I can’t believe I’m already half-way through the year. I’ve talked about my extracurricular activities, school, the holidays,... However, the most important part of my exchange year is my host family. My host family is absolutely amazing. I have 2 host parents and a 12 year old host host sister. They live in a really gorgeous house in Hillsboro, Oregon. They also have a dog, 3 cats and 6 chickens.
Everyone always asks me whether it’s awkward living with strangers. In the beginning it was a little awkward because we were complete strangers. I had to live and stay in some random people’s house and they brought a complete stranger into their house. We got used to it after a week. You pretty much have to, since you’re going to be in the same household for 10 months.
I know many people had problems with their host families. They just weren’t the right fit and eventually had to switch their families. I was really lucky that CIEE found me a host family that was a perfect match for me. My host sister and I couldn’t be more similar. We like doing the same things, we’re both really studious and we have extremely similar personalities. Some people even say that we look alike and that we could be actual siblings. We bonded really well and I’m really happy that I have her. We’re always laughing together and because of her, my exchange year is going really well. I have a sister at home, with whom I'm extremely close. She really is my best friend and soulmate. I miss her a lot, but having a host sister that I’m close with really helps and it really makes me feel like I’m at home.
My host family wants me to see as much as possible while I’m here. They’ve already brought me to so many places and trips. We’ve gone hiking, camping, skiing and swimming together. I've been to 2 concerts and a football and baseball with them. They also brought me all around Oregon, Arizona, we’ve been to Seattle together and for spring break we’re going on a big road trip around California.
I can’t thank them enough for what they’ve done for me and for all the places that they’ve shown me. I’m really enjoying my year and having the time of my life. My host family is the biggest factor that affects that and I’m so grateful that I have them and that they chose to host me this year.