Home Away From Home

Studying and living in a foreign country is exciting, but it can also sometimes be a little intimidating or overwhelming.  Having the right home abroad is an amazing way to help alleviate those feelings.  For me, living with a host family was the perfect housing choice, but for some students, residencias are the right choice.  It’s just a matter of finding the right fit for you.

My host family has been great, especially in making us feel like we are a part of the family.  Our host mom always tells us that we are her niñas. In our first few weeks in Salamanca, our host family took us to a pool just outside the city for an afternoon. They have also had friends over who are just as friendly and welcoming. I even got to go to a little picnic with my host family to their friends’ house! It was fun, and the food was great!

Every meal is full of jokes and laughter, just like at home! Sometimes it can be a little difficult to communicate everything we want to, but our host family is very patient and willing to help us when we have a little trouble.  It helps when everybody has a little patience during some of the more frustrating language struggles; I know I have to be patient when my host family can’t get my name right no matter how many times I say it, especially because it’s just easier to laugh it off than it is to get frustrated and upset when I know how hard they are trying.

The little things that our host parents do are what make us feel like we really are a family.  Most nights before bed, or in the early evening before dinner, our host mom will give us hot chocolate and watch television with us.  Also, everyday when we get home from school, we find that my host mom has found a new sitting position for my roommate’s stuffed monkey, just to make us laugh a little.

There will always be days when you miss home or your own family, but having such a warm and welcoming home and family while helps a lot! It’s a little strange knowing I won’t be home for such a long time, but I am so lucky and grateful to have such an amazing and loving home away from home.


Photo courtesy of Galya Martin

Rynne O’Connor is a student at St. Michael’s College and an official API Student Blogger. Rynne is studying abroad with API in Salamanca, Spain.

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