June 16, 2016
A study abroad program is all about learning about the local, authentic, and real experiences of people that live where you are studying through being fully immersed in the culture itself. The best way to go about this full-immersion is staying with a host family for the duration of your study abroad experience.
IE3 Global, the organization that coordinates the study abroad program that I will be attending, spends a great deal of time matching American students with host families in Mexico. The families themselves are all trained and experienced. The host families may live in a large house with three generations all under the same roof, or may be two sisters living together who are retired.
Prior to departure to Querétaro, I had the opportunity to write a letter to my host family telling them about myself. I wrote a whole page in Spanish and had it proof read by my Spanish professor. I then wrote my final copy and included photos of myself, my family, and where I live.
After mailing off my host letter, a few weeks later I received a letter from my host mother telling me just a very little bit about herself and her husband. I later received an email with a bit more detail that explained that she and her husband have four grown kids, and three grandchildren that all live in Querétaro. Leticia, my host mother, likes to garden and her husband is very interested in history. They also have two perritos (doggies) that I am very excited to meet.
Knowing just this little bit about my host family is enough to send my imagination running with wonderings about what kinds of things my host mother grows in her garden, what stories about the history of Querétaro my host father will be able to share with me, and also, whether their dogs are big or small, young or old. With all of the possibilities, I am very excited to meet them in four short days and feel so blessed to be receiving their generous offer to host me during my five week stay in Mexico.