The idea can sound quite daunting: living in a stranger’s home in a foreign country for four months? Not ideal. Well, actually it turned out to be much more than ideal. It turned out to be the highlight of my study abroad experience.
Living with a homestay has many practical learning advantages. Just to list a few:
- Deeper acclimation into your host culture
- Faster apprehension of the host language
- Experiencing local cooking techniques
- Knowledge of host culture family unit and home life
While I loved that aspect of a homestay, there is no substitute for having a home while you live abroad. From packing me hiking lunches to always leaving me an umbrella when it rained, Ana and Helena always made sure I had what I needed. And what I needed most wasn’t the material things, it was having someone to come home and talk to about your day, when things are difficult, or just when you want to talk. Ana and Helena did that for me and so much more; they genuinely cared about me and I for them. They opened their homes and also their hearts; my homestay has become like family and for everything they've done they are forever my heroes!
I wouldn’t trade my homestay for anything, and no one on my program would, either. We are dead positive we got the best madres espanolas there are!