2017 Italy Homestay Reflections

“My homestay experience quickly became something that I knew I would never forget. Even though there was a language barrier I could still tell that they were all excited to have me in their home and to help me understand the Italian culture. My host sister, Marika, helped me pronounce Italian words as I did the same with her in English. It is because of her that I successfully know my numbers in Italian. My host mom, Angela, made sure I felt safe and welcomed into her family. I’ll never forget the second day that I was homesick and she hugged me and kissed my forehead as she said comforting words in Italian to make me feel better. My host dad, Vincento, only spoke Italian while my host mom and sister spoke some English. It was a lot of gestures, facial expressions and occasionally my butchered attempt at speaking Italian that allowed for me to bond with him as well. But the closest I ever felt with him was when I was able to read a letter I had written for them in Italian the day before I left. Everyday that I spent with my host family was something I will uniquely remember, whether it was going to the beach, hiking in the mountains, touring the city at night, or simply talking at the dinner table getting to now each other. The experience not only allowed me to be completely immersed into the Italian culture, but also to meet incredible people that I still keep in contact with and hope to one day see again.” –Brisa