The Host Life

By Celsey Aswegen on October 19, 2017

When I first arrived at my host family stay, I had no idea what to expect. My host family had just gotten back from a long, busy vacation in Croatia. They were exhausted when they came to the apartment to pick me up, and I was incredibly anxious as I waited for them. Before coming to Romania, we had learned some of the customs and what to expect from our host families, but like most things in life, it is different to experience it for yourself. What would my place be in their home? Would they speak English? I was both excited and a little nervous to find out for myself.

Student with host family at waterfallThe first night in their small apartment, I was greeted with kindness, games, and an abundance of food. I’m not exactly a shy person, but to me, first encounters always seem a little bit awkward. It wasn’t long before the family and I fell into a daily routine. My host family has two boys—one seven and the other ten. They love to play games and watch movies, and a lot of times if I had my laptop out, I would be forced to watch a movie of their picking. They liked to have me chase them around the apartment, and the laughs we have shared will be remembered forever. The older boy speaks a little bit of English, but the younger one didn’t. It was a little challenging figuring out how to communicate with the boys, but we played a lot of games and sang a lot of Disney songs. I was delighted to discover their love for music, and I found that it was a great way to communicate. I taught the boys a few songs on the piano, and it was so neat for me to see the excitement in their eyes every time we played together.

I’ve loved the time I’ve spent with my host family. Whereas it has at times been awkward and a bit different, it’s been truly enjoyable. My host mother and I have conversations almost every day—anything from what we like to do, to conversations about our faith. She speaks pretty good English, but when words are hard, gestures are pretty universal. She has helped me learn a bit more Romanian, and she likes to ask me to help her with her English. I won’t lie, it’s pretty entertaining. We both get a kick out of hearing each other’s attempts at our respective languages, and most nights laughter fills the house. When first coming to my host family, I thought six weeks seemed like an incredibly long time, but now that my six weeks are almost over, I’m sad that I’ll have to leave them.