I think that I’m very much an extro-introvert – I love being surrounded by people and being engulfed by a plethora of diverse energies. But once I’m home, I relish in recharging by myself, or being with those who are close to me. This is exactly why living in a homestay is perfect for me.
There was a brief moment where I questioned my choice of a homestay, since I felt a bit isolated from my peers who had apartment-mates. The upside for me however, was finding other interns within Barcelona SAE that live within my neighborhood (cheers!). Plus, most of everything within Barcelona is just a metro ride away. So what do I love most about living in a homestay?
1) Coming back home from my internship or from exploring the city to a home cooked meal, nothing beats chowing down on authentic Catalan food after a long day. Pictured above is my host mom, Thais, with our dinner for the night! She has opened up the world of jamón, olives and patatas for me.
2) This is my home away from home. I think that one of the phrases that my host mom asks me the most frequently is “¿Ainsley, estás bien?” Sometimes it’s comforting to hear simple yet caring inquiries.
3) You can do all the Internet research that you want about Barcelona or the Catalan culture, but being in a homestay means that you are surrounded by wealthy resources of information. Want to know more about the history of Catalonia and Spain? What are some good restaurants/café’s around this area? This is an excellent way to discover hole-in-the wall places, and it’s an insightful way to gain a unique local perspective.
4) Practicing Spanish with my host family!
5) I’ll top this post off with this awesome picture of my daily balcony view; I live in the atico, or the top floor of our building. The picture speaks for itself, absolutely remarkable. I feel so fortunate living here.
By Ainsley Chac, University of California Riverside