When you study abroad it is common to live with a host family. Study abroad programs accept applications from local families and carefully screen them before selecting the most qualified candidates. Oftentimes host families have accommodated students for many years; my friend is living with a host family that has been doing it for 20 years! Some host families will take one student at a time and other host families take six students at a time, it depends on their capacity and willingness to have students in their household.
The host family is tasked with providing basic accommodations and a comfortable living environment for students. This includes a room, three meals a day, a bathroom, a bed with sheets, etc. If you would like to learn more about staying with a host family in Oaxaca you can visit SOL Education’s homestay webpage here: host family in Oaxaca
Now that I have settled in with my host family I am beginning to realize how lucky I got. The family consists of a mother, father, daughter, grandmother, dog, and parrot. The mother and father both work from home as architects. I think this is one of the reasons why their home is so well put together. The daughter is two years older than me and studies Architecture and English at the University of Oaxaca. The grandma is constantly helping around the house and always offers assistance when I go to the kitchen for a glass of water. The parrot is vibrant with colors but the dog “Bruno” is the best. Bruno is my buddy and one of the nicest dogs I have ever met. When I was going to bed my first night in Oaxaca he was already trying to get into my room to hangout.
The father’s office is right outside my room and greets me every morning with a warm “Davis!”. The mother then begins peppering me with questions about what I want with my breakfast (which I love). Do you want salsa with your eggs? What kind of fruit do you want? Coffee or milk or water or juice?? It is really nice to start the day with such care and attention. When I return from classes we have lunch. Lunch is always productive because I kill two birds with one stone. I have a delicious filling meal and a conversation hour. I have heard that not all the families will continually try to speak Spanish with you, and I can’t blame them. It is difficult and tiring. However, my family does not fall into this category. The mother, daughter, and father relentlessly try to speak with me in Spanish. They know I am here to learn Spanish and are constantly trying to help me get better. Finally they treat me like a king at dinner. They always serve me first and don’t leave the table until I am finished. When you are abroad these kind gestures really mean a lot to you because it is important to know you are surrounded by people that care about you.
I already feel like I have a family here away from home. I even call the daughter my sister!
Davis M. Craig