your money from back home (you will receive money in euros and you’ll automatically get the up-to-the-day exchange rates).  VISA, CIRRUS, and PLUS are widely recognized in Spain, and it is also possible to find ATMs that accept MasterCard and American Express on a pretty consistent basis.  In order to withdraw cash, you must have a numeric PIN number.  Many students will set up special accounts at their local bank before leaving and place a specific amount of funds there for use in Spain.

Some students also carry travelers’ checks, but we don’t recommend it.  They’re inconvenient, because to cash in a travelers’ check, you have to go into a bank during bank business hours – and banks in Spain are typically only open Monday-Friday from 9am-2pm.  Also, banks will charge commissions to change travelers’ checks.  Therefore, we encourage you to rely on the use of an ATM card as mentioned above.

Health

Although no special health precautions are necessary for travel to Spain, or anywhere in Western Europe for that matter – students may want to update standard immunizations against typhoid, tetanus, diphtheria and polio.  Consult your family physician for further advice.

That said…
It might be a good idea to have a dental and physical check-up before leaving (although this is certainly not necessary).  If you wear glasses or contact lenses, take an extra pair along with your prescription.  If you know that you will require medication while travelling abroad, obtain a full supply before you leave.  You should carry up-to-date prescriptions and/or a statement from your doctor, especially if you will be carrying insulin, a syringe or any narcotic drug.  Be sure all medicines are clearly labeled to avoid potential problems going through customs.  Keep all vital medicines in your carry-on to ensure a constant supply if your luggage is lost or delayed.

Unless otherwise stated, all students have full health insurance covering all medical emergencies up to the specified limits of coverage that Centro MundoLengua maintains.  This includes hospital stays, doctors, medicines, transport, etc.  It is important to note that Centro MundoLengua’s health insurance does NOT cover the cost of ordinary prescription medicines (aspirin, cold remedies, etc.).  Over-the-counter medications are widely available in Spain at any pharmacy, often at reasonable prices.

If you become ill, it is extremely important that you contact the program coordinator at once.  We will decide on the best method of treatment, and – if a doctor is necessary – we will either accompany you to a doctor or have a doctor come and visit the house where you’re living.  Without exception, someone from Centro MundoLengua will accompany students on all medical visits.

Common Sense

But it´s not like that in my home country…”

Expect the unexpected.  Be prepared for life to be different.  That is, after all, one of the central elements of study abroad.  While it can be frustrating and enormously tiring not to be able to do things the way you are used to, it can also be infinitely rewarding to encounter new ways of viewing the world and discover your own ability to adapt.  The more you learn about why the Spaniards do things the way they do, the less frustration you will experience as you try to adjust and the more you will enjoy the experience.  Before you throw up your hands in frustration, observe, ask questions and try to understand.

Below are just a few things that you might find different while in Spain:

  • Friends and acquaintances generally greet one another with a kiss on each cheek.
  • The idea of personal space is closer in Spain, meaning that people might stand closer when they are talking to you, or in line behind you (normally pressed up against you!).
  • Foods are different and the hour at which people eat is very different.
  • The incidence of cigarette smoking is quite high in Spain (and in Europe in general). This is a cultural difference that you many not like (or accept), but you should be aware of this before your trip.
  • It is not common to find air conditioning in homes. People use fans in some cases, whereas in others they simply deal with the heat.
  • Apartment sizes are typically much smaller than what most students are accustomed to, and have entire families living happily together.
  • Events in general start much later and end when they end. People start their nights in Spain at the time when many others are already in bed.
  • Spaniards love animals, especially dogs.  People tend to be more lax when it comes to cleaning up after their dogs, meaning that you most likely will see the dog’s “business” on the streets.  Spaniards will tell you that it means good luck if you happen to step on some of this “business”.
  • The incidence of graffiti on buildings is high (and NO this has nothing to do with gangs).
  • People are on the streets very late into the night socializing.  Spaniards are very serious about nightlife and having a good time in general.  It is very common to see young children out playing soccer in the plazas until the wee hours of the morning while their parents chat away drinking with friends at the nearby café.
  • The noise factor in Spain can be high at times.  People are very vocal on the streets.  Also, some people travel around on motor scooters that can be gratingly loud.
  • The people have a very laid back attitude when it comes to many things.  Things that stress you out (events not starting on time, waiter taking a long time to come take your order in a café, etc.) may be of little concern to a Spaniard.
  • Spain is still a “macho” society at heart.  This means that if you are a girl, you should expect to hear Spanish boys, construction workers, etc., yelling compliments to you as you pass by.  Sometimes they will even follow you on the street in an attempt to get your attention. They are completely harmless. The best thing to do is keep walking and pay no attention.

