Cultural Experience | Spain

Home Stays Rule:10 Reasons Why

10 reasons to pick a home stay, the bonds you make are unbreakable!

1. Laundry & Clean Up

They’re there for you, not only for emotional support, but to do your chores…my Spanish mom had her own maid so our rooms were cleaned, laundry done and dinner started every Monday. Without chores to do you can focus on your travels more…judging by this photo, we focused on travel a lot.



2. If You Click, You’ll Stay in Touch

Like having the best foreign pen pal ever, my Spanish mom writes to me occasionally, and likes all my profile pictures on Facebook, commenting how guapo  I look, cool comments, cool connections!



3. Dinner on the Table

My Spanish mom always had dinner prepared for my roommate and I. She caught on to what we liked and wanted more of and what we never wanted served again. She was a great cook, dinner was a great opportunity to try traditional Spanish food and converse with her about her life, sometimes she would even show us old photos of herself.


4. Security

Chances are the home stay you’d be set up will have way better security than an apartment building arranged for you. Ours had a 24 hour doorman and heavy duty locks, when you’re unaware of your surroundings, it’s nice to know everything you brought is safe.

5. Language

When I was in Spain my Spanish mom worked on my Spanish with me constantly, because she spoke so little English I was constantly learning new vocabulary. She would also help me with my Spanish homework and studying for my exams.


6. Things to Remember

We made sure to bring our Spanish mom a few gifts over the course of our time in Madrid because of her amazing hospitality. In exchange she took my room mate and I to her husband’s clothing store where we got to choose two pieces of clothing we wanted for free! She also gave us a little Spanish speaking teddy bear that exclaims, “te amo mucho!” when it’s stomach is pressed. These small gifts are powerful when remembering your time spent in a foreign country.



7. Your Families Can Bond

Some of my favorite memories from abroad are when my family and my roommate’s family visited us. They to our apartment and met our Spanish mom. We then had dinner and drinks with her. Having your family understand and see exactly who you’ve been living with and where your living will make for invaluable connections to that part of your life when you’re back home.



8. Live Like a Local

Living with someone who actually is a local will make you feel & act like a local yourself, getting an experience you wouldn’t otherwise!


(Did I mention she was the best?)


9. You & Your Roommate

You & your roommate will both miss your home stay and will continue to talk about the things that your spanish family/mom did when you were abroad. My roommate and I constantly talk about how much we miss our mom!



10. You’ll Miss Them

I wouldn’t trade my home stay experience for anything, and I miss my Spanish mom and our dynamic so much. Having a family while you’re off on your own makes coping with change so much easier. I know that years from now I can still message my Spanish mom to catch up, or if I’m fortunate enough to re-visit Spain that I could drop by and visit my second mom. The bonds you’re able to make with your home stay family are second only to the ties of real familia.

Paige Gennusa

Franklin & Marshall College | 8 stories

I'm Paige, I'm a Senior Philosophy Major at Franklin & Marshall College, I dance and choreograph for the F&M Dance Company and I'm the PanHellenic Delegate of Chi Omega Sorority. I studied abroad in Madrid, Spain this passed Fall & loved every second of it. I took classes pertaining to Spanish culture through the Syracuse program, joined a Spanish dance studio and traveled around Europe on the weekends.This summer I'm working as an intern for Tahari ASL in New York City.

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