Bonjour à tous! My last day in France has come with many emotions, one of which is gratitude. Before I landed in France, I was extremely nervous to meet my host family. I have heard numerous stories, good and bad, about host families and all that can happen with them. Of course, I was nervous we were not going to get along, and I was just going to have to deal with a family for four months in a country I do not know. However, I really think I hit the jackpot.
In the beginning, there is always a period of awkwardness where you try to feel out the situation while simultaneously navigating the new city and school abroad. I made plenty of mistakes within my first week or two (or three) not realizing that even in France, different families conduct their daily lives different from the rest.
After learning the ins and outs of your family, you become more comfortable with each other. However, I cannot stress this enough, you MUST put your best foot forward! Meet them halfway! Realize that your host family wants to be there for you, and when you start showing them you are there to build a healthy, profitable relationship together, everything becomes more enjoyable. My host family took me to little villages and castles nearby some weekends, even if we didn’t have a lot to say. We created experiences together. I will always remember their kindness and all their help with all of my big and small questions.
That being said, I highly recommend living with a host family wherever you may travel. Their knowledge will do wonders if you are trying to learn their language. It will always be a little nerve-wracking, but it can turn out to be a wonderful experience and another family in another part of the world.