Tyler's experience with his host family

Programs for this blog post

Business + Culture

Authored By:

CIEE Toulouse

My name is Tyler Rippole and I studied abroad this semester with CIEE in Toulouse, France. When I first registered for the program I was a bit nervous at the thought of living with a family that I did not know. The idea of sharing a house with people I had never met was something new for me. This week is my last week of my program here in Toulouse, and it brings me great sadness to be heading back home to the United States. I wanted to share my experiences with living with a host family for the semester, as it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. 

Student with his host family

When I first arrived in Toulouse, I spoke only three words of Frenchbonjour, merci, and au revoir. I found it quite difficult to communicate with people on a daily basis- ordering food, buying groceries, and even making friends with non-English speakers. From the moment I arrived in Toulouse my host family was a huge help in not only helping me progress in the French Language, but also what true French culture is really like. I quickly discovered that my host family treated me more like I was a part of their family, rather than just someone living in their house. I realized that I had a ton in common with them despite living on opposite sides of the world. We quickly developed a close relationship. 

Student with his host family

Over my time spent in France they have taught me a lot. My host family has been a second family to me, and I can not wait until I get to visit them again. I could not begin to thank them enough for the various weekend trips, the phenomenal family dinners, and regular family outings. My host brother Brieuc, treated me as I would treat my little brother- taking me rock climbing, introducing me to his friends, and more. The time I have spent living with them for the last four months has truly been a once in a lifetime experience. I could not have asked for a better host family. They are truly amazing people and I would strongly recommend any future students debating living with a host family to do so. I can not wait until my next rendezvous with them- whether it be in France or the United States.