Students are placed with homestay families in the neighborhoods of El Palo and Pedregalejo. The homestay experience is an enriching one. Many students are understandably apprehensive at first, but find that their homestay experience is a key factor in their cultural immersion and language learning.
Students are placed in a single room in apartments or houses with Spanish families. They are provided with all meals, laundry, and WIFI.
Your relationship with your host family will depend entirely on your level of communication with them. Families don’t expect you to be fully “on” with them 24-hours/7 days, but will accept any implication level that you desire, as long as you are open and honest. Some students find that they appreciate spending more time with their host family and will have a high level of engagement with them. Other, more introverted students may need more time to themselves. All are accepted by our host families.
Many of our homestay families have been working with Dickinson College students for more than 15 years. They are familiar with our program and with American culture. Additionally, families receive an orientation every semester to foster intercultural exchange.
Here are some testimonials by students who have stayed in our homestays:
“I loved how my host family treated me like if I was a part of their family. I would get invited to go over to my Host mom’s daughter’s house when ever I wanted to visit them. I always played board games when the grandkids would visit. At the beginning of the semester they had a huge lunch for my birthday. I watched typical Spanish tv shows with my host mom and it was the best thing ever. My host brother would invite me to watch the soccer game with him and his friends. My host mom truly cares about the student. She always asks how my family is, if I need anything, she checks up on my academics and corrects my spanish, even as a native speaker. She even gives me books to read. She always encourages me to go out and explore Malaga instead of being home the whole weekend. I really cant think of anything that I would change because it honestly feels like a family. Yes, I would recommend my host family to other students.”
– Spring 2018
“I love being able to live here this semester! The family is very sweet and makes me feel comfortable. The food has been great and i love getting to try a bunch of different Spanish cuisines!! I love the views from the house, even though sometimes I feel far from CIE, supermarkets, restaurants. If I had to change anything it would be doing laundry a little more frequently.”
– Spring 2018
“In my host house, I have my own room. While there is a second bedroom on the second floor for international students, there weren’t that many who stayed with us and of they did it was for very short periods of time. I like that I had fixed eating times so I always knew when I was eating, but at the same time my host mom is very flexible so if I was running late she’d push it back as far as I needed. I also like that my host mom felt it was important to be with me while I ate, she didn’t like me sitting alone at the table so she would watch t.v while I ate or she would eat with me and talk. My host mom also made sure to ask me how my day was going and try and keep up with my daily life, it made me feel like part of the family. There isn’t really anything I would change about my host family.”
– Spring 2018
“[Host mom] is everything I wanted in a host mom. She absolutely enhanced my experience here in Malaga and helped further my Spanish, my knowledge for the culture and cared for me as if I was her own. Every meal she cooks not only includes exceptional foods, but also includes great conversation and she is open to any questions you may have about the country, its culture, ect. I would not change a thing. I was a little apprehensive before arriving about staying with a host family but I felt right at ease immediately and it felt like home. Plenty of my friends complained occasionally about their host mom, but I never have and never will. It was more than I could have asked for and my experience I had here in Malaga would not have been as great if I had not had [host mom] as my host mom. “
– Fall 2018