Before studying abroad I had to choose a place to stay while studying in Peru, and I had many options to choose from. With so many options I had to choose carefully and I went with a house close to the university. I would be renting a room within the house and close to other students from other countries doing the same as I was. The owners of the house welcomed me quickly and so did my new flat mates. We all got along quickly, so it felt a bit more comfortable with them around the house. We had a couple of fun cooking adventures and learning about one another’s culture.
On one of my first nights being at the house I was invited to a Korean cookout by my flat mates, and it was very delicious. We all started to talk about how we started our studies abroad and what career paths we were studying for. Many of the other students were from Korea and China, and while they spoke to each other in their native language I sat there confused. Other than that the night was very fun, we all laughed a lot and I got to try many different foods. We took pictures and we created a group chat to always be in contact with each other, and we also planned for many cookouts after that.
A few weeks passed and the owners of the house invited all of us to meet and eat with them and their family members. Everyone was all so nervous to meet new people it was almost awkward for us, but turned out to be super fun. In the backyard of the house there were multiple tables set up and different chafing dishes with many types of food. Basically, with the food I was already happy to be there and the getting to speak with the family made the experience ten times more cool. We ate and chatted for many hours, and I learned about herbal drinks that the family would make to help someone sick feel better. After that we were invited to more family cookouts and created even more friends.
Last week a couple of the flat mates were getting ready to leave and go back home, so the owner of the house had us paint our hand into the house tree. A tradition she made when she started renting out room to students to create more memories. Three of us painted our hands with green paint and put them onto a canvas tree in the hallway, and then we wrote out names and where we came from. This made me feel more special and in a way more connected to everyone that was there. We all became a little family of students abroad and I feel like that is something really important to make while abroad.