The students in my program had to book their own flights (I highly recommend you do this as soon as possible). I traveled with Iberia airlines and paid around $1,100 round trip. To make traveling easier, I got with a small group of students and we booked the same flight.
The biggest advantage to going on a faculty led trip was that travel arrangements were set up by our professor ahead of time. However, since each student booked their own flight, when I arrived at 11:00 a.m. after a eight hour flight, I had to wait until 5:00 p.m. when the last student arrived in order to leave the airport. To pass the time, a group of us decided to explore Madrid. The easiest and cheapest way to travel is the underground subway station.
We decided to eat at a restaurant and I quickly learned that I am not a big fan of Spanish cuisine.
With the program I was in, we stayed with a host family so when I arrived in Salamanca, I separated from the group and went to my new home.
There were four adults who lived in the apartment I stayed in and compared to the size of homes in the United States, it was much smaller. However, everyone in the group I went with stayed in an apartment because houses were only for the very wealthy. The only advice I can give to students who are thinking about staying with a host family is that no two families are alike. My host family was very accommodating but weren’t very social; they didn’t expect me to do much with them besides eat meals and let them know when I was leaving. They gave me my own house key and encouraged me to go out and explore. I was the first and only student that had hosted. Other students that I went with had very different experiences. Some lived with several other students, some from the U.S. and others from other European countries. Others had host families that took them to the market and or on tours of the town. You never know what you’re going to get.