Every semester when the housing coordinator and I have to decide which family each student will be matched up with, a lot of questions come up. We always try to adapt to what the students say they expect and hope for in their “Housing Questionnaire”, but we don’t always have a perfect math and it’s hard to know if it’ll be a good match. We do the best we know how to and the best we can.
This Summer 2011 (session 1) is going fairly well and we think that, in general, the students feel like they’re in their own home. Some are already getting sad about having to leave. There are funny experiences, intercultural differences, diversity in terms of decorations, a variety of new foods, …but a lot of laughs, above all, a lot of laughs.
As an example, here’s what this student has tos ay:
- Chelsea Prehn (University of Wisonsin-Madison).
“I LOVE living with my family!!! My host father knows I have a sweet tooth and every night, when no one is in the kitchen, he gives me more dessert and eats it with me!! J Hee hee hee. My host mother is very nice and when we watch the news, she always has a lot to say about the news reporters clothing styles. HAHA. I love it! My host sister is very nice, too, and when I get home very late, she asks me if I was actually studying or if I was out with my friends. J Sometimes she’s right! I love my orange room and the food is good. Living with my family is like a dream…I always feel like I’m 8 years old again and I’m with my American family, before growing up. I love my Spanish host family! Thank you SO MUCH for choosing them to be my family this summer. Seriously.”
If there are any problems adjusting with the new situation, I talk to both parties to see how we can fix it. Sometimes it’s just that there are misunderstandings or the host mother thinks that you want to be more independent, so she doesn’t talk to you too much, but you want the family to be with you without having to ask for it…Everything has a solution. One example:
- Laura Brodziski (University of Wisconsin-Madison).
“Since the day that Cristina called Nuria, my host mom, things have been better. I think that her work schedule has changed and she seems to be at home more. The food is really good and my bedroom is big. She sits with me when I eat and I watch TV with her and Elena, my host sister. Thank you for calling her!
- David Houle (University of New Hampshire)
Question: Are you thinking about staying in Spain forever yet? ;) It must be tempting! Sounds like you're having an awesome time.
I am! It’s becoming such a fantastic experience; I love it here!
My first weekend was great! After Madrid on Friday, I went to a rap concert with my 2 hermanos (brothers) and some of their friends. They are all so nice and open! I only felt weird for a little while, but soon enough I was having a great time.
My host parents: Maria y Manuel. They are really nice! They speak no English…just really really fast Spanish. I have lunches and dinners with them and talk for quite awhile! Speaking “real” Spanish with people who were raised with it is really difficult for me right now.