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How my Host Family Became Legit Family

May 7, 2019

Ciao, belli! Come stai? Bene? Si, tutti bene. Sorry, I had my Italian final today and everything is still so fresh! I do hope that everyone is well. Now, I want to tell everyone why homestays are the way to go. I’ve had the best time at my homestay. Just because you are going abroad doesn’t mean you should be without a home. Granted, I know no one would be actually homeless on a study abroad program, but I believe homestays have so much to offer!  It’s almost irrefusable to do a homestay when wanting to fully immerse yourself in the culture of the host country. As for me, I’ve loved every minute of my homestay experience and would recommend it 10/10 times. Here is why…

I love my host family. They have been nothing but welcoming and caring. Since January, I have added four more people to my family. There is Susanna, a.k.a. the lovable but high-strung mom. Marco is the stoic but caring dad. He is a master of both cinematography and the kitchen. Then there is Arianna, the energetic and enthusiastic sister. Finally, William is the charismatic and soon-to-be-graduated brother. Believe me when I say it will be hard to leave these wonderful people. Each of them has helped me and taught me in some way along this unhinged journey we call study abroad. So long story short, I recommend the homestay because of the people!

Homestays offer the unique ability to dive head first into the culture. I got to partake in the Italian way of life; I learned how to do things their way. I got to do as the Romans do! Depending on where one goes, the people will be different, yet the saying still stands. I remember learning how Italians eat dinner. Spoiler alert, it’s with their mouths. In all seriousness, the way Italians do dinner is very much through courses. The first course is pasta and bread. The second is meat and/or cheese. Next comes salad or veggies. Last, dessert to top off the great meal. All of this is washed down with a glass of red wine. Yum!

Another reason, I loved my homestay was the actual eating dinner, not just learning about it. I can honestly say that I enjoyed every meal except for one. (Strawberry Risotto.) And I’m sure it was good, it just wasn’t my cup of tea. I was so surprised to like so much of the food. Marco is an exceptional cook. Suo cibo! Mama Mia! Sorry. (Not sorry.) Dinner tends to last an hour and fifteen. It has gone on for two plus hours before, but no one was complaining because it was delightful. That is what I came for. The human interaction, the laughs, the sharing life, all of those things made me enjoy and understand Italy on a deeper level.

The more I dive into what it means to be human, the more I see divinity at work. Thank you to my host family for being everything that I could have ever hoped for and more. Thank you to IES Abroad for this blessing.

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