In Spain, you are not going to have any problems with violent crime.  The people of the cities – young children included – live a great part of their lives on the streets socializing and are out at all hours of the night.  Violent crime is practically non-existent.  On the other hand, you may experience petty crimes.  These crimes tend to include the following:

  1. You are having an ice cream with friends and you set your back pack down at your side.  While you are laughing away in conversation, someone manages to walk out unnoticed – with your backpack.
  2. Someone distracts you in a pleasant manner – perhaps stopping you to talk for a moment – while their partner in crime is busy reaching into your backpack to extract your camera.
  3. You are walking down the street totally absorbed in your thoughts and not paying attention to holding your purse or bag securely. You hear the sound of a motor scooter start up and before you can react, two young men speed past and grab your bag from you.

Here are some pieces of advice to avoid being the victim of one of these crimes:

  1. Try to blend in as much as possible.  Foreigners are favorite targets of pickpockets.  The less conspicuous you are, the less attractive they will find you.
  2. Stay alert! Be aware of your surroundings while you are walking aimlessly through the streets.
  3. Do not make a habit of carrying extra credit cards and extra money with you.   The same holds true for your driver’s license, passport, etc.  All you really need when out and about is your school student ID card.  Leave all other cards at your Spanish home where they will be safe.
  4. It is probably better to leave expensive and attention-grabbing jewellery at home.
  5. It is a good idea to carry valuables inside your clothes. Particularly when you are in a crowd, purse and camera straps are easily cut.  Likewise, backpacks can be slit and emptied without you even noticing, and fanny packs can be emptied while you are being distracted by accomplices.
  6. Do not leave your bags unattended.  When you are seated at an outdoor café, it’s a good idea to keep purses, bags, etc. in between your feet in front of you (NOT at your side).
  7. Be on guard if a group of people acts strangely around you. Thieves often work together and try to confuse or distract their target.  Don’t be fooled by appearances.
  8. Do not walk around alone at night.  It is a good idea to always go out at night in groups and return home in groups (or take a taxi, which is cheap).

We are confident that you are not going to have any problems with crime in Spain if you stay alert and use good common sense.  We will go over all these issues in our orientation session at the beginning of the program.

There are a variety of academic and personal concerns that can surface and need attention while you are living and studying overseas.  Whatever the magnitude and nature of your problem, it is important that you contact the program coordinator or program director immediately – and first.

Calling your parents first may seem like a good idea, but talking to Centro MundoLengua first may help you to see another half of the picture, or to not see the picture so darkly.  For example, maybe something that you perceive as a problem has only been a misunderstanding. Or maybe it is a problem, but we can easily and quickly solve for you.

So get the rest of the picture from us first, because calling your parents before you’ve got the whole picture will only worry them – they will be frustrated because they can’t help you personally, and remember, if you haven’t spoken to us first, you may only be providing your parents with half a story (the dark half!).

 

General

It is never too early to start planning your study abroad experience. Beginning your research with the help of your home university’s study abroad office is a good place to start. Centro MundoLengua also recommends that you meet with your home university academic advisor as early as possible to determine which courses might be better to take during your study abroad experience. Some students take courses related to their major while others choose to fulfill general requirements instead.

Centro MundoLengua has been working with study abroad students since 2005. We have selected academically challenging host institutions for our students that have been thoroughly vetted by us. Centro MundoLengua is also dedicated to providing high quality educational excursions, cultural and social internships, and housing that responds to your needs. We also serve as a source of support for students throughout their program abroad (24 hour help and private tutoring).

Pre-departure

For summer programs, no. For semester programs, you will need one. You need to start the process as early as possible, even months in advance. Once accepted into the program, you need to contact your nearest embassy for a student visa application. Students can find more information on the websitehttp://travel.state.gov. for American students . For other nationalities, please consult with us.

