Though living with a host family can be difficult at first, it can also be extremely rewarding. It forces you to speak the language and interact with people directly from the culture. It also gives you a wonderful sense of home—a place you can always turn to.
At first, it was difficult to adjust, having spent the past year and a half in a dorm. I was used to my dorm room, my roommate, and our giant stockpile of fruit snacks and cheese sticks. When I got to Spain, there were no wooden loft beds, no empty fruit snack wrappers tossed on the floor and … no Grace. All those treasured things were replaced with new furniture, new appliances, and a new set of people.
However, it’s quite funny how quickly something foreign can transform into a home. The smell of the apartment is now welcoming and familiar. I know all the spots on my floor that squeak. I can navigate around the kitchen and the apartment without making too much noise if it’s late at night. In simpler terms, I’ve become comfortable.
Every time I leave for the weekend or week, my host dad always jokes about how much I’ll miss my comfortable bed while I’m gone. “Ohhhh! Mi cama! Necesito mi cama!” Although it’s just a joke, he isn’t wrong. I miss the familiar feel of the pillows and sheets, and the knowledge that I’m in a familiar and safe place. After all, it’s always nice to have a place to ‘come home’ to. Living with a host family has definitely been a rewarding experience, and hopefully you’ll feel the same after reading about my experience over the next couple days.