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Things I Learned From My Host Mom

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Last Updated on December 17, 2018 by Cat Rogliano

Happy Mother’s Day! In honor of the special occasion we asked some of our alumni to tell us about their host moms, why they love them, and what they learned from them.

Mikaela, Granada, Spain:

Oh my gosh the things Luisa taught me…

Luisa used to live in Morocco, so we were talking about the cultural differences between Morocco and Spain. She said that cultures aren’t better or worse, just different. And she spread her hands out in front of her to show that they were on a horizontal scale rather than a vertical scale.

That is one of my favorite memories and it has changed how I look at people and our diferences to this day.

She also said she doesn’t make lists, because what’s the point of being stressed? Do what you can, when you can, and that’s all that matters.

Oh, and let no drop of olive oil go to waste.


Erin, Salzburg, Austria

Everything tastes better homemade (Apple Streudel, I’m looking at you!)

How to talk like a local in German

How to properly hold a wine glass: hold the cup when it’s red wine, and the stem when it’s white.

How to play Austrian card games, and how to make punsch and Austrian Christmas cookies.

How to ski the right way; apparently I’ve been doing it incorrectly for twelve years…

To broaden my perspective in all aspects of life: politics, philosophy, education, you name it.

That even thousands of miles from home, a complete stranger can be there to give you a hug when you’re feeling down, take care of you when you fall sick, and go to any length to make sure you’re happy. Love isn’t limited to your DNA. Someone I simply rented a room from became a dear friend, and as close as you can get to having a second mom.

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