Esinam G. was a junior at SYA France and a blogger for the Campus Reporter program. She came to SYA from The Madeira School in Virginia.
February, the month where we show extra appreciation for those we love, left me doing some deep reflection on all the new people I have come to love during my time at SYA. My host family has become such an integral part of my daily routine that I find myself eager to share my experiences when I leave on school trips, engage in conversations at the dinner table and even missing the comfort of my home in Rennes when I am away from it. In honour of the month of extra appreciation and love, it is only fitting to talk about the endless love and support of a host family.
Before your arrival at SYA and all throughout your experience, you will be told not to compare your host families to one another and to recognise that each household is different. Keeping this in mind is a key part of the journey and will make a difference in your year. No one can guarantee a specific family set up or dynamic; the mystery is part of the thrill. But with an open mind and the help of the resources around, there is always a way to make the most of your time in Rennes.
My host family has given me more support than I could have ever imagined and found ways to make me truly feel like I am part of their family. To say I am grateful is an understatement to the gratitude I feel towards them. And of course, like many things at SYA, you must reciprocate and equally engage. Here are five ways to show appreciation to your host family everyday.
● Ask all the members of your family how their day was! It seems small but showing active interest in their day assures them that you genuinely care.
● Suggest activities you can all do together! Whether it is watching a movie, taking a walk or going shopping in town, suggesting something to do lets your host family know you want to spend time with them outside the weekday and tells them more about what you like doing too.
● Keep them informed about your adventures! Sending a quick message when you are out on a Saturday night or on independent travel can go a long way. Your host families will know you are keeping them in mind and you might even put their worries at bay while you are away.
● Manners maketh man! Your please and thank you’s, your gesture to clean the table after family meals and overall consideration for your family as a whole each day is a sure way to demonstrate your gratitude.
● Be you! Your family wants to get to know you so being yourself when you get comfortable in your new home will let them know that you are finally settling in and feel free enough to express opinions and ideas.
- Campus Reporters
- SYA France