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Temporary Change of Address

If you want to get the full benefit of a culture when studying abroad, then host families are definitely the way to go! I promise there is no better environment in which to get fully immersed in the many interesting aspects of a foreign country. My Cusqueña host family went above and beyond to make me feel at home. They used their best dishes, served generous portions, and provided an extra blanket. They tried their best to cater to my every need; I was even given a key to the house with no curfew.

My host family gave me tips on what to do and what to avoid; it’s like an inside connection to the best places to eat, shop, etc. I have to be honest and admit getting out of my comfort zone to some extent was a little strange, but hey, it’s no biggie and par for the course because after all, I did choose to leave the U.S.A. On the flip side, I can only imagine that a visitor to my home might think my way of life was strange. That is what is so great about diversity!

Besides my host parents, I had the privilege of meeting several members of the extended family and some of their friends. They often came over and joined us for meals and it was so fascinating to learn about their lives as well. In Cusco, the people are very friendly and it is very common to exchange a hug and quick kiss on the cheek each time one comes and goes. Actually, the warm human contact can help those who get homesick easily. Within a couple of days I was comfortable calling my host parents, Mama Dina and Papa Raúl.

When the time came to return home, I couldn’t believe how much I had bonded with these sweet, loving people (and even the dog). So much so that our goodbyes were tearful, but with promises to keep in contact. One of my fondest memories was playing a Peruvian board game.

Not only did my foreign language skills improve as I was forced to interact with various members of my host family, but I learned so much about family dynamics, religion, politics, legends, traditions, and the cuisine, just to name a few. If given the choice, I wouldn’t change a thing and do it all over again. It was a full and rich experience that I will never forget!

Dallas Moore

Dallas Moore will begin his Senior year in the Fall. He is ready to go abroad for the first time, and be immersed into the language of Peru because he is a Spanish and Business Major. He has kayaked Cypress Creek on many occasion. Follow his blog as he checks out the Floating Islands of Lake Titicaca this summer.

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