We have designed this page to provide answers to FAQs that arise during the 2018-19 academic year in MADRID! This section provides quick answers for questions on program resources, academics, logistics, safety and much more.
If you don’t see your question answered in the FAQs section below, feel free to ask using the “Ask a Question” link below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Current Students FAQs
What’s the best way to protect myself from getting pickpocketed?
Pickpocketing can happen to anyone, but being sober at all times with your awareness and judgment intact is the best way to avoid getting taken advantage of on public transportation, the street or in clubs. The U.S. embassy reports that the misuse of alcohol is involved in over 90% of mishaps that afflict American students studying abroad. So if you can avoid getting drunk in public, you will have made a massive move in favor of your security.
We recommend that you do not travel in large groups of English speaking Americans, that you do not advertise your foreignness, but try instead to keep a low profile, try to blend in. Do not carry you wallet in your back pocket nor in a backpack that you wear on your back. Women should carry their purses cross-shouldered, and should keep one hand on top of the purse at all times. Do not be distracted while taking public transportation; stay alert; don't linger by the door of the subway train. Do not walk alone on the streets of downtown Madrid in the wee hours of the morning. Use the buddy system!
Are program excursions mandatory?
They are highly recommended and universally loved by students, but no, they are not mandatory. We understand that students may schedule other types of activities or travel for themselves, or that they may have visitors, so we keep the excursions optional. We do ask that you let us know before the deadline if you are not going to attend. Students who sign up for excursions and then decide not to attend at the last minute will have to pay the costs associated with the late cancellation (programmed meals, hotel room, etc).
Should I carry my passport with me at all times while in Spain?
No! We recommend that you make a copy of your passport after arriving in Spain, and that you carry only the copy. Leave your U.S. driver's license, unnecessary credit cards, passport and other important documents in your room, and carry only what is necessary (transportation pass, program debit card, copy of your passport, ATM card from home if necessary). The less you carry with you, the less there is to lose. During orientation we will discuss special circumstances where it may be advisable to carry your physical passport.
How does the peer tutor program work and how do I get a tutor?
The best way to get a peer tutor is to ask your professor to recommend one to you. You should also observe your classmates to see which of them attends regularly, takes good notes, pays attention, etc. If you see someone who seems to fit that bill, you are free to approach them and ask if they would like to tutor you.
The program will pay your tutor 7€ an hour, up to three hours a week, to tutor you. Tutors typically share their classnotes with you, read your papers for you, explain difficult concepts, answer questions, help you with your Spanish, etc. Students who get tutors invariably do better in their university classes, and they often find a friend in their tutor. If you have trouble identifying a suitable tutor, please inform Guille Cámara and he will assist you.