Living with a Host Family in Santiago Chile
Living with a host family has been a really fundamental part of my experience studying abroad. And I can’t say it’s all been sunshine and roses, but it’s definitely been the part of my experience where I’ve learned the most. It’s really hard to adjust to living with a family who has different routines, different foods, and who speaks a different language than you. But after accepting that each day will come with new challenges, it’s became one of the most rewarding experiences to build a relationship with Chileans who were strangers to me 4 months ago. It’s allowed me to feel like I have a home base in Chile to go home to, where I feel safe. And it’s given me a built-in support network of people who are there for me.
Also, my host family has allowed me to really dive into the Chilean culture and appreciate all of its aspects. They’ve taught me a crazy amount of chilenismos (Chilean slang words), introduced me to Chilean food and music, and given me recommendations on where to travel in Chile. My first night in Chile was spent eating “completos”, a hot dog decked out with all of the Chilean favorites: palta (avocado), mayo, tomatoes, and various condiments. And more recently, my family introduced me to sopapillas, which could be described as fried squash tortillas, but I promise they’re way better than they sound! Plus you can find them on almost every corner downtown for maximum $0.50 each! I owe my host family a big thank you for the Chilean cultural experience I’ve gained during my study abroad experience.