Living with a host family during your Spanish course
Living with a host family during your Spanish course
Living with a local guest family during your Spanish course in Peru is an amazing experience and an important component of most study abroad programs. AMAUTA Spanish School also offers this home stay experience in Cusco and in Buenos Aires. AMAUTA works with a great group of experienced guest families in both Peru and Argentina, carefully selected and monitored by our staff. We are happy to say that 98% of our students found that the host family experience was great; they mention it was a valuable complement to their Spanish studies.
However, living abroad in a new country with a new culture – especially when you do not speak the Spanish language – can also be daunting and it requires a good deal of flexibility from both you and your host. We think the following list of TIPS will be helpful for you when you plan on living with a host family during your Spanish Course in Cusco . Check it out and let us know!
Top #13 Tips for Living with a Host Family
- Talk. (in Spanish). Most host families will enjoy talking to you and do not care at all if your Spanish is not perfect. On the contrary, they will most likely appreciate your efforts and are always willing to help.
- Share. Tell something about yourself, your country and your family back home. For most family members this cultural exchange is important and they enjoy listening to you.
- Listen. Don’t only talk about yourself; be interested in your host family and their stories as well. The host family will be happy to tell you about their country, their culture, their fiestas and so no. And you will greatly benefit. Not only do the host families provide “free” Spanish conversation classes, but remember: where else would you get such a deep insight into the country and the Spanish language than from native people in Peru and Argentina?
- Be Polite. Treat your host parents as if they were your real parents and treat them with respect and be polite; in the Latin Culture and in Peru, being polite is much appreciated.
- Give a present. It’s really nice if you give a small gift upon arrival, something typical from your country is always nice and much appreciated.
- Play. If there are children in your host family you have an excellent opportunity to improve your Spanish and learn new vocabulary! Children are often easier to understand than adults because they are learning Spanish as well and are not using too much slang and are speaking in a more clear and slow manner. Children often repeat the same words multiple times which gives you the opportunity to really grasp the terminology. Some fun activities could be simple cooking or baking, art projects, puzzles, playing board games, reading or playing outside!
- Get Involved. Go to the family gatherings, parties, celebrations or local music or cultural events with your host.
- Clean. Keep your room and the kitchen clean, don’t make a lot of garbage.
- Feel free to express how you are feeling or your needs. Being in a new culture can sometimes be lonely or challenging. Practicing feeling statements are so important when learning a new language. Communication is the key.
- Let your host family know when you’re going to stay with your new friends, or when you don’t come home to sleep/ for lunch or dinner. They will see you as a family member so they will appreciate a phone call.
- Try to stay quite and don’t listen to loud music after 22.00 o’clock or be noisy. Most host parents have a job and people in Cusco tend to go to bed early.
- Remember that staying in a host family is not the same as staying in a hostel or hotel. The family members don’t work for you, they share their house and intimacy with you.
- Don’t refuse to speak the Spanish language; don’t feel guilty when you don’t speak Spanish well or fluently (yet); don’t feel uncomfortable when you don’t understand them immediately. Our host families decided to open their doors to foreign students because they love to help students learn! You should be proud for putting yourself in a new situation!
More tips for living with a host family in Peru?
We hope those tips will help you to make the most out of your experience living with a local family.
If you have more suggestions and tips for future students, please post them below.
We believe that if you consider these do’s and dont’s and your own gut feeling, you will have a great time with your host family in Cusco and you will get a bigger network in Peru, learn loads about Peruvian culture and greatly improve your Spanish skills.
Student Residence Cusco
However, if you don’t think a homestay will work for you, don’t worry: AMAUTA offers different accommodation options. One of those options is our student residence where you can live with fellow students from all over the world and be free to explore the city.
The student residence is located in downtown Cusco and you will live here with approx. 15 other students. There is a common room and free WIFI. What is the best part of living at the Student Residence ? Probably the lovely meals made by our own chef!
If you’d like some advice on what’s the best accommodation option for you during your Spanish classes in Cusco, feel free to contact one of our course counselors. We are happy to help!