Host Family Life
The opportunity to live with an Ecuadorian family is an integral part of every CIMAS study abroad program. Though living with a family students truly live the culture; they eat Ecuadorian meals, speak Spanish and learn the subtleties of cultural differences.
What is it like to live with an Ecuadorian family?
CIMAS interviews prospective host families and inspects their homes to ensure that they meet the program’s standards. The home must have an adequate bedroom for the student, be safe and comfortable, and the people must be kind and excited about the opportunity to host a visiting student.
From this point, the relationship that develops in the home depends on the level of interest of the student. Host families understand that students want to travel and go out in order to get to know the country of Ecuador. However, many students also want to become integrated into the family. All this takes is a willingness to take part in your family’s day-to-day life. Every student will share meals with their family and it is typical for the whole family to eat lunch, the largest meal of the day, together in the home.
Do I get to choose the kind of family I want?
Students fill out a family request form that informs CIMAS of any special needs (allergies, diet needs, etc.) and preferences (non-smoking, children, pets, etc). CIMAS matches students’ needs to Ecuadorian families that seem to fit the student best. Of course, it is not possible to fulfill every request, but CIMAS makes every effort to ensure that students live in a safe environment, in an ideal location, and with warm and welcoming families of all ages.
What if I don’t like my family?
It is important to remember that it takes effort from both the family and the student to make this relationship work. During study abroad, try to be open to difference and newness. If for any reason, however, the relationship with your host family becomes awkward or uncomfortable, CIMAS will arrange for you to have a different host family.