SLU-Madrid students are not required to live anywhere specific. You can choose your own accommodation. We encourage you to consider all your different housing options before making a final decision.
El Faro (student residence) has provided an extraordinary residential experience for our first-year students as well as extraordinary care and services to our students in isolation or quarantine due to COVID. However, any student residence in Spain will prefer one-year contracts versus semester contracts.
Your residence is more than just a place to sleep—it can provide community. Living, learning and growing with students studying at SLU-Madrid will enrich your education in ways that cannot be matched.
Study Abroad students interested in living in a dorm-like set-up may consider Colegio Mayor El Faro, a student residence close to our campus that we work with. Spanish dorms house students from different universities and are not exclusive to one in particular.
There are many benefits to living in a Spanish dorm like El Faro, such as full room and board, furniture, bed linens and towels, laundry room, gym, common areas, 24-hour security, closeness to campus and the international experience. Contracts are usually for one full academic year, but they make semester exceptions depending on availability. For more information regarding this option or to apply for this housing option, please visit the El Faro website.
Saint Louis University students who would like to live in a family environment and wish to experience the Spanish culture and language may consider SLU-Madrid's host family experience.
These families have years of experience working with American and international students. They'll help you to get settled in and learn your way around Madrid, as well as help you with your Spanish-language skills.
Benefits and services included in the host-family experience:
- Immersion in Spain’s language and culture.
- Bed linen/towel service, cleaning, internet and all utilities.
- Laundry services: Laundry is done on a reduced basis, two loads of laundry per student per week.
- Single or double rooms.
- Half-board or kitchen privileges options.
Families host one, two or three students and are located within a 20- to 40-minute subway commute from the University or within a 15- to 20-minute walk. No matter where your host family lives, you will find that Madrid is a relatively compact city and that public transportation is safe, fast, inexpensive and efficient.
Host-Family Meal Options
- Room and Half Board (media pensión)
Room and half board means that your host family provides you with breakfast and dinner. This plan does not include lunch nor does it permit the use of the kitchen. This housing option provides flexibility to the student during the school day and on weekends.
In Spain, a typical breakfast may be coffee or juice and toast. Spanish families eat lunch and dinner much later than in many other countries. Dinner is lighter and is normally served around 9 p.m. You will arrange a time for dinner with your family once you are here.
If you have any specific dietary requirements, this request must be accompanied by a doctor's note. As soon as you receive your host family's contact information, you must contact them directly to let them know about you. Your signed housing agreement serves as your informed consent to release information to the prospective host-family.
- Kitchen Privileges (derecho a cocina)
Placements with host-families who offer kitchen privileges are limited. We strongly recommend this option to students with specific dietary needs prescribed by a doctor. The host-family does not provide any meals nor any food to the students. You purchase your own food, use the host family's kitchen facilities, cook all your meals, and clean up after yourself. You will still have the convenience of having a native Spaniard close by who can help you settle in and learn the ropes.
Spaces at host families are limited. Read the payment information and apply early via the online housing application. SLU-Madrid cannot guarantee a student's specific homestay, location, roommate preferences or that they will be hosted with more than one of their friends with the same host family.
Once spaces are full, students will be notified that the option is full and they will be refunded the housing application fee.
Once a student has applied and has taken occupancy with a host family, the student can request a change to another host family but must remain within the host family system. There will be no refunds if the student decides to leave the host family system.
Application and Payment Information for Host-Family Housing
The first step is to submit your online housing application. Once your application is processed, which can take up to a few weeks, the housing coordinator will contact you to give you access to the SLU-Madrid host-family database. You will be able to search using the following filters: location, the meal plan they offer, smoking, pets, and whether they accommodate students with dietary restrictions. You will be instructed to indicate three preferred families.
For fall students, the assignment process will begin in April. For spring students, the process will begin in October.
Host-Family Norms and Agreement
Host families welcome international students into their Spanish homes. The rules that apply to host-family assignments reflect this philosophy.
Madrid is a large city with many neighborhoods well connected through the city’s outstanding public transportation network. If you wish to live within walking distance from the SLU-Madrid campus, however, the neighborhoods closest to campus are Ciudad Universitaria, Chamberí and Moncloa.
Nexo Residencias has several other co-ed residences for students. Single and double rooms are available. To find out more, visit their webpage and select "Madrid" under the option "Choose city."
Other Student Residences: Privately run dormitories for university students to lease for a semester or an academic year are available throughout Madrid. Most are not owned or even affiliated with specific universities.
Host Families Not Arranged by the University: SLU-Madrid has neither contracts nor agreements with the following companies. However, SLU-Madrid students have shared that these providers offered them good services. Some of these companies offer other housing options, such as shared apartments, as well as host families.
Colegios Mayores are private dormitories whose residents are native Spaniards studying at universities in Madrid. Single-semester housing is not an option. The application and admission process is carried out directly and solely with the colegio mayor, as they are private businesses. The application period for a colegio mayor is from early April to late May for the following academic year.
Apartments: For those who wish to find an apartment independently, students report they have had good experiences with the following services: Madrid Easy, Spotahome, Aluni.net, Bluestripe and Study Abroad Apartments.