The BCA program in Xalapa requires that all students stay with a host family during their time abroad. This has many benefits. Staying with a family can teach you a lot about Mexican culture and familial traditions. It also gives you a great opportunity to practice your Spanish with fluent speakers. Often times the host family will know little to no English, forcing you to practice your Spanish when communicating with them. The host family provides all three meals (they will ask if there is anything you prefer not to eat or if you have any dietary restrictions) and your own bedroom. Some families have internet access while some do not. Some students also get their own bathroom, while others may have to share a bathroom with the other family members. A lot of the details depend on the student’s specific family.
I had a wonderful family that included me in family events like a quincinera, wedding, and baptism. I was really lucky to see such true cultural occasions first hand.
-Meagan Schneiderman, studied in Xalapa Spring 2011