The beginning date for each program (as listed on the MundoLengua website and acceptance documents) is the day that students need to arrive in Spain. If students are flying from the U.S. to Spain, they will need to depart one day prior to the program start date in order to arrive on the program start date.

Expect the unexpected.  Be prepared for life to be different. That is, after all, one of the central elements of study abroad.  While it can be frustrating and enormously tiring not to be able to do things the way you are used to, it can also be infinitely rewarding to encounter new ways of viewing the world and discover your own ability to adapt.  The more you learn about why the Spaniards do things the way they do, the less frustration you will experience as you try to adjust and the more you will enjoy the experience.

At the student’s request, Centro MundoLengua will provide a copy of the alumni contact list so that they can speak with previous students about their experiences abroad. Students can also contact their study abroad offices to see if they may know of former Centro MundoLengua students whom they can contact on their home campus.

Application

Students have the possibility of applying to the Centro MundoLengua program by submitting an online application through the Centro MundoLengua website or contacting us at our email address yayebaena@centromundolengua.com

Students applying for a Centro MundoLengua study abroad program apply through Centro MundoLengua. However, when the host institution has a formal agreement with Centro MundoLengua, students apply through the host university/college.

The majority of students apply to Centro MundoLengua one semester in advance of the program. For summer students, the application process also starts months in advance.

No, for most programs, you do not have to be currently enrolled in school to be considered for acceptance in the Centro MundoLengua program. We will ask that you send your most current transcript from your previous university/college, as well as a letter of recommendation from one of your previous professors.

 

Centro MundoLengua programs attract students from all majors as most programs allow students to choose from a variety of subjects. Additionally, working with your home university advisor will allow you to select a program and courses that best suit your major requirements.

Please see the dates, fees, and deadlines page for detailed information on each specific program.

Yes, Centro MundoLengua does accept late applicants as long as space is available. However, you may have to pay an extra fee.

Program

Students must be in good academic standing at their home university. There are GPA restrictions for certain programs, so please consult with us in advance.

The program cost includes:

  • Pre-departure services: advising, orientation materials, and support.
  • On-site services: airport reception, resident directors and staff, on-site orientation, housing (including meals and laundry), social and cultural internships, tuition, tutoring, medical and life insurance (optional), excursions (overnight, day and international in some locations), social and cultural activities, welcome and farewell group meals.

Many course syllabi are listed online but if you need the syllabus of a particular course, please contact us at: yayebaena@centromundolengua.com.

 

While the majority of classes are taught in Spanish, there are also programs that are taught in English. Most programs offer Spanish classes at various levels of proficiency, from beginning to advanced. Students will take a placement exam either upon arrival to determine the appropriate course level, or before.

In summer programs, books are included in the cost. In semester programs, they are not included. However, courses at Spanish universities typically do not require the heavy expensive textbooks that you might be accustomed to at American universities.

Classes are taught by the faculty of the host institution who are typically from the region.

Information regarding the exact dates of school holidays will be made available in the final packet dispensed to students during orientation.

Transcripts and Credits

Centro MundoLengua cannot determine how a student’s home university will transfer courses taken abroad and it is the student’s home university who will ultimately decide the level, transferability, and application of credits for each student’s degree plans.

Because of this, it is important for each student to meet with a study abroad advisor or academic advisor regarding the courses they wish to take and how they will be transferred back. Centro MundoLengua will be happy to supply any course descriptions and information necessary to help with this process.

Transcripts from Spanish universities are generally issued 8-10 weeks after the completion of a study abroad program. Transcripts for summer programs are issued earlier-sometimes immediately after the end of the program, or a week later at the most.

Payment

Some of Centro MundoLengua’s partner universities do assume the full program fee on the student’s behalf. If your university does not have an agreement with Centro MundoLengua, you will have to pay us directly.

Payment can be done online by credit card through our website (please note that there is a 2% fee). We also accept Paypal, personal checks made out to Centro MundoLengua, and bank transfer. Once accepted, you will need to send a deposit, with the rest due 6 weeks prior the start date of the program.

We do offer some scholarships for our summer programs. For semester programs, there is no aid offered.

Centro MundoLengua accepts all forms of federal financial aid offered through your home institution. More specifically, Centro MundoLengua is willing to accept any monies currently paying for your education (e.g. student loans). It is best to check with your local financial aid and study abroad offices for further details on which types of aid can transfer and which cannot.

