A student having a picnic with her Spanish host family
An intensive Spanish course in Spain is an ideal way to learn the language. Travelling to Spain envelops you in a unique experience of language immersion and culture. You will hear it everywhere and you are forced to continually practice. Sometimes you end up dreaming in Spanish and at that time, you really will be improving!
If, in addition to a Spanish course, you have decided to follow an immersion program with accommodation in Spanish host family, this effect is doubled: you will practice in class, during school activities, at home with the Spanish family, on the street, … A full immersion in Spanish!
To make your stay in a Spanish family even better, we give you four important keys to know about Spanish families. Of course, not all families are equal or follow the same traditions, each family is unique. Still, we can share with common general features:
1. THE SPANISH TIMES
Before coming to Spain you have to know that the times here are not like your country. The afternoon does not start at 12:00, but rather after lunch, around 16:00 or 17:00.
In the morning, between classes you have to bring a “snack” to school (“almuerzo” in Spanish) because you surely will not eat before 14:00h at the home of your host family. After eating, in some houses, silence will reign if the siesta is common for them. The nap is not as common in Spain as one tends to think, even so, do not be surprised if in your house the family members sleep a while after eating to recharge, especially in summer, since this hour is when it is the hottest.
Then, around 17:00 activity begins again. If you are studying in TLCdénia, you can participate in the activities plan of the school or enjoy the beautiful city of Denia on your own. At this time, the Spanish take another small ‘snack’: merienda. If they are away from home, often they leave for a coffee, a small snack, but dinner does not take place until 21:00 or 22:00. The fact that you have dinner late can be very surprising, but we advise you to wait a bit and eat with your hosts. It is a perfect place to chat with them about your day.
If you like going out at night, keep in mind that in Spain people do not leave until 23:00 -00:00 and most clubs do not get busy until 2:00 am.
Our advice: do not get impatient because everything is done later to what you’re used and enjoy this new experience!
2. FAMILY MEALS
In Spain the time of the family meal is very important, maybe in your country as well. Spanish families usually eat together (wherever possible) because it is a time to talk and have fun while enjoying a good meal.