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Home Is Where the Dulce de Leche is Free

By some lucky fate I was matched with the host family that perfectly fits all of my needs and my personality type (and no I am not just talking about the endless supply of dulce de leche that pops up in my fridge). Between the odd trinkets that fill every nook and cranny of the house, and the random, yet lively dinner conversations, I think I actually have been matched with the Argentine version of my family. I am lucky to have a homey atmosphere here because, while no one wants to admit it, sometimes when you are studying abroad you just want the comforts of your own home. This is why I think that living in a homestay is a great opportunity for students studying abroad.
 The courtyard leading to my apartment is full of lush, green plants- a rare site in the city.

Many of my goals for studying abroad are related to getting to know the culture and language on an in-depth level. My host parents, Sara and Roberto, regale my roommate and me with cute anecdotes of their everyday lives and share their opinions on everything from the state of Argentina’s economy to the recent Ebola epidemic. It feels just like a family dinner back home, with the dad cracking jokes at his wife’s expense, and the mom constantly pushing more and more food onto my plate, all the while talking about school, work, and our plans for the weekend. Every single night I learn more and more vocabulary, but more importantly I feel more connected to the culture here because I am, more or less, living like a true Argentine.
 This is actually my roommate's room in our homestay (she has a more picturesque room than I do).

Another aspect of living in a homestay that I enjoy is the independence. I have my own room and bathroom (however this is not true for every student). I am able to come and go as I please as long as I am in communication with my host mother if I am not going to be at dinner (and with my host mom’s cooking I never want to miss a meal). This sense of freedom allows me to explore the city as I please, but I always know that I have my host parents to give me advice on everything from the public transportation system to the best parks to run off all the dulce de leche. I feel comfortable asking them any question, even if it does take 20 minutes and a lot of hand motions to figure out a solution to my problem.
 I am obsessed with these old fashioned
keys that we have for our apartment.

I am already looking forward to sending my host family postcards from my home and I have shamelessly thought about trips back to Buenos Aires in order to visit them. I know that come December I will be very sad to leave my newfound home here. If you at all interested in staying with a family, adapting to a new culture, and enjoying copious amounts of delicious Argentine food I would definitely recommend staying with a host family while studying abroad.

Maggie Luehrs is the Fall 2014 CEA MOJO in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She is currently a junior at Colorado State University. 



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