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Reflections on a Host Family Experience

Nicolette and Isabel

Nicolette and her host mother, Isabel.

My homestay mother in Spain was ideal. She did our laundry as frequently as possible, was very patient and polite with us, and she cooked the best food! The meals were amazing, ranging from seasoned clams (almejas) to out of this world gazpacho. Normally, I am not a fan of tomatoes, but the sweetness of them in Spain was irresistible. Even if you know you do not like something, you should still try it because the food is so different from the United States! Everything she put on the dinner table I loved.

One of my favorite meals was breakfast. The first time I had breakfast with my host mom, I was confused at how someone could eat so little in the morning. But since the other meals were so large, it was all proportional throughout the day. My host mom would have this chocolate milk drink out for us called Cola-Cao, and a perfectly toasted piece of bread. She gave us choices between honey (miel), butter, jam (mermelada), or just plain olive oil (aceite de oliva). I had to try each and every one of these combinations, and each one I could not resist. My host mom also gave us freshly squeezed orange juice, really showing how natural the Mediterranean food is.

Nicollete Host Mom Food

In all aspects my host mom was amazing—she always complimented my new clothes, my outfits, and I really got to know her as a person. It really helped my Spanish skills evolve, and we truly had a connection… And we still do! We still correspond daily; I show her pictures of my happenings while she sends me pictures of her cat. It is so great to know that I always have a second home open to me whenever I want, halfway across the world.

– The above blog post and photos were contributedby Nicolette Ragone, who studied abroad with ISA High School in Sevilla, Spain in 2013, and who is currently a Global Ambassador.

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