An Open Letter to My Host Family

Dear host family (or famille d’accueil as the French say),

Can you believe it has almost been a month since I started living with you?! It seems like just yesterday IES sent me the email I had be not-so-patiently waiting for, telling me that you would be my host family. From that email, I knew the coming months were going be a good time; mostly from your quircky family photo, but also because of the many similarities my family has in common with you. For example, there are five kids in my family and five kids in yours. More specifically, the first three kids are boys and the last two are girls. Everyone in my family is really awesome and everyone in your (our?) family is really awesome. This was definitely the work of magic, fate, GOD.

There are some obvious difference too, like the fact that you are a modern-day replica of the Von Trapps and my family can’t sing a Christmas carol in the same key. But really, the amount of musical talent contained in all of you is astounding. All of you play instruments! You sing hymns in three-part harmonies! Do I need to continue? I think not.

On top of that, all of you are so incredibly caring and welcoming. You loved me before you knew me and share your thoughts, daily dramas, and everything else me. You are also very French; a good thing, of course! You eat three-course meals every night (shout out to ma mère d’accueil, un vrai cordon bleu). What is more amazing is that you have chosen to do this for nine others before me. The 10 of of us are very, very lucky ladies.

The upside of our time together? It’s only February! The downside? It’s already February. Though we have three more months together, I can feel the time slipping from my fingers like a dropped ticket on the tram. I don’t want to think of the day when I will no longer paint the fingernails of les filles, avoid questions about boys from les garcons, and have deep conversations about religion and politics with mes parents. When I leave, there will no doubt be a crepe-shaped hole in my heart that only you can fill.

So let’s make the most of the time we have left together. I have no doubt that it will only be the best of times.

With lots and lots of love,


Posted inOff-Campus, Study AbroadTags: ,

Published by Rachael Kabagabu

Hi everyone! My name is Rachael Kabagabu. I am a junior studying secondary education with a major in French and minor in biology. I am currently involved in Nykerk, Hope College Student Ambassadors, WTHS (Hope radio station), and the Kappa Beta Phi Sorority. My previous activities include Orientation, leading a spring break immersion trip, the Black Student Union, and orchestra. Feel free to message me if you have any questions. Go Hope!

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