My favorite part of studying abroad here in Chile has been living with a host family. I live with my host mom, Paty, who is so kind and understanding. She’s hosted international students for years now so she’s been great at making me feel welcomed in this new culture and answering any questions I have. At the beginning of the semester, she taught me how to use the public buses to get around the city and gave me tips on places to visit and how to stay safe in the city. I was able to meet and spend time with Paty’s family and they welcomed me into the family as well.
When I first arrived, I had a hard time adjusting to being so dependent on someone else again. At university in the US, I live in an apartment with friends so it was different having someone cook all of my meals, do my laundry, and not let me wash the dishes after we eat. Sounds terrible, right? Well, it was hard to not be my usually very independent self, but not having to be an adult for four months gave me much more time to explore the city, meet new friends, and practice my Spanish in real-life situations. Living with a host family ensures that I get exposure to Spanish language every day and I get the chance to immerse myself in the Chilean culture more and more each day. It was also nice having home-cooked meals each day.
I will be forever grateful to Paty and her family for giving me such a great experience in Chile. I am grateful for the time I got to spend with them and hope to be able to go back and visit mi familia chilena soon.