Yes, Centro MundoLengua does offer payment plans that allow students to defer payments beyond the stated payment deadlines (applicable to semester students only). Keep in mind that students using financial aid toward the program cost will already be given extended deadlines based on the disbursement date(s) of their funds. Centro MundoLengua will not extend payment deadlines beyond the program start date unless we have confirmation of a disbursement date that is after the program begins. Please contact us for details.

Packing

You will need casual clothing and more formal attire. In Spain, people tend to dress up when going out at night. Pack comfortable shoes too because Spaniards do a lot of walking and you will too! However, try to pack lightly because airlines always have weight restrictions.

We recommend students to bring their laptops. Bringing your own laptop will also make things easier when typing paper work for classes.

You can buy appliances at a reasonable price at stores such as Media Markt. In order to operate American appliances abroad, you will need both a plug adapter and a voltage converter, because Spain’s electrical system is 220v, versus the 110v used in the US. You can purchase a standard converter, or buy an appliance with a converter built in, but they do not always work. It’s often easier to buy cheap appliances once here.

Family Homestays

Please see the part on families for an explanation of this extensive process.

Students might find this strange, but just about everyone lives in apartments. Space is at a premium. They are clean, comfortable, middle class apartments, providing the usual comforts of life. Students normally are sharing a bedroom with another student in the program, along with sharing a bathroom with other family members.

We try to place students in homes where there are members of a similar age, but it’s not always possible. Although we do have families with a mom/dad/children, many families also consist of a middle aged woman who might be married, separated, or have lost her loved one. She might have children living at home (as most Spanish sons/daughters live at home until getting married), or children living in the same city, but outside of the home. Given the closeness of Spanish families, even if you are not living with siblings, you will most likely meet the entire family as they drop by for meals, to talk, etc.

Some families do and some don’t. Those that do are likely to have small dogs or birds. If you’re allergic to any pets, let us know on your registration form.

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As with all things, we try our best to fulfil the wishes of students to be placed in non-smoking homes, but it’s not something we can guarantee. In families where somebody smokes, usually this person will try to respect the fact that you view smoking differently, and will adjust their behaviour accordingly, whether by smoking less in the home, smoking outside on a balcony, or only smoking in designated areas of the home.  If a family member’s smoking bothers you, make your complaint known to our housing coordinator.  We will contact the family to discuss the issue and look for an equitable solution.

In most families, you will be sharing a room with another student from the program.  If the room is large enough, three students may be sharing the same room, though the norm is two students per room. Almost certainly, you will also have to share a bathroom, not only with the other students living in the home, but also with some family members.  Due to both space restrictions and the ever-increasing cost of living in Spain, homes are often modest-sized apartments with limited space.  You should remember that you are now part of the family and thus you should be mindful of the amount of time you spend in the bathroom, length of showers, etc. Welcome to another aspect of living in a Spanish family!

You should aim to have the majority of your meals with your family: it’s the best way to sample authentic Spanish food and – more importantly – to integrate yourself into family life.

That said, your university timetable may not allow you to eat all the meals with your family. The cities have reasonably-priced restaurants, outdoor fruit markets, etc.  As you make new friends, you’ll want to try some meals out on the town. This is perfectly fine and normal. So if you’re not going to be eating with your family on a particular afternoon or evening, you should call well ahead of time to let your family know – the night before, if at all possible.

 

Three meals are included: breakfast, lunch and dinner (unless otherwise stated).

Breakfast is usually at 7:30 or 8:00 depending on your class schedule. The major meal of the day in Spain is lunch which starts at approximately 2:00 – 2:30 p.m. Dinner time is traditionally at 9:00 – 10:00 p.m.

Your host family will do your laundry once a week.

Yes, most likely.  And that’s a good thing, since the purpose of the program is total immersion in the Spanish language and culture. The family may have children that know some English from school, but your expectation should be that families speak little or no English.

Normally, your family will give you a set of keys so you can come and go freely.  It is extremely important to not lose your house keys.  If you lose the house keys and the family decides it is necessary to change the locks, you are responsible for all costs involved.

Your family will provide you with towels and sheets. If you use washcloths, you might want to bring some, because Spaniards’ linens typically do not include washcloths. You may also like to bring a beach towel.

