Insights: news and views from the International Center

International Center

University of Missouri

Host family

by Kalynn B.

Getting dropped off with my host family was quite possibly one of the most stressful events of my college career. To say the least, I was somewhere between “what have I signed up for?” and “I might throw up.” So, you can also imagine the stress when I was originally told I was last for drop-off and then having my name called far from last for drop-off! What would I say? What would we talk about? Where was I supposed to sit? I knew nothing. And not to mention, all Spanish words were quickly retreating from my brain. I was lucky to remember how to say hello.

But to my surprise, it turned out to be one of my favorite experiences of the trip. Immersion and understanding a new language is a very interesting experience. Within days the words will become easier to pick apart, and everything won’t go in one ear and out of the other. And you begin to find the similarities between yourself and your host family.

I quickly understood the bond between student and host family. I ate dinner with my Mama Tica each night, and breakfast each morning. My Mama Tica took me to my first day of school and showed me how to get there and how to get home. She took me on walking tours and showed me how to cross the street in a country where pedestrians do NOT have the right of way. She made sure I was on time for school every morning, and made sure I was safe if I was out late. We talked about Pinterest and watched so many novelas and a lot of the news. And had I stayed any longer, it would have been quite hard to say goodbye.

Street view of homes and cars in a neighborhood in Costa Rica.

Street in my host family’s neighborhood.

About the blogger

Kalynn B. is studying abroad on the Spanish Language and Costa Rican Culture program in San José, Costa Rica.

Comments are closed.