Living with Host Families
Posted on: 16 June 2023 by Poppy Black in 2023 posts
My experience during my year abroad in Argentina showed me aspects of a typical Argentinian life which I otherwise would not have discovered.
I was lucky enough to live with a variety of families through the programme and this gave me a true insight into culture. Their hospitality is something I will never forget and am truly grateful for, without this, my memories and feelings towards my time away would be very different.
The simple activities with the families were some of my favourite times spent together, really being able to see how they spend their time and learn their habits. Coming home at 4pm for merienda with maté and medialunas on the table ready, helping the younger children I lived with do their homework and spending Saturday afternoons on the farm – something which truly reminded me of home.
There’s a very chilled back nature to Argentinian society and you can sense it whenever you enter a room. In my day-to-day work, it was almost certain that class would not start in time, but no one was stressed about it, and no one minded, if learning was happening along the way, then everyone was happy. This atmosphere, although enjoyable, was very foreign to me and my almost regimented idea of school from the UK. I enjoyed this cultural change, where there were different priorities and different ideas of education. With learning about the wider world and, in my case, teaching the children about English culture, was far more important than any curriculum.
Moreover, this chilled back approach was taken into the day-to-day activities and lifestyles, which in turn created a welcoming feel. I can completely understand why so many people return to live there despite the less than ideal recent economic and political developments. The families and culture I experienced has given me a true home from home, one I hope to visit again in the future. Both to further develop my cultural awareness and visit those who welcomed me so warmly.