Difficulties of Erasmus students in Spain: Problems and solutions

Erasmus students in Spain face various problems in finding accommodation. Supply shortages and rising rents are common obstacles, as are discrimination and scams in the search for housing.

The host universities are responsible for the management of accommodation, and Erasmus Spain works in coordination with them. In addition, similar difficulties have been reported in other European countries, such as Italy.

However, there are solutions and help available to affected students, provided both by the Ministry of Universities and by the sending and receiving universities themselves.

Accommodation problems for Erasmus students in Spain

The Erasmus student experience in Spain is affected by various issues related to finding accommodation. These difficulties are especially evident in two key areas:

Shortage of accommodation supply and rising rents

Erasmus students face a shortage of suitable accommodation for their needs. High demand and lack of availability contribute to a competitive real estate market and an increase in rental prices. This makes it difficult to find affordable and suitable housing, especially in big cities like Madrid and Barcelona.

Housing Discrimination and Scams

In addition to the shortage of supply, Erasmus students also face situations of discrimination and scams by landlords or real estate agencies.

Some students have reported being rejected as renters because of their student status or because they are foreigners. Others have fallen victim to scams in which they are offered non-existent housing or asked for fraudulent payments in advance.

These difficulties in finding accommodation can generate additional stress for Erasmus students, affecting their adaptation and experience in Spain.

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Responsibility of host universities in the management of accommodation

In the management of accommodation for Erasmus students in Spain, host universities play a fundamental role. Both Erasmus Spain and partner universities have specific responsibilities in this process.

Role of Erasmus Spain and partner universities

Erasmus Spain, in coordination with the sending and receiving universities, is responsible for providing the necessary information and resources so that students can find accommodation effectively.

This entity provides guidance on the best accommodation options in destination cities and provides online tools or platforms to assist in the search.

For their part, partner universities have the responsibility to provide direct support to Erasmus students in the search for accommodation before their arrival in Spain.

This involves offering detailed information on the accommodation options available, advising on the choice of the most suitable option according to the needs and preferences of students and establishing contacts with reliable real estate agents or suppliers.

Assistance in cases of fraud or discrimination

In case Erasmus students face situations of fraud or discrimination when looking for accommodation, the host universities have a responsibility to provide assistance and support.

This involves investigating and acting on potential scams or discrimination, offering temporary or emergency housing alternatives, and providing legal guidance or support in filing complaints, if necessary.

Likewise, Erasmus Spain works in coordination with the relevant institutions, such as the Ministry of Universities and the Spanish National Agency for the development of the Erasmus programme, to provide the necessary help to the affected students, promoting collaboration between the universities and the corresponding authorities.

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Similar difficulties in other European countries

Cases of Spanish students affected in Italy

Spanish Erasmus students have faced similar problems when looking for accommodation in Italy. A clear example of this is the case of approximately 70 students in Ferrara, Italy, who were left without accommodation and were forced to spend nights at the city’s train station.

These students claim to have been victims of scams and discrimination by Italians, who refused to rent them a place to live. Both because they were students and because they were Spaniards, they were denied access to housing by real estate companies. Some homes offered simply didn’t exist, and in other cases, they were promised the keys but never delivered.

Accommodation problems for Erasmus students in Spain

Not only in Italy have there been difficulties in housing Erasmus students, but also in Spain. Large cities such as Madrid and Barcelona have experienced similar situations, affecting both Erasmus students and European university students who arrive in these cities.

The Minister of Universities recognises the existence of these problems and holds host universities responsible for not paying sufficient attention to the details of accommodation.

The scarcity of accommodation supply and the increase in rents are also factors that make it difficult for Erasmus students to find housing in Spain. In this regard, it is important to highlight the joint work carried out by the Ministry of Universities and the Spanish National Agency for the development of the Erasmus programme, in order to provide the necessary help to students arriving in the country.

Solutions and Help Available for Affected Students

Coordination between the Ministry of Universities and the Spanish National Agency for the development of the Erasmus programme

Faced with difficulties in finding accommodation, the Ministry of Universities works closely with the Spanish National Agency for the development of the Erasmus programme. Its objective is to provide the necessary help to students coming to Spain.

Assistance provided by sending and receiving universities

In the case of accommodation problems, sending and receiving universities play a key role. Sending universities should contact partner universities in case of difficulties and coordinate solutions for affected students.

On the other hand, host universities have a responsibility to provide assistance to students in case of fraud or discrimination they may experience in the search for housing.

These educational institutions strive to ensure that Erasmus students have access to reliable and affordable accommodation options. They work to establish agreements with financial subsidies, collaborating with real estate companies to ensure that there is a sufficient supply of housing available for students.

In addition, universities can facilitate the creation of online groups or platforms where students can share information and experiences about accommodation, providing advice and recommendations on reliable landlords or agencies.

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Student Feedback and Shared Experiences

In this section, we collect the comments and testimonies of students affected by the problems of accommodation in the Erasmus program in Spain. We also explore the proposals for improvement and good practices that have emerged to address these challenges.

Complaints and testimonies about problematic situations

Students have shared unfortunate experiences in their search for accommodation during their participation in the Erasmus programme in Spain.

They have denounced cases of discrimination by landlords, who refuse to rent to foreign students, especially those participating in the Erasmus programme. They have also reported scam situations, where they were promised housing that later turned out to be non-existent or of low quality.

In addition, students have expressed frustration at the lack of support and guidance from host universities in resolving these issues.

Many feel that they are left alone to face these challenges and that institutions are not fulfilling their responsibility to provide safe and adequate accommodation during their stay in Spain.

Proposals for improvement and good practices in the search for accommodation

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  • Encourage collaboration between sending and host universities: It is proposed that sending universities maintain close communication with partner institutions in Spain to streamline the search for accommodation and solve problems more effectively. This includes establishing clear communication channels and facilitating the exchange of relevant information
  • Creation of resources and guides: Universities and the Erasmus programme can develop specific resources and guides for students looking for accommodation in Spain. These tools would provide information on how to avoid scams, home search tips, safe zone recommendations, and other useful details.
  • Increased supervision and control: It is suggested that the authorities responsible for the Erasmus programme and the host universities strengthen supervision and control over the housing offered to students. This can include regular inspections of accommodation conditions and penalties for those owners who fail to comply with the established regulations.
  • Implement welcome and support programs: The implementation of welcome and support programs is promoted by both host universities and local student associations. These programs would provide information, guidance, and personalized support to students in their process of finding accommodation, helping them avoid problems and adapt more easily to life in Spain.

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