Monika has been a homestay host for international students a total of 3 ½ years in Buenos Aires. She has spent the past year being a host for Expanish and is currently housing Courtney from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, Bonnie from Texas A&M University in Texas, USA, and Thomas, who came from London to study Spanish in Buenos Aires.Monika and her family live in Belgrano, a beautiful residential district filled with restaurants, boutique shops, green parks, and places of architectural interest.Monika answered a few questions to share her joys of being a homestay host to students studying in Buenos Aires…
What do you like most about living with international students?
Monika: It’s a very cool experience. [The students] are very polite, and it’s a pleasure to see how responsible they are being so young. In general, they help me clear the plates after dinner.And in summer, we sit in the garden after [dinner] and chat.Many of them become very good friends, go out together, and rent movies and watch them with my kids when they are here.
What are some of your hobbies, passions?
Monika: I don’t have a lot of time, but sometimes I go out to eat with friends while my kids cook for the students.I like to read a lot and I enjoy traveling by bus to my work. At this moment, my only passion is my cat!
What is something that the students taught you?
Monika: They all tell me about their lives, their parents, the customs of their countries, problems, loves, etcetera.We learn a lot about life together.Often, their parents or friends come to visit and I have a welcome dinner and we have very interesting conversations.And it’s very exciting to see how happy and grateful [the parents] are to see how their kids are living.Many of [the parents] call me to tell me that they feel at ease to see that their kids feel as if they were at home while staying at my house.This is very neat to hear and it makes me want to take in more students still.
What do you think that the students learned from you?
Monika: The same. How to live with an Argentine family.They listen when I get angry with my kids and they give me advice and tell me, also, that the same things happen in their houses [in their home countries].The food is very different, as are the eating schedules, and they like to see the hugs and kisses that my kids and I give each other.In many countries, it is not as open in this sense.