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Staying with our host families in Palma

This is the document we give students who have chosen family accommodation:

Arrival

  • If your arrival is delayed or brought forward, you should phone the school emergency phone or directly to the family to let them know of the change.
  • Your host family will explain how to get to the school from where they live.

Keys

  • You will be given a set of keys on arrival so you can come and go when you like. Never leave the address on the key tab or near the keys to avoid unwelcome visitors in case of loss or theft. If the keys are lost or stolen, the family can charge you the cost of the new set of keys.

Your room

  • Your room is for your exclusive use (unless you have asked to share). It should be well lit (by natural or artificial lighting) and furnished with a bed, a wardrobe, a bedside table with a lamp and a table or desk. If it is not possible to have a table or desk inside the bedroom the host family must offer a suitable part of the house as the student's place of study.
  • Your room is private. The student has a right to intimacy. The family must knock at all times.
  • Your bed sheets and the towels will be changed each week. Some families may change the towels more frequently. The family does not supply beach towels and you should not use the house towels to go to the beach.
  • Please keep your room tidy to make the daily cleaning easier. Once a week the room will be thoroughly cleaned.
  • Not all housing in Spain has central heating. If you feel cold, please tell the family. Your room should not be below 20 degrees centigrade.

Washing and ironing

  • The host family will wash a washing machine load at least once a week for you. Alternatively, you will be shown how to use the washing machine so you can do the washing yourself (some families may offer to do the washing more often).
  • If you have chosen an executive host family, the host family will also do the ironing. If the housing is standard you may ask to use the iron.

Bathroom facilities

  • You are allowed a daily hot shower and should inform the family at what time you plan to take it. Spain suffers from a serious water shortage so the shower should last no longer than 10 to 15 minutes.
  • If you are booked in a standard family and therefore share the bathroom with the other members of the family, be quick to finish. Fifteen minutes should be enough to wash, shave, etc.
  • If you have chosen an executive host family you will also have the exclusive use of a private bathroom.

Meals and cooking

  • Breakfast is continental style: coffee or tea, fruit juice, milk, toast with butter and marmalade or jam or cheese, yoghurt or fruit. If you have special dietary needs, please inform the family as soon as possible.
  • If you asked for half board (which is room, breakfast & dinner), the dinner will consist of a starter (vegetables, soup, salad, rice, pasta), a main dish (chicken, meat, fish or eggs) and a dessert (yoghurt, fruit, caramel custard, etc). If you are not going to be home for dinner, (having booked half board), or will arrive later than usual, the family will appreciate being told beforehand. If you decide to miss a meal you will not be compensated nor reimbursed.
  • Dinner is served at about 21.00. If that is too late for you try to arrange an earlier dinnertime with the family.
  • Part of the idea of staying with a host family is to eat in their company. However, you must try to adapt to the family`s normal eating timetables.
  • At the weekends you may sleep until as late as you wish but the family has no obligation to serve you breakfast at 13.00! Come to an agreement with them about this.
  • If you have asked for a special diet (vegetarian, etc.), and you are not receiving it, please notify the school so they can check the booking and then speak to the family.
  • Half board consists of breakfast and dinner, never lunch.
  • If you buy food and wish to leave it in the fridge, the family will leave some space for you. Always check with the family before putting the food in the fridge. You are not allowed to cook in host family houses.

Phone calls

  • Making a phone call in Spain is very expensive! Don't use the host family's phone. If you wish to make a reverse charge call, ask permission and the family will dial the number. For incoming calls, be brief. If the family has Internet access the connection tends to block the telephone line. Each family has the right to make their own rules about the use of the phone.

Others

  • Take care of the decoration, furniture and utilities in the house.
  • Please turn off the lights whenever possible.
  • You cannot bring friends home without permission, and they cannot stay for meals or sleep over.
  • You will be treated as part of the family, being able to talk, ask questions and be helped with any queries about learning Spanish. Living in a family will show you local social and cultural customs and habits. Some may seem strange. Ask about them and try to adapt.
  • Your bed sheets and the towels will be changed each week. Some families may change the towels more frequently. The family does not supply beach towels and you should not use the house towels to go to the beach.
  • Please keep your room tidy to make the daily cleaning easier. Once a week the room will be thoroughly cleaned.
  • Not all housing in Spain has central heating. If you feel cold, please tell the family. Your room should not be below 20 degrees centigrade.

NOTE If you should have any problems with your host family, please contact the staff in the Spanish Department; we will try to solve them as quickly as possible.

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