It is a good idea to bring some small gift to your family. They’ll enjoy receiving all kinds of souvenirs of your hometown or region (calendars, photos, cards, etc.).

Absolutely. If you are travelling with a friend and want to be in the same family, please include a note indicating that on your application form.  Have your friend do the same.

In some programs, we offer both student residences and shared apartments. Centro MundoLengua will work with you to find the best fit for your needs, taking into consideration the distance/transport available to campus. Each program is different, so consult us for the options.

Food

  • Breakfast: served around 8:00 AM – is generally toast with accompaniments (olive oil, butter, jam, etc.), juice, and coffee or tea.
  • Lunch: served at around 2:00 PM.  It’s the largest meal of the day, typically starting with a salad, or a soup (may be hot, as in vegetable soup, or cold – as in Andalusia’s famed gazpacho: cold tomato soup). Next comes the main dish (fish, chicken, stew with meat and potatoes, etc.), and finally, dessert.
  • Dinner: served late – around 9:00 PM. Tends to be lighter version of lunch.

 

We only ask that you communicate this to us in advance. We have all types of students with special allergies/issues (nut, lactose, gluten, diabetes, vegetarian, Crohn’s disease, etc.).

Communication

You’re normally not permitted to make phone calls from your Spanish home (unless granted permission, or in the case of an emergency). However, it is possible for parents to call the host family’s home at any time.

Yes, for our semester programs, we do. Students will receive a basic phone, with some credit. They will have their own Spanish number. Parents can call these phones at any time, as it does not cost money to receive calls. As an additional service, Centro MundoLengua has provided phones through Piccell Wireless during the past years. These are mobile phones (unblocked international phones and yours to keep) delivered to your home before departure, with a working Spanish mobile number. Upon arrival in Spain, you simply need to turn the phone on. More information can be found at: www.piccellwireless.com/mundolengua

Yes, in the overwhelming majority of cases.

Yes. There is Wi-Fi at the university and there are many cafes/restaurants/ cybercafés where it is possible to connect via a wireless signal for free, or for a very economical price. As such, many students decide to bring laptop computers to stay connected.

Money

This depends on each student. Some have extravagant tastes, while others spend hardly anything at all. Students have almost everything included with the program, so extra money is really only necessary for travel, souvenirs, gifts, going out with friends, etc. Of all things, travel will be the biggest part of any incidental expenses.

Traveler’s checks are still an option, but increasingly students are finding them less convenient to use as a primary means of accessing their money.  Traveler’s checks must be exchanged at American Express offices, banks, or currency exchange offices – all of which have limited hours and charge a high commission for their services.  If students decide to bring traveler’s checks, Centro MundoLengua recommends that students use them only as a backup plan in case of problems with credit or ATM cards, not as the primary source of funds.

We recommend that you bring about 100 euros in cash to start. This will provide immediate access to funds, in case of any emergencies. Beyond that, we recommend that students bring a credit card (Visa is widely accepted) with numeric pin. This will allow them to take money out of the ATMs (everywhere in the city), and to obtain the best possible exchange rates.

Health and Safety

Typically, most students travel with the international insurance plan provided by their host university. However, if you wish to have an additional health insurance while in Spain, please ask for further information.

If you become ill, it is extremely important that you contact Centro MundoLengua at once.  We will decide on the best method of treatment, and, if a doctor is necessary, we will either accompany you to a doctor or have a doctor come and visit the house where you’re living.  Without exception, someone from Centro MundoLengua will accompany students on all medical visits.

Students currently on medication should notify their doctor as soon as possible that they will be traveling to a different country, as the particular medication may not be available in Spain. In this case, students must either arrange to secure enough medicine for the entire semester/summer prior to departure, or look into alternate medications that are available here. Some students will need to be seen by a doctor in Spain in order to get a prescription for a different medication. Shipping medications to a different country can be difficult, and such packages are often held by customs officials.

You are not going to have any problems with violent crime in the cities where we organize our programs.  People of these cities – young children included – live a great part of their lives on the streets socializing, and are out at all hours of the night.  Violent crime is practically non-existent.  On the other hand, you may experience petty crimes. We are confident that you are not going to have any problems with crime if you stay alert and use good common sense.

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