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Bachelor's and Master's Programs

Housing in Barcelona and Madrid

A Note on COVID-19: Due to the current circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that students maintain flexibility and an open mind when it comes to housing placements. This is particularly important for students who select a homestay as their housing option due to a reduced number of families who can host students at this time. IAU will consider student preferences in housing placements but cannot guarantee that all stated preferences can be met.

Students in Spain have the option to be housed in either shared homestays, shared apartments (Barcelona only), or shared residence halls.  Students who select the homestay option will live with Spanish families (who may also house other international students), which includes daily breakfast and dinner.  Students in shared apartments will be responsible for thier own meals and may share an apartment with other international students.  Students in shared residence halls will have the option to enroll in a meal plan or will have access to a kitchenette.  Students are housed throughout the city and students should expect to commute up to 40 minutes to campus.  Students may request roommates on the housing application form and IAU will do its best to accommodate such requests.  Note that air conditioning is not common, so it should be an expectation that this will not be available in accommodations in Spain. 

IAU’s hosts come from a cross section of society. They represent a diverse definition of ‘family,’ from young families with children to older retirees. Some work busy schedules while others may spend most of their days at home. Some of our hosts have several rooms that they rent out to students, and some have just one room.  Hosts are selected for their interest in sharing a cultural exchange with students, and IAU alumni consistently remark on the growth and insight offered by the homestay experience. Students must be flexible and accepting within their Spanish household, and will in all likelihood find the attitude rewarded. 

Under certain circumstances, an additional fee for apartments applies.

All program participants are required to live in IAU-arranged housing.

PLEASE NOTE: Homestay schedules are aligned with the IAU academic calendar.  Students should be aware that they will need to vacate their homestay during the December/January holiday period and at the conclusion of the Spring term in May.  If a student is enrolled in a summer session, they will need to vacate the homestay at the conclusion of that session in mid-July.   


“My host family was amazing. They treated me like I was truly a part of their family. The meals my host mom made were delicious, and my host siblings always included me in their plans with their friends. I still keep in contact with them. I really couldn't have asked for anything better.”

-Summer Student, West Chester University