Experiences of living in a homestay


My host parents, Carmen and Mochi, the day we celebrated my host moms birthday.

When students hear the phrase “studying abroad,” everyone pictures something different and everyone goes abroad for their own reasons. 

Personally, I wanted to learn and gain insight on a new culture, learn a new language and know what it means to live as a local. I decided to attend Suffolk University in Madrid, Spain and rather than staying in the dorms, I chose a homestay. 

Living with a local family is a huge decision when in a different country. This means living under the roof of a Spaniard family in a Spanish speaking household. 

I have been here for around a month and a half and I can already call my host family my real family. My days consist of home cooked meals, developing great relationships with my homestay “parents” and “siblings” and speaking better Spanish. 

I am being taught more about the country and culture everyday compared to other students just because of my location. I am experiencing much more than a typical tourist. I am now experiencing Spain as a local. 

The level of comfort that is given by a homestay family is like no other. I have been sick while here and they have given me nothing but love and support. I have had help getting to the doctor’s, my homestay family brought food to my room and my host mother made me lemon water and tea with honey. 

I understand that living with strangers is a big step for many to overcome, but I promise you that it is worth that fear of going out of your comfort zone. 

Being in a completely new country is very scary. You are new to the language, the people and the atmosphere. Having a family who knows the area and who wants to give you nothing but love and support is a great thing to have when studying abroad.