Posted By: Rachel Arp
Date: April 30th, 2018
Living with a host family has been the best choice I’ve made in terms of study abroad. Not only is it a great way to practice your language skills, you also get exposed to Spanish culture and everyday life. In my host family, there are two teenage daughters. They both help me to learn the pop culture of Spain, from TV shows like Operación Triunfo (go Amaia!) to the music they listen to. I also am constantly learning new slang words from them. I have even gotten compliments on how my Spanish seems more fluent because of the vocabulary that I use.
Another perk of living with a host family is that they always have very practical wisdom to share with you. My host mom has helped me countless times when planning trips by telling me the best companies to fly with, the easiest way to get to Madrid, and many other things. They genuinely treat me like I was one of their own daughters. A few weeks ago, my friends and I had to take the 1am bus to Barcelona for one of our trips. My host dad told me the safest way to walk there, and recommended that I didn´t take the shortcut that I usually do. They will also check in on me on trips to make sure that I´m doing all right, and to remind me that I can ask them for help if I need anything.
I think my favorite thing about living with a host family is how much they start to feel like your real family. I’ve spent many evenings playing games with my host sisters and laughing around the dinner table with my host family. They take me with them wherever they go, from the mall and the grocery store to their grandparents’ house for a visit. There was even a couple of days that I was sick, and my host mom took care of me just like my real mom would. She made me soup, and gave me juice and crackers to eat until I started feeling better. These are the experiences that I would have completely missed out on if I had lived with roommates instead. Most of my friends wish that they would’ve lived with a host family instead of roommates, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is considering it. Not only do you get a different perspective of the Spanish culture, you also end up becoming part of a real family.