By Jen Bundy
One of the biggest concerns I had when coming abroad was living with a new host family! I speak almost no Spanish and can be a very picky eater. That aside, moving in to a new country in an unfamiliar home can be a little daunting.
However, I want to reassure every prospective abroad student. Living with my host family has been one of the best parts about studying in Madrid. From the minute I stepped off the bus, my host mother, Maria Jose, and host father, Pedro, have been absolutely amazing. Even though at first communication was difficult, hand signals and patience went a long way. After taking Spanish classes all semester, I can now contribute to the dinner conversation!
Maria Jose and Pedro act as my second parents. Maria Jose packs my roommate and I lunches before we go on a weekend trip and always offers us extra snacks. Her cooking is great too! As a notoriously narrow-minded eater, Maria Jose has expanded by food palate immensely! I’ve tried so many new foods and even when I do not like something, she offers an alternative.
The apartment I live in is ideal, as well. My roommate and I each get our own rooms (my roommate even has a chandelier!). Our laundry is taken care of and Maria Jose tidies our rooms once a week. Not having to worry about planning or budgeting breakfast or dinner is another huge plus! My roommate and I love coming back to our apartment and having a home cooked meal. I cannot imagine how horrible dinner would look with my cooking skills.
My apartment is really close to school and downtown Madrid. Going out and getting to school is a breeze. Maria and Pedro even showed us how to use the 24 hour buses which is great for coming back late at night.
I love my host parents and simply couldn’t picture my semester in Madrid without them.