Answers for Parents
Frequently Asked Questions about the Knox Program in Barcelona
Q. How do I contact my child while he or she is abroad?
A. Your child can receive calls at his or her host family's home. Most students also purchase cell phones and can receive calls this way as well. Please keep in mind the time difference: Barcelona is seven hours ahead of Chicago, which is in the Central Standard Time Zone.
Many families make previous arrangements to call on a certain day and time each month. Students also have easy access to e-mail. If for any reason you are having trouble getting in touch with your child, you can contact the Resident Director at
home: 011 34 93 417 6826
office: 011 34 93 403 5589 (Direct dial from U.S.)
Q. If I want to send something to my child via "snail mail," how should I address it?
A. Your child's name
c/o Resident Director, Knox in Barcelona
Calle Elisa 21, Ento, 1ª
Q. What kinds of expenses can I expect my child to have?
A. Remember that all housing, meals, and program-sponsored events are included. We also give students a $200 cash allowance for travel during the December holiday break and spring break. Moreover, students receive 50 percent reimbursement of the student rate ticket price for cultural activities like Spanish movies, plays, or concerts.
However, students will need to spend their own money on daily transportation to and from the university. (Ten rides cost about seven dollars.) Students often take advantage of the three-day weekends to travel, and would need their own money for that as well. Since fewer books are required for courses, and books are less expensive here than in the U.S., this will be a minimal expense for your student.
Finally, keep in mind that Barcelona has a very social culture, meaning students will spend more time “out and about” having coffees, going to movies, or out for an occasional meal than they might in the U.S., and will therefore need a bit more “fun money” than usual. (For example, a coffee or soda costs about $1.50.)
Q. My child seems homesick. What should I do?
A. Please try not to be alarmed -- keep in mind that it is common for students to feel overwhelmed after they first arrive and to call home feeling a bit distressed. During these first few days, students are struggling to adjust to their new surroundings and trying to communicate in another language and culture. They also haven’t yet had time to build a relationship with their host family.
Listen and sympathize, then encourage your child to stay positive. Suggest that he or she talk with the Resident Director who can offer suggestions and support for coping with the stresses of beginning an immersion experience.
Q. Can I join the December trip through Spain?
A. Yes -- we encourage parents to join us on this trip! We visit the south of Spain and Madrid during two weeks. Cost is approximately $1,000 per person and includes four-star hotels; dinner and breakfast; entrance to museums, cathedrals, and other attractions; and tour guides. For more information, contact the Resident Director. (Contact information listed above.)