Homestay Payment Options

If you are placed in a homestay during your semester at NYU Madrid, you will pay your monthly rent in euros either to your homestay family. No credit cards, personal checks, or American Express traveler’s checks will be accepted. This means you will not receive housing charges on your spring 2017 e-bill.  You will have two options for providing payment.

As in the past, you can pay in euros by withdrawing money from an ATM. To do this you will need to either have your bank increase the daily withdrawal limit or go to the ATM several times over several days. This is a very common practice for students studying in Spain, as is requesting a receipt to confirm payment.

The newer option is to have money wired directly to you via Western Union by your family or friends. If they prefer this  method, please encourage them to review the following instructions:

  1. Go to Western Union. Log in, or, if you’re a first-time user, register.
  2. From your profile page, select Send Money. Under “Sending Money To” choose “Spain” from the drop-menu.
  3. Enter the amount you wish to send. It will be automatically converted to Euros using Western Union’s exchange rate. On 11/17/16, the Western Union estimated exchange rate had 1 US dollar (USD) = 0.87 Euro (EUR).
  4. Choose how you prefer your student to receive the money. If you select cash at agent location, your student will be able to pick-up the funds at any post office in Madrid, as there are no official Western Union agent locations in the city. If you choose to send money directly to your student’s bank account, it will take 2-6 business days for them to access funds but the associated fees are lower.
  5. Next, choose your preferred payment option, i.e. debit/credit card, bank account, or WU Pay.  The fees associated with these methods vary. If you pay with a debit/credit card, the money will be available to the receiver within minutes. The fees associated with using WU Pay or a bank account are significantly lower, but it will take 3-4 business days before your student can access funds.
  6. Finally, submit your payment. Remember to get the exact spelling of your student’s name as it appears on their passport. If the names don’t match, they will not be able to pick up their money. You may also need their local phone number, address, city, and province.

Keep in mind that your host family can accompany you to the post office, where you will pick up your money by showing your passport and the MTCN (tracking number), which can be found on the sender’s receipt. This way you can hand over your rent directly to the host family and not worry about carrying around large amounts of cash. Upon payment, be certain to request a receipt.

If you have questions about transferring money with Western Union, feel free to call their toll-free line at 877-989-3268 or see their online FAQ.